Sam and James

A Test of Will

Fiction - Thriller - Conspiracy
278 Pages
Reviewed on 12/04/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Sam and James: A Test of Will by A.A Freda is the third novel in an action-packed romance series. Sam and James have been blissfully married for seven years now. They have each other, a beautiful family and a successful ranch in Colorado. Their business is going well and their bond is stronger than ever before. But suddenly, their life changes when one of their friends’ sons is murdered. Sam and James cannot stay back, they cannot let it happen to someone they love, and so they decide to find out how the son died. However, getting involved in the case makes them a target too. As they try to find out who is behind the murder, they also have to make sure their family stays safe and their lives don’t get dragged into this mess. All their secrets are being revealed, one by one, and there isn’t much they can do about it. All they can do is fight hard, figure out what happened and bring justice where it is deserved while making sure their family is safe in the process.

I remember reading A Police Action and falling in love with Sam and James. Their story was believable and very entertaining at the same time. Seeing them settled, married and in love after seven years was a very pleasurable experience. In true A.A. Freda fashion, the story is packed full of action, suspense, and a mystery that intrigued me from the moment I started reading it. The flow was phenomenal, the narrative was exceptionally smooth and the characters had plenty of time to develop. I enjoyed how Sam and James acted as a team and they respected each other. James is still that gentle and humble man, yet he has a strength to him that makes him even more attractive to me. Sam, on the other hand, has grown into a fierce woman who protects her friends and family with all she has. I enjoyed this story a lot more than I expected! Brilliantly written to grab the attention of the reader!

Darryl Greer

Sam and James: A Test of Will is the third novel in a series by author A. A. Freda. In this story, the title characters, already familiar to readers of the earlier books, are now married and have a family. James is dynamic, good-looking, smart and a hugely successful businessman who jets around the world in his own plane, seeing to his various business interests. His wife, Sam, is a pretty blonde, an award-winning equestrienne who also has a head for business. Together with their family, their very British butler, and household staff, they live on a sprawling ranch in Colorado. The action gets underway from line one when Mark Abrams, the son of close friends of Sam and James, is found shot dead in Washington D.C. Although criminal activity is not part of the investigative side of their business, James agrees to launch an investigation into Mark’s death at the behest of his parents. But as the investigation gets closer to the truth, Sam and James find themselves embroiled in a conspiracy with far-reaching implications. As the mystery unfolds, they not only find that their own lives could be in danger, but their innermost secrets are being revealed to the world, causing James to be suspicious of everyone around him. When the truth eventually comes to light, shockwaves will reverberate throughout the household and beyond.

A.A. Freda has a rather unique style. He writes in the present tense and, given his crisp dialogue, it is almost like reading a movie script, which makes it easy to visualize the scenes. This is, indeed, a fast-paced thriller laced with intrigue. At times the action seems to slow a little during some of the domestic scenes but, overall, the author is just adding another layer to his characters, something that becomes very important towards the end. Certainly, I found it very easy to relate to the characters – good and bad. The story itself is credible and not blighted, as so many thrillers are these days, by implausibility. There are a lot of characters in this saga so readers need to keep their wits about them -- each one has an important and specific role to play. Sam and James: A Test of Will is a page-turning, riveting read.

Romuald Dzemo

Sam and James: A Test of Will by A.A. Freda is the third entry in a series that features murder and conspiracy. Sam and James have built their family and they now enjoy the strong bond they share and their thriving family business. They own a ranch in Colorado. But when the child of a family with whom they share friendship is murdered, they want to help. But joining the parents of the victim to solve the murder puts them into the heart of a conspiracy that makes them very vulnerable. They might be biting more than they can chew as their secrets are laid bare and the bond that has held them together is threatened in ways they never imagined before. Can their love lead them through these trying times or will they sink under the weight of the evil that threatens them?

Sam and James: A Test of Will is a skillfully plotted, a character-driven story that has strong characters and a cunning plot. A.A. Freda's characters are real, human, and deeply flawed and readers can't help but feel for them. Sam and James are well developed and as the reader follows them through the narrative, they experience that sense of danger as the two get involved in the conspiracy. The love they have for each other is strong and is put to the test. The question the reader asks is: How long will this love last with so much at stake? Murder, love, family, and friendship are themes that are skillfully developed in this narrative. The story is told in an engaging voice, with well-crafted scenes, and a conflict that is well developed. It is emotionally rich and told in a way that makes for a page-turner.

K.C. Finn

Sam and James: A Test Of Will is a conspiracy thriller work of fiction for adults, and was penned by author A. A. Freda. The novel is the third in its series, named for its central figures, and continues the story of Sam and James seven years after the end of the previous book. Beginning with a murder in the US Capital that the heroes are dragged into through a personal connection, the clues to the murder quickly become threads leading deep into a conspiracy that could cost Sam and James their hard-won peace, as they face their most challenging mystery to date.

Written for adults due to explicit language and the presence of some sexual situations, this is a hard-hitting conspiracy thriller novel with plenty of great content for fans of the genre. Author A. A. Freda has clearly established his central characters well, diving straight into the tale with well-defined personalities, and just enough information to remind readers of previous events as the new action takes place. The tone is strong with a prominent narrative that, once the real tough stuff gets going, never lets up and is sure to keep its readers turning page after page right through to the conclusion. The secrets are well placed and well revealed in the overall plot, and I particularly enjoyed the use of dialogue to effectively convey information without it being overloaded. Overall, Sam and James: A Test Of Will is an excellent thriller novel recommended to fans of the series and the genre as a whole.

Jamie Michele

Sam and James: A Test of Will by AA Freda is the third book in the Sam and James thriller series, preceded by book one, A Police Action, and book two, The Missing Teen. In this installment, Sam and James Coppi are married and settled with three very young children, Michael, Molly, and Christopher. On both the personal and professional fronts, the pair are doing extremely well—except for Sam's brief stint in jail for decking a US senator who sexually assaults her. They are happy, healthy, and immensely wealthy. In Washington DC, over 1,700 miles away from the relative seclusion of their Colorado ranch, Mark Abrams, the son of a friend, has been murdered. As they dig in to try to solve the case, a whole lot gets unearthed that threatens everything they've built.

Sam and James: A Test of Will by AA Freda is a fast-paced thriller laced with great subplots and some really fun armchair adventures. I particularly loved stepping into the lives of the rich and politically famous, enjoying visits to Cape Cod, luxury hotel suites, private planes, and conversations with “the help” throughout. Although this is the third book in a series, it does read well as a standalone. That said, there's little question after finishing this installment that readers will be inclined to walk back to see how Sam and James began, with backstory being dangled like candy in the narrative. There are some scenes that feel like they belong in a James Bond story and these are AA Freda's writing is at its best. Overall, this is a really good book that lovers of the genre will find very enjoyable.