Thursday, 2 April 2015

Book Review: Jaded - by Varina Denman

Review by Andrea Grigg



I love novels about small towns because I don’t come from one. The fact this (fictional) small town is situated in Texas, USA and not in my home country of Australia made it even more interesting.

Ruthie Turner intrigued me from the first page. It was clear Ruthie has a chip on her shoulder the size of … well, the size of Texas. And I couldn’t wait to find out why.

A hard-working and resourceful girl, she has a lot to contend with due to circumstances beyond her control. Her mother has a ‘past’ and because of this, she and Ruthie are shunned from joining the local worship service. If they ever wanted to, that is. Ruthie has a dim view of  church-goers in the light of what went on.                                   

Interestingly enough, Ruthie’s opinion of God isn’t completely negative, and her attitude toward Him is challenged when she meets the eye-catching new preacher, Dodd Cunningham. Despite Ruthie’s best efforts to avoid Dodd, their paths keep crossing and her barriers go up – barriers that Dodd does his best to break down.

This book had everything in it that I love. Complicated family dynamics, quirky characters, a mystery about the past, and best of all, romance. The chemistry between Ruthie and Dodd is fabulous.

But that’s not all. Varina Denman has written a story that shows all too well the dangers of becoming religious, and yet the themes of God’s love and grace come shining through. I will be recommending this fabulous debut novel for a long time to come.

Andrea Grigg lives on the Gold Coast, Queensland, and is a writer of contemporary Christian romance. Her first book, ‘A Simple Mistake’ was a finalist in the 2012 CALEB awards. Her second novel, ‘Too Pretty’ was released in August 2014.

Twitter: @andreagrigg https://twitter.com/andreagrigg




13 comments:

  1. I'm convinced - this one's on my (neverending) to-read list.

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    1. Your tastes and mine are very similar Iola so I KNOW you'll love it. I've just finished Varina's second book, Justified, and it's every bit as good. Oh dear, another one for your pile!

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    2. That's what worries me ...

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    3. Thank you, Iola. I hope you enjoy it.

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  2. Great review, Andrea. You're tempting me. I'm curious how you found this one. Small town stories, yes, I too find them appealing never having lived in one. Very easy for us all to become "Jaded" in our Christian walks especially if we take our eyes off the Lord and get caught up in doing the "work".

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    1. Hi Ian - I'm part of the American Christian Fiction Writers Romance Facebook page. Varina was on there asking if anyone would like to read Jaded and review it. I loved the cover and blurb and volunteered. Would love to know what you think of it, Ian. So enjoy a male perspective in this genre!

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    2. You're so right, Ian. We need to keep our focus on God. It's funny how doing too much of the Lord's work can lead us away from Him. Satan is very tricky indeed.

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  3. I'm not a great fan of American Christian romance Andrea, but this one sounds good. I may add it to my huge pile of to reads. Thanks for the review

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    1. Hi Carol - I liked this one because we're allowed deep into Ruthie's soul. It really touched me. I hope I've encouraged you enough to try it :)

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    2. Shhh. (I'm not necessarily a great fan of American Christian romance either. But don't tell anyone I said so.) Good to meet you, Carol. :)

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  4. Andrea, great review! This one is on my 'to-buy' list. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us :)

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    1. Thanks, Narelle. I hope you enjoy Jaded. :)

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  5. You're welcome, Narelle :) I've read Varina's second one, Justified, and now I can't wait for the third!

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