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The Missionary

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Author: Jack Wilder

Published: October 8th 2013 by Jack Wilder

Format: Kindle Edition , 320 pages

Isbn: null

Language: English


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Ex-Navy SEAL Stone Pressfield has a bad feeling about the proposed church missions trip to Manila, Philippines. The college-age church group plans to go to Manila and help victims of the sex-trafficking industry. Stone's lingering nightmare memories about the sex-trafficking industry have him warning church leaders that the trip is a bad idea. He knows all too well that it Ex-Navy SEAL Stone Pressfield has a bad feeling about the proposed church missions trip to Manila, Philippines. The college-age church group plans to go to Manila and help victims of the sex-trafficking industry. Stone's lingering nightmare memories about the sex-trafficking industry have him warning church leaders that the trip is a bad idea. He knows all too well that it could end in violence, and those involved aren't to be trifled with. When beautiful Wren Morgan goes missing, he has a sick feeling that he knows exactly who took her, and for what purpose. The problem is, Wren isn't just any other student. She's someone he's close to, someone he cares about. Now she's in the hands of cruel, evil men, and Stone is the only one who can rescue her before the unthinkable happens.

30 review for The Missionary

  1. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    4.5 Stars The Missionary was packed full of action, suspense, romance and steam. Somewhat dark and disturbing, but also beautiful. Fluid and effortless writing, once I started this one, I didn’t want to put it down! Loved it!
 In The Missionary we meet Wren and Stone. Wren is a college student, her life seems relatively perfect. She has a crush on Stone, who helps lead the music at her church’s college group. Stone is an ex-Navy SEAL. One of his childhood friends is a youth pastor, who can’t p 4.5 Stars The Missionary was packed full of action, suspense, romance and steam. Somewhat dark and disturbing, but also beautiful. Fluid and effortless writing, once I started this one, I didn’t want to put it down! Loved it!
 In The Missionary we meet Wren and Stone. Wren is a college student, her life seems relatively perfect. She has a crush on Stone, who helps lead the music at her church’s college group. Stone is an ex-Navy SEAL. One of his childhood friends is a youth pastor, who can’t play music to save his life so Stone helps out. Stone and Wren have an obvious connection from the beginning. Stone feels like Wren is out of his league, that he isn’t right for her. The things he’s done, the things he’s seen, he’s not good for someone so sweet and innocent. So he makes sure things stay friendly between them, thats all. He keeps his distance. Stone’s friend comes up with an idea. Go over to the Philippines with a group of volunteers and make a difference. Get prostitutes who have been forced to live this way or sold off the street. It’s a great idea in theory, but very dangerous. Stone tries to warn the group off, but its no use. They are set to go. The only thing he can do is tag along and do his best to keep everyone safe. No one goes anywhere alone. No group goes anywhere without Stone. Call him paranoid, but he has seen some ugly things in his service, and he wants everyone safe. One night, a group goes out without Stone. Just to the corner store to get some water. Wren vanishes out of thin air. She’s been taken. By the bad guys, the guys who buy and sell women. Wren is terrified but she can’t give up hope. She has to believe Stone will find her. Fear keeps you alert. It keeps you alive. If you’re afraid, you’re still fighting to stay alive. Stone knew this trip was a terrible idea. He felt it in his gut, and now he knows why. He has to get Wren out. No matter what he has to do, he has to get to her before it’s too late. If anyone can do it, he can. It’s what he was trained to do. From here on out, there is a lot of action. A lot of violence. A lot of moments that make you hold your breath and make your heart beat fast. I loved this element of the story. It was unpredictable and suspenseful. But all my romance lovers, don’t you fret... there was also a beautiful love story going on even with all the craziness. When you are faced with a life and death situation, and all you have is each other... well, the feelings that were already lingering there start to grow. ‘Don’t say it yet, Stone. Not until we’re home. No matter how many times we do this until then, don’t say it. I need that to look forward to. I know it, I see it. But don’t say it.’ Stone... a sexy alpha male if there ever was one! Stone was the ultimate protector. I loved him! It wasn’t easy for him to go back into that ‘war’ mindset, but he couldn’t lose Wren. He had to do everything in his power to make sure she was safe. Wren wasn’t some little damsel in distress either. She made some tough and smart choices, and even kicked a little ass herself at one point. I loved the two of them together. They just fit. One warning to fellow readers: The subject matter may be a little difficult for some to read. The story goes inside the sex trafficking issue that is happening all over the world. You get to see a bit of the nitty gritty. It reminded me of my favorite Jasinda Wilder book (Wounded) in that way. I loved how the author wasn’t afraid to show the not so pretty side of something. I have been a Jasinda Wilder fan for a while now, ever since I read Wounded and Falling into Us. I can officially say I am a Jack Wilder fan as well! How can a wife AND husband both be so talented? Honest, intense and well written, The Missionary is a really great book I would highly recommend!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline's Reads

    5 Crazy My-heart-can’t-take-it, I-need-valium, BUT I-love-it STARS!!!! I’m a huge Jasinda Wilder fan and by huge, I mean, scary-stalker-girl-crush fan, so when I heard her husband, Jack Wilder, was writing a book, I was like I don’t care if it’s about elephants taking a dump, I’m gonna read it. I’ve read a few books from male authors like Jo Nesbo, Stieg Larsson and Kurt Vonnegut, and of those are fabulous authors to me. So, when I saw The Missionary’s cover, I thought to myself, oh this is go 5 Crazy My-heart-can’t-take-it, I-need-valium, BUT I-love-it STARS!!!! I’m a huge Jasinda Wilder fan and by huge, I mean, scary-stalker-girl-crush fan, so when I heard her husband, Jack Wilder, was writing a book, I was like I don’t care if it’s about elephants taking a dump, I’m gonna read it. I’ve read a few books from male authors like Jo Nesbo, Stieg Larsson and Kurt Vonnegut, and of those are fabulous authors to me. So, when I saw The Missionary’s cover, I thought to myself, oh this is going to be like a Jo Nesbo book, a big mystery with a touch of romance. OH NO BIG FAT WRONG THE MISSIONARY IS NO ORDINARY BOOK let me explain .... When I read the blurb and I saw, sex trafficking, I knew I was done for. I had to read it. I didn't care if Jesus walked into my house and told me not to, I would say really Jesus? Yeah right and then proceed to read this book. The Missionary is like one BIG action movie where you will be gripping the edge of your seat and glued to your pages until you are done. Stone and Wren go on a church mission trip to the Philippines. The church wants to save the girls who are part of the sex-trafficking industry. Stone is EX-Navy SEAL (HELLO!), who understands it takes more than a group of young kids from a church group to do any real damage, but Wren and everyone in the group are, determine to do good. So off they go to help and **GASP** Wren gets kidnapped. It’s no secret I love kidnapping books. I gobble these up like turkey on Thanksgiving. The darker the better? Yes. The grittier, please. Do I like, oh-my-god, did-that-really-happen kind of books? You can bet I do. I don’t know why I love reading about kidnapping and sex slavery theme books, there is just something so raw about it. The Missionary isn’t the lightest of reads. There are a few dark scenes, but the book needed them. On top of this, it’s a very descriptive book. I usually cringe against descriptive writing because I’m a dialogue kind of girl, but Wilder paints a beautiful description of the area and I felt like I was there. I felt for Stone and I felt for Wren. I have to say it! Shout out to my Asian ladies. Wren is Filipino! It’s not every day I read a book where the leading Heroine is Asian and yes, when I read one where she is, it does something to me. It’s just nice to be represented. For all of those who wondering, I’m Vietnamese, so I especially love the Pho reference. Don’t know what that is? Look it up. Oh Stone, he’s awesome, he’s epic, he’s well, like his name a Stone. Do I love his name? Yes, yes I do. I think Stone is an excellent name for a Hero. Wilder created a badass hero, I could one hundred percent picture ex-military guy busting in to save the day. He’s beefy, manly and really smart. If shit gets hairy, get out of the way and stay out of the way until I get you. The Missionary is more than a “save the girl” read. There are many layers and many and many shifts. Just when I think I know where it’s going, something happens and I’m thrown in a different direction. It’s action pack! I could seriously watch this as a movie. This book does have steam people! Oh lord, thank you for those parts. I had everything I could think of, face-pace writing, with great leading characters and gut-wrenching story-line. The Missionary will definitely take you on a crazy journey and leave an impression on you. I’m just glad I am happily married, or Mrs. Jasinda would think I’m macking on her man. Because seriously, I’m a Jack Wilder fan. Well, I’m just a Wilder fan period. An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review For more reviews, please visit, Jacqueline's Reads Purchase - > AMAZON

  3. 5 out of 5

    Allison ❤️Will Never Conquer Her TBR❤️

    Perfection! This will be one of those books that truly sticks with me. Although the subject matter, human trafficking, is very ugly, it's a realistic evil in our world. This book I devoured! Add a love story to the mix....perfect. Thanks Christy for the awesome review leading me to this gem! Wren Morgan is an all-around great college age kid. She lives in the dorms, is very active in her church, and has a sweet innocence about her that draws people her way. Stone Pressfield is a musician Perfection! This will be one of those books that truly sticks with me. Although the subject matter, human trafficking, is very ugly, it's a realistic evil in our world. This book I devoured! Add a love story to the mix....perfect. Thanks Christy for the awesome review leading me to this gem! Wren Morgan is an all-around great college age kid. She lives in the dorms, is very active in her church, and has a sweet innocence about her that draws people her way. Stone Pressfield is a musician in her church. He's an ex Navy-Seal, scarred both physically and emotionally from years of service in Special Ops. The chemistry between he and Wren is palpable but no matter how hard she tries to draw him out he pushes back. He's got demons that haunt his dreams and a guy like him doesn't deserve a sweet, innocent girl such as Wren. When the church decides to embark on a missionary trip to Minila Philipines to build a Safe House for human trafficking victims, Stone is instantly against it. He pleads with his pastor to find another, less hostile and unsafe part of the world to save. His warnings go upon deaf ears. What makes matters worse, Wren signs up for the trip. Add Special Ops Security guard to his resume...... Wren decides to go to the store with a few fellow missionaries in Manila. Unfortunately, she gets abducted by a human trafficker. American girls are top dollar in the Philipines. When Stone returns to find Wren gone, his Speical Ops training comes out. He just didn't plan on the one person he's falling in love with being the victim. He's been to Manila before. After all, it's scenes from here that spark his nightmares. This city where his comrades were killed. This isn't a person he's fighting, it's an organized crime operation that spreads throughout the country.....and Stone is one guy. No intelligence, no back up, just experience and a good memory with these thugs. He knows their ways....abduct these girls, drug them, beat and rape them, then sell off to the highest bidder. And an American girl like Wren equal lots of money..... This book obviously delves deep into a very dark, sadistical world. A world most of us are seriously unaware of. When I watched the movie Taken by Liam Neilson, I was shocked at the issue of human trafficking. This book is much like the movie...except it's a love story and not a dad searching out his daughter. It's ugly, yes. Mr. Willder knows his stuff. While reading it, it was very apparent to me his research in the field of human trafficking, Special Ops. and the coalitions to fight such despicable human behavior. The husband of Jasinda Wilder, author of one of my favorite books, Wounded, both enlighten us to world affairs, not necessarily warm and fuzzy, added with mystery and suspense and a love story to top it off. If you haven't read Wounded, that's also one the few books I've actually took the time to personally recommend to my friends who like a bit darker read. This book also didn't disappoint. Oh, and the love story? Let's just say when the two come together, it's SCORCHING HOT. DAMN. I didn't know a male author could write such HOT love scenes. BRAVO. That sounded sexist.... Didn't mean it that way at all. Can Stone rescue Wren from the world of drugs, and sexual slavery? It's one man versus an army of traffickers. If he does, will he risk it all to confess his love for Wren? Will she accept him scars and all? Was the book a bit dark? YES Was the book mysterious? YES Suspenseful? HELL YES Scorching sexy? YES Would I recommend this to my friends who like something different, less mainstream romance? HELL YES!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Aestas Book Blog

    Here's my casting: Both haunting and captivating from the first page, The Missionary takes readers on an action-packed, romantic and eye-opening journey that will hopefully serve to raise awareness about human trafficking. I was drawn into the story from the first few pages and found myself unable to look away. The manner in which Wren was taken felt all too real and the subject matter is raw, chilling and hard to read in places. I think the fact that many elements of this story were based on re Here's my casting: Both haunting and captivating from the first page, The Missionary takes readers on an action-packed, romantic and eye-opening journey that will hopefully serve to raise awareness about human trafficking. I was drawn into the story from the first few pages and found myself unable to look away. The manner in which Wren was taken felt all too real and the subject matter is raw, chilling and hard to read in places. I think the fact that many elements of this story were based on reality gave each scene an extra strong impact. However, the story is not ‘too dark’. It’s a nightmarish situation but there was also a strong romance throughout it and plenty of steam to ease the tension. If you’ve read Jasinda Wilder’s Wounded, that book is a good comparison in terms of how this book “felt” to me. There were certainly gritty elements but overall, it was not solely a ‘dark’ book. The ending was powerful and inspiring and I won’t deny that I had tears in my eyes at the last words of the author’s note. I commend Jack Wilder for tackling a sensitive but very real issue and bringing it into the light in such a way that will hopefully motivate people to get involved and reach out to help. I felt these words so strongly: “Be the difference.” 4 stars ** Please note that the reason this review is a little shorter and less detailed than my usual ones is because due to a computer glitch, I actually lost the entirety of my original review a few days ago and had to start over from scratch. So, the length of the review is not in any way a reflection of the book, but rather just of the unfortunate circumstance. **************************** For more of my reviews, book news and updates: ✦ Main blog: Aestas Book Blog ✦ Facebook Blog Page ✦ Twitter

  5. 5 out of 5

    Georgia ♥

    4 Brutally Real Stars “Slavery didn’t end when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Slavery still happens. Right now, today, this very second, there’s someone in chains, locked away until the next time someone pays to have involuntary sex with them. They’re drugged, starving, naked, and alone." Sometimes fiction reflects life. It takes reality and smacks you in the face with it, forcing you to admit what you know it's the truth. Women and men sold as livestock. Slaves to the highest bidde 4 Brutally Real Stars “Slavery didn’t end when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Slavery still happens. Right now, today, this very second, there’s someone in chains, locked away until the next time someone pays to have involuntary sex with them. They’re drugged, starving, naked, and alone." Sometimes fiction reflects life. It takes reality and smacks you in the face with it, forcing you to admit what you know it's the truth. Women and men sold as livestock. Slaves to the highest bidder. Abused beyond comprehension, broken sometimes beyond repair. This is happening right now around the world and this is the story of Wren. The young girl that her only mistake is that she wanted to help. Wren Morgan, a young adopted American woman of Filipino decent, goes with a church mission to Manila to help girls that are sold to slavery. But she is abducted herself and she is forced to a nightmare of drugs and abuse from which she can't escape, unless the man she loves will heed her prayers. Stone Pressfield, is an ex-Navy Seal that has faced the truth of human trafficking. He lost his friends and station trying to save women. He fears that the same will happen again, that's why he is helping with mission's security. But he can't be everywhere and the unthinkable happens. The woman he is afraid to admit that he cares about is taken and he is her only hope to freedom. “Fear keeps you alert. It keeps you alive. If you’re afraid, you’re still fighting to stay alive. When you stop feeling fear, you’ve stopped caring whether you live or die." Together they will try to escape and fight the demons. Run to safety and heal their wounds. Take action and raise awareness. Break our heart with the fragility of the victims and reality of the situation. The nightmare doesn't end when you are free, because the memories haunt your days and nights. “I’m not here. Does that sound crazy? Like I got left behind, somehow. Part of me is still over there. Still in Manila, in that hole, that fucking black hole with the bugs and the drugs and the darkness and him." A great book and a story that will stay with me. A book about action, apathy and the consequences of it. Brutal and emotional, a ray of hope in a dark truth that we all have to admit. Do something selfless. Leave the world a better place than when you entered it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    **** 5 STARS**** "Fear keeps you alert. It keeps you alive. If you're afraid, you're still fighting to stay alive. When you stop feeling fear, you've stopped caring whether you live or die." The Missionary by Jack Wilder was an eye-opening and riveting story that raises public awareness on a tough and difficult subject matter of sex trafficking. Wilder exposes his readers to the real, raw, and gritty topic that is on an ongoing world problem that no one wants to talk about. This book was pack **** 5 STARS**** "Fear keeps you alert. It keeps you alive. If you're afraid, you're still fighting to stay alive. When you stop feeling fear, you've stopped caring whether you live or die." The Missionary by Jack Wilder was an eye-opening and riveting story that raises public awareness on a tough and difficult subject matter of sex trafficking. Wilder exposes his readers to the real, raw, and gritty topic that is on an ongoing world problem that no one wants to talk about. This book was packed full of action, suspense, and romance. It was beautifully well written and I felt like I was watching a movie. Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down and had to devour it one sitting. In The Missionary, we are introduced to Stone Pressfield, an ex-Navy Seal, who helps lead the music at his friend's church ministry group, where he meets Wren Morgan. Wren is a young, sweet, friendly college girl who has a crush on Stone. There is an attraction and connection between the two but Stone tries to distance himself from Wren, feeling that he is no good for her. Stone's friend, Pastor Nick decides to lead a ministry outreach service in the Philippines where they will try to help with sex-trafficker victims and prostitutes get off the street. Stone thinks this is a bad and dangerous idea and urges the ministry group to change their minds but to no avail. Stone and the group of volunteers head to Manila. He urges everyone to stick together and is paranoid of the dangers lurking. Well, a group of volunteers including Wren decides to go to the corner market to get some water and snacks and suddenly Wren vanishes. She is drugged and kidnapped by a group of bad guys where she will be sold to a local sex-trafficker. Wren experiences and goes through what no human should have gone through. She is beaten, violated, drugged, starved and fears for her life and safety when she knows she is going to be sold like cattle at an auction. At her captors house, she witnesses young girls being abused, drugged, violated and forced to perform sexual acts. Wren's only hope is to fight back and believe that Stone will come and rescue her. With Stone's ex-Navy SEAL training and knowledge of the sex-trafficking ring, he goes and hunts down the people who have kidnapped Wren. From this point on, there is a lot of violence. Readers are put on a fast action packed thriller suspense where Mr. Wilder will keep you at the edge of your seats and holding your breath. With all the craziness of the rescue and trying to get back home to the States, we were able to witness the beautiful steamy love story of Wren and Stone. The Missionary is something that really needs to be experienced by the reader. It will take its reader into the deep, dark, terrifying, disgusting world of sex trafficking. It will expose the daily struggles, pain, hardship its victims and survivors face on a daily basis. The Missionary was like watching a movie that's a mixture of the film Taken and Jason Bourne. This book had me on the edge of my seat and completely consumed me. I didn't want Wren and Stone's story to come to an end. So I highly recommend everyone to read this book. I commend Jack Wilder for writing this book. The ugly facts and truths of sex and human trafficking must be exposed in order for changes to be made. Jack Wilder

  7. 4 out of 5

    .Karéz.

    5 Stars. Note:This book is based on True events. The events are still happening while i'm writing my review. The missionary becomes the mission The Missionary is a Thrill, mind blowing, hot, full of action Story. I simply couldn't put it down.! Wren Morgan . is a college student, her life is full of happiness, great friends and family. Stone Pressfield . was a soldier, A warrior. after being injured badly on a mission. He'd attend a private christian school, where he now volunteered. Wren the st 5 Stars. Note:This book is based on True events. The events are still happening while i'm writing my review. The missionary becomes the mission The Missionary is a Thrill, mind blowing, hot, full of action Story. I simply couldn't put it down.! Wren Morgan . is a college student, her life is full of happiness, great friends and family. Stone Pressfield . was a soldier, A warrior. after being injured badly on a mission. He'd attend a private christian school, where he now volunteered. Wren the student who always caught his eyes. Although the feelings that they both have for each other is mutual. Stone never let himself get too close to her. Despite being a Staff, and she was a student. Stone knew that wren deserved much better than a broken Ex-Navy SEAL . The Church missions a trip to Manila, philippines. to help victims of the sex-trafficking industry. A marvelous idea. yet full of danger. Stone tries to stop this trip in any way possible. because he will knows that it could end in violence. But no use! They are set to go. the least thing stone to do is go with the group, and try his best to protect them. Stone points out some Rules:No one goes anywhere Alone. always stay in a group. and No one ever leave the hostel without him. The days went smoothly. and stone felt a bit relieved. only a couple days left and they'll all go back home. Not until one day a group leaves the hostel without stone. to buy some water in a corner store which was barely a hundred feet away from the hostel. just like that Wren vanishes... poof!! She's obviously taken by the Trafficking dealers. By now stone knows who took her. and he's the only one who know how to save her from that cruel, bastard man. From now on. the action won't stop, you'll have an eye-opening through the whole events. and i was really touched with how they fall in love with each other. even though being in a middle of chaos. To be honest. at first i was not that into the story very much. i was having a difficult time liking the heroine (wren). But after 30% i was so hooked. LOVED Stone and wren's Characters. and truly the Author's way of writing is so captivating. The Missionary is not an easy read. even if you read it! please don't judge it in a negative way. because the story shows the sex-trafficking issues in a close way. It delivers a great message. “Slavery didn’t end when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Slavery still happens. Right now, today, this very second, there’s someone in chains, locked away until the next time someone pays to have involuntary sex with them. They’re drugged, starving, naked, and alone. No one is going to rescue them. This event, as incredible as it is, as many people are here donating their time and their money and their talent, isn’t even a drop in the bucket. It doesn’t even begin to touch the problem. But it’s a start.”

  8. 5 out of 5

    C-Money

    ARC PROVIDED BY AUTHOR FOR A HONEST REVIEW 6 "this book is in my bone marrow and running through my veins" Stars I would like to start out this review by taking a moment to show some respect to all of those out there that have or are suffering from Human Trafficking. This shit is real, guys. It's happening in our own backyard. No one really discusses it and what we don't see, well we just don't think about it. But after reading this book, there is no way I can't think about it. Its REAL and it nee ARC PROVIDED BY AUTHOR FOR A HONEST REVIEW 6 "this book is in my bone marrow and running through my veins" Stars I would like to start out this review by taking a moment to show some respect to all of those out there that have or are suffering from Human Trafficking. This shit is real, guys. It's happening in our own backyard. No one really discusses it and what we don't see, well we just don't think about it. But after reading this book, there is no way I can't think about it. Its REAL and it needs to be stopped I would also like to say BRA-FUCKING-O to Mr. Jack Wilder for writing such a realistic, shocking and emotional book. I am bowing down to your greatness This isn't a book and it shouldn't be taken lightly. It shouldn't be classified with the books. It needs it's own section on Amazon. It should be called " BAM, did you feel that? That's this book smacking you on the back of your fucking head" a bit long for a shelf name, but you get what I'm getting at. It isn't something you can just sit down and read. You need a dark hole, a comfy blanket, tissues and complete isolation. This book felt like a movie. It felt like I was was watching an action packed, full throttle movie and I couldn't put it down. I had to know what was around the corner, but I didn't want to look because I was so freaking nervous about what I would find. I wanted to skip to the end, but it was just too beautifully written that I couldn't do that to myself. So I just kept reading. I was a ball of nerves the entire book. I was describing this book to my husband on the way to pick up my girls yesterday. He wasn't getting how much i loved this booked. so here is what i said ME: "Baby, you know when we are watching a high action packed movie, and I'm freaking out and I just have to know what is going to happen. So I go onto Imdb and I read the synopsis so I will stop freaking out?" HUBBY: "yeah, i hate when you do that." ME: "Well that is how fucking good this book is. I wanted to skip to the end, but I just couldn't do that" HUBBY: "Wow, now that's a good book" ME: "and a man wrote it." HUBBY:"No way, a man" ME: "Way. and you better watch out cause if a man can write like that, i might just go steal him" HUBBY:"oh baby, good luck with that" The book starts off in the here and now. We are taken to a very dark room and we are introduced to Wren. The way we are introduced to her is saddening and it pulls you into the story.  We are then taken back and introduced to Stone. He is an ex-navy guy, hard cord bad ass and can play the guitar. Sign me up.  As the story progresses we are taken from the NOW then to weeks before. I think he did this so smoothly that I wasn't confused or caught off guard.  Wren is trying to stay alive and she knows that Stone will come for her. Its in his nature, he won't let her disappear. She just needs to fight and that's exactly what Wren is. She is a fighter. I am in awe of her resolve. She never gave up.  Stone is a hardcore weapon. That is how I would describe him. He is a weapon. He is trained to kill and that's exactly what he will do for Wren. He overpowers everyone who tries to stop him.  He would go to the depths of hell to bring Wren back and that's exactly where is journey took him. He has to do some gnarly shit. Jack describes these scenes in such great detail, that I shuttered when I read them.  There is no question as to what he feels for her. He doesn't think he deserves those feelings and he doesn't think anything will ever happen, but he will fight to find her. But there wasn't just action and brutality, there was love and sexy sexy sexy scenes. Man can this man write a love scene. I'm fanning myself right now just thinking about it. You would think with the nature of this book, that having scenes like those in this book would be distasteful, but it added so much depth and so much more to the book. It was perfection and it was exactly what the characters needed. Wren turns out to be BAD ASS. But if Cervantes did the things to me that he did to her, my bad ass side would come out, too. I am so glad she found this side of her right when she needed it the most.  This book is a work of art. It's beautiful, yet Ugly. It's magical, yet dark and disturbing. It's eye opening, gut wrenching, truthful, disgusting, shocking, and way out of this world brilliant. When I finished this book, I had goosebumps all over my body.  This may be the most realistic book I have ever read. If I could I would give Jack Wilder a high 5, a pat on the back, a fist pump and I would buy him one hell of a drink. He knocked this one out of entire galaxy. 6 star review for me and I will be adding another Author to my favorite shelf.

  9. 4 out of 5

    ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books

    Review also posted here on my Facebook Blog: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kitty-... This book kicked ass!! It had everything in a book I could ever wish for, sit on the edge of your seat moments of complete and utter panic of trying to read faster to see if they were going to escape their terror.. It was dark, it was gritty but so damn hard to put down!! I loved the intensity of it!! One minute my heart would be breaking reading what Wren had to endure, to other moments of falling in love with a Review also posted here on my Facebook Blog: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kitty-... This book kicked ass!! It had everything in a book I could ever wish for, sit on the edge of your seat moments of complete and utter panic of trying to read faster to see if they were going to escape their terror.. It was dark, it was gritty but so damn hard to put down!! I loved the intensity of it!! One minute my heart would be breaking reading what Wren had to endure, to other moments of falling in love with all things alpha Ex-Navy SEAL "Stone" From page One, Wrens captivity is in your face, it's heartbreakingly raw!! Waking up in the darkness, pure terror, knowing that to fight was futile, in irons, punches to the face, the ribs, in horrific pain.. A jab to the bicep..A sense of floating..Sluggishness.. Foreboding..And then Darkness.. "MY NAME IS WREN MORGAN" She focused on that, it was all she knew, all she had, before darkness pulled her down and under.. This book wasn't sugar coated and not for the faint hearted, it gives you a true sense of what goes on in the sex trafficking underground corrupt organizations..Highly recommend..

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mara De Guzman

    Okay. Great cover. The book setting is in Manila, Philippines? I am from Manila, Philippines! Interesting. Okay. Great cover. The book setting is in Manila, Philippines? I am from Manila, Philippines! Interesting.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Geri Reads

    Buddy Reading with Kim, Vera and .Chel 3.75 stars! When I read in the blurb that the bulk of the story will be set in the Philippines, I was immediately intrigue. It isn't everyday that a book is set in my part of the world, so I was intrigued and excited to read this. Plus, my fellow GR girls, Kim, Vera and .Chel, whom I just recently found out also hailed from the Philippines, decided to do a buddy read, so I doubly excited. While I wasn't 100% into the romance aspect of the story, I did love h <>Buddy Reading with Kim, Vera and .Chel 3.75 stars! When I read in the blurb that the bulk of the story will be set in the Philippines, I was immediately intrigue. It isn't everyday that a book is set in my part of the world, so I was intrigued and excited to read this. Plus, my fellow GR girls, Kim, Vera and .Chel, whom I just recently found out also hailed from the Philippines, decided to do a buddy read, so I doubly excited. While I wasn't 100% into the romance aspect of the story, I did love how Jack Wilder did his research. The way he described the streets in Manila, the desolation and the poverty were spot on. Of course, there are beautiful areas that didn't make it to the story but the whole atmosphere certainly lends itself to the darkness of the story. I also loved that he used some Filipino words in there although not everyone pronounces "f" as "p" but enough people do. I did find it quite funny especially since I do know people who talked like that. I also liked the action sequences. This isn't an easy book to read because of the topic but the action sequences made for a fascinating read. I also liked the fact that while this is a dark book, it isn't like most dark romance book out there where the "victim" falls in love with her abductor. This book depicted slavery in a very graphic manner. It's raw and dark and it doesn't leave you with romantic feelings at all. I liked that. I'm glad that there's a book that actually paints sexual abduction and slavery for what it is and doesn't romanticize it. Don't get me wrong though, there is romance in this story. I liked both Stone and Wren's characters. I wasn't into their romance as probably other readers were but individually, they were easy to connect to. The weakest part of the book for me is probably the dialogue especially during those "romantic" scenes. It was a little bit cheesy for my taste. But that's just me. I was expecting a little more angst and grit in the dialogue but it didn't quite deliver for me. I couldn't quite figure out exactly what it was that's lacking but some parts of the dialogue just didn't do it for me. Other than that, a very solid debut novel. I'm looking forward to read more from this author.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Karen111

    *MILD SPOILERS* I really loved this book! It wasn't what I was expecting, but it still delivered on every level! Filipino/American college student Wren and all-American ex-Navy SEAL Stone are both part of the same bible group. They both have feelings for each other, but they are not acted on as Stone feels he's too old and world-weary for a younger, more naive Wren. When the leader of the group tells the members that most of them will be going to Manila in the Philippines to aid women and c *MILD SPOILERS* I really loved this book! It wasn't what I was expecting, but it still delivered on every level! Filipino/American college student Wren and all-American ex-Navy SEAL Stone are both part of the same bible group. They both have feelings for each other, but they are not acted on as Stone feels he's too old and world-weary for a younger, more naive Wren. When the leader of the group tells the members that most of them will be going to Manila in the Philippines to aid women and children who have been kidnapped and trafficked for sex, all of them jump at the chance. Stone, however, strongly advises them against going at all. Unknown to the group, Stone got injured there on a secret mission, and saw the horrors of sex-trafficking first hand. Worried for the group, and Wren in particular, Stone keeps everyone within his sight at all times in Manila. But it's not enough, and on their last night there, Wren is abducted and held, and it is up to Stone to get her back. Stone eventually finds Wren, and then it's a game of cat and mouse between the duo and the evil trafficker, as they fight to reach the US Embassy. This book was fast paced and held my interest all the way through. It was as harrowing, depraved and scary as you would imagine, but the ray of light among all this sadness was the beautiful love story between Wren and Stone. And don't let the fact that it was a male author put you off! Mr Jasinda Wilder writes a super sexy love scene as good as any woman. Wren was a very likable heroine, and wasn't a whiny character, even though she had every right to be. Stone was as alpha-male as you could imagine, and I loved Wren's trust and faith in him. When he told her she needed to pack her bags and get moving, she didn't even question it. She sucked it up like a big girl should. I would highly recommend this sexy thriller, but please be aware that this book quite graphically tells the story of women being abducted, abused, raped and drugged, and is not for the faint-hearted. But, it definitely taught me more about the subject of sex-trafficking, and it was a very descriptive account of Manila's dark side. A great first novel by Jack Wilder, and I'm really looking forward to more from him.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    FULL RECOMMENDATION AND FAVORITE QUOTE ON SMUTBOOKCLUB.COM The Missionary is tough to read. The subject matter is raw, real, and disgusting. It is not a fantasy. You would never wish what happens in this book on your worst enemy. Unfortunately, it's something we should read and know about. Without reading the book, it may not seem like it should be a story with romance and sex, but it absolutely finds its place and is understandably appropriate. And it doesn't hurt that these Wilders know how to FULL RECOMMENDATION AND FAVORITE QUOTE ON SMUTBOOKCLUB.COM The Missionary is tough to read. The subject matter is raw, real, and disgusting. It is not a fantasy. You would never wish what happens in this book on your worst enemy. Unfortunately, it's something we should read and know about. Without reading the book, it may not seem like it should be a story with romance and sex, but it absolutely finds its place and is understandably appropriate. And it doesn't hurt that these Wilders know how to pen a steamy love scene. Woah.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa

    **Title generously provided by the author in exchange for my honest review** Amazing book--awesome message! Review to post tomorrow (10/13). **FULL REVIEW** “Fear. Not just the simple too-fast thumping of her heart and clenching of her stomach. No, this was deeper, powerful beyond comprehension. This was pure, unadulterated terror. She couldn’t summon the reason for the terror, but it was there, tainting everything. It was why she didn’t call out, ask for help. She was tied up in the darkness, i **Title generously provided by the author in exchange for my honest review** Amazing book--awesome message! Review to post tomorrow (10/13). **FULL REVIEW** “Fear. Not just the simple too-fast thumping of her heart and clenching of her stomach. No, this was deeper, powerful beyond comprehension. This was pure, unadulterated terror. She couldn’t summon the reason for the terror, but it was there, tainting everything. It was why she didn’t call out, ask for help. She was tied up in the darkness, in pain, and some instinct told her to stay quiet. Avoid attention.” Wren Morgan is just a normal, American, college girl. She’s rooted in her faith and has a genuine love for everyone. She’s always the first to help, comes early and leaves late from the building where she and many other students attend Church services, prayer meetings, and songs in worship. It’s just the kind of girl she is. Wren is what one would call the “total package”, but she only has eyes for one…one man who seems hell-bent on keeping her farther than arms-length…Stone Pressfield. You see, Stone carries a burden in his heart, his mind, his very being; one that he cannot share and because it haunts him daily, he cannot escape. Wren wants to know him, and wants him to know her. There is a connection…but believing in God and having complete faith are two separate things, and some things should never be seen in order to believe. In Stone’s eyes, he would never measure up to the purity and innocence that is Wren Morgan. “He wasn’t a good Christian. He was a soldier, and he believed because he’d seen the truth. He’d experienced death and felt the presence of God. He’d witnessed miracles…He’d seen the worst in humanity and dealt death to the scum of the earth. He’d also seen true heroism and courage, seen sacrifice and the power of faith…So yeah, he believed. But his was the kind of faith grounded in gritty reality…beyond the narrow field that these kids experienced.” Both belonging to the same Church organization, but on opposite sides of the spectrum, Wren and Stone face the same dilemma many people in their situation might…but that’s not what’s important. No, this story goes way beyond the connection of two people…it’s dark, haunting, and out-right terrifying. Something as simple as a school mission trip; they happen every day all over the world. A way to bring awareness to various causes, aide to those in need, and share Spirituality & Faith with people otherwise deprived. But the mission trip Wren’s Church decides on is just dangerous. They are going to Manila, Philippines; going to bring awareness and aide to people who are victims of sexual slavery and/or human trafficking. HELLO—RED FLAG! Everything about this trip screams DANGER. Stone knows this in his gut, something he was trained a long time ago to always trust…and begging Wren not to go is no use. She sees the opportunity to do a few things: help those in need, raise awareness for this very real issue, and learn about her heritage. Never in a million years does ANYONE think that something so horrible could happen to them…but Stone knows all too well, it can and does happen. Now, he’s forced to return to the one place he hoped he’d never have to…because he knows that whatever the cost, he will keep Wren (along with everyone else) safe. “’Home. I want…I want to go home.’ She tried to summon thoughts of home, but nothing came…It felt like she’d been in Manila forever. Like the person she’d been was gone, and someone else had taken that place. She was still Wren Morgan, still had the same brain and body and soul, but the fabric and substance and content of who she was had been irrevocably altered.” The horrifying story of being kidnapped in broad daylight, drugged, beaten, raped…this really happens. And while this book is a work of fiction, the subject is a very real issue. I was completely hooked from the very first chapter. The detail of Wren’s encounters with her captors is absolutely gut-wrenching to read. And the stories shared by other women who had been victims…yes, I cried. This book is heavy…heavy subject matter that most people choose to turn the other cheek towards. The statistics are staggering (and those are real) for how sick and terrifying our world really is. The words on each page are pure gold…although embellished because hey, it’s fiction, there is so much information to absorb. To say I loved it would be wrong…I didn’t love it. How can I? The Missionary evoked such a strong emotional reaction out of me, love is entirely the wrong word. I don’t even know if I have the right word(s) to describe this book. I couldn’t do it justice. Jack Wilder is so talented in the way he pulls the reader in, keeps them guessing how things will turn out, and still managing to weave a love story into an otherwise tragic telling of abduction, abuse, drugs, sex, life, death, faith and hope. *stands and claps hands* Well done, Mr. Wilder. You are an amazing writer and this is proof that heavy topics can be tragic, yet beautiful…but most of all, informative and educational. At the end of the day, this book has done its job; it made me think and feel, but most importantly, it opened my eyes to something very real and has encouraged me to want to make a difference. For that, along with this amazing book, I thank you. ~V~ **5 Not Broken, Just Bent Stars**

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lise *friends don't flag*

    Very intense and heart stopping action. I was mentally and almost physically exhausted after this read. The pace never really gave me a break, but certainly strengthened my connection to the MC's and the horrific but true life storyline.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    I have absolutely no clue where to begin. I will try to express my feelings on this book and give it the amount of praise it deserves although I am not quite sure there will ever be enough praise to give. We all read our romance books and love our happily ever after stories. We all love our cliffhanger books and the ugly cries we get from some of them. Every once in a while, there is an opportunity to read something a little different and challenging. A book that pushes us beyond our comfort zon I have absolutely no clue where to begin. I will try to express my feelings on this book and give it the amount of praise it deserves although I am not quite sure there will ever be enough praise to give. We all read our romance books and love our happily ever after stories. We all love our cliffhanger books and the ugly cries we get from some of them. Every once in a while, there is an opportunity to read something a little different and challenging. A book that pushes us beyond our comfort zone of reading. For me, this was the book. Honestly, if I had seen this book outside of a couple of romance / sexy type blogs and had also learned it was written by an authors husband I enjoy reading, I would never have looked at it twice. And that, my friends, would have been a damn shame. This story is beyond words for me. Not everyone will feel the same but for me, yes...beyond words. This story is about a church group of college age kids going on a mission trip to Manila to help those affected in the sex trafficking industry there. Stone, a retired SEAL, strongly advises against it as he has knowledge of what they are getting into. No one listens to his warnings and they go. Stone agrees to go as a measure of security. One of the college girls going, Wren, means a lot more to Stone than he is willing to admit. And...she likes him too. At the end of the trip, Wren goes missing and Stone understands first hand who has her and for what purpose. He stays behind on his own and embarks on a mission to save her and bring her home. This is where it gets ugly and fast. This book is action packed and in constant motion. I felt like I was watching it play out in my head and as awful as what I was reading was, I never wanted to stop. All the details of the sex trafficking world are played out. There is a constant roller coaster ride of trying to escape and doing everything that is necessary to survive. There are some surprisingly sweet moments that do occur and as odd as it may seem, those moments work and work well. I will not go into further detail about the story because everyone who reads it needs to read it as I did. Not knowing. This is by far one of the best books I have ever read. It has carved a special place inside and will stay there. It has me thinking and wondering what can I actually do. Jack Wilder, thank you for the story. You are brilliant.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    BRAVO, MR. WILDER, BRAVO!!! AMAZING DEBUT NOVEL!! I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved this book! Wren and Stone were such real characters to me. When you venture into a story like this one, well, when I do anyway, it is very intense to read simply because we all know that human trafficking and sexual slavery is a real and horrific thing. One of my favorite things about this book was watching both Wren and Stone grow and evolve right before my eyes as they survived this horrendous orde BRAVO, MR. WILDER, BRAVO!!! AMAZING DEBUT NOVEL!! I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved this book! Wren and Stone were such real characters to me. When you venture into a story like this one, well, when I do anyway, it is very intense to read simply because we all know that human trafficking and sexual slavery is a real and horrific thing. One of my favorite things about this book was watching both Wren and Stone grow and evolve right before my eyes as they survived this horrendous ordeal! And watch them fall in love. One issue I normally have with male authors is the way that they write love and/or sex scenes. But again I say BRAVO to you Jack Wilder for nailing it!! No pun intended! :) The sex scenes were hot, the love scenes were beautiful and all the while you wrote the awfulness of Wren's ordeal so that I could almost feel what she was going through. As well as the pain and frustration that Stone felt in his searching and rescue of her. Sobbing wasn't really the word for it. It was something beyond sobbing. It was the sound of a soul being shattered, of terror and pain finally being given true vent. See what I mean....those few sentences and others like them can evoke such emotion! For the first time ever, I think, my favorite part of the book was not the Epilogue. And for those of you that know me know how much I love a good Epilogue. However, my favorite part of The Missionary was the chapter just BEFORE the Epilogue! What an amazingly emotional chapter that was. I was in tears!! I have been pimping this book to all of my friends and will continue to! Keep 'em coming Mr. Wilder, loved every minute!!!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kirsty

    *4.5 stars* What a truly incredible book. It seems that no matter how many books I read in the same 'human trafficking' genre, it still shocks me to my core. I know this stuff day in, day out. I have read a few books of exactly the same theme, but somehow The Missionary seemed to be the most gritty, raw and real feeling of them all. So many times I felt like I was right there. And it was frightening. "Fear keeps you alert. It keeps you alive. If you’re afraid, you’re still fighting to sta *4.5 stars* What a truly incredible book. It seems that no matter how many books I read in the same 'human trafficking' genre, it still shocks me to my core. I know this stuff day in, day out. I have read a few books of exactly the same theme, but somehow The Missionary seemed to be the most gritty, raw and real feeling of them all. So many times I felt like I was right there. And it was frightening. "Fear keeps you alert. It keeps you alive. If you’re afraid, you’re still fighting to stay alive." Wren is just your average young girl. She goes to college, she hangs out with friends and she dates. There is nothing special about her, aside from the fact she wants to make a difference in the world. She finds out that her local church group are organising a mission trip to Manila, to provide support and help girls who have been sold in to the sex trafficking world. Wren knows the dangers, she knows exactly what could go wrong yet there is no stopping her. Stone, ex Navy SEAL too knows only too well everything that can go wrong. After all, he's been there, he's witnessed the horror first hand. If he can't stop Wren he knows the only way to keep her safe is to go along with her and the group, ensuring they know safety rules. Keep together, don't go out alone. He has the instinct to protect everyone, but he's had his eye on Wren for a loooong time now, and that doesn't change when they are in Manila, he wants to protect her from everyone and everything. As the group are nearing the end of their trip, terror strikes and Wren is kidnapped. Gone. Alone. Stone instantly knows who has her, he is far too aware of what Wren's captor is capable of, and he vows to do all he can to get her back. "Don't say it yet, Stone. Not until we're home. No matter how many times we do this until then, don't say it. I need that to look forward to. I know it, I see it. But don't say it." Unfortunately, this is kind of where my issue with the story started and why I can't really give it the full 5* stars. When I realised the story was basically Stone working to get Wren back, I thought to myself how on earth is there enough of a story for a whole novel? I wasn't really sure.. I didn't want it all dragged out but that is exactly what it felt like to me. I appreciate how difficult it is to get out of these sorts of situations, I do but the way this story went on.. Almost like Stone searching, finding Wren, being together, being split up, killing a few guys. And repeat. This pattern seemed to go on for a large chunk of the story and by 60% or so I found myself tired of it. I knew they'd make it out, I just wanted the story to get to that point, I was getting bored. "You can only deal with the here and now, babe. This is all there is. What ifs won't keep you alive." Fortunately, thanks to the ending I fell in love with the story again. For maybe the last 4 or 5 chapters I was in pieces. I can't say too much without ruining the story, but I can say that those chapters may be some of the most emotional I have ever read. I felt like I was right there in the same room as these incredibly strong and brave women, listening to their stories. It was just beyond incredible. "All of it came up and out. Sobbing wasn’t really the word for it. It was something beyond sobbing. It was the sound of a soul being shattered, of terror and pain finally being given true vent." I think this book should be read by everyone. Just give it a chance. It really brings it all home how awful some people are in the world and the complete horrors that go on. It truly makes you want to go out there and so just something to make a difference. I don't think there are many books out there the same.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Robin B

    Holy moly! This book was OUT OF THIS WORLD! It's not a typical touchy feely type romance. No. This is gritty, raw and real. Scary real. (And sadly-not entirely fictional) My biggest hang up with any sort of romance/erotica book that involves military men is that more often than not, the author completely screws up the military part. For me- it's a HUGE pet peeve- seeing as my hubs is a military man and getting it so wrong bugs the crap out of me. Jack however, Jack NAILS it. Thank you for that Mr. Holy moly! This book was OUT OF THIS WORLD! It's not a typical touchy feely type romance. No. This is gritty, raw and real. Scary real. (And sadly-not entirely fictional) My biggest hang up with any sort of romance/erotica book that involves military men is that more often than not, the author completely screws up the military part. For me- it's a HUGE pet peeve- seeing as my hubs is a military man and getting it so wrong bugs the crap out of me. Jack however, Jack NAILS it. Thank you for that Mr. Wilder! You've wildly exceeded my expectations there! Hell, you blew them out of the water! The story itself- it's not for the faint of heart. There is graphic violence, rape, kidnapping, killing, maiming and then some. If that sort of thing bothers you- this is NOT for you. It brings to light issues that we tend to ignore and think "That can never happen to ME!" but sadly- it can, and it does happen to women all over the world, every day. The sexy times are hot and not at all gratuitous. I can't say I agree that I'd be doing that THEN but- everyone is different and I can see how the characters get to that place, even despite the situations they are in. The writing itself is really well done. I didn't have the urge to break out a red pen and start marking my kindle! In fact my ONLY issue with reading this book is that my Kindle decided in the middle of a pretty intense scene that it needed to update itself! Not cool Kindle, not cool at all!! LOL This is a must read from me! One of my top 10 books for the year for sure!!!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie Jo

    "Fear keeps you alert. It keeps you alive. If you're afraid, you're still fighting to stay alive. When you stop feeling fear, you've stopped caring whether you live or die." Where do I start? This book isn't your typical lovey dovey story about star crossed lovers who desire to be together, and cannot. This... This gets you down to the nitty gritty of a very realistic problem in today's world. Wren and Stone go overseas on a mission to try and help the sex slave ring running through Manila, despite the d "Fear keeps you alert. It keeps you alive. If you're afraid, you're still fighting to stay alive. When you stop feeling fear, you've stopped caring whether you live or die." Where do I start? This book isn't your typical lovey dovey story about star crossed lovers who desire to be together, and cannot. This... This gets you down to the nitty gritty of a very realistic problem in today's world. Wren and Stone go overseas on a mission to try and help the sex slave ring running through Manila, despite the dread that settles with burning fury in the Ex- Navy Seal's stomach. If he had learned anything during his time in the Seal's, it was to follow his instincts, and not doing that sends himelf and Wren, the young college student, into terrifying, dirty, violent world that's right beneath all of our noses on a daily basis. Jack Wilder has done an amazing job using words to paint you a very vivid picture inside this world to the point of nearly hearing the gunshots, feeling their fear, and hearing your heartbeat thump WILDly in your ears as the suspense takes you on a seriously intense ride to see how this book plays out. It's wonderfully written, an escape into a darker place, but this book is so much more than reading material.. It's a message. There's a problem in our world, amongst thousands of others, and this shines a light on it, bringing it the attention it so deserves. I loved this book.. I LOVED Stone and Wren, and the HEA.. Truly a great book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anas Attic Book Blog

    Read more of my reviews and ramblings at Ana's Attic Book Blog The Missionary by Jack Wilder is so far out of my comfort zone, and a book I thought would totally not be my type. Yet I found myself at 3:00 am with my hand to my heart unable to stop reading, and absolutely engrossed in it. "Something sharp jabbed into her bicep...she was floating, weightless, unable to move...she couldn't cry or whimper, but a tear trickled down her cheek...and all went dark. "My name is Wren Morgan. She focused on Read more of my reviews and ramblings at Ana's Attic Book Blog The Missionary by Jack Wilder is so far out of my comfort zone, and a book I thought would totally not be my type. Yet I found myself at 3:00 am with my hand to my heart unable to stop reading, and absolutely engrossed in it. "Something sharp jabbed into her bicep...she was floating, weightless, unable to move...she couldn't cry or whimper, but a tear trickled down her cheek...and all went dark. "My name is Wren Morgan. She focused on that, it was all she had, all she knew" If you have read Wounded">Wounded by Jasinda Wilder (One of my favorite books this year - my review) I would say it had a similar feel, with a little more suspense (but don't worry, there is sex, and Jack writes it well--Jasinda is a lucky lady). The Missionary was a quick read, because honestly, you just can't put it down. While some parts were hard to read, they NEED to be read, because sex slavery exists around the world. This could have been a depressing book, but I would definitely classify it as more of an edge-of-your seat thrill ride with romance...kind of like the Bourne Identity. Wren Morgan is a young girl in college. Sweet and fairly innocent, she is heavily involved in her church and had barely left her hometown. She has a crush on Stone Pressfield, a retired Navy Seal who is helping at the church. Stone feels the connection to Wren, but they have such vastly different backgrounds, and he has seen so much death and despair, that he could never sully the beautiful girl with his horrific background. "He wasn't a good Christian. He was a soldier, and he believed because he’d seen the truth. He’d experienced death and felt the presence of God. He’d witnessed miracles… He’d seen the worst in humanity and dealt death to the scum of the earth. He’d also seen true heroism and courage, seen sacrifice and the power of faith… So yeah, he believed. But his faith was…beyond the narrow field that these kids experienced." The church decides to send a mission to Manila in the Philippines to bring awareness to, and help to victims of human and sexual slavery. Stone has been there before. He knows the dangers. He lost his friends there and the full use of his knee. He has a BAD feeling about this mission. He begs the church to cancel. He begs Wren to not go. But they don't listen. "You're coming, right? You can be our security." "I guess I am." Stone pinched the bridge of his nose and tried to ignore the roiling in his belly, the warning bells in his head." Wren was adopted and they think she is Filipino, so her reasons for going to Manila were deeper than the rest. She wanted to know her heritage. On the flights over, she and Stone got to know each other more, and the connection deepened. When they got to Manila, as hard as they were working, Stone couldn't fight the attraction to Wren. She was always there on the edge of his awareness. "It was as if he was drawn to her by some strange magnetic force" Even with Stone hovering over them, making sure they never go anywhere without him, the worst happens. Wren is snatched right off the street and disappeared without a trace. Stone knew of the slave organizations with informants and snitches all over Manila. Stone was a large white man who stood out in the poor country. Nobody would risk themselves to help a white man. So began his search for Wren. Through some of the poorest, dirtiest places in the world. Through a mountain of garbage with shacks and shanties piled on top of each other, through a maze of trash, dirt and hopelessness, looking for any clue about Wren. Through puddles of sewage, clouds of drug fumes and fear, Stone followed leads and suspects. In the meantime, we see snippets of Wren...locked in a pitch black hole with things crawling on her. They keep shooting her up with heroin and feeding her food that crawls. They kicked her, drugged her and beat her, but they didn't rape her...yet. They were saving her for the highest bidder. But she held on to hope that Stone would find her. When he did, it was a race through Manila. Here is where I couldn't breathe, my hand was on my chest, my heart in my throat. They are literally running for their lives. After days without food and sleep, injured, they have a short rest. Wren: "Will you kiss me again? Please?...I'm not asking for anything else. Just a kiss." Stone: "There is no such thing as 'just a kiss.'" "Sure there is" "Not with me, there's not." "I just...I just want to pretend, even for thirty fucking seconds, that it's just you and me in a hotel room alone. Nothing else to deal with. Is that so wrong?" She wiped her eyes with both hands. "I just...I want to feel something else." "I know we're both tired and hurt, but...stop holding back. Stop holding out on me" ~ Wren And then the chase begins again...heart in mouth...edge of my seat, a clear picture in my head of the poor city. This poor couple just can't catch a break, and there was no way I was going to sleep. Likes: -So beautifully written, it flowed so well, and I felt like I could see everything described perfectly. -As edge-of-your-seat thriller it was, the romance and sex came at just the right time so that the horrors of the story don't overwhelm you. -So much of the story was clearly based on fact. -It was a fast read, one or two sittings. Much more may have been too much. It was just perfect. -Mmmm...Stone was a totally hot, military protective alpha. Yum. -A curvy Filipino female lead. -A wonderful ending that educated, pulled out every emotion, and made you want to DO SOMETHING! -You must read the author note at the end. Dislikes: -My only dislike was in Jack's disclaimer after the book that he made up how the shanties were interconnected. This isn't even a dislike, more of a disappointment...it just seemed so real, and almost felt like maybe this creative license shouldn't have been taken (though it added a lot to the scenes). -I'm not a fan of the cover. Are they hairy man legs or dirt? Rating: 5 stars 4 heat The Missionary is not for everyone. I just encouraged someone to read it and she had to DNF, but if you look at the amazing ratings, you know that's rare. It was too much for her. For me (and I am not a fan of dark books), I couldn't put it down for a second. It was a great change from the books I have been reading, and reminded me more of when I was reading all of the John Grisham books years ago, like The Firm" target="_blank">The Firm, where you are on the edge of your seat the whole time...just with more sex. Jack Wilder took what could have been a truly been a difficult read and wrapped it in an unputdownable story.  This is not a genre I want to read a lot, it was a little much for my nerves, but it was an eye-opening, exciting, sexy, raw, educational, thrilling, horrifying, scary trip through Manila that I stayed up all night to read. Purchase The Missionary by Jack Wilder 206 pages, Standalone romance/suspense The Missionary" target="_blank">Amazon Meet both Jasinda and Jack Wilder at Wicked Book Weekend '14 March 7-9 in Ft. Lauderdale! Please visit my blog Ana's Attic Book Blog and join my page on Facebook

  22. 5 out of 5

    Vera

    After reading this book, I found out that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to charities that fight sex trafficking. Below is a part of a song in the book. REVIEW TO FOLLOW "I meet a man, with a heart that is kind, and eyes that glow. He heard me, listened to the pleading in my silent eyes. Ignored the 'I am fine' lies Now, my window has no bars, But always will I have the scars"

  23. 5 out of 5

    ~♡AB♡~

    Great romantic suspense based in Manilla focusing on the sex trafficking trade. Super hot ex SEAL

  24. 4 out of 5

    Len

    I am very much excited to read this because it set in Philippines!!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    *Book-Lover*

    kudos to author Jack Wilder for writing such an honest, heartbreaking and self-awakening book about the ignorance of this world. This book focuses on a church group, which decides to brave the world of prostitution, sex slavery and abuse victims to help them leave and recover from that life. I have to say that some parts of this book was so sad to read, because it is a reality. Innocent young women, looking for adventure and fun through their young lives are being abducted, starved, drugged, v kudos to author Jack Wilder for writing such an honest, heartbreaking and self-awakening book about the ignorance of this world. This book focuses on a church group, which decides to brave the world of prostitution, sex slavery and abuse victims to help them leave and recover from that life. I have to say that some parts of this book was so sad to read, because it is a reality. Innocent young women, looking for adventure and fun through their young lives are being abducted, starved, drugged, violently abused until they become this empty shell who no longer profit their captors, only to be killed. Jack Wilder portrayed the truth of these situations in a gritty, honest, bold way rather than sensationalize it for the shock value of the book. It made me realize my ignorance to such a tragedy, and this false sense of "freedom" that we live in, when things like this are still happening The victim's speeches at the fundraising dinner to benefit the victims were eye-opening, brave, heartbreaking, and one of the most aching speeches i've ever read. While there, one of the girls from the church group gets kidnapped. One of the other members just happens to be an ex-SEAL trying to come to terms with all the things he's had to do for the sake of the greater good. While she wanted to get him to open up to her, and he was trying hard to stay away from her, cause he didn't think he was good enough for her, easy to say that her getting kidnapped revealed the aplha-protective-do anything get you back-male in him on a rampage! What ensues is a fast-paced, action packed, exhaustion-inducing run for their lives!I will say that their sexual escapades felt unneccesary, at least until the very end of the book. The hero had a gun shot wound, cuts, scrapes, exhaustion, the heroine had bruised ribs, dehydration, cuts, scraps, beaten and they're going at it, in the bed and in the shower? it just wasn't believable! To everyone else who read it and loved it....well.. Apart from that, this was a good read. Insightful, provoking, sad, hopeful (if you've read the epilogue). Quotes from the book; "Don't ignore this. Don't bury your heads and go back to your lives and your iPhones and Facebook updates. Make a difference." "I'll never be able to look at a man, not the same way. I'm terrified of....of everything. I still sleep on the floor sometimes. I go to sleep in my bed, and wake up on the floor, in the corner, crying." "And she missed Stone-she missed him so bad she couldn't breathe. He'd rescued her and fought for her and killed for her and bled for her and comfort her without having to speak and he was gone, he wasn't here and she missed him." "What happened to y daughter...it can happen to anyone. It does happen, all the time. She went through dozens of surgeries to repair the damage done inside her. She'll never have children. And psychologically? I can't touch her. She freaks out if I try to hug her. My own daughter, and I can't even comfort her when she's upset." My heart goes out to any woman facing any form of abuse. Having that control and freedom ripped away from you, robs you of some piece of yourself, breaks something inside you, that sometimes over time, can never be repaired.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Christine (Shh Moms Reading)

    This was a very tough read about something realistic that is happening in our world today - sex trafficking. We live in our safe towns and homes and often times don't realize that these things are happening and after reading this book last night in one sitting, it has been on my mind all day. Wren Morgan goes missing while on a mission trip in Manila Phillipines. This story was told in the beginning in past and present tenses and I enjoyed reading about this character who seemed so innocent and w This was a very tough read about something realistic that is happening in our world today - sex trafficking. We live in our safe towns and homes and often times don't realize that these things are happening and after reading this book last night in one sitting, it has been on my mind all day. Wren Morgan goes missing while on a mission trip in Manila Phillipines. This story was told in the beginning in past and present tenses and I enjoyed reading about this character who seemed so innocent and wholesome - a girl with a big heart who just wants to help people. Stone Pressfield is an ex Navy SEAL and works at the church that Wren attends. I can sense off the bat that these characters are attracted to each other but Stone won't allow himself to pursue her, not only because he is older than her but because he feels that he is not good enough for her after everything he went through while in the Navy. Stone argues with the church leaders not to allow these young adults go on this mission as he knows firsthand the awful things happening but against his wishes they go anyways. And thankfully Stone goes with them to act as security and try to protect them. I will be honest and say I was sick to my stomach living in Wren's mind while she was held captive. Being a mother, I am nervous, scared and want to jump into my kindle and save her. I can't imagine this reality for some people and my heart breaks even thinking about it. There are really no words to describe all of my emotions while living this experience through Wren's eyes. Will Stone be able to find Wren in a country where on every corner you don't know who to trust? And will Wren's innocence be taken after all of the horrors she has to endure in the hands of her abductors who want to sell her for huge sums of money? You will have to read this book to find out! I enjoyed this debut novel by Jack Wilder. While the subject matter completely horrified me, it was a change to what I have been reading lately. I enjoyed learning about something that I was unfamiliar with and it completely opened my eyes to something that even affects us here in the US. I enjoyed the intensity and that it was packed with so much action...I really couldn't put it down. What I enjoyed most of all is that even in the face of all of these horrors, that something as beautiful as love could surface and help to heal these two wonderful characters. Love provided that light at the end of the tunnel when there was so much darkness and I truly enjoyed the enlightening experience of reading this book. Great job - look forward to reading more from you!

  27. 5 out of 5

    J

    Fairly close to 4.5 stars. This is an action packed, demoralizing tale of the sexual slavery market in the Philippines. We have alpha male hero, former Navy Seal, seriously injured in a secret mission a few years ago to try and save the daughter of a Senator kidnapped while visiting the Philippines. He can't believe the Christian church that the Seal has joined, ministered by a friend, wants to send a number of their younger members to help minister to young girls caught up in the slave trade in Fairly close to 4.5 stars. This is an action packed, demoralizing tale of the sexual slavery market in the Philippines. We have alpha male hero, former Navy Seal, seriously injured in a secret mission a few years ago to try and save the daughter of a Senator kidnapped while visiting the Philippines. He can't believe the Christian church that the Seal has joined, ministered by a friend, wants to send a number of their younger members to help minister to young girls caught up in the slave trade in The Philippines. The Seal knows first hand the dangers and horror involved and can't believe the minister would send these innocents on such a God-forsaken task. Especially, one of the college age girls he has developed a friendship with (she has a crush on the Seal but he doesn't think he is worthy of her so he's kept it platonic). The group, not heeding the Seal's warnings, takes off for Manila with the Seal also going to try and provide some security. Of course, the girl is eventually kidnapped right off the street and its up to the Seal to find and rescue her. And, it is an action packed, bloody mission. The book was definitely a page turner and I really liked the relationship between the Seal and the girl. I will, however, never visit Manila or The Phillippines. The author did a great job in describing some of the absolute poverty and deplorable living conditions in some parts of that country and the sexual slavery underground. Some of it will turn your stomach.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    Ok all I can say is wow . This book is a gritty roller coaster ride of emotion and fear . I couldn't put it down. Mr wilder weaves a tale from real events that will leave raw to the bone. The main characters are opposite in every way . Stone is a battle weary ex navy seal and wren is a young idealistic college co ed . They are together on a church trip to manilla . Where the unspeakable happens that changes both their lives forever. They fight their way to freedom . They find love and courage to Ok all I can say is wow . This book is a gritty roller coaster ride of emotion and fear . I couldn't put it down. Mr wilder weaves a tale from real events that will leave raw to the bone. The main characters are opposite in every way . Stone is a battle weary ex navy seal and wren is a young idealistic college co ed . They are together on a church trip to manilla . Where the unspeakable happens that changes both their lives forever. They fight their way to freedom . They find love and courage to carry on . Now I strongly urge everyone to read this book . It maybe a book but there are truths in this book that will not go away . This book will open your eyes . So please read and make a difference a potion of each sale will be donated according to what the author says . So please put it on your reading list . You won't be disappointed

  29. 5 out of 5

    Deb Dee (autumn delaney)

    5 Awesome awesome awesome STARS Yes, I have to say awesome three times, people! That's how good this book is! Well, to be honest, at first I'm not big on how The Philippines weas depicted in this story. But I get it, it represents human trafficking as a whole. I know even if I lived a sheltered life, I know this is real and happening all around us. But I warmed up to it. I liked Jack Wilder's story telling. I agree with one of my friends here in good read, this is like an action movie in writing! 5 Awesome awesome awesome STARS Yes, I have to say awesome three times, people! That's how good this book is! Well, to be honest, at first I'm not big on how The Philippines weas depicted in this story. But I get it, it represents human trafficking as a whole. I know even if I lived a sheltered life, I know this is real and happening all around us. But I warmed up to it. I liked Jack Wilder's story telling. I agree with one of my friends here in good read, this is like an action movie in writing! I can definitely picture everything out in full color and all that shit! Man, I was not able to put this down. I was hooked from the first page to the last. I mean, who needs sleep, right? [need to rest... more to this review later.]

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Polston - The Reading Mermaid

    You NEED to read this book. An overly dramatic statement? Not at all. The Missionary puts in your face cold hard facts about the disgusting, despicable and tragic world that is the Filipino sex slave trade, all mixed up in a fast-paced, action packed, on-the-edge-of-your-seat story. I consumed this gripping story whole in basically one sitting. You have no choice, really. Once you start it, it's near impossible to put down. By the end of the book, I was giving a standing ovation to Mr. Wilder for You NEED to read this book. An overly dramatic statement? Not at all. The Missionary puts in your face cold hard facts about the disgusting, despicable and tragic world that is the Filipino sex slave trade, all mixed up in a fast-paced, action packed, on-the-edge-of-your-seat story. I consumed this gripping story whole in basically one sitting. You have no choice, really. Once you start it, it's near impossible to put down. By the end of the book, I was giving a standing ovation to Mr. Wilder for the bold out-pouring of facts about the sex slave organizations that are all over the world, that and need to be heard, recognized, and dealt with. This is real and needs not to be ignored. Well, done Mr. Wilder. Well done.

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