Egalley thanks to Zondervan
It's a very easy read and despite it being labelled as Christian fiction and some of the inevitable trappings which come with it, the whole point of the book is that everyone can change and rise above their circumstances.
Tessa is an ex-enforcer of yakuza. She's never killed anyone, but broke plenty of bones and kneecaps. When the son of her boss killed his girlfriend in a bout of rage she felt like she had to take the blame because the spoiled rotten boy would have broken under police pressure and led them to his father and his illegal activities.
After 7 years in prison Tessa comes out a new Christian and wants nothing to do with yakuza. She tries unsuccessfully to find a job but nobody wants to hire ex-mobster and face the possibility of trouble from yakuza.
Poor Tessa is living with her mom and older sister and they are making her life living hell. She is volatile, flippant and sarcastic and has to fight her bitterness and own nature to stay on the right track.
The shelter for victims of domestic abuse where she helps out admits a new woman who got away from her rich husband because he started beating her three year-old son. Elizabeth wants to hire Tessa as her bodyguard. She is convinced that her husband is trying to kill her and she needs Tessa and her scary reputation to protect her family.
So, poor Tessa gets back to the only life she knows. The story is a whirl of car races, fights and investigations into rich people machinations with money. The characters are very much alive, funny and bittersweet.
Impossible situations seem to resolve themselves just when you give up, and even Tessa's uncle and ex-boss makes allowances and suggests a legitimate living for her in the end.
Two things I found quite unnecessary:
the love story between the lawyer and Tessa
the show of how revolting, stupid and useless the son of yakuza boss. It's almost like he is made a polar opposite of Tessa. Nobody is that black and white.
Otherwise it's an enjoyable read if you're tired or paranormal genre. Plus the topic of yakuza and funny warm characters don't hurt the plot either.