“I wish I had been there, Lyn, and I wish I could erase all the pain from your past,” Lynda is told in Varina Denman’s novel, Jilted.
~ What ~
Third in the Mended Hearts series, this three-hundred-eighty-four-page paperback targets those who enjoy contemporary romantic fiction. With a couple of slang words and no overtly sexual scenes, topics of disaster, illness, murder, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. A note to the reader, acknowledgments, book club discussion guide, and the author’s biography are after the conclusion.
In this current day tale set in the fictitious small town of Trapp, Texas, depressed and anxious Lynda Turner has spent the last fifteen years growing bitter that her husband abandoned her and her young child. With an addiction to watching wind turbines, she finds a rekindled relationship when her childhood friend, Clyde Felton, is released from prison after serving time for statutory rape. However, Clyde, now a Christian, wants to protect and keep safe the woman he has loved throughout the years.
Living in a gossipy town, Lynda’s mental and spiritual state is constantly challenged when tragedy hits a relative, she is accused of murder, and an old flame continues to taunt and bait her about the past and her estranged husband. It is only when the truth comes out that Lynda can accept God and Clyde’s love and acceptance.
~ Why ~
Written in both first and third person, this final book in the trilogy is about handling the shame and guilt of past errors while tying the loose ends of the prior books. The ex-convict’s personality and character are believable as he struggles to adapt to normal life and learn to love again.
~ Why Not ~
Some readers may prefer books that are not based in current day or have a Christian theme to them. Others may find a series hard to read if not done in order, but this one can be read as a stand-alone.
~ Who ~
The author of three novels in the series, Denman is a teacher of creative writing and literature. As a home educator, she lives in North Texas with her husband and five mostly grown children. The writer has won the 2013 ACFW Genesis Award for her first novel.
~ Wish ~
Having read all three books in the series, I thought it was odd having a young woman depicted on the front cover of the book when the main character has a twenty-plus-year-old daughter.
~ Want ~
If you want to read a contemporary Christian romance series that focus on sins of the past, guilt, and shame while accepting love and forgiveness, this would be a nice choice.
Thanks to Radiantlit for this book to read and review.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.