Author: Anne K. Albert
Publisher: Vanilla Heart Publishing (September 30, 2010)
Length: 68,000 words
Category: Romantic Suspense
Purchase Link: http://store.payloadz.com/details/854668-ebooks-fiction-defending-glory-by-anne-k.-albert.html
Ex-FBI agent Mac McKeown survived when his partner didn’t and he leaves the agency, moving to Minnesota to start over. He begins work there as a general contractor, but one day everything changed in his plans for a “normal” secluded life. He takes a job working for Glory Palmer to do renovations on the cabin on her property, as well as start working on building a Christian retreat center for her. While checking out the property, they discover the body of Mac’s nemesis, along with threats against Glory’s life. This sets the stage for a thrilling roller coaster ride that readers won’t soon forget.
Romantic suspense is one of my favorite genres to read as well as write and Ms. Albert’s telling of this tale did not disappoint. From the very beginning, the romantic tension between Mac and Glory had me hooked. Their tender romance mixed well with the suspenseful plotline; they went hand in hand. By the time the story ended, I was so drawn into the characters’ lives that I felt like I personally knew Mac and Glory—such personable, likeable characters. Ms. Albert knows how to create despicable characters as well. Chills will crawl up and down your spine as you read this story; you won’t be able to put this book down until you find out who the villain really is.
Along with the wonderful character development, Ms. Albert knows how to give you the details you want and not bore you with unimportant ones that drag the story down. You will get a bird’s-eye view of the town, but think of this bird also as a fly on the wall—because Ms. Albert’s ability to get into each character’s head is amazing. You get a true sense of who each character really is and you see how God moves in their lives. She answers all your questions and the only question you will have at the end is…when will her next novel come out? Definitely a keeper on my bookshelf.
Aidan “Mac” McKeown palmed the bullets doctors removed from his right thigh and stared out his office window. Daffodils, tulips, and marsh marigolds lined garden paths beyond the alleyway at the back of the building. The fragrant scent of lilacs sweetened the air. Robins chirped on their endless hunt for worms. It was a perfect Thursday morning in northern Minnesota. The kind his partner would have cherished.
If he were alive.
A true hero and all around good guy, Ben should have been the one to survive the ambush. He had every reason to live. A loving wife. Two adorable children.
Mac’s fist tightened around the spent ammo. If only he could remember what went wrong that day. He had snippets of blurred images, fragments of shouted warnings, but nothing concrete. He woke up in the hospital two days later, and at the grand old age of thirty one learned a valuable lesson. There was no grand scheme. No master plan. And most certainly, no merciful God in heaven.
He tossed the bullets into the middle drawer of his desk. Why rehash the past? If Ben were alive, he’d order Mac to snap out of it and focus on the here and now.
“Pay attention,” Ben would say. “Never let your heart rule your head. It’ll get you every time.”
Exhaling slowly, Mac began to sort through a stack of bills. He divided them into two piles. Those he could pay and those he could not. Topping the former was the rent for the century old, red brick building that housed his office on the ground floor and a small two-bedroom apartment he called home on the second. After that he could pay the minimum amount required on the electric and telephone bills. The rest would have to wait until next month.
Or the month after that.
The recent downturn in the economy affected everyone. The good news was he did not have the added responsibility of a family to take care of, but many of his creditors, local entrepreneurs like himself, did. That bothered Mac. His bills were more than just a bunch of numbers or tallies of services rendered. They were mouths to feed and bodies to clothe. He had to find a solution to his cash flow problem before it became their problem, too.
A warm breeze whooshed through the open office window, whipping the items he’d pinned to a cork bulletin board on the wall opposite his desk. One photograph and accompanying article snipped from the local newspaper caught his attention. Written less than a year earlier to coincide with the grand opening of McKeown General Contracting, it told readers how as a young boy he had worked with his grandfather, a master tradesman in Minneapolis. Fond memories of their fishing trips to Piedmont Island spurred Mac to move north and open his own business.
He had felt so confident then. So certain he’d made the right decision. But with few construction projects on the horizon, and cash so tight he could not afford to paint his company’s name or phone number on the side of his truck to attract future clients, it was doubtful he’d still be in business by the end of summer.
The buzzer inside his shop blared. A quick glance at the wall clock provided a spark of hope. 8:00 A.M. on the dot. Someone must need his services to come by so early in the morning. Reaching for his cane, he pushed himself up from the chair, and headed to the front of the building. A couple stood near the counter with their backs toward him.
“Good morning,” he said. “How may I help you?”
They turned to face him and his optimism fizzled. Although he did not recognize the woman, he was acquainted with the man. The pastor’s appearance inside his shop could mean only one thing. They had no desire to save his business. Their only concern was his soul.