Worth Every Risk
by Dianna Love Snell
(Silh. Int. Mom. #1356, $4.99 PG) ISBN 0-373-27426-2
****
In Worth Every Risk Dianna Love Snell makes her debut with the Intimate Moments series. The story showcases an author with a creative imagination who writes a powerful story utilizing strong and enjoyable characters. However, there is too much inner dialogue and a resolution that is too rushed and bordering on not credible. That said, it is a great read!

Angel Farentino graduated from high school as a track star with a scholarship to Stanford. Unknown to her, her father was a drug dealer and while doing him a favor she was busted as a drug courier. Her scholarship offer was revoked and after a year in prison Angel emerged to find her career opportunities limited to the most basic skill levels. Some five years later, she is overjoyed to be hired in a low level clerk’s position for a very wealthy North Carolina man.

While working in the warehouse, Angel discovered paintings she knew to be stolen and reported it to her employer, only to find he was enmeshed in a major life of crime. Sadly, she found she had been hired not in spite of her prior felony conviction but because of it. Seeking to escape the compound, Angel witnessed the murder of a guard.

The story opens as Angel is making good on her third escape attempt. Running through the adjoining woods she makes it to the airfield close by and slips into the small plane of Zane Black. Zane realizes she is in the back; when goons for hire try to prevent his take off he assumes the role of her white knight and away they fly.

Zane is an undercover DEA agent who resigned his Navy commission to be near his alcoholic sister. He regrets not being there for her when he felt he should have been, his protective instincts emerge upon finding a bruised and battered Angel.

On landing, Angel slips away from the plane when her boss’s employees confront Zane. Before going, however, she hides the collection of $20 gold pieces that she intends to use to establish her innocence with the FBI. They were stolen and her assumption was that she could return them to the FBI and testify against her boss, in exchange for enough good will to start over.

Angel places the gold pieces in a package destined for Ft. Lauderdale. She hitchhikes to the package’s destination and discovers that Zane is the owner of the boat where the package is to be delivered. While searching for it, they meet again and the rest of the novel is a tug of war between them.

On the one hand Angel refuses to draw Zane into her troubles and tell him what is going on. On his part he is determined to identify her and help her.

The author handles the life of a female ex-con very convincingly, as well as the realities of long-term drug investigations. Intermeshed is the sub-plot of a functioning alcoholic sister. The dialog is persuasive and the emerging love story is believable.

The sense of setting is well done and the dialog is appropriate, although too scanty because of the inner dialogues. The plot tensions are well maintained, and the author vacillates well between frenetic action and lazy conversation. Stories with this degree of imagination are hard to find, and I look forward to her next one.

--Thea Davis


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