Here's the next review in my marathon session.
From the backcover:
"Chained to yesterday. When tragedy strikes and Gracie Lang lost everything, her faith crumbled, and nothing but the drive for justice propelled her forward. But after two years of dead-end searching, the truth Gracie seeks is the very thing her stalker will stop at nothing to hide.
"Forgiveness Unlocks the Future. An FBI agent in the Crimes Against Children, Unit, Steven Kessler spends his days rescuing other people's children and nights caring for his son. He's through with God, embittered by his ex-wife who abandoned them both, and definitely doesn't expect what's coming next...."
Ransomed Dreams is the debut release by new author Amy Wallace. In it, Amy mixes romance and suspense liberally with the trick of letting you know who the bad guys are almost from the beginning. Hence, it's not a thriller, but rather the race to see who is going to win.
Gracie and Steven first intersect over Steven's son James, who reminds Gracie a lot of the son she lost. As a teacher at a private school in a DC suburb that caters to the wealthy and influential, she's used to secret service agents being around. However, she's not prepared for the calls that take Steven away or cancel their first few dates.
While they try to find their footing, each has to deal with the past and the losses that have been dealt to them in life. In the end, the suspense ends a couple chapters before the book, allowing for a satisfying rather than rushed conclusion to the romance.
This book has the pacing and feel of Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series, and I enjoyed it. It was a nice pace after some of the intense thrillers I’ve read lately. The spiritual threads are also strongly woven into the book. And somehow Amy finds the right balance the prevents that thread from becoming too preachy or those passages becoming the ones I skip.
The book’s timeline is leisurely, allowing for more development in the characters, and the author’s writing style was straightforward. If you’re looking for lush descriptions, this book doesn’t have them. However, I always had a sense of where the characters were and what they looked like.
I enjoyed this book and will look forward to reading additional books by this author.
Sidenote: our dog Mason chased her last rabbit tonight. Prayers would be appreciated. We've had to deal with a lot of death as a family this spring. I guess we get to see God as our comforter in a new way.