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Dark Side of Valor

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  87 ratings  ·  48 reviews
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, L
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 7th 2012 by Strebor Books
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  87 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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Mar 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction

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.
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 of ...more
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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 chi
Margaret Ziefert
Mar 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
I very much liked the story and could relate to Lelia and her desire to help the children. I highly recommend this book.
Kim Walton
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 m
Mary Bearden
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Cocktails and Books
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 r
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
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,
Kathleen Kelly
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Apr 21, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Bookish Indulgenges with b00k r3vi3ws
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 dedic ...more
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 famil ...more
Romancing the Book
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, thriller
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 unsus
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 emphasiz
Mar 15, 2012 rated it liked it
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
My Book Addiction and More MBA
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
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, ...more
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, suspense, first-reads
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 ...more
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
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
Tantri Setyorini
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 hap
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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! ...more
M.A Grace
Sep 11, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Gerald Bouthner
Dec 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love your book! I also enjoyed your article on Technorati here Forgiving Insanity the Key to Surviving
Nice article on the the effects of mental illness on oneself and family I really enjoy how you write and your style of telling a story.
Feb 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
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. ...more
May 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: suspense
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! ...more
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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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What a great read 1 1 Oct 22, 2016 06:33PM  
Q&A with Alicia S...: Welcome! 1 5 Mar 08, 2012 09:39AM  
Q&A with Alicia S...: The authors who inspired me. 1 3 Mar 08, 2012 09:35AM  
Q&A with Alicia S...: A Writer's Life. 1 4 Mar 08, 2012 09:32AM  
Q&A with Alicia S...: Dark Side of Valor was a totally different novel at birth. 1 5 Mar 08, 2012 09:25AM  

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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 Ho ...more

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