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Friday, November 5, 2010

Nightshade by Ronie Kendig

Nightshade (Discarded Heroes #1) by Ronie Kendig
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery, Inspirational
Length: Full Length (368 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Camellia

Soldiers all across the globe are returning home to their families after brutal tours of duty. They are discharged from the service. . .and on their own. Meet Max Jacobs, one of these discarded heroes, as he faces a wall of failure—in his career, his friendships, and his marriage. Failing again—this time to end his life—he is offered a thread of hope. Are covert government operations the answer for him, or will they only bring more danger and dissension upon his broken family?

Neither anger nor fear can make their love curl up and die. Max and Sydney Jacobs, even though legally separated, feel love’s gentle, binding tug and hear its quiet, compelling voice regardless of how busy they are or how far apart they are. However, Max’s Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has put their marriage of six years in limbo.

Recruited for “black ops” after his wife Sydney files for divorce, Max leads his elite team into dangerous, secret missions, missions that all six men know have the odds of surviving stacked against them. Theirs is a calling to do all possible to relieve human suffering where all other efforts have failed. They pay a high price for their unswerving dedication. Nightmares of atrocities they’ve seen and the deeds they’ve done to accomplish their missions redefines each of them and affects how they relate to society and civilian life.

Max’s guilt drives him mercilessly. What he did to his darling Sydney and his failing to live up to the SEAL creed makes him feel unredeemable.

Sydney, with the urging that verges on bullying from her brother, gets a protection order against Max and files for divorce. Her heart does not get the message nor does her body that holds its own secret. As her job promotion takes her into danger, she begins to get a glimpse of the world Max lives in. Her understanding of how PTSD can come to rule a person gives her new insight into the man she cannot stop loving.

The supporting characters have poignant stories of their own that become distinctive designs in the word tapestry Ronie Kendig weaves. The intricate design of Nightshade, with its many dark, shadowy images of suspense, mystery, and evil also has a continuous flow of images of unfailing friendship and loyalty; of love and devotion; and of undying hope and spiritual faith that takes one’s breath away. Repelling designs of horrifically cruel deeds hold the reader captive until the bright threads of good emerge in resplendent, glorious victory sending evil deep into the background while the heroic, noble, loving best of human nature shines forth.

Ronie Kendig delves into the hearts, minds, and souls of the characters to give the reader an exciting, emotional, evocative look at the resiliency of people and their capacity to love.

Nightshade is timely in its depiction of the atrocities present in our world today, yet it is timeless in its revelation of love and faith that never gives up. Tough fighters, true heroes that love without reservation and have deep abiding faith—men that show “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for a friend” makes Nightshade memorable.