~ About the Book ~
Olivia Arroyo knows who she is and where she’s going—her sense of family responsibility a stepping-stone to her dream of becoming a chef. When her employer refuses her the chance to move from server to the kitchen, she makes another opportunity for herself with the owner of a new food truck. But her life derails when a hidden piece of her past suddenly comes to light, and she discovers everything she thought she knew about herself has been a lie.
A single decision can have innumerable consequences—a truth that has changed Adam Carrington’s life. A criminal defense attorney turned food truck owner, he is haunted by his role in an unpardonable act and driven by his need to make restitution. Unexpected help comes in the form of a feisty, raven-haired beauty, but she soon begins challenging his kitchen as well as his heart.
Propelled by a fleeting hope of freedom, Winnie and her family escape slavery and find refuge and new life with the Seminole Indians of Florida. But their future is still uncertain as threats of war, a return to slavery, and removal to the West shake their tentative grasp on freedom. Will they ever step out of the shadow of fear to leave a legacy of deliverance?
Genre: Timeslip Romance
Series: #3 Carrington Family
Release date: 6 August 2018
Publisher: Radiant Publications
~ Excerpt ~
One more order. He had enough food prepped for the next customer, then he’d face the crowd with his chin high and do what he had to do. He turned to the grill, sweat running rivers down his spine, the sides of his face, his upper arms. He worked a spatula across the flattop grill and flipped a burger, juices sizzling against the griddle and releasing another plume of steam.
The back door to the truck opened, and he whipped his head around as he slipped the hamburger patty off the grill and onto a toasty corn cake. The sun backlit the intruder, highlighting a silhouette that nipped at a curvy waist. “I’m sorry ma’am, but you can’t be back here. If you would wait in line—” He ducked his head to look back out the window. Still no end in sight. “Actually, maybe try Pedro’s Tacos one street over.” He finished stacking the burger, complete with layers of avocado crema, wilted greens, and fresh pico de gallo salsa. A mound of fried okra, brown and crisp, piled high on the side of the serving boat finished the order off, and he handed the dish with a smile to the person waiting on the other side of the window.
Adam wiped his hands down his apron, a sigh of defeat escaping his lips. Hopefully, everyone would come back to try his food tomorrow. Slim chance some didn’t have anything else to do and would continue to wait. In this heat? Yeah, he was dreaming.
No time like the present. He turned but pulled up short at finding the stranger still within the food truck kitchen, blocking the back exit.
“No one’s going to Pedro’s.” The muffled words came through a curtain of shiny black hair as the feminine intruder bent at the waist and gathered her dark locks at the top of her head, twisted, and then snapped a baseball cap from her back pocket and pulled it over her brow. She straightened, her smile bright, then dimming as her gaze bounced around his kitchen.
He followed her gaze, knowing what she saw. What he’d been watching all morning. The slow death of his new dream…his new life.
“All right then,” the woman said under her breath before straightening her shoulders. She pulled something else from her other back pocket. A notebook? She tore off the first five pages and jammed the papers into the order bar. She met his gaze, wide eyes that sparked of intelligence set above pronounced cheekbones and a straight nose.
“Order up.” She winked, then turned her back on him.
Adam glanced first at the tickets settling into their clipped position. One salad. One mac and cheese. Two teas. The others were filled in pretty script, written on a real honest-to-goodness restaurant order slip. His gaze bounced back to the woman who now made herself at home in his kitchen, opening cabinets and standing on tiptoe to pull pots down from their shelves.
Who was this woman, and what in the world did she think she was doing?
~ Review ~
It’s been a bit of a wait for fans of the Carrington Family series to get Adam’s story, but it’s finally here! And I loved Adam and Olivia every bit as much as I knew I would. Olivia barges into Adam’s food truck and his life without so much as a ‘by your leave’, an intriguing mix of boldness and insecurity, and Adam can’t help but respond to this woman who just seems to ‘get’ him, even before they know each other’s names. And it doesn’t take long for that response to incorporate his natural flirtation, which always makes for a fun romance!
Interspersed with Adam and Olivia’s story is the story of Winnie, a black woman who escapes from her owner with her father, brother, and sister. While Adam and Olivia must battle for freedom from their past on an emotional level, Winnie’s struggle is a very physical one, and we follow that struggle over many years as she meets the strong, silent warrior Nokosi and adjusts to the Seminole way of life. I’ll admit that, at the very beginning, I found myself more eager to get on with Adam and Olivia’s story, but it didn’t take me long to be just as invested in Winnie’s story as Adam and Olivia’s. And I loved Nokosi’s character.
But back to Adam and Olivia. Their story is not just about freedom from the past; it’s also a journey towards knowing and accepting who they are and who God created them to be. As far as Olivia is concerned, I’ll let you discover that for yourself. No spoilers here! For Adam, that means coming to terms with God’s amazing grace. As someone who once had aspirations of becoming a criminal defence lawyer herself, I was particularly drawn in by Adam’s struggle—that tension between doing your job and seeing that justice is served when a crime has been committed. Because let’s face it; a criminal defence lawyer doesn’t get the luxury of only defending the falsely accused. But what I loved most was his passion for looking beyond the crime committed and seeing the deeper needs of his client.
Well, okay—and I really loved the flirting and the kisses too. 😉
And now I have to wonder, will Amber, the youngest of the Carrington siblings, be getting a story of her own? I certainly hope so!
I received a copy of this novel from the author. This has not influenced my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
~ Previous Books in Series ~
~ About the Author ~
Sarah Monzon is a Navy chaplain’s wife and a stay at home mom to the two cutest littles in the world. Playing pretend all day with them isn’t enough, she spends the evenings after their heads hit the pillow to create her own imaginary characters. When she isn’t in the world of make believe, she can be found in the pine forests of western Washington taking care of her family, fostering friendships, and enjoying all the adventures each day brings.
Her debut novel, The Isaac Project, skyrocketed to Amazon bestseller status while her Sophomore book, Finders Keepers, has finaled in contests such as the Inspy Awards and received a 4 star review from Romantic Times.