The Heart of a Mercenary
by Loreth Anne White
Publication Date: October 2006
This is one of the most extraordinary books I’ve read this year. As many of you know, reality inserted itself into my life and I was forced to put this book down after only reading a few chapters. I recently was able to pick it up again. I mention this only to underline the fact that I didn’t have to go back and re-read what had happened; I was able to pick up right where I left off. That’s how much the story sticks with you.
The mercenary is Hunter McBride, a man forced to flee from his past and join the French Foreign Legion. Along with two other friends, he later formed a group called the FDS, a band of mercenaries who take on jobs no others can perform. Sarah Burdett also fled from her past, a broken marriage to a manipulative man. Her journey took her to the jungles of Africa to work at a clinic. Ms. White’s opening description of the carnage and terror that Sarah experiences when the clinic is attacked is a riveting, heart pounding narrative of the savagery of man. When Sarah escapes into the jungle with a lethal pathogen encased in a biohazard container she had no idea if anyone had heard her radio cry for help until McBride arrived in dark of night. Intent on stopping a powerful cabal from taking over the U.S. government and, in turn the world markets, he must get the canister and its contents to safety. Sarah doesn't know whether she should trust this man whose purpose is shrouded in mystery. Together they embark on a journey to save the world, and in the end, to save each other.
Loreth Anne White writes with knowledge of African terrain, but her words do more than describe the landscape around her characters. She makes the reader feel the pulse of the jungle, the swamps and rivers that surround them. She paints a picture and allows us a peek into the soul of a continent. Not many writers can achieve this and not become bogged down in the descriptive process.
This is a story of love, courage and the unbreakable strength of the human spirit. I give this book 5 Amazon stars.
UPDATE: awarded a 2006 CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Award