AT FIRST LIGHT – Mari Madison
An Exclusive Romance , Book 3
San Diego, California, the Present
Five years ago, two young people worked together to improve conditions of the sea animals at Water World. Troy Young was an ambitious journalist; Sarah Martin wanted some meaning in her life, not just the empty one of being the daughter of a wealthy and controlling father. It all blew up in their faces when it turned out the leader of their group embezzled funds from the owners of the theme park, one of whom happened to be Sarah's father, then running for Mayor of San Diego. Troy and Sarah had been duped by their leader and might have made some well-meaning but wrong choices. Troy took the opportunity to go abroad as a foreign correspondent. His leaving broke Sarah's heart. He reported the news for five years until he was captured by terrorists in Syria.
By then, Sarah had gone to work as an entertainment reporter at News9, a local TV station. As she watched the news at home, she saw Troy being captured and threatened with death if the U.S. didn't meet the captors' demands.
Four months of horror later, Troy came home a damaged man.
AT FIRST LIGHT is told in first person by both Sara and Troy. The first chapter is Sarah's, the second is Troy's, and so on for nearly the whole narrative. It's an interesting novelty, if a little jolting at times.
Mari Madison has won awards as a television news producer, so having that as the background works very well. While the relationship of Troy and Sarah is important (moving and sexy as well) there is another important theme to the novel. Troy suffers greatly from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). This, too, is done realistically. Add in strong elements of threat, danger, and suspense and you have a unique reading experience.