Oh my goodness, what a ride!! Max Jacobs is the elite when it comes to his job, but he believes himself to be a failure in his personal life and he doesn’t want help from anyone. “I’m good,” is what he tells everyone until he figures out his next step. He’s impulsive, full throttle, determined, loyal, and loves to ride his motorcycle. He doesn’t do things halfway and even though he once believed in God, he now thinks that God gave up on him and with good reason. Max is the kind of character you gotta love, he’s a fierce soldier with great instincts. As the story begins, we discover that his wife has filed for separation which then leads to divorce. Max is devastated and enraged, has lost his purpose, and he has no idea what to do next. Then he gets an opportunity to join a Special Ops team dubbed Nightshade, will this new venture lead to disaster or victory?
Sydney is still inlove with Max, but can no longer abide his temper and brokenness. He refuses to get help and then accidentally hits Sydney in the face. Her older brother advises on filing separation for Sydney’s safety and she follows along not knowing what else to do. Then Sydney gets a surprise and a chance to cover a real story at work, The Virginia Independent, little does she know that this research connects with Max. The closer she gets to answers, the more she endangers herself and those around her. Will finding out the truth be worth the consequences she endures?
When I first started blogging I heard about Nightshade and knew I had to get a copy. I’m the kind of reader that doesn’t like to start a book without having the entire series already on my bookshelves. It took about a year and a half to get this series, but it was absolutely worth the wait! I considered Max to be a brilliant and confident soldier, a definite hero with heart who constantly makes sacrifices for his team and Sydney, but he was an idiot and nonsensical when it came to his wife. With the help of his team and the missionaries he ends up rescuing, he finally gains the clarity and perspective he missed throughout the story.
I absolutely loved the scenes with Nightshade!! They work hard, but they also play hard together. These are six men of different backgrounds and skills who have been recruited by General Lambert. They become brothers and depend on one another both on missions and in their personal lives. Max is the hothead of the group and he ends up in a fight or two with them, but they’re still getting to know one another as the story progresses. Max is also amazed by their loyalty and in disbelief at one point in how they back him up so the job can be done properly. I have much more respect and admiration for the military after reading this story, but I was also able to identify specific needs of why soldiers need prayer. It’s not just for their safety while on active duty, it’s also for their personal lives for those who come home and need help adjusting to civilian life. The creed stated at the beginning of the book is referred to throughout the story, these men hold this creed very seriously and draw strength as well as motivation from it when times are tough. The Bible is also mentioned in the story and Max is introduced to it.
There is NO profanity in Nightshade (another reason to love it), but there is plenty of violence. There’s only one graphic scene in the story, which is briefly described in a nightmare Max has from the trauma he has experienced. Otherwise, I didn’t think anything horrific occurs. The violence is tastefully depicted and realistic to the story, but it is INTENSE at some parts of the book. I laughed at certain parts, I cried tremendously at others. The suspense of the story really grabs at the reader and I almost felt like reading with one eye instead of two because of what would happen next, but I HAD TO KNOW. More than once I felt like yelling, “Run!!” or “Get out of there!!” The deaths of characters in the story are tangible, the danger and unknown elements keep you turning pages as fast as possible, the faith in the story is amazing, and the writing is so utterly captivating that you feel like you’re there with Nightshade! I didn’t really notice much romance in the book, although the missionary couple is obviously inlove and depend on one another for survival. Max and Sydney aren’t together for much of the story so the main romance for me was how Max does everything in his strength to keep Sydney safe. Nightshade also jumps in to rescue her or help Max protect her, I thought that was awesome.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves adventure, action, suspense, a mission gone terribly wrong and the military heroes it comes with. I consider this book a must have for any booklover, but this story is not for the faint of heart. It can be read as a standalone, but I suggest reading the entire series because more questions need to be answered and you get to love these characters. I’m truly looking forward to Digitalis next!
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Review 3 for Nightshade - eBook
Discarded Hero Series
Date:February 11, 2013
If you like action and intrigue, you will LOVE this series. I will certainly follow this author!
I loved Nightshade. An action packed, romantic thriller based on a black ops team. Think Alias meets the Navy SEALs. Wholesome and Christian in morals, yet realistic about the problems in this world: terrorists, war, hostages, missionaries in hostile countries, etc. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to hear about the challenges the military & special forces face in keeping our country safe.
Nightshade is a great book! I read the second in this series (out of order, I know), and I have to say that I liked this one FAR more. I loved the characters and thought they were developed really well. Ms. Kendig has done her homework here; the military action seems very realistic....enough to create quite a bit of tension throughout the book. I liked the way the book toggled back and forth between perspectives of the two main characters; Max and his wife, Sydney. I appreciated the issues they were dealing with, and I felt that they were handled beautifully. Nothing was rushed or shortchanged...a very satisfying resolution to some deep seated, understandable issues. This book would be equally enjoyed by men and women (rare!), because the action was fast-paced and realistic, and the relationship was deep and down-to-earth realistic. Honestly, this is a great, great book. I not only recommend it, I will pass my copy along to as many friends as will read it! Ronie Kendig is a fabulous author!
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Review 7 for Nightshade - eBook
Love this book!
Date:September 7, 2011
I have never read a book by Ronie Kendig before. I think this is such a great series. I have already told a friend about the Discarded Heroes series. If you like action and God in one book this is the series to read. God Bless!
Ronie is an amazing writer and has captured the dangerous yet heroic lives of people in the military. She has managed to put it in book form in such a way that demands you keep reading to find out more about the characters and what happens to them. You just can't help but care about them.
Nightshade introduces you to the team but focuses on the leader or "Alpha", Max. It also takes you to an island in the Philippines where missionaries are being held captive. It was a twist that I didn't expect when I picked up the book but it was a great addition. As the team learns to work together and become one on each new mission you begin to understand how they depend on each other to do the very best job they can and how they give their lives for what they have been called to do.
These books are epic--I read all three this past weekend. Now I need Firethorn. Seriously, I will read just about anything but when it comes to falling in love with books, I'm super picky. The Discarded Heroes series has just hit the top of my "favorites" list for so, so many reasons, and it will easily remain there. Best summer read/on-a-whim purchase ever!!!
Enjoyed the characters/storyline. It was a page-turner. I couldn't put the book down. Suspense, great military description & details, but not too complicated. Romance, and spiritual too. Ronie is great!
This was the first book I have read by Ms. Kendig, but definitly not my last!! I'm hooked! The storyline kept me captivated, and the spiritual nuggets throughout the book were thoughtprovoking. I don't usually read a whole book in one sitting, but my nightlight didn't go out until 2:30 a.m.!
Once I started it, I had trouble putting it down. Really good reading. One night I think I finally went to bed about 4 AM. If you like lots of action, this one has it. I can hardly wait to get to Digitalis.
I love books about special ops teams and this one didn't let me down. You become immediately bonded to the characters and feel like you truly know them by the end of the book. I really enjoyed this one - had it read in two days. It had all the elements of a great book, i.e., great characters, great story and suspense.
Nightshade is a fast paced military thriller. I liked how the author showed that PTSD can negatively touch many areas of a soldier's life. Spiritual, emotional, mental, physical. Even relationships between friends and family. There were many complexities in this story that required solid plotting, and that was very well done. I didn't see any inconsistencies. The author did a great job with the setting as well. I felt like I was traveling around the world with Syd and with the Nightshade team. The author was not afraid to hurt the characters... a lot. Of course, that just made this reader care more. Nicely done!
This might sound strange, but to me it almost felt like a guy wrote this story because the violence and action wasn't skimmed over like women tend to do. That was a good thing in this case because it made the story that much more believable. There were enough bullets flying and things blowing up to make any guy reader happy. Now I know some ladies like that, too. Just sayin'.
The author clearly understands the way men think and did a great job showing that. Same with the strained marriage relationship and the ex-military type teamwork. The Nightshade team acted like they were ex-special ops, which made the story that much more intriguing. I want to know, who is paying for these missions and why? Maybe a future story will reveal that mystery. Meanwhile, I'll keep enjoying the ride as I dodge bullets in the sequel, Digitalis.
This is the first book I have read by Ronie Kendig and I really enjoyed it. I found it suspenseful and well-written. I was always wondering how things would work out and tie together. It kept me interested the whole way through. I can't wait to read more by her. I would like more Christian aspects to the story but I think it was appropriate for where the characters were at.
Edge of your seat thrill ride... here it comes - Nightshade by Ronie Kendig is amazing and a book that you won't be able to put down until its all over and then you're just gonna wish that the second book was already out so you could jump right into it! Max and Sydney are about to go through a divorce. Max just isn't the same since his time in the service, he saw stuff he just can't forget and knows Sydney would never understand. Sydney is scared of his nightmares and temper and after catching his fist to her face by accident she took the necessary precaution of getting a restraining order. What has happened to the two of them? Max joins up with a rogue government unit that travels into dangerous places and does what the government can't do to take care of the bad guys. Max is in charge of the team and his goal is just to keep them safe, but it gets harder with each mission. Sydney is a reporter that starts to get wind of a band of heroes that is saving those who can't save themselves. She is determined to find out who they are so they can be properly recognized. The problem is that some people don't want anyone to find out who these guys are and Sydney finds herself in danger...
This book is like watching a high speed chase on tv, you don't dare look away or change the channel because you'll miss something! It's one flaw is that it is highly coincidental, the one reporter that is looking for this band of heroes just happens to be the estranged wife of the leader of the heroes... don't let that hold you back, just embrace the possibility and run with it. Really liked this book - a lot!
Rarely does a book grab me and draw me in with such a firm grip as Nightshade! The story of Max and his highly trained group of special forces ex-soldiers is not only realistic, they practically walked off the page and took control of my house! I heard the noises in the jungle, the crack of gunfire, the cries of the victims who needed to be rescued, felt the hair on the back of my neck rise. There's something for everyone in this book - tons of action, gripping conflict, realistic romance that never resorts to being sappy, a spiritual element that is seamlessly woven into the story. Kendig's writing is powerful enough to bring off such an agressive and intricate plot, and her dialogue is so realistic I'm wondering if she has special forces training herself. An excellent book, highly recommended to anyone who likes gripping suspense, combat action, with a little bit of realistic romance thrown in the mix.
The first book in Ronie Kendig's "Discarded Heroes" series, I struggled to put this book down. I love Kendig's blend of action and story. She keeps it moving without getting too bogged down in the details of black ops or the relationships - everything works together to keep you interested and move the story forward. If you enjoy Dee Henderson's books, then this is a must-read.