|Pastor Dev Malone
(creator: Lenora Worth)
|Pastor Dev(on) Malone, based at the First Church at Dixon in Georgia, was "built like a regular weight lifter and football jock all rolled into one mighty good-looking package." On the surface he was "so quiet and focused, so kind and polite, so good and solid, that he could never lift a hand in brutality or violence towards another human being. The man was a walking example of what being a true Christian was all about."
But it turns out that he had had a secret past as a "Christian operative" for CHAIM (Christians for Amnesty, Intervention and Ministry), a top secret organisation that sends its operatives all over the world to "rescue Christians who are in danger". Dev had been chosen for this just after he had trained as a minister at a seminary in New Orleans, and had been given the code name of The Pastoral.
As his secretary-admirer, Lydia, gets to know him better, she realises he is "stubborn, hardheaded, determined, noble, fearless and downright aggravating. But he was still a good man." He proves himself a good fighter too. Not a very convincing pastor, though.
Lenora Worth (real name: Lenora H Nazworth. Date of birth?) grew up in a small Georgia town, where she decided she wanted to be a writer while still in the fourth grade. She married her high school sweetheart then they moved first to Atlanta in Georgia, then to Shreveport, Louisiana. After the birth of her second child, she took up writing full-time. She wrote 35 romance novels for three different publishers. Her books have won both regional and national awards and she now has over one million books in print. "Each time I start a new book," she explains, "I say a prayer, asking God to give me the streength and direction to put the words to paper."
Secret Agent Minister (2007)
It is enemies from this past that endanger both their lives so that they have to flee first to New Orleans (where they take refuge in Kissie's Korner jazz club which Lydia is relieved to hear "is a very clean place, faithwise. Kissie takes in troubled teens, turns toward the Lord and sets them on their way." So that's all right then.) Then it's off to Texas and Colorado. At one point, they have to pretend to be "a very wealthy, happily married couple." Lydia had to hide "her secret glee beyond a show of agitation" but she can be sure that Dev is certain to behave himself as "a perfect gentleman", even if he does start to notice things like "that cute little mole on her right cheek. And her endearing dimples. And the way she lifted her dark eyebrows each time she doubted him."
"Devon Malone had scaled ten-foot walls to save human lives; he'd walked through fire to rescue trapped missionaries from rebels and drug lords. He'd swum through alligator-infested swamps to get to another person in need. He'd been shot at, attacked, taken hostage, stabbed, robbed, beaten and left for dead. But none of that had ever prepared him for Lydia Cantrell. Her very innocence and sweetness took his breath away" Of course, "He couldn't think about things that were inappropriate and risky, such as kissing her," so "he gripped the old oak banister in order to control his emotions." But then on page 97 he actually kisses her! He realised that he "had breached all decorum and protocol and broken all the rules".
It is an absurd plot, what with the worldwide activities of CHAIM (Christians for Amnesty, Intervention and Ministry), its secret agents (both genuine and treacherous), its secret hideaways, and its coded messages, sometimes left in potted plants, all based on references to the Book of Job. He turns out to be an expert pilot, but unfortunately his Cessna runs out of fuel so he tells Lydia she must hang on to him and his parachute as they jump out. "Okay," she said, sniffing back tears. "Okay. But ... Pastor Dev ... promise me you'll hold on to me. Promise you won't let go."
There's a melodramatic ending when the arch villain is confronted, Lydia rescues the one she loves and Dev declares his love for her.
There then follows a message from the author (concluding with: " With God's grace and guidance, we can survive and become stronger and better. I hope that you will find it in your heart to let God be your guide, no matter your dreams") and a list of Questions for Discussion, amongst which "Can you believe a word if it?" is not included.
|The cover gives it all away. Read a book with a title like this and you'll know what to expect. It promises "Love Inspired Suspense" and "Riveting Inspirational Romance".|