When her best friend is killed in an explosion, leaving Regina da Silva with her friend’s young child, she doesn’t realize that the child was as much a target as her friend. Brooks Anderson has been sent to find the child and bring it to the US. When circumstances bring them together in Brazil, they find themselves being pursued by a killer as they protect an orphaned babyAs the danger heightens around them, so does the attraction between Regina and Brooks, despite their differences. Regina and Brooks have both been broken by their violent pasts, but while Regina relies on her faith to deal with her past, Brooks has turned away from God. Will their pasts stop them from realizing their true feelings for each other when their pursuer strives to keep them apart forever?
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Author Connie Mann lives in Central Florida and offers encouragement and inspiration on her blog, BusyWomenBigDreams.com. Her romantic suspense novel, TRAPPED! showcased a gator-trapping heroine, while a trip to her father’s native Brazil provided the inspiration for Angel Falls. The screenplay for her romantic comedy, Catch of a Lifetime, was made into a feature-length film.Connie is a member of Romance Writers of America, Volusia County Romance Writers, Central Florida Romance Writers and Faith, Hope and Love, RWA’s inspirational chapter. Connie is also the author of Parenting in the Home Stretch: Twelve Ways to Prepare Your Kids for Life on Their Own. She has written dozens of articles, ghostwritten six books and was the editor of a parenting magazine.
Read an Excerpt
By Connie Mann
Abington PressCopyright © 2013 Connie E. Neumann
All rights reserved.
Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil, Present Day
Regina da silva tied the laces on her cracked leather boots and yanked the hand-knitted wool stockings Olga made her last Christmas up past her knees. Outside, an icy wind fought to get in through the wooden shutters guarding House of Angels orphanage. She straightened the layers of skirts swirling around her ankles, knowing she'd give away all but one before the night ended.
She didn't want to go out tonight, and that made her feel small and selfish. And guilty. So she hefted the wicker basket filled with meat pastries and opened the door—before she changed her mind. On nights like tonight, she didn't know which she hated most—the cold or the memories.
"You are still going out tonight, Regina?" Irene demanded quietly, her voice heavy with accusation. And disappointment.
"Just this one night, Regina, stay home. We'll talk. Laugh, maybe even shed a few tears. Minha amiga, even Jesus took time off for his friends."
Regina swallowed hard and glanced over her shoulder at the sagging sofa, where Irene sat with her feet curled under her, cuddling her three-month-old son. The pleading tone almost demolished the fence guarding Regina's mouth.
A gust of wind snatched the door from her grasp and slammed it against the wall, the crash a call to arms. "If I don't go, who will?" Regina asked. She didn't add, "since you don't go anymore," but it echoed in the room nonetheless. Regina tried to keep the hurt out of her voice. She still couldn't believe Irene and little Eduardo were moving to the United States in the morning and leaving her behind. She was thrilled for Irene. She was furious, too, and mad at herself for feeling that way. But she couldn't find words for any of it. So she simply pointed to the basket and said, "Olga has the meat pastries ready and Jorge packed extra blankets." Regina pulled on a pair of handmade mittens, carefully pulling together the hole in one thumb.
Irene sent her a piercing, sad-eyed look. "You can't save them all, you know."
At the familiar argument, Regina met her gaze, eyes hot, and repeated what she always said in response. "Maybe not. But I can save some."
Irene sighed. "I'll pick you up in the morning, then. Be safe, my friend."
Regina kissed her friend on both cheeks, did the same for Eduardo, and then headed out before she caved in to Irene's pleading. The wind hacked through the slums, and Regina hunched farther into her threadbare coat, determined to ignore everything but the task at hand. Especially the memories.
She shifted her grasp on the heavy basket and kept her eyes fixed on the barrel of burning trash ahead. Automatically avoiding open sewers and billowing newspapers, she followed the dancing flames like a ship to a lighthouse. Odd that both lights warned of danger, yet promised safety.
Regina tightened her scarf and snorted. Here on the streets, safety was an illusion, a wish unfulfilled. How many nights had she and Irene spent just like these street children, huddled around a barrel, protecting their right to be there by clutching a switchblade in a shaking fist? They would probably be dead if not for Noah Anderson, who had done exactly what Regina would do tonight. What she and Irene had done together for years.
But everything had changed. Irene planned to take Eduardo to Florida and leave Regina to run the orphanage alone. Her throat tightened, so she stepped up her pace, shoving self-pity roughly away. She had a job to do tonight. The children were cold and hungry and she could help—at least a little. Keep them safe, God, please.
Regina knew the exact moment the children caught the scent of meat pastry, for suddenly a swarm of children surrounded her, shouting, "Senhorita Anjo, um pastel, um pastel."
Regina smiled warmly, though she still couldn't get used to being called Miss Angel, even after four years as codirector of House of Angels.
The crowd surged, pressing close, but Regina's willowy height worked to her advantage. "Hello, children. Fernando, Stephan, back up and let the little ones closer." Regina gently pulled the smaller children toward her, trying not to think about just how young they really were. Could Christiane be more than five? Already her beautiful brown eyes held dull acceptance, the understanding that life would never get any better than this—that hopes and dreams were for other, richer children.
Suddenly, the skin on the back of Regina's neck prickled, and she stopped dead on the cracked sidewalk. Someone was watching her. Again. She hugged one of the children as she scanned the street, but saw nothing out of place, no one who didn't belong. Yet there was someone there, someone with evil in mind. Every street child knew what that meant. If you were smart, you ran and hid.
Even fifteen years later, Regina's flight instincts screamed just that. But she wouldn't. Couldn't. The children needed her. She fingered her switchblade and looked back, relieved to see old Jorge in the beat-up orphanage van, lumbering slowly up the cobbled street behind her. The groundskeeper had packed an extra box of blankets, in case the thermometer dropped sharply tonight. And he carried his own knife—just in case. Jorge clambered down from the van and opened the back doors.
"Go get a blanket, children. Fernando, where is the one I gave you yesterday?"
The instant the words left her mouth, Regina wanted to call them back. The twelve-year-old hung his head in shame and shrugged, telling her without words that someone had taken it from him and he hadn't been able to stop him. "Go get another. It is all right," she said gently, trying to spare his pride.
"Thank you, Senhorita Angel," he said, but instead of heading toward the line forming behind the van, he disappeared into the shadows.
Regina tried to call him back, but snapped her attention to the basket when one of the newer boys tried to make off with two pastries. "One," she said firmly, holding his thin wrist until he let go.
Within moments, the meat pastries were gone, the blankets dispersed, and she'd sent at least ten children to the van for a ride to the orphanage. If she could have fit more pallets into the dining hall, Regina would have scooped up more children. And still, the crowd grew bigger than it had been before.
"Senhorita Angel," a voice shouted.
Turning around, Regina saw Fernando running toward her. Panting, he skidded to a stop. "You must come, now. Please."
Regina didn't hesitate. Before she reached the van, Jorge had started the engine and handed her medical bag through the window. He motioned her forward and prepared to follow.
"Let's go," she said, and smiled when Fernando grabbed her bag before galloping off. She couldn't be sure if this was his attempt at gallantry, or a way to make sure she kept up with his punishing pace. As she ran down narrow alleys and grim little streets, Regina prepared to put the nurse's training she'd received in the United States to instant use. She prayed it would be enough. Too often, though, what little she could offer came years too late.
* * *
Outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Smoke hung like a heavy blanket in the back alley bar, a place years away from the rich, touristy sections of Rio de Janeiro. The heavy pall obscured individual features, but couldn't disguise that the clientele was poor, rough, and ready for a fight. Chickens pecked at the trash littering the dirt floor, while sweaty locals sat at rickety tables, laughing, arguing, and sucking down alcohol. It helped kill time before the fighting started.
Nathaniel Brooks Anderson had been in enough such places over the years to know the drill. One wrong word and you became the opening ceremony. The knife sheath tucked between his shoulder blades was as necessary as a pair of watertight boots if he wanted to survive in a place like this.
He leaned closer to the bartender and tried again. "Out of town where?" He kept his voice low, but spit each word from between clenched teeth.
Palms up, the swarthy barkeep shrugged helplessly. "He no say, Senhor. He just leave."
"When?" Stronger men had quailed under that look.
The man looked away and hitched his pants over his sagging belly. "Don't know. A month, maybe more." Another shrug.
Brooks reached across the bar and pulled the man forward by his grimy T-shirt, ignoring the stench of rotting teeth.
"Think, my friend. Think hard."
The poor sot's eyes bulged. "I cannot say, Senhor. Please. I don't know."
With a snap of his wrist, Brooks released him, the half-healed muscles in his arm screaming a protest. Besides, this guy knew squat. "So who would know?" he barked.
More shrugging. More apologies. More freaking nothing.
Brooks stormed out the door, the look on his face clearing a path before him. For two weeks now, he'd been getting the same story. After all these years working this part of the world, he couldn't find a single one of his contacts and no one knew where they were or how to get in touch with them. The implications gnawed a hole in his gut. He needed answers, fast. But his chances of finding them lessened with every passing minute.
"He told them to say that."
Brooks turned to see the dark-haired young waitress leaning up against the outside wall of the bar, smoking a cigarette.
"Who told them?"
"The man you're looking for." She stepped closer, her lush figure barely concealed by a white peasant blouse and colorful skirt. She shivered and wrapped her hands around her bare arms.
"Why?" Brooks kept his eyes trained on her face, ignoring the way the dim light spilled from the door and highlighted her curves. No distractions. He needed answers.
Dark curls bobbed as she stepped closer. "What's the information worth to you?" she asked, running a trembling finger over his beard-stubbled chin.
Brooks grasped her wrist, his hold firm but painless. "No games."
Frightened dark eyes clashed with his. "You need information. I need money." She looked away. "And maybe we both need a little comfort on a cold night."
She couldn't be more than eighteen years old and was obviously scared to death. But of what? Brooks carefully scanned the alley behind him. Too many places to hide for his comfort. More than one unwary tourist had been gutted like a fish after trusting the wrong person.
But he couldn't ignore his first lead since he had arrived back in Brazil a few weeks ago. Uncle Sam didn't know—or wouldn't say—what went so desperately wrong on Brooks's last mission, so if he wanted answers, he'd have to get them himself. This girl's motives weren't his concern.
Now his dark eyes catalogued the street ahead in one sharp glance. He'd bet his knife the guy who'd just appeared in the next doorway had sent her. Brooks took her arm in a casual grip. "Friend of yours?" he whispered, turning her in the opposite direction.
Her eyes widened before she looked away. She'd be a wash at poker. "My brother," she admitted quietly.
"Am I supposed to end up dead or just beaten and robbed?" he asked mildly, steering her deftly around a corner.
Her eyes were like saucers in her thin face. "Please, Senhor. We need money."
Brooks looked over his shoulder and then led her down another narrow alley. "You'll get it. After I get what I want."
The ground at their feet suddenly exploded and the girl nearly jumped out of her skin. That idiot almost shot his own sister. Brooks tightened his grip on the girl and picked up the pace. Desperate people were always the most dangerous.
* * *
Regina and Fernando were both breathing hard when the boy stopped beside a dumpster, crouched down, and crawled behind it. Regina's vision wavered momentarily as a feeling of déjà vu almost knocked her off her feet. She might have fallen backward through a hole in time. The endless night, the bitter cold, the stench. Even the alley looked eerily familiar. Her stomach pitched and rolled, and she had to force air into her lungs.
"Come Senhorita, please," Fernando said, tugging her sleeve.
Focus on the present, she reminded herself sternly as she crawled between the dumpster and the rotting fence. She flipped on her heavy-duty flashlight and shone it around the small space. At first, all she saw were several of the orphanage blankets. But then she saw a small face, a young girl, barely in her teens, curled on her side. The girl let out a soft moan, cradling her middle, tears streaming down her battered face. When the flashlight beam landed on her torn clothes and the bloodstained blankets, bile surged into Regina's throat.
Dear God no, not another one. Regina clamped her back teeth against the fury and pain screaming for release. That made three girls just this week. Prostitution, even rape, were common in the slums, but not this kind of battering. Someone was prowling the favelas and using these girls to vent a frightening rage.
She wanted to wrap this child in her arms and whisper comforting words, but she didn't have time. Emotions would be dealt with later. Right now her medical skills were critical.
Seeing the terror in Fernando's eyes, Regina sent him a reassuring smile, quickly traded her woolen mittens for surgical gloves, and went to work. "Hold the light, just so," she instructed the boy. "What's her name?"
"Leticia," Fernando said, and then added in a whisper, "She's my sister."
Bending over her patient, Regina summoned her most confident smile while she silently begged God to give her wisdom and help her save this child. "Hello, Leticia. I'm Regina, and I'm going to help you."
"Senhorita Angel," the girl whispered, blood trickling from her split lip.
Regina winked, though she wanted to cry. "At your service." She ran her hands quickly over the young girl, assessing the damage. This girl needed stitches and she needed them now.
"Fernando, go get water from the van!" Her voice snapped with authority, moving him from where he stood rooted in horror. This would give him something to do, a way to help.
Regina pulled out her supplies, fighting the urge to grab the girl and run while she still could, just as she had on the street earlier. But Leticia's desperate brown eyes kept her firmly in place, blocking out everything but the next step she needed to take, the next instruction she needed to give.
With Jorge stationed out by the van to give what protection he could and Fernando holding the flashlight, Regina murmured encouragement. "Stay with me, Leticia. That's it. It's going to be okay."
Blood. Dear God. Too much blood. Help me, Father. Regina mopped and probed and kept up a stream of encouraging words, but Leticia's strength ebbed, and she drifted in and out of consciousness. Working against the clock, Regina stitched delicate tissues and bandaged deep wounds. If only she could convince Dr. Perez to come out here with her more often. But thankfully, he'd stop by House of Angels in the morning before he went to his office.
A long time later, when the bleeding finally slowed and Leticia started to come around, Regina released a slow, triumphant sigh. The streets would not claim another victim.
She whistled for Jorge and the old man came running. Together, the three of them bundled Leticia into the back of the van for the short ride to the orphanage.
Fernando immediately clambered in beside his sister and Regina followed, signaling Jorge with a quick rap on the ceiling. Regina glanced at the sleeping children huddled inside the van, then leaned forward and took Fernando's thin hand between her own, desperate to ease the guilt she saw in his face. "You did the right thing. This isn't your fault."
He wouldn't say anything, so Regina raised his chin so he'd have to meet her eyes. "You were very brave tonight. And a big help. Leticia is going to be okay."
Again the shrug and the averted eyes. Regina sighed at his response, but she understood too well. If you expected nothing, you weren't disappointed.
A few minutes later, the three of them were carrying Leticia through the orphanage's back door on a makeshift stretcher when Irene's battered Toyota screeched to a halt behind the van. Regina couldn't help an automatic smile at the hundreds of bumper stickers plastered over every square inch of the old heap. She figured they were the only things holding the ancient rust bucket together.
Irene leaped from the car and helped maneuver the stretcher into the infirmary. "I've been looking all over for you, my friend. Let's go."
Excerpted from Angel Falls by Connie Mann. Copyright © 2013 Connie E. Neumann. Excerpted by permission of Abington Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ohhh where do I start? I got home from work last night and finally, a week or so after receiving this book from Amazon, started reading Angel Falls. I've had a lot of trouble lately with any book keeping my attention so I figured I'd get in a few chapters then move on to the next project. Well....... let's just say that NO other projects got done, I barely made time to eat dinner, and I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish the book before I went to bed. I'm not going to reiterate the story - the synopsis tells you what you need to know. All I can add is that the story is EXCELLENT! Connie gives us such an in depth look into Regina's life that I could feel her pain and uncertainties until I was literally holding my breath that she found the courage to move forward. I could feel the defeat and weariness in Brooks, something that life delivers to all of us at one time or another. I silently cheered as the characters put one foot in front of the other in their efforts to pick themselves up, shake off the past, and fight for the future they deserve. The story evolved flawlessly with so much emotion, yet without the need for so much description that I got lost in the words. Thank you for such a great read with a solid, memorable story and message! I've already passed my book on with a high recommendation. Keep up the great work Connie!
Kept my attention.
I just finished reading and amazing book with a very captivating story. The only negative points of the story was its somewhat repetitiveness and it dragged out slightly. There was some sexual content but nothing explicit. I would feel comfortable in allowing an older YA to read it. The story centers around a young nurse raised in Brazil, educated in the United States, then returned to Brazil to run an orphanage created by her benefactors. It, also, centers around an Army Special Forces man, who is searching for answers after a mission which went incredibly wrong. He quit the Army, dealing with his personal demons and trying to find answers. As he was thus occupied, his mother asked an urgent favor of him which turned out to be much more intense than he had planned on. The two lives were thrown together to protect a third life. The action was fairly steady throughout the book. The main points I discovered were: violence, love, forgiveness, deceit, survival, healing, poverty, abuse, discovering God and Christ's atonement, trust, Selfishness, selflessness, revenge, betrayal, and romance. I highly recommend this book for book club reading and discussions. I failed to make a note of whether this was a book I won or was in exchange for a review. In either case, I am very grateful I have this copy to add to my library.
I loved Angel Falls by Connie Mann. It was chock full of suspenseful moments, had good timing, and had just the right amount of guy/girl tension to keep this romance lover happy. ***I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of review. The above is my honest opinion.***
I was immediately hooked by the plot and the characters. The story starts fast and doesn't let up. I truly loved these characters. Regina is likeable and while emotionally wounded, she's not a weak person at all. She's someone you root for and admire. And Brooks...let's just say that I HEART Brooks. He's the kind of hero I love to read about. This book is published in the Christian market but is great for the ABA market as well. I can't wait to read more of Connie Mann's work. If you like Dee Henderson, Iris Johansen or Linda Howard, then this book is for you!
Connie Mann delivers a great book in Angels Falls, with an interesting story, deeply-layered characters, and a unique setting so unlike the tame American places I'm used to. There's nothing tame about Brazil, not its wild jungles nor its city streets teeming with needy, abused children, one of whom was our heroine, Regina. What would have become of her if not for the flawed, caring missionary who rescued her? Today, she runs an orphanage, rescuing other children from the streets until a car bomb kills her best friend, leaving her with a newborn baby somebody wants dead. Army Ranger Nathaniel Brooks is emotionally wounded after leading a failed mission in which some of his men were killed, along with the hostages he'd been sent to rescue. When he's asked to help Regina and the baby, he agrees. But if he fails again, what will become of this beautiful woman and innocent child? Mann has so beautifully illustrated Regina's fear of men--a holdover from her terrible past--and Brooks's caring gestures that help her learn to trust again. This book is both a page turner and a tearjerker. You'll be thinking of the characters long after you put it down. Full disclosure: I was asked to review this book, and I'm so glad I agreed.
Regina's best friend Irene asked her to care for her baby if anything should happen to her, and it did. After the young mother is killed, Regina vows to protect little Eduardo with her life. When the killer continues to come after them, she is forced to rely on the protection of former Army Ranger Brooks Anderson. Both Regina and Brooks are tormented by their pasts, and when feelings develop between them, neither is ready. As Brooks struggles to forgive his father, Regina learns to forgive herself. This is not your typical sweet Christian romance filled with cliches, platitudes, and sermons awkwardly inserted into romantic conversations. This is a gritty, action-packed suspense thriller which happens to have a romantic twist. Regina is a former child of the streets with a dark past and painful memories. Brooks is a former Army Ranger with a dysfunctional relationship with his father and whose failed mission continues to haunt him. These are realistic characters with real problems that don't, on the whole, solve themselves in a couple of happy chapters. The setting of the novel, Brazil, is also a nice change. If you have not enjoyed Christian fiction in the past, ignore the genre label and give this novel a try. If necessary, schedule time to sit down and read, because once you start, you will not be able to put this nail-biter down. 5 stars Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Pump Up Your Book book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Connie Mann in her new book, "Angel Falls" published by Abingdon Press takes us into the lives of Regina da Silva and Brooks Anderson. From the back cover: Two lives Collide in a deadly race to save an orphaned baby Regina da Silva and Brooks Anderson have been so broken by their violent pasts that they believe romantic love to be an illusion. Instead, they focus on helping others: Regina reaches out to street kids while Brooks uses his military knowledge to organize rescue operations. Their paths cross in Brazil when they are forced to work together to protect the orphaned baby of a dear friend. On the run and seeking safety in unexpected places, they soon realize that a killer is desperate to destroy not just the child but Brooks and Regina as well. As the danger heightens around them, so does their attraction. Will their pasts stop them from realizing their true feelings for each other when their pursuer strives to keep them apart forever? I have never read any story that dealt with the streets and alleys of Southern Brazil. Somehow the image that appears in my mind is that of the lush Amazon rain forest and beautiful cities. Regina is working the orphanage and trying to help the street kids when her friend is killed leaving behind the baby. Brooks is sent to Brazil to bring the baby back but the killer just wasn't after the mother the baby was also the intended victim. Now both Brooks and Regina are the killer's targets as they try to protect his baby as they run for their survival. Now this is pure excitement with a capital "E". Suspense, adventure, mystery, action all in a clever thriller. Both Brooks and Regina's lives are in deadly danger as they try to protect each other and the life of this baby. What makes a baby such a threat that he needs to be killed? That is just one of the questions that needs to be solved before this book ends. Then Ms. Mann has added in the romance. The themes of forgiveness, healing, redemption and trust play out marvelously in the hands of Ms. Mann. "Angel Falls" is a run for survival and the suspense will keep you flipping pages. Get all your chores out of the way before you sit down to read this book. You will want your cup of tea and peace and quiet as you spend the time on the run for survival in Southern Brazil. You will be glad you did. I am already looking forward to more from this talented author. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Pump Up Your Book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
ANGEL FALLS by Connie Mann is an exciting inspirational suspense set in present day Southern Brazil. What a story! Filled with heart pounding action,faith,suspense,danger,romance,a rescue mission,forgiveness,redemption, struggles,love and the need for survival. Follow, Regina da Silva and Brooks Anderson as they attempt to save their friends orphan baby. A deadly race for survival! For a fast paced,action packed story you don't want to miss "Angel Falls". Ms. Mann will pull you into the story and hold you there. Her characters are intriguing,flawed,realistic and her plot is to die for filled with suspense and mystery. Well done,Ms. Mann, keep them coming. For readers who enjoy Irene Hannon, Diane Burke, Debbie Macomber or Lynette Eason, you will enjoy "Angel Falls". A soul gripping,heart thumping story from beginning to the very last page. An author to watch for in the future. What an exciting debut for this author. What an adventure and one you do not want to miss. I would highly recommend "Angel Falls" to any reader who enjoys not only Christian titles,but anyone who enjoys suspense,thrillers,mystery,and romance. A must read! Received for an honest review from the publisher. RATING: 4.5 HEAT RATING: SWEET REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction Reviews/My Book Addiction and More
What a riveting, page turning read. Once I started, I could not put this book down, it turned out to be a quick read, maybe because I couldn't leave it alone? The action starts very quickly. We are at a home, in Brazil, for street children, that Regina and her friend Irene take care of. Unfortunately their paths cross with a killer, and Regina is left with the care of Irene's son Eduardo. When Brooks Anderson receives a call from his Mother to help, he doesn't want to. You never know how connected each are. The danger is ever present, and you won't know who or whom to trust. One or another is always in trouble. In the end you really have to wonder if anyone will survive? Through it all, you will wonder who would have so much evil in them that they would want to kill a baby?? Regina's life has been very hard, she grew up herself as a street child, but Brook's Father let her to Christ. She is such a giving person, but with very low opinion of herself. Brook has a secret, he knows, but it eats at him, and he needs to forgive and find God's forgiveness. A very heartwarming book, and one that you will remember long after the last page is turned. I received this book through Pump Your Book Virtual Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
This is a wonderful story of faith, courage, and the power of second chances. Growing up on the streets of Southern Brazil, Regina has overcome a childhood of poverty and abuse to find a place where she can truly belong and make a difference. Brooks, the hero, is a military veteran, haunted by memories of a mission that ended in failure and for which he blames himself. When Regina's best friend is killed, leaving behind her infant son, Regina vows to do anything to keep the baby safe, even if it means placing her trust in a man she hardly knows. With no one to depend on but each other, Regina and Brooks must flee from a deadly pursuer, bent on revenge.I loved the setting of this story. I know nothing about the culture of Brazil, and the events and characters of this story made it come alive for me. The character of Regina, who could have all-too-easily been a spineless victim, instead showed courage and a powerful faith. This was one of those stories I just had to keep reading, because I needed to know what was going to happen next. I really enjoyed it.