Tessa Lancaster is one of the yakuza's (Japanese mafia's) toughest enforces until an encounter with Christ in prison changes the course of her life. "A Dangerous Stage" is the second page turning installment of the Protection for Hire series featuring Tessa Lancaster, professional bodyguard and Charlies Britton, southern gentleman and high powered attorney. While the book is a stand alone title, Tess and Charles's story is much more richer if you read book one Protection for Hire first. The fast paced scenes and sharp dialogue kept me turning the pages and when I was forced to put it down I anticipated picking it up again! The book begins in high gear, with Tess and a client of the run from the client's abusive ex-boyfriend. Tess is just as quick at thinking on her feet as she is at sparing with the bad guys. The heart pounding chase ends with Tessa asking a favor of her family, who she's had a very tentative relationship with since become a Christian and severing ties with the family run yukuza. Family isn't the only part of her past Tessa must face. A case throws her together with the man who extended her jail sentence-the man who she thought she might be falling in love with. But a year after finding out about Charles Britton's betrayal, Tess is still deeply angry and hurt. As the two are entangled together in case that involves keeping a teenager alive, they must confront their painful past. The case is very intriguing-George a contestant on a reality singing show with more troubles than possibly being voted off when his teenage daughter/computer whiz Hannah hacks her way into the middle of a gambling syndicate betting on the show. With an unknown number of the show's producers involved, Tess and her charges must stay on the show to stay alive. The spiritual plot is subtle yet distinct as Tess's rough edges continue to be softened as she grows in Christ. Charles's own faith is stretched as he must find the courage to articulate his beliefs and then weigh the cost of sharing Christ with his coworkers and friends. The secondary characters including Vivian, Charles's fusion cooking Southern belle Mama, add depth to the story. The book alternates between spicy action, serious spiritual reflection, complicated romance and laugh out loud levity. Tang's own Japanese heritage lends authenticity to the book and is reflected in the tasty dishes mentioned. (I was hungry after reading this book!) Fans of Robert B. Parker's Spenser and Sunny Randall books, will love the Protection for Hire series. Tess's estranged father makes a cameo through a shadowy email. This plot line is unresolved by book's end and left me hoping for another title in the series.
The second book in the “Protection for Hire” series is an explosive title filled with thrilling car chases, up close and personal hostage situations and good old romantic suspense to keep the pages turning quick and the reader riveted.
I admit, I did not easily follow all of the “suspense” in this romantic suspense. I know, my bad, and I don’t put the book down because of it. I one of those readers that loves a good suspense, but must admit, most of the time I can’t follow the story line worth a hoot.
However, I can say that the writing was great. Words painted pictures on the mind’s eye and were always pretty clear about what I was seeing. When “Gramps” gave up the ghost…well I admit I was a bit sad to see that car of a character bite the exhaust pipe. Point of my telling you that? There is some fun situational humor mixed into the book which definitely gives it a rare, unique flavor.
Things I would have liked more of? A bit more romance. And a stronger story line about Tessa’s dad. But I have a feeling the latter might be coming in another title and there was plenty going on in Tessa emotionally to be adding anything else.
Fun title. Would definitely recommend that you read the first “Protection for Hire” before picking up this one. Both are fun, light and snappy…good combinations for a contemporary novel.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.
Camy is a master storyteller. I have enjoyed every book I ever read by her and 'A Dangerous Stage' is no exception.
Camy knows how to write great characters! I love Tessa. I want to be like Tessa when I grow up. Not the Yakuza part! She is so tough and confident and bold!
If you haven't read 'Protection for Hire' by Camy, you'll want to start there. It's another awesome book!
Tessa is in the bodyguard business and she is awesome at it. Her unique background helps her defend the people who hire her. The chemistry between her and Charles is electric. I enjoy the way that Camy develops their relationship. Tessa is wounded by Charles and he is unable to see how much they mean to each other. Tessa is so strong and put together but we also get to see her softer side, the side that can be injured. Brought together by a mutual client, Tessa and Charles are forced to interact and the sparks fly!! Yay sparks!!
This is an action-packed ride. I didn't want to put it down, even for sleep... and I like sleep. The first scene has Tessa in a car chase and kicking butt! Camy keep the action coming and the characters are so engaging that you can't help but get sucked into their world. I laughed at the humorous interactions, felt wounded for Tessa and Charles and even felt my adrenalin spike as Tessa dealt with the danger around them. Whoo, what a ride!
Camy has a wonderful way of writing that is just hers. I wasn't far into 'A Dangerous Stage' when I paused and thought 'I feel like I am sitting with Camy, over a cup of tea, and she is telling me this story in her own words.' She has a unique way of making her voice shine out of the pages. I've never met Camy, nor talked to her on the phone, but I could hear her voice in the book and loved it even more because of it. Like hearing a thrilling story from a good friend!
If you enjoy a fast-paced story with wonderfully developed characters, this book is for you. If you enjoy a good romance with twists and turns, this book is for you!!
Camy's tagline is:
'Romance with a kick of wasabi'
and she sure does deliver! Bring on the Wasabi!
Thanks for the great ride Camy! I hope we get to read more about Tessa someday! Five big stars for this awesome book!
Tessa has been hired to protect a contestant on a TV singing competition and his young teenage daughter. They stumbled onto some information that indicates the show is rigged, and it quickly becomes apparent that the danger is real. Tessa must work with Attorney Charles Britton, a man she loves but cannot forgive for sending her to prison for a crime she didn’t commit (in Book 1).
There were many different characters who appeared throughout A Dangerous Stage – some of them making cameo appearances while others were well-defined by an insightful author. For me these various personalities and their personal development were the best part of the story. I especially enjoyed Tessa, the feisty and entertaining main character, as well as the bright and mischievous young lady whose computer skills combined with boredom precipitated the story.
I found A Dangerous Stage to be intensely, breaktakingly suspenseful, with a little more hands-on violence than would be to my taste. (Tessa did seem to attract more martial arts type battles than one finds in the average Christian suspense novel!) That being said, I did enjoy this story more than I expected to. Readers who love sprinting from one action-packed scene to another will probably want to read the entire series.
I received a free copy of this book from Zondervan in exchange for my fair and honest review.