Can a man forgive a woman for destroying his heart, his career, even his family’s good opinion of him?
Stone Metcalfe has always been honorable. A one time attorney, sheriff, and then a politician, his only goal was to help others and make their lives better. He held himself to the same golden standards in his personal life, being an anchor in his family, the calm voice of reason, and respectful towards women. Until he makes a mistake—one that proves more costly than he could have ever anticipated, one he can’t live down. After hiding behind an alias, he comes face to face with the woman who wrecked his life. It’s more than he can handle.
Brighton Buchanan is buried beneath the shame of all that she has done—the things they forced her to do—and has no hope of escape. When someone else dares to hope for her, she finds herself freed and thrust into the path of the man she loved. The man she ruined. Scrambling to put herself back together, the last thing she can do is face him each day, knowing that he can feel nothing but loathing for her.
When a friend demands Stone salvage the shreds of his honor to protect Brighton, they’re forced to confront their broken relationship and each other’s raw wounds. Even if they could overcome the past, the evil men that destroyed their lives won’t be satisfied until Brighton is returned to her shackles and Stone pays with his life for interfering.
Stone opens The Metcalfes series with a resounding love story that fights through the darkness of human trafficking. Our beloved hero Stone is imperfect, battle-scarred, jaded, and an honorable protector no matter how much he fights it. He can’t prevent himself from defending Brighton even though the very sight of her turns him inside out. He’s the sort of flawed hero I love. And Brighton. This heroine is a survivor. A strong woman. Sweet and playful. But oh so broken. My heart hurt for her and the victims like her.
As the issue of human trafficking has come to wide public awareness in recent years, I have avoided looking at it too closely. It is such a dark, horrible crime that wrecks me whenever I consider the fate of the children, women, and even men that have been pulled into a vortex they can’t escape without help. Thankfully, author Ronie Kendig was brave in her research and fearless in her attack against trafficking. The entire Metcalfe series, and the past novels of Wolfsbane and the series Book of the Wars starring Canyon and Leif Metcalfe, will deal with trafficking. Through these fictional stories, the real plight of victims will be made known with stories that overcome the darkness and give hope in this fight. I’d encourage you to read her author note at the beginning of the novel and the additional information she has gathered at the end telling each of us how we can help in this war.
I highly recommend Stone and look forward to the subsequent novels. Ronie Kendig is laying the groundwork for an arcing plot that will span the subsequent novels and filling the stories with dynamic characters I want to spend more time with. Bravo, Mrs. Kendig! Five Stars!