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Dark Side of Valor

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A child advocate and a mercenary must work together to overcome their past losses and save both of their lives and hearts.

A child advocate and a mercenary must work together to overcome their past losses and save both of their lives and hearts.

  Lelia Freeman created a life for herself after growing up homeless on the streets of Los Angeles. When the horror has passed, Lelia vows to make a better life.

Now, Lelia spends her life trying to save children. As the director of ChildSafe Shelters, she is summoned to Washington and asked to serve on a committee that aids the children of a war-torn African nation. Life takes a dramatic turn when Lelia uncovers terrible corruption and is kidnapped for her knowledge.

Her fate is in the hands of Elijah Dune, a mercenary stuck in the past. Haunted by the loss of his daughter, Elijah is the only one who can save Lelia—but he believes she is to blame for his daughter’s death.

Dark Side of Valor delves into the destructive forces of guilt and revenge as two people are connected by their love for a lost little girl.

352 pages, Paperback

First published February 7, 2012

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About the author

Alicia Singleton

3 books29 followers
By her sophomore year in college, Alicia Singleton knew she was born to be a writer. Too intimidated to change her major, she continued her nursing studies and received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 1987. From Johns Hopkins University Hospital to Howard University Hospital to Washington Hospital Center, and numerous other medical facilities in the Baltimore/Washington DC Corridor, the Howard University graduate practiced nursing for 12 years, but the passion to write never subsided.

The dream deferred became reality when Alicia won the 2012 National Black Book Festival’s Best New Author Award and her debut novel, Dark Side of Valor, won The 2012 Forward National Literature Awards and The Sistah Circle National Book Club Best Thriller Award. Alicia was also awarded the National Association of Women Writers Award of Excellence from the Maryland Chapter.

Alicia resides in Maryland with her wonderful husband and son and is hard at work completing her next suspense novel.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 48 reviews
Profile Image for Merve Özcan.
798 reviews31 followers
March 26, 2018

What a amazing novel!

I really do not know how to describe this book, it is sad, funny, moving, captivating, romantic even venemous

Our main character is a total publicspirited person, helps childen, even buy foods for a total stranger. Lelia is like a trouble magnet, wherever she is it finds her, first she cames across with Zeek, then gets kidnapped, president Deng, Mabadu... but she never looses her spirit, her desire to help, her faith.

Every day she is eaten by guilt of her dear friend's death. As for Elijah, he is full of revenge. This two person find each other and heal each other, they are not the same persons after this dangerous journey anymore.

This book deals with serious subjects but it does not lose that fun streak. It really helps to soft a person's heart.

Second book really has a special place in my heart. I love jungle scenes, not so much"i love you" and revelation parts though.

I loved romance, Lelia's past, her present, even her future. I loved her spirit second part of the book reminded me a bit harlequin books. the end feels a bit exaggerated. The sudden apparation of Asha feel a bit unnatural.

I must accept i have never thought about runaways before this book, did not have any idea why a person, a child would leave their home. It was very eye opening. After this inital shock we see two child's fight of survival and death of one. Whole book, even romance, established on this part, Joella.

After eleven years of this event we see Leile helps runaway kids, help them to find their families but a job leads her to get kidnapped.her loved ones are ftal danger and she has no hope for surviving it alive.But she does not give up fight, with help of a woman and two men she escapes. she finds herself in a jungle and danger is still around her.

Elijah... she should afraid of her attraction to him as he is the one who has secret plans for her.

I win Dark Side Of Valor from Goodreads Giveway.

Thank You Alicia.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
1,395 reviews35 followers
July 16, 2012
Lelia Freeman is a child advocate and director of ChildSafe Shelters in Los Angeles. Known as "The Street Angel," Lelia was a former teen runaway from New York, who lived off the mean streets of Los Angeles for two years, until Ma Ella, a 102 year old matron of Cornerstone Baptist Church, and the rest of the church family took her in at the age of nineteen, and provided her with support to rebuild her life. Now as a successful and passionate child advocate, Lelia helps other runaway teens get off the streets and rebuild their lives. Lelia is asked to join a Washington D.C. subcommittee task force looking to improve the living conditions and danger that face the orphans of the war torn African nation of Sudania. While in Washington D.C., Lelia is kidnapped and taken to the jungles of Zaire, where she becomes the political pawn of the corrupt leader of Sudania.

Elijah Dune is a mercenary who is driven by a haunted past to avenge the wrongs committed by his enemies. While doing business with President Deng at the presidential palace in Sudania, he is taken prisoner and meets Lelia.

Together, Lelia and Elijah attempt to escape from the clutches of the corrupt leader, and embark on a dangerous journey through the jungles of Zaire as they fight to stay alive and attain their freedom. Can the ghosts from their pasts come back to haunt them?

Dark Side of Valor is a riveting suspense thriller that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat as you turn the pages. With a gripping intertwining storyline consisting of teen runaways living on the streets and a foreign political intrigue, this story has enough drama, suspense, intensity and twists and turns that makes it a powerful and compelling read.

The author provides the reader with a story that is rich in detail and vivid descriptions of life on the streets for teenage runaways and the homeless, as well as the deplorable living conditions and danger facing the orphans of a war torn African nation of Sudania by a corrupt zealot president. The stark reality portrayed in the story is chilling, and engages the readers to embrace the passion and awareness of global child advocacy and social justice with compassion through its thought provoking narrative.

The author has a created a cast of characters that are realistic and complex in nature, they engage the reader with their intriguing personalities and interactions. The character portrayals are intense and emotional, their individual stories and motives behind their actions are intriguing, and the reader will experience the gamut of emotions as they follow the characters throughout the book. I really admired Lelia's determination, drive and passion to better the lives of people living on the streets, she is a true champion of the forgotten and downtrodden people in our society.

From New York to Los Angeles to Washington D.C. to the jungles of Zaire, this riveting fast paced suspense thriller will transport the reader into a world of street people, global child advocacy, social injustice and corrupt political intrigue. This intense story will draw you and leave you holding your breath until its surprising conclusion.

Dark Side of Valor is an intense, dark gripping suspense thriller that is a must read, it will stay with you long after the last page is read.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event.

Virtual Book Tour Event: On Monday, July 16, 2012, in association with Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours, author Alicia Singleton participated in a virtual book tour event with an Author Guest Post on Jersey Girl Book Reviews.

Profile Image for E.A..
Author 5 books16 followers
August 11, 2016
I won this from Goodreads and I am really glad I did. The blurb sounds interesting but truthfully I wasn't sure if I would be able to give this book justice. I mean I am pretty much the opposite of the main character but Alicia Singleton shows that it doesn't matter. I really felt for and identified with the characters.

The story follows Lelia who ran away from home. She lives on the streets of LA for several years before getting her life in order. As an adult she makes it her mission to help children on the street. She is called the Angel of the Streets and it draws a lot of attention towards her, not all of which is wanted. She is dragged away from her home and must entrust her life to Elijah, but he doesn't have her best interest in mind.

This story has a lot of elements in it: thriller, suspense, romance, and even humor. I think my favorite bit is when everything falls into place and I went "Oh, wow." She weaves a story so well with all these little details thrown in to give it life. I was also really impressed that there are some sensitive topics discussed in this and it is done in a tasteful manner. I knew exactly what was going on without the gratuitous description or language. There are some romantic bits that may be a little strong for some people but nothing over the top. The language is fairly tame all the way through. I was so pleased.

All-in-all I really enjoyed this book and it will be one I reread because I like the characters and it will be fun to go back and see how all of the foreshadowing goes together.
March 30, 2012
I very much liked the story and could relate to Lelia and her desire to help the children. I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Kim Walton.
Author 5 books33 followers
March 13, 2019
Pretty good story. It started off with a bang, between Lelia and her mother. Lelia deciding to leave home surprised me, but at the same time I understood. If not for Lelia leaving home the way she did, being homeless, and on the streets. She would not have become the woman she grew to become. One that reached back and aided other homeless, loss, or even abandoned kids.

I enjoyed the humaneness of this book. The unselfish manner of the main character and also her stepfather. Elijah even grew on me, after I found out the tragic circumstances he had faced. Redemption is what comes to mind when reading this book. Each character faced something and felt the need for forgiveness or revenge, and that lead to redemption.
Profile Image for Mary Bearden.
48 reviews15 followers
August 1, 2012
I have to tell you right away that some books are hard to read and this is one of them. I have always felt this way about books and movies that begin with the awful things that happen to people as children. Nothing worse that I hate more than anything (movies) that profit from taking pleasure in torturing or hurting children. Thankfully, with books you read it thru the author's eyes and the eyes of the child. This is one such book. It has it's good moments and in the end Lelia will triumph to a degree but we all triumph to a degree depending on how you look at things. One thing for sure is this: Lelia is a fighter and never gives up even when she thinks she has! Here is an exerpt from the back of the book:

Child Adovacate Lelia Freeman saves children for a living. As the director of ChildSafe Shelters, she ventures to adbandoned squats and crackhouses to rescue teens from the hellish streets of Los Angeles. When summoned to Washington to serve on a committee that aids the children of a war torn African nation, Lelia is kidnapped and becomes a political pawn in a sinister conspiracy. Oceans away from everything she knows, she must trust a mercenary to save her life, or die in the clutches of a psychopath.

Hunting, combat and staying alive are Elijah Dune's specialities. Vengence is his passion. Haunted by past demons, he travels to the Motherland to collect a debt. A debt that demands one payment. Death.

Caught in the crosshairs of a madman, Lelia and Elijah must survive the jungles of Zaire and the horrors of their pasts, or be forever consumed by the Dark Side of Valor.
Lelia really does have a rough childhood but nothing as nearly bad as what she encounters when she decides to leave her mother and their small apartment. She had saved up some money from her parttime job and the money that a man named Bernard, one of the few men in her mother's life who really cared about them. His mother had gotten sick with cancer and he had to go back to Ohio and take care of her and he often came back to see them, but Lelia's mother refused to see him, too hurt that he had left. But Lelia kept his letters and the little bit of money that he sent. When it looked like Lelia's mother was not going to stop her destructive ways, Lelia decided it was time to leave, she left her $50 of her saved money and out the door to Los Angeles she went. Now, here is where I don't understand why she did not go to Ohio to where Bernard was and where she had someone who cared and would have helped her, but it's not my book, so I guess to make it more interesting, things had to go that way.

Los Angeles was not what Lelia thought it was going to be. She left home at 16 and for the last 2 years had been living on the streets, running from an awful man named Zeek who wanted to be her pimp. She had one friend that was living with her who was barely 13 and Lelia tried her best to keep her safe from all the hidden dangers. But, unfortunately, things did not work out very well. The girl got sick and before Lelia could get them help from the new church that she had been eyeing and had befriende some people, Zeek found them and punished them both. The young girl that Lelia had been protecting died and she nearly did too. She finally let the good people from that church help her and that is how she became the Child Advocate later on in life.

I am not going to ruin the rest of the story for you. It is filled with hidden dangers and people that want to take Lelia down off the pedestal that some people have put her on. This is a good book to read and if you need a lesson in how to survive and still get to your dreams, then this is the book for you. Against all odds, Lelia manages to get out from the "hood" and onto a better life, only to be in a more dangerous place once she is sent to Zaire to help the children there. You will want to read this book and silently cheer her on even when things don't look so good.
Profile Image for Cocktails and Books.
4,074 reviews314 followers
February 26, 2012
Lelia Freeman ran away from a neglectful mother hoping for a better life in LA. Instead, she ended up living on the streets and hoping she can keep out of the clutches of the local drug lord determined to make her part of his "family". More importantly, she's hoping the lifeline a local church has thrown her will help save her and her friend Joella. But things do not goes as Lelia plans. While she gains a loving support unit, she loses something dear too.

Fast forward ten years and Lelia is now running ChildSafe shelters, helping kids just like her get off the street. Because she was integral in helping a prominent newscaster reunite with his missing child, Lelia is thrust into the spotlight and catches the attention of a Washington subcommittee trying to help the orphans of a war torn African country. Leila starts questioning information provided to the committee and that ultimately leads to her kidnapping by the evil president she's supposed to be helping.

If the story stuck to this storyline, it would have been riveting. Lelia is such a strong proponent of child rights and helping make better lives for those living in less than stellar conditions that her fight with the president would have been spectacular. Even if there wasn't a fight with the president himself, but we witnessed what Lelia had to deal with to help rescue some of the children within the presidential residence it would have been gripping. But the story took a weird turn once Lelia escaped from the president.

Elijah Dune is introduced into the story as some sort of mercenary who has business with the president. He immediately makes it known that he holds some sort of animosity towards Lelia. The problem is we don't know why. So we go through the whole running through the jungle not knowing why Elijah hates Lelia so much. It's not until almost the end of the story that we learn there is a tie between Elijah and the horrible events that happened to Lelia ten years before. But when we get that information, it's also attached to a profession of love.


Yep, while Elijah was busy hating Lelia he was also falling in love with her and apparently she was falling in love with him while trying to figure out why he hates her. Confusing. Yes. But wait...there's more. Suddenly, after being missing for much of the last half of the book, the evil president shows back up again to cause trouble one last time.

Now this may seem like I didn't like the book, but that's not the case. I did like it. The first half of the book was intense and kept you engaged. Even the Elijah storyline kept me interested enough where I needed to find out where it was going, even if I couldn't figure out why he hated her so much.
Profile Image for MGGMMGGM.
291 reviews9 followers
September 1, 2012
I was due for a review of Dark Side of Valor but unexpected circumstances was unavoidable but I am glad that I did received it and to review it now. Reading Dark Side of Valor was a combination of sadness, love, happiness and overwhelming satisfaction.

I won’t go on telling you what the book is about since the synopsis covers everything but what I would tell you is what makes this book awesome. First of all, Lelia was such a strong lead. Having dealth with so much difficulties early in her life, it made her strong and respectable. The story will tell us the story of Lelia’s struggle, how she survived, how she managed to straingthen up her act and made a name for herself with child advocacy until how she was captured and kidnapped by Deng until she returns back to the US.

Elijah on the other hand was hard to crack. You can feel that he’s a troubled soul but won’t actually understand the dilemma after the middle part of the book. The moment I heard his piece I actually stopped reading and re-read a few page back. The twist left me both stupefied and amused at the same time – I wasn’t expecting that one but a very good one I tell you.

I remember a particular line in the book that made me catch my breath all of a sudden -

“How can two broken halves make a whole?”

Yeah, it’s really hard to fathom how two broken soul can make a whole but that is also the answer to her question. It’s both a dilemma and a solution at the same time. It’s sad that two people can be this sad and broken but I feel so much happiness that they have one another.

Deng was a very effective villain. I really felt scared for Lelia’s life. What I would have loved more was to read more about Deng in the middle part of the book since so much anticipation was building up but we’ll see him again in the last pages.

I’ll share one of the scenes my heart broke the most -

“Yes, I’ve seen them. My pride won’t allow me barefooted and wearing the same wrinkled dress.”

Makol’s chin dropped. “Mistress Freeman, I do not understand because I do not Know what pride feels like.”

Don’t get me wrong, this is a great book but not easy to read mainly because of how heavy the topic is. I have a few struggles with the start of the story but it all worked out for me in the end. I can definitely recommend this one.

SIDE NOTE: Book was provided by Alicia for an honest review. I would like to thank Alicia for personally sending me a copy and thank you for Dorothy for coordinating this one for me.
Profile Image for Kathleen Kelly.
1,308 reviews107 followers
June 22, 2012
Dark Side of Valor is a story of child advocate Lelia Freeman. She is a woman who as a teenager ran away from home because she had higher dreams than living in a dump with her mother, who is an alcoholic. She feels that her mother does not love or care about her so she leaves. She spends two years on the streets of L.A. among druggies and pimps. A very dangerous situation indeed. She comes across a young girl, Joelle, who gets ill and Lelia vows to take care of her and she does the best she can until her and Joelle are shot by an angry pimp. Lelia wakes up in the hospital and finds that Joelle has died. Leila finds herself with no place to go until she goes to a church and meets an elderly lady who offers her help if she wants it.
Years later Lelia is a child advocate and because of her works, she is sent to Washington D.C. to be on a committee to aid orphaned children of an African country. While in Washington, Leila finds herself kidnapped and ends up in this war torn country, the man who kidnapped her is the President of this country and very corrupt. He does not care about the people in his country or the children, just the power his position gives him and he will use Leila to achieve his goals.
Elijah Dune is a man who is angry and guilty over his own losses. He meets Leila while he is at the President Deng's Palace, supposedly to sell arms to the president but he does have deeper, darker motives. He becomes Deng's prisoner along with Leila, but they are eventually able to escape and find themselves in the jungle. That is all I am saying about the plot lest I give away the story.
This book is a fast reader, I read it in two nights, very suspenseful. This is the authors debut novel and very well done indeed. A story of two people who are finding it hard to live with their guilt and until they can forgive themselves they are unable to have any long lasting relationships. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it if you like a suspenseful/thriller that is also about forgiveness, redemption and love. I give it five stars...
Profile Image for Sandie.
1,318 reviews17 followers
April 21, 2012
Lelia Freeman, a child advocate, knows what she speaks about. She herself spent years on the street, running from a miserable homelife. She managed to find a way out, but not before a tragedy occurred that stole her best friend from her, a victim of the streets and the predators that prowled them.

These days, Lelia is well past those days. Her adopted family supported her as she used education to build a life for herself. A life that not only sustained her, but allowed her to give back to society, to help others who found themselves on the streets due to poverty, drug or alcohol abuse, or lives filled with sexual and physical abuse. She can relate to the children she saves since she was one of them.

Her work does not go unnoticed. She is nominated to go work in Africa with the children orphaned from a civil war. Once there, she discovers that all is not what it seems; that those who requested her did so to use her work as a cover for the evil they had done and planned to continue doing. She escapes from the government, her allies two mercenaries who are there for their own purposes. Relieved at first, she comes to realise that this was no accident; the men she was counting on to save her life had old ties to her past that left her anything but safe. Could Lelia escape the danger she finds herself in and make it back to the kids that give her reason for living?

Alicia Singleton has written a compelling story that highlights the pain behind the lives of street children and abused and neglected children all over the world. The reader will cheer for the heroine who attempts to assuage their pain, while learning more about what goes on in their world. This book is recommended for readers interested in social justice, an exciting story and tales of those who rise above their background to make a new life.
Profile Image for Mindy.
642 reviews9 followers
August 1, 2012
This book was amazing, yet it was also one of the hardest books I’ve ever read. Leila works getting runaways and such off the streets and into safety because she was once on the streets. In fact, she almost died because she refused to work for the pimp that ran the street she lived on. On the day she decided to get help and get out she got caught and was shot and left to die. The 13 year old child she had been helping and protecting died in her arms from an illness that was the final straw that led her to find help.

She never let go of that moment. It haunted her for years. Even during the biggest trial of her life which involved a fight for her life. Her life seemed to be one HUGE hurdle after another, but she was strong and a fighter and got her happy ending.

I have worked with Child Protective Services, specifically in the adoption department and in Foster Family Agency placements (for the harder to place kids). It’s a hard job. It tears at your soul. That was part of what made this so difficult to read. I’ve seen what she’s seeing and has seen. The ones you lose are the hardest to deal with because it takes part of you.

The book is haunting, uplifting, scary, sad, happy, gritty, funny, and hopeful. It is not an easy read; this is not an easy subject. However it is definitely work reading. I highly recommend every adult read it, and any child who is thinking of running away because things at home are bad needs to read it also. If things are really that bad at home, you have other choices… Please choose something besides the streets.

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 clouds.

This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.
Profile Image for Bookish Indulgenges with b00k r3vi3ws.
1,608 reviews239 followers
February 17, 2017
The novel is about Leila Freeman, a child advocate. She knows and does her job well because she knows what it is like to live on the streets. As a teenager she herself had run away from her home, leaving an alcoholic mother behind, and had lived on the streets. She had gained a lot of experience and lost a dear one in those years. But she was lucky as she managed to get off the streets and clean up. Not only did she manage to make a good life for herself but also help those around her. Her dedication and hard work leads her to a war torn Africa, where Leila finds that not everything is as it is supposed to be. That’s when all the troubles begin. With adrenalin running high Leila has to decide who to trust and ghosts from her pasts come back to haunt her.

This is an amazing novel from every aspect. The plot is beyond great! It has a lot of action and a lot of heart tugging moments that take you on a roller coaster ride. The author has painted the stark truth about the life on the streets where everybody loses something. The pain and hurt portrayed through a number of characters in the book is bound to touch your heart. The language and writing style is also pretty good and helps you to settle down with the book. Coming to characterization, the author has done a great job portraying different shades of characters and personality. I personally loved Leila - real strong female protagonist!

Loved the book and would definitely want to read more from Alicia Singleton.

I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
Profile Image for Jenn.
318 reviews49 followers
July 26, 2012
The lead character Leila, spent the first part of her life as a homeless runaway - experiencing horror after horror living on the street, including the loss of her dear friend - another child runaway. Leila is able to turn her life around and focuses on giving back to the community - helping other children that are in the position she was once in. Leila is a strong, compassionate character with a will to live, and a genuine love for helping others. She was given a second chance by a church family - her remains her strongest support.

As a result of Leila's work, she is invited to Africa to help children orphaned by the war. She questions information or rather, misinformation that she is receiving which ultimately ends up with her being abducted. Now she must flee through this war torn country with a mercenary - Elijah who for reasons unknown seems to hate Leila. As the story progresses Elijah begins to fall in love - but will it be enough?

I really liked this book. Leila as a character really works for me. I love her passion in life and her inner strength. The Elijah thing (which I'm not going to discuss in detail because, well, it would give things away) was interesting to me. It's funny sometimes how our past comes back in some unexpected way. Ms. Singleton weaves a fast paced story that keeps you emotionally invested and turning page after page until you've read every last word. I really enjoy stories that bring attention to important issues - such as teen runaways, homelessness, and the situation in Africa. I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Romancing the Book.
4,420 reviews211 followers
June 5, 2012
Posted on Romancing the Book's blog
Reviewed by Desere
Review Copy Provided by the Author

Think about the word valor for a second and see what you come up with …bravery, courage, fighting till the end? This book is about all that and so much more.

The author took me to a whole new world that definitely did not previously exist in my mind. A world lived on the wrong side of the streets where “monsters” of the truly deep, dark and dangerous kind lurk around every corner ready to pounce on their unsuspecting pray. This is where we get to know Lelia the street angel advocate for children.

She fights for those who cannot. Ending up kidnapped is where the author truly steps up the plot and the book got really exciting. She had me handing onto the edge of my seat and even had me double checking behind me every now and then when I was outside the house in town.

That is how intense and great the book was that it really felt as if someone was following me! The book had suspense, action, intrigue and was written with such unmistakable passion!

I loved every deep, dark and scary second of it! A must read for mystery and suspense fans.

Favorite Quote: “You will pay dearly for your folly.”
Profile Image for Cher.
351 reviews27 followers
June 27, 2012
Dark Side of Valor is a fast-paced thriller/romance with a strong, likeable heroine and a very timely and interesting story line. There are several other reviews that provide an excellent synopsis of this story in detail, so I will skip that step and focus instead on something that I appreciated on a personal level.

Most of Ms. Singleton's characters are people of color from widely differing backgrounds, yet the author does not focus on divisions of race or culture which could have been emphasized: African-American versus African, Christian vs. Muslim, white vs. black. The characters' physical and emotional descriptions are provided without racial or religious labels, and their morals and personalities speak for themselves, bridging divides. I really appreciated that aspect of Ms. Singleton's storytelling and found it refreshing.

I received Dark Side of Valor through Goodreads' Firstreads Giveaway, and I appreciate the opportunity to read this book courtesy of the author. I will be happy to share my copy with anyone who is interested, and I look forward to reading Ms. Singleton's next novel.
Profile Image for B-zee.
539 reviews71 followers
February 13, 2015
It was a long journey, from runaway Lelia, until she was mature enough to forgive and to love. Lelia Freeman had been through so many things, and I'm glad to find that the author gave a proper change to her, time by time.

Lelia was a strong woman character. She held her principles of life, fearless--or knew how to hide it, but, however, had some humanly side that touched me when I read the book; losing friend, missing her mama, caring for children, and being vulnerable because of love. All those emotions has been written beautifully, through the journey of the heroine.

Something that I still can't get is what the need of those details of romantic scenes. I'm not a romance reader, I'm not antipathy either, but I think this novel would be greater if it became suspence as it should be. It's okay for the romantic scenes, but the details seems unnecessary. Anyhow, other details about places or situations were great and suitable with the whole story.

Thanks to Mrs. Alicia Singleton for sending me this book.
Profile Image for My Book Addiction and More MBA.
1,958 reviews62 followers
June 27, 2012
DARK SIDE OF VALOR by Alicia Singleton is a fast paced suspense/thriller/romance. What a complex and intense story of child abuse,teen runaways,child advocate,mercanaries,conspirancy,revenge,vengeance, suspense,romance and past demons. It is the story of the true meaning of valor. Well written with details and a great plot. The characters will have you on the edge of your seat. A wonderful debut novel full of suspense and drama. Follow Elijah Dune and Lelia Freeman through the jungles of Zaire, as they try to survive a madman. A must read!"Dark Side Of Valor" will have you turning pages and biting your nails. Received for an honest review from Pump Up Your Book and the publisher. Details can be found at Strebor Books International, the author's website,and My Book Addiction and More.
HEAT RATING:Sweet: No sex or scenes of physical intimacy except some kissing. No graphic violence or profanity.
REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction and More
1 review
July 26, 2016
Dark Side of Valor, tells the story of Lelia Freeman, a child advocate, who is dubbed the Street Angel. Life wasn't always kind to Lelia. She came of age on the streets of LA. As an adult, she refuses to forget the nightmares associated with being homeless. She remembers what it felt like to be dirty, hungry and cold. She also refuses to forget a little girl who touched her heart, and changed her life. Lelia's love and compassion for children, takes her into the jungles of Zaire, where she meets Elijah Dune. A man driven by hate, and consumed with a need for revenge. This unlikely pair end up side-by-side, fighting not only a present enemy, but an enemy from the past that has the power to destroy them both.
Profile Image for Caro.
1,776 reviews37 followers
May 5, 2014
I really liked this book that I got for free with First Reads giveaways. It kept me on my toes. The beginning was surprising good. Sometimes the story behind the main character is more narrative and a little drawn out feeling, like reading a school book. This book was way better, I was always wanting to know what happened next. I ended up finishing in the wee hours. (shhh) I really enjoyed book and the way it showed all the point of views of the character. The twists and turns were good too. At the end (before the wedding scene) I 'got something in my eye', then the next chapter dried me up quick, fast, and in a hurry. Great ending, love the HEAs. I'm definitely going to look for more books by this author. Enjoy!
Profile Image for Muriel.
150 reviews19 followers
May 25, 2012
This book captivated me from the very beginning. Alicia Singleton wove a story full of action, emotion and faith. I really appreciated that the author didn't feel the need to pepper the dialogue with expletives or explicit scenes. This story of a young runaway who is eventually taken in by a church family sees her come into her own as a woman who spends her adult life working with runaways, helping them navigate the treacherous streets. "Dark Side of Valor" is a quick read; I hated having to put it down. I definitely recommend this book and look forward to reading more from this author.

I was delighted to win this book as part of the goodreads First Readers giveaway. (Thanks goodreads and Alicia!)
Profile Image for Mary.
629 reviews
August 17, 2012
This book has a lot going on. It starts off with Leila leaving home and ending up on the streets at the age of 16. She faces insurmountable odds and becomes a child advocate in her adulthood with the help of a surrogate family. She loses a close friend which defines her future.

In her adulthood she is recognized nationally for her advocacy efforts and is kidnapped by the president of an African nation. She meets and is rescued by Elijah and both must face their pasts.

With that said, there is a lot of action and the book moves quickly. There were many evil characters that I did not like but they are necessary to define the story. It's a tough read as it faces many tough circumstances but a good story.

Reader received a complimentary copy from Good Reads First Reads.
Profile Image for Tantri Setyorini.
322 reviews18 followers
April 17, 2013
Yayy..I won this book from the giveaways.
I'm so glad I Won it.
I have to admit that this book is a hard reading, especially for a person who don't speak english fluently like me.
But it's a good reading experience, though.
This book is well written. Singleton's words are hard but great.
The story is good, bitter from the beginning but moving.
I love Lelia's toughness and how she remained positive after seeing all the street life's bad side.
And the women exploitation felt so real, just like how it happened in my country.

One thing is lack about this book is that it's too short. It's a great story and it still can be developed more.
Profile Image for Nichole.
92 reviews
May 14, 2012
I won this book on first reads, and I am SO glad I entered & won!

This was a wonderful novel. I enjoyed reading about the characters & their developing relationships. There is a GREAT twist in the book that I won't give away, but I have to admit that I was surprised, and that doesn't usually happen to me.
There are a few parts of the story I felt could have been expanded on, like their stay in the village, or the what HAD to be uncomfortable plane ride home, but honestly, the book flowed just fine the way it was and I enjoyed every minute of it! I'll be keeping an eye on this author!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Bridget.
574 reviews130 followers
February 19, 2012
I read Dark Side of Valor a couple of weeks ago and it has stuck with me. It's one of those books that long after you have read the last page, you will find yourself thinking back to this suspense novel and all the emotions that you felt while reading. Alicia is an amazing author with the ability to open readers eyes. My advice is to pick up this book and set aside enough time to read it straight through. Once you start, you won't want to stop!
Profile Image for M.A Grace.
Author 5 books72 followers
September 11, 2012
A woman who went through it now spends her time defending others so they don't have to. Strong. Courageous. Caring. Is recruited into something she questions once getting involved. This question is her down fall as it starts to spiral the rest of the events in the book.

The book brings together many different people and shows a real web of how nice appearance people can be not so nice guys. It contains fear, love, hate, question, curiosity, crime, drugs, lose and hope.
A captivating read.
Profile Image for Mitzi.
117 reviews47 followers
May 2, 2012
Very well written. Author really feels for her characters in her book. Great Susepnse/Thriller. It;s about street/homeless children and it really makes you think.

Lelia was raised by an alcoholic mother, when she was old enough she ran away from home to live in the streets. She tries to keep clear of drugs/prostitution. She begins to run her own "safe shelter" for kids that grew up like her.
55 reviews
April 3, 2012
I received this book through a giveaway by the author here on Goodreads. It was an entertaining mix of suspense and romance with a few plot twists thrown in that I didn't see coming. The heroine, Lelia is a very strong highly likeable character. I was initially intrigued by the cover art, and I'm glad I got the chance to read this as it isn't the usual type of novel I normally read.
Profile Image for Nancy.
259 reviews
August 12, 2012
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Wow, this was a great book. It has all the elements I love in a book. Suspense, comedy, hope, perseverance, and love. Definitelly adult content and not for the faint of heart. I highly recommend you read it. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Singleton's work!
Profile Image for Lili.
1,103 reviews15 followers
August 11, 2012
I was lucky enough to recieve this as a Firstreads Giveaway. It is a beautifully written book, set on two continents and contains all the elements to make it a very good read. It is thrilling, terrifying yet tender at times. The emotions are palpable and the fear contagious, the author has created two compelling characters in Leila Freeman and Elijah Dune. A truly compulsive read.
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