An emotional read... Jilted by Varina Denman (Blog Tour Review & Giveaway)

Jilted (Mended Hearts #3)Jilted
(Mended Hearts #3)
by Varina Denman
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
June 1st 2016 by David C. Cook

Summary

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.

Jilted tells of a woman who has lost the joy of living, a man determined to draw her back toward happiness, and a town that must—once and for all—leave the past where it belongs. It is a gentle reminder that all things can work together for good.

   
   
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My Review

JILTED was a beautifully poignant story that came across as genuinely heartfelt with a sweet romance and a happily-ever-after that is hard won. Complex and relatable characters, inspirational moments that felt realistic, and friendships and love that felt full made this a fulfilling and enjoyable read. Perfect for inspirational romance and women's fiction readers.

These characters are not light and fluffy or even remotely perfect. They're complex and troubled and have so many challenges. I loved them! I love the way they fight or hide from their battles and how they work towards what they want or slowly change as the story unfolds. They're better at the end. I love the friendships, the small-town gossips, the judgments, the love. I love Lynda and Clyde and how they work together, challenge each other, and how their friendship blossoms. I love how Clyde really does say so much without saying a word.

Then the story... Turmoil is the perfect word. Emotional roller-coaster is how it felt. The way Lynda deals with her depression. The way Clyde deals with being in prison for 20 years and is trying to take back his life. Ruthie and Susan and Neil... Their mistakes and dreams. How buried remains throws everything into chaos. How other things destroy a small town, but also heals it. There is a lot going on here and it was amazing how well the author let it all weave together.

There were so many precious moments along with nuggets of wisdom. There was a scene towards the end in a church (those of you who have read this will know) when Lynda is surrounded with all the people she loves, except for one who is missing, and someone shares something. The just down-to-earth honesty and humility and joy of that man along with the humor shared... The moment was beautiful and brought tears. It's one of my favorite scenes from this book. Heartfelt and simple. There were so many moments like that. Here are a few that were especially poignant:


But more than anything, he hated the way he couldn't open up to her, even though he wanted nothing more than for her to know him, really know him, inside and out.


"And just what is it you want?"
"You." He shrugged.
"Me?"
Her eyes begged for something—maybe reassurance—but he didn't know the words to explain the whirlwind of thoughts thrashing through his mind. He answered by bending down and gently pressing his mouth against hers, trapping her between his arms as he reached behind her to grip the edge of the sink.


God simply gave me the hope that I could handle whatever life hurled at me, and then He filled me up with peace, joy, love.
And people.
All the important things.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was such an unexpectedly good read! I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but it wasn't this simple, genuine, honesty I felt from the characters and the story. It was a heavier story and bittersweet, but also inspiring and sweet. Definitely one I highly recommend to those who enjoy the genre or general women's fiction.

Content: Some innuendo and crass remarks, but in context. Clean.

Source: Received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Litfuse Publicity, which did not affect my review in any way.

Other Books in the Series

Jaded (Mended Hearts #1)
Jaded
(Mended Hearts #1)
by Varina Denman
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 432 Pages
March 1st 2015 by David C. Cook

Summary

Winner of the ACFW Genesis Award for Romance, Jaded combines small town warmth with a coming of age love story.

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.

  
   
(Affiliate links included.)

Justified (Mended Hearts, #2)
Justified
(Mended Hearts #2)
by Varina Denman
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 416 Pages
June 1st 2015 by David C. Cook

Summary

Award winning author, Varina Denman, returns with a new story of love and second chances for a young mother and the small town's beloved football coach.

In a small Texas town ruled by gossip, Fawn Blaylock believes others are justified in condemning her untimely pregnancy. Stifled by guilt, she yearns for grace while the local football coach treats her with gentle respect.

Justified perfectly captures the rhythm and romance of life in a small town, telling the unforgettable story of a woman searching for renewal, a man looking beyond what others see, and a community torn between judgment and love. It is the unforgettable story of broken dreams, second chances, and relentless hope.

   
   
(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author


Varina Denman is author of the Mended Hearts series and a native Texan. She spent her high school years in a rural town and now writes stories about the struggles women face in similar small town settings. She and her husband live near Fort Worth, where they enjoy spending time with their five mostly grown children.


Tour-Wide Giveaway

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.

jilted-400 

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.


I didn't have time to read the first two books in the series, but I definitely plan to. Have you read any of these?

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