ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
An avid reader and blogger, Varina Denman enjoys writing fiction about Christian women and the unique struggles they face. She seems to have a knack for describing small town life, and is currently working on a three book Texas series which will soon be published by David C. Cook. The first book in the series, Jaded, won the 2013 ACFW Genesis contest for romance.
Varina attended three Texas universities over a span of five years, majoring in four subjects and earning zero degrees. However, she can now boast sixteen years as a home educator, volunteering in the local cooperative where she has taught numerous subjects including creative writing and literature.
Even though Varina has spoken at ladies’ retreats and taught women’s Bible classes, she finds the greatest fulfillment facilitating prayer groups. She lives in Burleson, Texas, where she helps with Family Ministry in her home congregation. Varina is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and North Texas Christian Writers.
ABOUT THE BOOK
As a child, Ruthie was shunned by the local congregation. Thirteen years later, Ruthie’s heart begins to stir when an attractive single preacher arrives. But their relationship is bitterly opposed—unearthing a string of secrets which threaten to turn the church, the town, and her world upside-down.
Jaded is the rare novel that is both love story between a woman and man … and God and His church. Plunging deep into the waters of shame, forgiveness and restoration, it will resonate with every woman who’s experienced a loss of heart … and a thirst for hope.
My thoughts and giveaway:
I. Loved. This. Book.
From the very beginning Varina drew me into this story and I never wanted to let go. I was up so late reading and not getting tired because the book captivated me so much. This doesn’t happen often but when it does it is good.
What did I love? I think Varina’s writing style was one thing that pulled me in. It bounces back and forth between first person point-of-view with Ruthie to third person POV with Dodd.
The small town feel gives you a sense of being right there with the characters.
Ruthie is jaded by the church, but we don’t find out exactly why for a long time. Hints are dropped but it’s not made clear. Even though Ruthie is rough around the edges I still liked her but I wanted her to let people in. I wanted her to see that not all Christians act the way she thinks they do and that Dodd and his family are the good guys.
Dodd is thrown into this community and is told what has always been done at the church. How many of us can relate to the “what has always been done” statement by will intentioned church goers? But what has always been done isn’t what should always happen.
I adored Ruthie’s cousin, JohnScott. I am pretty sure he gets a leading role in the second book to come out, which I think will be soon from what I saw on Varina’s website. Yay, can’t wait.
Basically, I have found a new author I love. Her writing is clear and real, characters flawed and well-developed. This is a must read for anyone who loves contemporary romance or someone who has been hurt by the church.
Visit Varina here.
Leave a comment by April 22nd for your chance to win. Winner will be chosen by random.org. (U.S. residents only. I am not responsible for books lost in the mail.)
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance in exchange for an honest review.