“Badlands” by Jill Sorenson
It’s been a little while since I’ve read a great romantic suspense. I’m glad I picked this one up. “Badlands” has it all: suspense, danger, and definitely romance.
Penny Sandoval is the daughter of a presidential candidate and has a young son. She is kidnapped and unfortunately, her son Cruz is taken as well. Her friend and bodyguard Owen Jackson tries to stop the kidnapping and ends up getting involved. And...it’s Owen’s own brother Shane who’s responsible.
The three of them are at the mercy of Shane and his cohorts. They want money in exchange for Penny and Cruz’s lives. But what about Owen? Both Shane and Owen are ex-convicts, hardened by a harsh upbringing, but Owen has retained his ability to still care. Shane on the other hand, is too cynical to overcome his past.
Penny witnesses Owen’s beating and believes he’s dead. The first chance she gets, she escapes with Cruz. But they’re in the Badlands, an austere, unforgiving desert, and they have very little water and no food.
Owen isn’t dead and manages to escape and find Penny and Cruz. He must keep them alive, but at what cost? Will he have to kill his own despicable brother, who despite everything he’s done, he still loves? Will Owen have to make a choice: a woman and son that he loves or his own blood?
If they all survive, will Penny want him, an ex-convict with seemingly nothing to offer? Penny is unaware of Owen’s true past. While she knows of his prison stint, she has no idea what he endured while there or anything about his cruel father’s unrelenting punishment. Things that can break a man and turn him sour to some of life’s wonderful things, such as love. If Penny sees him for who he truly is, will she want him?
Sorenson tells a story of unconditional love, sacrifice, peril, and heartache. You won’t want to miss this romantic suspense.