As Patricia Bradley’s compelling A Promise to Protect opens, small-town Mississippi Sheriff Ben Logan has just discovered his ex-girlfriend’s brother, Tony Jackson, dying of multiple gunshot wounds on the floor of a Memphis hotel room. Tony quickly shares a series of cryptic clues to the identify of his attacker, secures Ben’s promise to protect his sister’s life and passes on.
It isn’t long before the reader learns that Ben has a real problem on his hands: He and Leigh, the deceased’s sister, haven’t been on speaking terms since Leigh disappeared from his life during a burgeoning summer romance ten years before. She never explained why she left, and he–in the throes of heartbreak–never asked. How on Earth will he convince her to accept his help and protection from an unknown foe today?
Leigh Somerall, now a widowed medical doctor and the mother of a young son, fled fictional Logan Point, Mississippi for reasons that still haunt her ten years later. She’s only been back in town for four weeks when she learns of her brother’s untimely demise. Shaken with grief and tormented by past mistakes, Leigh is loathe to accept Ben’s protection or advice in the wake of her brother’s death–especially when the irksome sheriff plies her for information about an attack that left his father disabled and a missing flash drive she knows nothing about. She wants out of Logan Point and away from Ben at all costs, but a year-long commitment to a local hospital makes that an impossibility.
When a series of mysterious attacks drive Ben and Leigh in ever closer proximity to one another–while their own doubts, anxieties and secrets threaten to drive them further apart–will they find the faith and courage to regain what was lost? To forgive what transpired? To defeat the enemy that threatens them both?
In A Promise to Protect, the second installment of Patricia Bradley’s intriguing Logan Point series, the author ushers the reader into a splintered, complex southern community where the relentless heat and the constant threat of encroaching storms underscore the instability of the society in which the main characters reside. For every character embracing the value, sanctity and importance of family and the serenity born of a life of faith, there’s another long on finger-pointing and recrimination and short on forgiveness and absolution. And, on a purely psychological level, the hero and heroine of the story are harder on themselves than anyone.
In Ben and Leigh, Ms. Bradley has drawn a pair of sympathetic, believably conflicted characters. Both are anxious to do the right thing–for themselves and for those around them. But they’ve also endured intermittent trials, pain and heartache in the ten years since they last encountered one another. Strong but vulnerable Ben could use a good, swift kick in the pants from someone who recognizes and cherishes his innate heroism and sensitivity. Stubborn but compassionate Leigh needs a break from–well–everything. She’s a classic “A” type–determined to be the perfect mother, the perfect doctor, the perfect example. The effect created by all of that palpable angst and percolating emotion is galvanizing: Almost from the book’s inception, the reader yearns to see these two together. Happy. Fulfilled. Married.
But, well, wasn’t it Shakespeare who wrote, “The course of true love never did run smooth”?
Plot happens. And Patricia Bradley crafts a formidable tale of danger, mystery and intrigue for this unsuspecting couple-in-waiting. Prepare yourself for a tense, bumpy, breakneck gallop through the final quarter of this sensational inspirational romantic suspense novel.
I give this thrilling book 4 out of 5 stars!
Be sure to leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts about the book, the author and/or your own experience with inspirational romantic suspense. Blessings!
(Disclosure Statement: I was pleased to share my honest review of this book in exchange for a complimentary copy of the same from Revell, a Division of Baker Publishing Group.)
About the Author: Patricia Bradley is a Romantic Suspense writer living in the Deep South.
Her short-stories have been published in Woman’s World. She has also won several awards and/or received accolades for her first book in the Logan Point series, Shadows of the Past–including the 2008 Maggie (Inspirational Category), 1st Place in the 2012 Touched By Love (Faith Hope and Love Chapter of Romance Writers of America) and Daphne du Maurier contests, a Finalist position in the 2012 Genesis (American Christian Fiction Writers) contest and a Bronze award in the Frasier.
Currently writing a straight romance, Ms. Bradley is also an abstinence/healthy relationship speaker to both teens and adults. When she isn’t writing or speaking, she throws mud on a wheel and tries to make something beautiful.