Review by Heather Harden
Heather Harden runs the blog Our Advocate
I’ve been told by more than one person (Mom and Amber) that I can be obnoxious when I predict the ending of TV crime shows and chick flicks.
Once you know the formula it’s easy to know the ending long before the last commercial break.
I’m a bookworm and to me books are far better than TV. So when I’m reading I crave a book that keeps me eagerly turning (or tapping) the pages until the last sentence. My standards for books are much higher than TV shows.
Camy Tang must have taken a cue from her days in the lab when she came up with the formula for “Protection For Hire.” She took the basic ingredients of romantic suspense and added in a kick of her trademark wasabi to create a five-star recipe that will keep you coming back for more!
Tessa Lancaster is a Japanese American with deep family ties. From the age of sixteen Tessa is known on the streets as a violent and ruthless enforcer for the Japanese Mafia (yakuza) until she sacrificed her freedom to protect the family. Fresh out of prison after serving seven years for a crime she didn’t commit, Tessa is free to return to “the family”-literally-the yakuza run by her Uncle Teruo. While in prison, Tessa is set free spiritually, encountering Christ and becoming a Christian.
Tessa sets out on a straight career path, channeling her skills into serving as a bodyguard for wealthy socialite Elizabeth St. Amant and her three-year-old son. But being from the upper crust doesn’t preclude Elizabeth from having problems. The socialite comes with a lot of baggage, including an abusive ex-husband and a missing fortune.
Tessa is grittier than most heroines-she’s trained in martial arts and we get to see her put her skills to the test against a variety of bad guys. She doesn’t doubt her ability to keep her charges safe but she’s going to have a harder time guarding her own heart. The case forces her to work closely with Elizabeth’s lawyer, Charles Britton. Tessa unknowingly lets her guard down to the man who led the charge to lock her up and throw away the key for her supposed crime.
The pair must try to survive assassins, gang rivalries, and exasperating family in their search to give Elizabeth her life back.
It’s not only evil that Tessa is battling. She faces temptation in the form of a disappointed mother, an angry sister and eager uncle who still see Tessa the same as they always have. Tessa must decide whether to handle things herself, the way she did when her life revolved around the yakuza, or fully follow Christ.
I was surprised that one of my favorite characters was Uncle Teruo. Tang does an excellent job of slowly growing his character into a man much deeper than just a caricature of the organized crime boss.
The first few chapters are heavy on description-though it’s integral to the plot and informative about the Asian mob community. The book quickly progresses to a page turning read with strong dialogue, an engrossing plot and characters you’ll care about.
Fans of books by Dee Henderson, Terri Blackstock and Irene Hannon, and fans of female detective including Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series and the Sunny Randall series by Robert B. Parker will enjoy “Protection For Hire.”
Heather Harden is a children’s librarian at a small town library in eastern North Carolina (where the kids make her feel like a super hero--just call her Library Girl.) She always has something in her hand: a book, a pen to write with, a crochet hook, a smartphone, chocolate--and a dust rag and broom when she must. She has worked for her local newspaper and as a freelance journalist. She has a heart for volunteer work in her community. Her favorite organization is Susan's Kids (www.susanskids.com), a Christian charity which provides spiritual and physical support for children in need across the world. For more reviews check her blog at http://ouradvocate.wordpress.com/
BOOKS BY CAMY TANG AT AMAZON