Tessa Lancaster’s skills first earned her a position as an enforcer in her Uncle Teruo’s Japanese Mafia gang. Then they landed her in prison for a crime she didn’t commit. Now, three months after her release, Tessa’s abilities have gained her a job as bodyguard for wealthy socialite Elizabeth St. Amant and her three-year-old son. But there’s a problem or two … or three …. There’s Elizabeth’s abusive husband whose relentless pursuit goes deeper than mere vengeance. There’s Uncle Teruo, who doesn’t understand why Tessa’s new faith as a Christian prevents her from returning to the yakuza. And then there’s Elizabeth’s lawyer, Charles Britton, who Tessa doesn’t know is the one who ensured that she did maximum time behind bars. Now Tessa and Charles must work together in order to protect their client, while new truths emerge and circumstances spiral to a deadly fever pitch. Factor in both Tessa’s and Charles’s families and you’ve got some wild dynamics—and an action-packed, romantic read as Tessa and Charles discover the reality of being made new in Christ.
Tang (Sushi series) opens a new series introducing Tessa Lancaster, a former Japanese mafia enforcer who becomes a Christian during a prison stint. Upon release, Tessa volunteers at a shelter where she befriends Elizabeth St. Amant, a spouse abuse victim who requires a bodyguard. Without other employment opportunities, and with the requisite skill set for the job, Tessa reluctantly accepts. Elizabeth also engages lawyer Charles Britton, but Tessa soon discovers that Charles hides a secret connection to her own past. Unfortunately, Tang fails to maintain credibility as the plot twists and turns amid situations that lack plausibility, including Elizabeth's destitute financial situation despite access to an "obscenely large trust fund." Tessa is inconsistent; she waves the flag of a changed conscience in the face of her relatives and former mob connections, but takes moral shortcuts whenever it suits her. Accepting employment from her uncle is out of the question, but stealing cash from her mother, which she plans to repay with a loan from her mafia-connected cousin, is okay. The story is never predictable, however, and the most unlikely of characters emerges as the ultimate hero.