There are some evil deeds that I find unfathomable and unforgivable. Human trafficking is one of these. I have read a few stories set against the back drop of this evil and not one has failed to move me. This story was no exception. I appreciated the distance the author created in the beginning and then the way she brought the reader closer when the heroine got her life back and started making her revenge plans and had a chance at something real with a good-hearted man.
The story opens with Yoko and her best friend finished with school and eager for a job opportunity in America to better their circumstances and give them the ability to help their families back in the poor Japanese village back home. Only, the promise that they can get jobs as domestic help and maybe attend college vanish when Mr. Chen brutally informs them that they are sold into prostitution at a brothel he runs.
Fortune finds the two girls when their oppressor, Mr. Chen, and his men are killed in a criminal organizational takeover. In the confusion, the two girls snatch some ready money and run. They make new lives for themselves though they can’t seem to get ahead right away.
Yoko burns for the chance at revenge so while she works toward getting her CPA, she learns how to make her way around computers and finds out all she can about the Chinese Criminal organization that sold her into prostitution. And then, along comes Mark Chandler offering her a good job and maybe something special. Is he too good to be true? Can a man ever accept her past?
Alright, the story read fast and I was glad that it glossed over the heartwrenching part at the beginning. Like I said, I felt a distance from the characters and plot at first, but then it seemed to change when Yoko made her plans and met Mark. I thought that was rather well done with the writing.
I liked how the suspense and the romance elements balanced well. Yoko’s determination to have revenge and see justice done for other girls like her was a solid base and kept me engaged to see how she would do up against a dangerous and powerful criminal empire. I also appreciated how this romance was written. It hit on what it was like for a woman who was the survivor of such a horrific situation and for a man who loves her, but struggles with her past. It didn’t feel contrived and made me really cheer this pair on.
All in all, it was a story I was glad to read. It’s not light and it digs into the darker side of life, but was satisfying in its ending. I think fans of romantic suspense and romantic thrillers would be the target for this one.
My thanks to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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