Silent Warrior - Book One
By J.L. Saint
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Release Date: December 14, 2010
Death stalked the darkest hours before dawn, when innocents blissfully slept and even the depraved lowered their guard for a moment's respite.
The most danger Lauren Collins faces on a daily basis is breaking up squabbles between her five-year-old twin sons. Since her ex-husband left her eighteen months earlier for rotating flavors of the month, the single mom from Atlanta has devoted herself to her children, steering clear of men since it’s obvious that her two dogs are much better judges of character than she is, but that all changes on the boys’ birthday when a mysterious letter from her ex-husband arrives from Brazil. Thrust into the middle of a terrorist plot that could bring the world to war, this unassuming mom finds herself and her sons targeted by paid assassins, a wounded soldier she's not sure she should trust appears to be her only hope for survival and she wonders if she ever knew her ex-husband at all!
Wounded during a mission gone awry in Lebanon, Delta Force soldier, Jack Hunter is recovering at Walter Reed Medical Center when he’s shocked to see a photo of prominent Atlanta businessman, Bill Collins on television. The reports say Collins was killed in Brazil the night before but Jack knows he shot and killed Collins during a rescue mission gone awry in Lebanon two weeks earlier. The problem is Collins’ body disappeared from Lebanon, Jack’s memories of the mission are fuzzy and nobody else believes the businessman was really there. The facts don’t add up. Jack leaves the hospital and heads for Atlanta to find the man’s wife but, instead of answers, he only finds more questions and a woman who brings his body, and heart, to life. But with more than one bad guy after them, will they live long enough to explore the attraction between them? And, if they do survive, will Lauren ever be able to forgive him for taking the life of her sons' father?
Saint (who also writes as Jennifer St. Giles) wrote the proposal for this book prior to 9/11 but the story could be ripped from the headlines of the world in which we live today. An environmentalist discovers a “super fuel” then uses terrorist tactics to set nation against nation, hoping to bring about a world war that will see him emerging as the supreme power at the end. Using this as the basis of the story, Saint then brings the action down to a personal, intimate level by showing us what happens to ordinary people who are the collateral damage (impacted by) of the actions of others - a terrorist, the government, an ex-husband – and the extraordinary measures those people take to save themselves and the people they love. As Jack realizes toward the end of the book…
In one way or another Jack realized that everyone experienced collateral damage from the fallout of life. What determined the result was all in how a person viewed themselves and conquered the obstacles.
With Jack and Lauren, Saint has given us a courageous soldier who believes he has nothing to offer a woman in a relationship and an unassuming mom who finds a hidden well of strength and courage that she never imagined she had. (It isn’t hard to identify with a mom whose children are threatened.) She surrounds them with an intriguing cast of secondary characters that help propel the story without overshadowing the lead characters of this book but leave the reader excited about reading each of their stories. I’m looking forward to getting to know all of them better and am especially eager to learn more about Roger and Mari.
I’ve enjoyed previous offerings from Jennifer St. Giles but I really think she’s found her niche writing romantic suspense thrillers as J.L. Saint. I highly recommend this book!