A Love Forbiddenby Alfred J. Garrotto
In the mid-1970s, idealistic Leah Sinclair was passionate about her volunteer work on the Caribbean island of Santo Sangre. Javier de Córdova was a handsome aristocrat, equally dedicated to his ministry as a Roman Catholic priest. Working side by side drew Leah and Javier into a forbidden love. Tension built as they struggled to remain faithful to their work… See more details below
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In the mid-1970s, idealistic Leah Sinclair was passionate about her volunteer work on the Caribbean island of Santo Sangre. Javier de Córdova was a handsome aristocrat, equally dedicated to his ministry as a Roman Catholic priest. Working side by side drew Leah and Javier into a forbidden love. Tension built as they struggled to remain faithful to their work among the poor of the island--and finally go their separate ways.
Fourteen years later, Leah is USA director of a human rights organization that is actively protesting and lobbying against Santo Sangre's abominable human rights record. She is also a young widow with two children on the brink of adolescence.
Destiny brings Leah and Javier together again when Santo Sangre's vengeful dictator lures the priest into a devious diplomatic mission to meet with rights organizations' leaders and plead his country's case. Javier agrees to represent this man he hates because it will give him one last opportunity to see the woman he once loved. He will finally admit to Leah that he made a terrible mistake in rejecting her love.
After stops in Rome and Amsterdam, Javier arrives in San Francisco. Unknown to him, Montenegro's chief assassin has trailed him across Europe murdering the children of the leaders Javier has visited. During Leah and Javier's brief reunion, they discover that he has led the killer to her doorstep and that her son is targeted for murder. To their mutual surprise, confusion, and delight, Leah and Javier find that the love they once shared burns with as much passion as it did before. They pool their meager resources to avert what seems like an unstoppable murder. Putting their trust, love, and lives on the line, they confront the danger--together.
The climax takes place in the High Sierras during Thanksgiving Week. The assassin has captured Leah and her children and is holding them inside her isolated mountain cabin. Javier arrives to rescue the Bartons but is overpowered and likewise taken captive. When Leah's son Teddy makes a foolish attempt to protect his mother from the assassin, he is shot in the head. Javier takes advantage of the distraction to attack the killer. Leah hears a gunshot and a man's footsteps coming toward her across the deck. She prepares to die, but it is Javier. The discharge of the gun killed the assassin. Javier tells her Teddy's wound isn't life-threatening and they must get him to a hospital.
In the aftermath of the incident, Javier is cleared of any wrongdoing in the death of the foreigner. Disgraced by exposure of his evil plot, President Montenegro of Santo Sangre frees all political prisoners on Christmas Day and resigns from office. Javier takes up residence with Leah's family, and they announce to the children their intention to marry and begin a new life.
- Alfred J. Garrotto
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