by Anita Mae Draper
Saving Hope by Margaret Daley, Abingdon, 2012
Because I wanted to support literacy as well as Margaret Daley, I bought her Saving Hope, at the Romance Writer's of America (RWA) Literacy Booksigning this past July in Anaheim. Margaret Daley is on my auto-buy list and I've enjoyed her books whether they are contemporary, suspense, or historical.
From looking at the cover, I assumed Saving Hope was another of her forays into the historical realm.
Was I wrong.
Saving Hope is a contemporary suspense and about as gritty as you can get in inspirational publishing.
Was I disappointed? Not in the slightest. Margaret Daley has made the successful transition from category to trade books, bringing a new depth of characters and plot to her story.
Sticking to her roots, Daley weaves the romance of the two main characters around, between, and into the hidden world of child prostitution and shows us enough to spike our anger without glorifying the acts of despicable adults who prey on forgotten children. This book is not only about bringing awareness of this hideous crime to our eyes.... it's also about the need to support - financial and otherwise - the people who work to help the victims get out of that life and give them whatever they need to begin again.
The hero is Texas Ranger Wyatt Sheridan, a member of the Child Rescue Task Force, and a widower with a daughter the same age as the victims he seeks to rescue. This makes his job close to his heart because any one of the girls he finds - dead or alive - could be his daughter. It's the reason he keeps a close, almost over-protective, watch on her. But has he constricted her movements to the point of rebellion?
Kate Winslow is the founder and director of the Beacon of Hope School, a place where rescued child prostitutes can recover from their trauma in a loving environment. Kate's staff gets the girls' education back on track while raising their self-respect and hope for a future. Although most of the girls welcome their rescue, some can't handle it and go back. So when a girl who's on the road to success goes missing, Kate suspects foul play. But will anyone believe her?
The romance between Wyatt and Kate is the perfect pace for realism, and I held my breath with each touch and through each tender moment.
A master at characters as well as suspense, Daley pits her characters' weaknesses against numerous suspects. Early on, she allows us to see one villian, but keeps us guessing about his secret partner. And although I'd guessed the 2nd villain correctly halfway through the book, I wavered, not really believing my guess until proven in the end.
I admit to liking Daley's Love Inspired Suspense books, but this longer novel of Saving Hope, rich in personality, with the right touch of excitement and dismay, makes me tingle with anticipation of the next book in The Men of the Texas Rangers series, Shattered Silence.
Saving Hope was one of books under discussion for July at The Book Club Network's ACFW on-line book club.
Did you participate in the discussion? If the discussion is available to read, would you access it after the fact? Do you ever discuss the questions authors provide at the back of their books?
You can find more information about Margaret Daley and her books at www.margaretdaley.com. Margaret is also a lively participant on Twitter and Facebook.
Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and 2 of their 4 kids. She writes stories set on the prairies of Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Anita Mae has semi-finaled in the Historical Romance category of the ACFW's 2011 Genesis contest and finaled in the Inspirational category of the 2011 Daphne du Maurier, the 2011 Fool for Love, the 2011 Duel on the Delta and 2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests. Anita Mae is represented by Mary Keeley of Books and Such Literary Agency. You can find Anita at http://www.anitamaedraper.com/