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Friday, April 12, 2013

Romantic Suspense Novel's Got Action, But Not Much Else

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

As a kid growing up on the mean streets of Porto Alegre, Brazil, Regina da Silva did anything she had to in order to survive.  Anything.  She's not proud of it, only grateful that Noah Anderson rescued her from that pitiful existence.  Noah, an American who made it his mission to help orphans like her, took her in, helped her get a nursing degree, then instated her as co-director of House of Angels orphanage.  Like the man who became like a father to her, Regina spends her days making sure street children have food, shelter and medical attention.  She will never have children of her own, but at least she can mother the kids in her care at the orphanage.  

Unlike Regina, Brooks Anderson wants nothing to do with his father.  Sick of the man's secrecy and lies, he left home as soon as he could, joining the Army so he wouldn't have to live with Noah for one more day.  Even now, as his dad lays dying in a hospital bed, Brooks refuses to forgive him.  Instead, he channels his anger into the rescue missions he performs on his own, using the skills he gained from his military training. 

When Irene, Regina's best friend and co-worker, is killed by an unknown assassin, Brooks' mom begs him to help.  She won't explains her reasons, just pleads for Brooks to get Irene's 3-month-old son safely to the U.S.  Reluctantly, he takes on the assignment.  But what seems like a simple job turns very complicated when Brooks meets Regina, who's not about to let a strange man take the baby she's sworn to protect.  With a murderer tracking their every move, the duo are on the run, doing everything they can to save the baby.  And avoid killing each other in the process.  Thanks to events in their pasts, both Regina and Brooks know how dangerous it is to trust another person, but their survival—and that of an innocent infant—hinge on doing just that.  Can they learn to work together long enough to get the baby out of harm's way?  Or will they all end up more broken than before?

With non-stop action and an exotic setting, Angel Falls by Connie Mann brings a little something different to the genre of faith-based romantic suspense.  Just not enough.  Because the rest of it sags under a predictable storyline, underdeveloped characters, far-fetched plot twists and just an overall feel of the same ole, same ole.  So, while it's always refreshing to find a (mostly) clean, easy, action-packed read, this one just didn't do  much for me.  I wanted richer characterization, an original plot, story turns I couldn't see coming, and more compelling prose.  Overall, then, this one just didn't do much for me.  Oh well.     

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other romantic suspense novels, but no specific titles are coming to mind.  Suggestions?)

Grade:  C-

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG-13 for violence and references (not graphic) to sex, rape and prostitution

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Angel Falls from the generous folks at Abingdon Press via those at Pump Up Your Book Promotion.  Thank you!


  1. I was offered this one for review but passed up on it. Guess I didn't miss much.

  2. Action might be all some readers want, eh?


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