Out of Darkness (Erynn Newman) – Review

5 stars

~ About the Book ~

A bride and a widow in the same day, Elisabeth’s prayers are about to be answered . . . if the CIA, international arms dealers, and her best friend don’t stand in the way.

Elisabeth Allen gave her heart to Jesus as a little girl and to Drew Marek as a teenager. When their wedding day finally arrives, it’s the happiest day of her life–until a car bomb transforms her dream come true into a living nightmare.

As Best Man at the wedding, Gabriel Di Salvo promises Drew–his best friend and CIA partner–he’ll look after Elisabeth, but he never dreams it will become necessary so soon. As Elisabeth struggles to put the pieces of her life back together without Drew, Gabe becomes her rock, and as they share their grief and begin to heal, their friendship gradually deepens into something more.

Three years later, Gabe and Elisabeth are planning a future together when he receives a shocking call from the one man who can upend his happiness: Drew. Suspecting someone at the CIA is behind his abduction, Drew refuses to come home. Instead, he asks Gabe to bring Elisabeth to him. Now Gabe just has to figure out how to let her go.

Drew and Elisabeth race across Europe, dodging international arms dealers and attempting to reclaim what was stolen from them. But years of captivity and torture have left their mark on Drew. He is no longer the same boy Elisabeth fell in love with, but he is still her husband, and she’s determined to build something new and leave her relationship with Gabe in the past, if her heart will get the memo.

When their enemies close in and the threat of a terrorist attack escalates, Gabe may be the only person they can trust. Drew, Elisabeth, and Gabe are thrown into a fight for their lives–one that will test their loyalties to God, country . . . and each other.

~ Excerpt ~

[Gabe] returned with a gallon of milk in one hand and a paper bag containing a loaf of Wonder bread, peanut butter, and a jar of marshmallow fluff in the other. Elisabeth had moved the canvasses out of the living room and changed into some sweatpants and one of Drew’s old soccer jerseys. She sat in the middle of the couch surrounded by pillows, looking fragile and small.
A surge of protectiveness overwhelmed him. “I, uh, I got the stuff.”
She jumped as though his voice had come out of nowhere. “Oh, thanks.” She moved a pillow off her lap to stand.
“No, you wait right there. Let Chef Di Salvo take care of everything.” He took the bag into the kitchen and assembled a couple of sandwiches. He cut them diagonally, according to Mrs. Allen’s instructions, stuffed some napkins into his pocket, and stacked the plates on top of the milk glasses. Making his way into the living room, he handed one set to her and watched in disbelief as she bowed her head to pray over it.
Thanking God. For a sandwich.
After all He’d taken from her, she was thanking Him.
She caught him staring when she looked up but didn’t offer any explanation. Taking a bite of the ridiculously sweet sandwich, she hummed in satisfaction. He watched her chew every bite and refilled her milk when she’d drunk half the glass. When she finished eating he took their dishes back to the kitchen and put them in the dishwasher.
He stood on the threshold between the kitchen and the living room as she stared vacantly at a spot over the mantel. Taking a deep breath, he pulled a plastic bag out of his pocket and crossed the room. “Elisabeth, I need to give you something. Now’s probably not the right time, but I don’t know when the right time will be, and I know you’d want to have it.” He dropped his shoulders and exhaled. “Never mind. I should wait.”
Her eyebrows furrowed. “Gabe?”
He held out his closed fist. When she extended her hand, he dropped the baggie into it. “They found it in the . . . limo.”
She swallowed as she opened the bag and let Drew’s wedding band fall into her palm. He sat down beside her and touched her knee. “I’m so sorry. You know I’d take his place if I could.”
He fingers wrapped around the ring. “Do you know . . . who . . . why? Why Drew? Why now?”
He worked his jaw. “No. Not yet. But I’ll find out. I promise I’ll find out.” For you and me, both.
Her face crumpled, quiet sobs wracking her small frame. He’d never felt more helpless. He leaned toward her, and to his surprise, she fell into his arms. They wrapped around her naturally. He held her had to his chest and swore to himself that he would keep his vow. He would guard this woman with his life. He would keep her safe, and one day he’d help her find her smile again. He’d do whatever it took.

~ Review ~

It’s official. I am Erynn Newman’s newest fan! I fell in love with Drew and Elisabeth (and Gabe!) after reading the prequel novelette, First Light. Knowing what was to come for them made it an agonising wait until I could get my hands on this book, but that wait didn’t even come close to the emotional intensity once I actually picked it up. I mean, this is the mother of all love triangles, and then there’s suspense thrown in on top of that! My heart was simultaneously exulting and aching at some points and pounding at others, but I loved every minute of it.

You could read Out of Darkness as a stand-alone, but to feel the full impact of the opening of the novel, you really need to read First Light first. Elisabeth and Drew have the kind of personalities and relationship that light up the page—the combination of banter, friendship, and a deep love that is so enjoyable to witness—but by the end of the first chapter, it’s gone. Only the reader has the benefit of knowing what has really happened to Drew, and it’s not a pretty picture.

As in First Light, Erynn Newman did a wonderful job of conveying both the passing of time and the development of her characters across that time in well chosen scenes. I particularly loved the way in which Elisabeth’s faith became a beacon to Gabe following Drew’s ‘death’. He was already swoon-worthy material, but his eventual acceptance of Christ brings a maturity to him that totally seals the deal! And the way he handles everything . . . oh, my heart ached for him.  Hero with a capital H. Please, can we have more of Gabe?!

As wonderful as Drew and Elisabeth’s reunion is, the three years they were apart have altered them both, and there are personal things they must work through in their relationship while they’re trying to stay under the radar and work out who was behind Drew’s ‘death’. It all makes for a compelling story, and the vitality in Newman’s writing and characterization brings it all to life. You can’t help but want to spend more time with these characters.

Brava! Encore!

I received a copy of this novel from the author. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Release date:  18 May 2017

Amazon US  //  Amazon AU  //  Goodreads

~ Other Books in the Series ~

~ About the Author ~

Erynn NewmanErynn Newman is a pastor’s kid, raised in churches all over the Eastern Seaboard. She writes heart gripping romance with a dash of seat gripping suspense. Though she has never worked with the CIA, her DVR contains a veritable Who’s Who of international spies.

She lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her best friend (who is also her husband), a very busy little boy who calls her Mommy, two cats, and a ceaseless parade of characters who are all waiting for their turn to have their stories told.

Connect with Erynn:  Website  //  Facebook  //  Twitter  //  Pinterest

About Fiction Aficionado

Homeschooling mum, word lover, reader extraordinaire, and follower of Christ
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Christian Fiction, New Releases, Romantic Suspense and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Out of Darkness (Erynn Newman) – Review

  1. It makes me so happy to see you reading and enjoying Erynn’s talented work. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This MADE MY DAY! It’s such a nerve-wracking experience to send the characters you love out to meet the world. I’m so glad they’re finding a home in other hearts. Thanks for reading.

    Liked by 1 person

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