Hurt and abused.
Jane Daugherty has survived what can only be described as the childhood from hell. After years of mental, physical, and sexual abuse, she has become a fiercely independent young woman – closed off from human connection. Unable to trust people or in their ability to be kind, she has vowed to build a new life for herself so that she never has to rely on others again. At 24-years-old, she is fulfilling this vow, successfully working as the youngest tenure-track professor at the University of New York.
Brilliant and remarkably accomplished, Jane’s life takes an unexpected turn when she is reunited with the childhood friend she protected in foster care. Alexa Masterson introduces Jane to the family that adopted her, a family that includes her older brother, Aiden Masterson. Instantly drawn to each other, Aiden and Jane embark on a relationship that will either destroy them both or shape them into the man and woman they were always meant to be. Can what started as lust transform into love? And what will bring about the transformation that they ultimately need?
**Please note there is occasional cursing, mild violence, and unapologetic references to sexuality and spirituality within this work of fiction. Reader discretion is advised.**
When I initially heard what this book was about, this is what I thought was going to happen: Jane was going to be a woman who, because of her past would be hard to get know or be around, and the Christian Aiden would pursue her despite her prickly outside and in the last three chapters she would declare her love for him….the end. And so, I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled I was that this was NOT that story. My thoughts:
Reasons why you should read this book:
The characters. Honestly, this is character driven novel and not a plot driven novel and when you have novels like these, it becomes important that you like the main characters. I liked the main characters. Jane is damaged. But I love that while her past made her hesitant to engage, it did not cripple her. She was usually conscious of when she said something not so nice or overreacted and then she corrected herself. Aiden (who was not the Christian knight-more on this later) was another well developed character whose actions felt consistent with who he was…and Alexa was my favorite person (probably because she was the person who held everything together).
The romance. Neither Aiden nor Jane are Christians at the start of this novel, and can I say that that is a rarity in Christian fiction? I simply can’t recall another novel like that (sometimes in the prologue the main characters aren’t saved, but by chapter 1 they are or at least one of them is). This means that the way they go about things romantically….is different. That said, I loved the connection between Aiden and Jane. Their romance was not rushed. They really got to know each other well. And when the novel ended, in spite of the baggage they would be bringing into a relationship, I had complete faith that their romance would last.
Spiritually, there is a great message about the difference between love and lust and why marriage is different than just playing house (so to speak). I really liked the slow way they both came to know the Lord and realized a need for him. Also, when Jane and Aiden do get saved, I can happily report that the book doesn’t just end. I’m so glad the author gave them time to figure out who they were spiritually before they just got together.
Reasons you might not want to read this book (personal preference):
There is cursing. And I know what you’re thinking, your saying Em, I totally saw the disclaimer. Well I did too folks and so I went in with the expectation of coming across…maybe five swear words….no.
There are steamy scenes. Let me just be honest, I like my Christian romance novels with a side of edginess. Whenever I read reviews that complain about the edginess of a novel, I mentally scoff at the reviewer and say bring it on. Ok…well…this book was not edgy, it was steamy, and this 27 year old christian woman was blushing, and there were moments where I hoped no one was reading over my shoulder. That said…it could have been worse.
Romantic scale: 9
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was beyond what I thought, far exceeded my expectations and this won’t be the last novel that I read by the author.
**I received my copy from the author. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**
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