#BlackLove: Redeemed by Patricia Haley and Gracie Hill

Redeemed by Patricia Haley and Gracie Hill 

Sequel to their edgy #1 Christian Fiction Bestseller - Relentless
#1 Essence and Christian fiction bestselling author Patricia Haley teams up with national bestselling Gracie Hill in this edgy new drama series. The Redeemed Series is comprised of modern stories, loosely based on the attributes of the Apostle Paul and struggles he encountered with churches in the New Testament. Relentless is the first book in the series.  Redeemed by Patricia Haley-Glass and Gracie Hill, is book two in the series.  Details below.

Everything isn’t as successful as it appears in the life of hard-hitting civil attorney Maxwell Montgomery, who has his own way of tackling demons from the past. His self-appointed crusade to root out corruption in the church has cost him greatly, and the price continues to rise, as his personal life spirals out of control. His former love is engaged to someone else, and his troubles don’t stop there. Maxwell is shouldering an unexpected burden of guilt when he is forced to wonder if his pursuits have landed an innocent man in prison.

Instead of dealing with his conscience, Maxwell shoves the emotions deep within and presses on to the next case. Along the way, he amasses quite a list of enemies, including his former paralegal, who is desperately seeking retribution. With the weight of his mission becoming too heavy to bear, Maxwell doesn’t know where to turn or whom to trust.

Despite his high-flying lifestyle, his past finally catches up to him. Maxwell is still unwilling to surrender, however, until an unavoidable set of circumstances forces him to make a life-changing decision. Having fallen so far, his only shot at redemption is through God’s mercy, but will the mighty Maxwell Montgomery forego his pride and accept it?

Redeemed: Chapter 1

Activity inside the Philadelphia law firm, located in the heart of downtown, was often hectic, but today it seemed manageable.

“Make no mistake about it, he’s a snake, just like the rest of them,” Maxwell Montgomery rattled off as he reared back in his favorite chair, comfortably situated in his private office.

Garrett, his lead private investigator, didn’t respond immediately.

Maxwell carried on with his tirade. “You know I’m telling the truth.” The infamous civil attorney leapt to his feet and approached Garrett, who was sitting across the room. “Name one honest preacher that you know.” Not allowing Garrett ample time for a response, Maxwell continued. “See? You can’t think of one, not a single one,” he said, pointing at Garrett and bursting into a flurry of laughter. “Not one.”

“Whatever you say, boss.”

“Because you know I’m right,” he said. “A bunch of self-righteous, moneygrubbing, power-hungry hypocrites, every one of them.” Maxwell sailed back to his chair in an animated fashion. “When you think about it, I shouldn’t complain. They’ve all been good to me.”

“How?” Garrett asked, seeming confused.

“Heck, look at this.” He tapped on a stack of files on his desk. “Case after case, they’ve made me a boatload of cash,” he said, rubbing his index finger and thumb together briskly.

Garrett’s head tilted to the side, and his lips tightened. “Can’t deny that.”

“I know you can’t. Man, these cats are a gold mine. Uncovering their sin is as easy as taking candy from a baby. I have more work than I can handle, going after these weasels.” He plopped into his seat. “Some of these cases blow my mind. Remember the priest in Allentown who secretly had three sets of children and wouldn’t agree to pay child support for any of them?”

“I remember. One mother was a nursing student who was struggling to stay in school.”

“Yeah, and he wouldn’t pay her the measly five hundred dollars a month that she needed,” Maxwell said.

Garrett leaned forward and rubbed his head. “I bet if he could do it all over again, he’d gladly pay the five hundred, and probably even five thousand a month.”

“I bet he would too. Once I found out about his other two sets of children he’d conveniently hidden from the archdiocese, paying that skimpy child support was the least of his worries. Staying out of prison for messing around with a seventeen-year-old girl took precedence.”

“And the church wasn’t too happy about the kind of publicity you were threatening to send their way.”

“That’s right.” Maxwell chuckled. “I did put some heat on them.” He spun a little bit in his chair. “I love my job, and what’s great about it is that there are plenty more creeps out there begging for me to come after them. Take Bishop Jones. He practically dared me to bring him down, and that whole cast of characters at Greater Metropolitan.”

Satisfaction washed over Maxwell. Every single day of his career, Maxwell had dreamed of bringing down the mighty bishop Ellis Jones, the man who’d single-handedly destroyed the Montgomery household. Nearly three decades ago, his parents had been a cog in the mighty preacher’s wheel of deceit. The memory used to be painful and would ignite extreme disdain in Maxwell, but that was before the bishop was sent to prison last year. Now Maxwell reveled in the bishop’s predicament. Jones had lost his church, freedom and, most importantly, his reputation.

Maxwell’s parents suffered a similar fate when they blindly served as loyal church members under the pastor. Little did they know back then that their senior pastor was running a get-rich-quick scheme, which ultimately sucked money from the congregation. Instead of Jones taking responsibility when the scheme was uncovered, he let Deacon Paul Montgomery, Sr., and the church secretary, Ethel Montgomery, take the fall. They paid a high price. Besides losing their house and their money, Maxwell’s parents lost a son. Worst of all, Maxwell and his sister were left orphaned when their parents had to spend time in prison for fraud, while Jones spent every night with his family. Not anymore.

Maxwell felt vindicated. “They all got exactly what they deserved. They’re locked up in hell.”

Garrett eased to the edge of his seat as his gaze plummeted to the floor. “Everybody, including Deacon Burton?”

Maxwell’s adrenaline careened through his body. He sent a searing stare in Garrett’s direction. “Yes, Deacon Burton too,” he said with a jagged edge that it sliced the air.

“If you say so.”

Garrett’s reply didn’t give Maxwell the validation that he would have appreciated, but it wasn’t required. He was at peace with the outcome. There were no regrets. Neither Garrett nor a band of church runners was going to change Maxwell’s mind.

“I can’t waste any more time on Greater Metropolitan. What about Faith Temple and Pastor Renaldo Harris.”

“He’s not going to be that easy,” Garrett replied.

“Pu-lease!” Maxwell grimaced. “What’s got you spooked?”

“I’m being careful, unlike you, who’s turning this thing into something personal.”

“Personal?” Maxwell responded in an elevated voice. “This is business. Always has been, always will be,” was the lie Maxwell uttered and hurriedly shifted the conversation away from himself. “Usually, you’re on top of your game, but looks like you’re slipping, my man.”

“One of us is slipping,” Garrett said and got up to leave.

( Continued... )

© 2015 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Patricia Haley and Gracie Hill. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

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