The deadliest animal in the jungle is the two legged kind.
Nina Truman is a missionary nurse, serving in a tiny Guatemalan town not far from the Mexican border. It's a fulfilling life, tending to the village poor, a way to serve in the country from which she was adopted. The day she leaves on furlough, is the day her life falls apart. Her bus is ambushed and she must flee from forces who inexplicably wish her dead. Trapped between a ruthless drug lord and his assassins, a corrupt police chief, and colleagues with ulterior motives, her friends may prove just as deadly as her enemies as she uncovers a plot tangled deep in the roots of her own past.
Nina's only hope of survival lies in the hands of Shaw Wilder, a man who despises missionaries and the God they serve. His skill is in handling a landmine detection dog, not helping a woman he blames for the death of his sister. When the lethal drug kingpin El Escorpion seeks to capture Nina, and the local police are no help, Shaw has to choose: flee into the Guatemalan jungle with a naive woman who has vowed never to take a life or follow his own spiritual demons and walk away. His choice may leave them both imprisoned in a jungle from which neither will escape.
Thanks to a number of Reader's Choice recommendations, I snagged this book at my local Christian bookstore. I don't know how I missed the June release date, but I'm glad fellow readers nudged me in the right direction.
Intense is an apt descriptive word for this book. On-the-edge-of-your-seat action explodes off the first few pages and the pace doesn't let up. The unusual locale really adds to the grittiness and suspense of the plot and made for a refreshing read in this genre.
Nina is a relatable character right from the start, but Shaw is one wounded mass of hurt that makes him gruff and surly and downright obnoxious at times. But that inner core of goodness he has buried deep within his heart comes to the surface occasionally and gives the reader hope. He's definitely an action figure you want to keep your eyes on!
However, with unrepentant enthusiasm I admit to another character stealing my heart -- a four-legged furry kind. The bomb-sniffing dog, Axel! Mentink gives him so much personality he stole each scene he was in. And the relationship between Shaw and his dog goes far towards creating a sympathetic character just aching to be softened.
Jungle Fire's taut plot has plenty of twists and turns to keep a reader guessing right to the very end. Definitely a worthy edition to any romantic suspense lover's bookcase.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Jungle Fire please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday October 13 2013. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!