From the opening paragraph to the very last sentence this book kept me on the edge of my seat and completely enthralled me. It is so full of action you HAVE to turn the page to see what happens next.
"What's my name?" "Where am I?" The book opens up in the present with a girl in a dark smelly place and in pain. She awoke in a dark hole not remembering who she is, where she is, or what happened. She knew she was afraid and her instincts told her not to let HIM know she was awake. Here we meet Wren Morgan, a college student and member of a mission group that set out to Manila, Philippines, who wanted to bring help to those who are stuck in the sex-traffic industry. As the book progresses it goes back a month, before Wren finds herself in the dark hole, and we meet Stone Pressfield. Stone is an ex-Navy SEAL who was honorably discharged after a mission went bad and he was severely injured. He quietly watched Wren but never approached her. He seemed to feel he wasn't good enough for her, she was too innocent. While he was watching her she was watching him, but he still kept his distance or tried to. Wren went out of her way to make Stone talk to her and even spend a few moments with her.
Stone was against the church mission going to Manila for the purpose of helping those in the sex-trade. He has seen what happens to those who interfere and he has been on the receiving end of of the destruction they mete out. When Wren goes missing Stone is quick to get everyone sorted and before he goes on the hunt. It gets really action packed here and doesn't slow down until the end. His last mission comes back to haunt him in the worst way. He hunts down information and works his way through Manila's scariest places to find her. Wren is scared and traumatized by what is done to her and the things she is seeing. Cervantes, Wren's kidnapper and the leader of the Manila's sex-slave industry, makes sure she stays afraid, drugged and beaten. During the lucid moments when heroin isn't keeping her numb and lost to herself Wren knows who she is and she hasn't given up hope.
Even when Stone finds Wren keeping her is the hard part. Cervantes is very powerful and everyone is afraid of him and his men. He has eyes and men everywhere. Manila's poor district with the connected shanties and dead end alleys make the streets like a maze. Anyone can be an informer and Cervantes has all his men and his power out hunting them.
I was gripped by this book and couldn't put it down! There is so much more I wanted to write but I don't want to spoil it for you! This is an amazing book written with great action, some falling in love, believable trauma / post trauma and the perfect ending!! Great first Solo book Jack Wilder! I can't wait to see what else you do.