June 14, 2016

Varina Denman’s ‘Jilted’ $50 Sweet Summertime Giveaway

by Varina Denman

Buy all three books in the series: Jaded, Justified, Jilted on Amazon! 

Jilted Varina Denman

Can all things really work together for good, and can the joy of living be found once again? Don't miss one woman's story in book three, Jilted, of Varina Denman's Mended Hearts series. Lynda Turner has struggled with depression since her husband abandoned her and their young daughter fifteen years ago. Yet unexpected hope awakens when a local ex-convict shows interest. As long-hidden secrets resurface, Lynda must fight for her emotional stability and for a life where the shadow of shame is replaced by the light of love.

Celebrate the release of Varina's Jilted by entering to win a $50 gift card.


One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of Jilted to kick off a summer of reading

  • A $50 Kohl's gift card to make your summertime sweet

The giveaway ends on July 1st. The winner will be announced July 5th on Varina's website.

My Review:

Denman pens her novels in a way that sucks you into the lives of her characters. Especially the main character, who in this book was Lynda. I'd already met Lynda in the first two books in the series and have to admit I wasn't sure I would like her character. But it didn't take very many pages into the book to realize I related very well with Lynda and some of the dark feelings she felt at times. No, I didn't relate to the reasons she felt her sadness and hopelessness but I did relate with those emotions. And reading her story in the first person only draws you in deeper into her emotional turmoil. In contrast, I already knew I liked the other main character, Clyde. His character tugged at my heart in previous books especially as he took hard times and moved on with his life to find redemption in God.

I also really enjoyed following more of Ruthie and Fawn's lives in this book. Denman did an excellent job of moving forward with her series without repeating everything from the first books. I enjoy reading a series that continues on without retelling everything in the first 100 pages of the third book. Denman excels at tackling tough topics in her books and this book was no exception. Lynda's struggles with depression are difficult to read especially if you yourself or someone you are close to have dealt with it but in my opinion it is very important for Christian Fiction books to delve into these difficult topics. Denman doesn't dwell on the "glass half-empty" times in Lynda's life but she describes them so well and really helps you as a reader to understand how hard it can be at times to even leave the bedroom. I empathized so much with Lynda through her hard times in this book.

But thankfully this book didn't stay with hard topics. It also really promoted the importance of friends and family pulling together. I really loved the scenes with Fawn's little boy. I could just picture his cute little self making everyone around him smile! And I loved the scenes when Clyde was babysitting!

And since I'm a sucker for romance I'll be the first to admit that the romantic moments in the book were among my favorite pages. I love it when a character pursues the woman he loves. I loved the heated moments of passion. I loved the eye rolls. I loved the dates. I loved every bit of the real life that their relationship encompassed as two grown adults figured out how to move on with life together as they also work to reconcile their lives with what God has in store for them. And to round out the whole story Denman threw in a little bit of a mystery with some suspense.

So this novel truly had it all. Love, mystery, suspense, family, and faith. I truly can't wait to see what Denman comes up with next. I hope she continues to write books that border on edgy, gritty, real-life hard times.

A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher, DavidCCook, in exchange for my honest review as a part of LitFuse's blog tour.

June 9, 2016

Review: The Reluctant Bridegroom

The Reluctant Bridegroom The Reluctant Bridegroom by Shannon Farrington
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an interesting read. I felt Farrington did a good job of tying real life historical figures into her book to add authenticity.

I also really liked the main characters in this story. Rebekah broke my heart numerous times because of the way she was raised. And Henry made me swoon about a million times as he wooed Rebekah. And the two girls...I could just picture their adorable selves.

My favorite part about this book was the spiritually woven throughout as Rebekah learned from Henry's example about reading the Word and growing in Christ. I love that he taught her how her Heavenly Father loved her different than any love she'd ever known.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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June 6, 2016

Review: Expert Witness

Expert Witness Expert Witness by Rachel Dylan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was action packed from the beginning. I really liked Sydney's strong personality. But what I loved even more was her faith in God that led every aspect of her life. While it was hard to read about some of the things she experienced in her past I was rejoicing that she found a relationship with God. Of course I was also glad she learned to stand up for herself both physically and through pursuing her career dreams.

This was a first for me reading about a main character that was a sketch artist. It is a very intriguing career choice and a great pick by Dylan to add a new level of authenticity to her characters. I've read quite a few books where the man works in witness protection so Max's career wasn't as impressive but I did enjoy how seriously he took it!

Expert Witness has quite a few plot twists and surprises throughout. There was one toward the beginning that really made me gasp. If you enjoy suspense then I think you'll love this book. Same as with her other books I never did figure out who all the bad guys were!

But as much as I loved this book I have to admit I was longing for a little more romance. I was glad that Dylan didn't let it take over the entire story but I wouldn't have minded a few more kissing scenes :) But I did apprecaite that the characters didn't just get lost in the moment but instead were grown adults approaching a new relationship with a fair amount of caution.

Overall this was an excellent book and I'm looking forward to future LIS and independent books from Dylan.

I got a copy of this book through the Harlequin Rewards program. Click here to join and earn points toward free books! https://static.sl.harlequin.com/index.html?refer=6VEP-0CA6

View all my reviews