About the Book
Series: The Metcalfes #2
Author: Ronie Kendig
Release Date: April 22, 2022
Genre: Romantic Suspense
To save her, he must become the evil he fights.
Aftercare specialist Willow Metcalfe joined Mission: Liberate Everyone to help trafficking survivors navigate the healing process. When MiLE’s Obioma Compound is attacked by the Nigerian mafia, she’s taken hostage. Against nightmarish odds, she and the victims attempt an escape—and are thwarted.
A decade after leaving his beloved homeland, Chijioke “Chiji” Okorie returns to find his sister and fight for his own country. Believing a global trafficking ring behind her abduction and a string of kidnappings across Nigeria, he goes undercover to find the head of the serpent and his sister. Chiji is stunned to discover among the hostages a familiar face—a friend’s sister, Willow. The woman he vowed years ago to marry.
The man who has interfered with her escape attempts seems … familiar, kind—but Willow knows better. He reeks of the warrior ethos that has devoured many a good man. Engaged in an impossible battle and losing at every turn, Chiji is determined to complete his missions—all of them. Even if it kills him.
Willow by Ronie Kendig is one wild ride. I thought the first book in this stellar series, Stone, was intense, and it is, but Willow is intensity on steroids. My goodness, I’ve never been so stressed out from a novel before in my life (and I mean this in a good way). Willow is one of those books I had to stay up way past my bedtime to read. I absolutely had no choice — I had to know what was going to happen next. And this story had my angry feelings on HIGH ALERT. My husband and I often joke that I need a Phinehas spear every time I get this kind of angry (Numbers 25:7-8). It’s an anger over the injustice of vulnerable populations being taken advantage of, being exploited, being desecrated and there is nothing I can do about it. This type of anger makes me want to Phinehas-spear all the evil bad guys and girls on this earth. Well, Willow had me screaming, “I need my Phinehas spear now” throughout the entire story.
One of the topics brought up in Willow is the guilt some may feel because they aren’t getting hurt, because God is protecting them from some harm while others are suffering immensely. Willow feels this guilt in a very heavy way. I admit, I sometimes struggle with this as well. My pastor had a unique take on this topic. This earth has been made rotten by satan and human sin. Satan’s #1 goal is to get us away from God. So, he employs every trick in his book. A lot of those “tricks” are illustrated in this novel. But God is omniscient. He knows what was, what is, and what is to come. God allows bad things to happen for many reasons, most we can’t comprehend this side of Heaven. As humans, allowance of bad things is really hard to swallow. It stinks to hurt. It stinks to be powerless. It stinks to be broken. Here’s where my pastor’s take on all this comes into play: perhaps God allows some bad as a way to distract satan from his evil plan. If satan is busy doing X over there, God is busy fulfilling His plan over here. We’re constantly told in the Bible that everything boils down to spiritual warfare; we are all fighting in a battle we can’t really see. Instead of seeing an attack as God hating us, maybe we should view it more as an honor — God put us in a specific fight He knows we can win. We’re all a little like Esther: created for such a time as this. Instead of seeing ourselves as God’s personal punching bag, perhaps we should remember we’re all at war and we’re God’s warriors for such a time as this.
Willow is an excellent story that I highly recommend. It has a lot of hard, ugly moments, but good, hope-filled moments, too. I definitely cannot wait to get my hands on book 3. I know it will be as intense and amazing as Willow and Stone are!
I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon.com on April 21, 2022, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.