On Wings of Deliverance
Since most romantic suspense seems geared toward crime and action with little rumination on the moral issues of crime and punishment, I was not quite sure what to expect from an inspirational romantic suspense novel. For obvious reasons, a novel written with a consideration of the Christian life would have to view a suspense plot through that lens and I was not sure what the result would be. Happily, Ms. White’s novel manages both to entertain with an exciting story as well as to truly inspire with characters who have to deal with the fallout that criminal activity can bring.
Bernadette (Benny) Malone lived a very sad life as a teen and made many mistakes she now regrets. However, she became a Christian and dedicated her life to serving God in Mexico. Her mission work has brought her in contact with Border Patrol Agent Owen Carmichael. When Benny finds herself fleeing a gunman in Mexico, she turns to Owen for help.
Owen helps Benny to escape, and so begins an adventurous road romance. Though Benny is very reluctant to have any kind of romantic relationship, there is definitely an attraction between her and Owen. As the two travel together, they have to learn to trust one another – something that forces Benny to come to terms with issues long buried.
White does an excellent job of balancing romance and suspense in her book, with the author’s mixture of heart-pounding action and a touch of humor making for a very readable tale. While there are a few slow spots in the novel, most of the time I could not wait to see what would happen next. Benny and Owen are also both quite likable and I found myself just as interested in seeing how their characters would develop as in the action of the story.
While at times I found myself thinking, “Why don’t you just talk to him about everything?”, I could also understand Benny’s difficulty in letting herself trust Owen. Benny is a very strong character, but she spent so much of her life alone that being vulnerable to another person is difficult and Owen’s patience and kindness are very sweet. While I wished that the emotional scenes between them could have shown a little more depth of feeling, their relationship was still very uplifting to read.
White’s novel is one of my very favorite kinds of inspirational books featuring characters who inspire by example rather than by preaching. Readers are not forced to wade through contrived or preachy dialogue with the inspirational message delivered by seeing real people relying upon their faith to guide them through the challenges in their lives and relationships. If you are looking for adventure and a “feel good” read, I would definitely recommend this one.