Monday, May 18, 2015

"when dawn breaks" by jennifer slattery

A 50-something woman with a life of regrets finds new purpose when she's displaced by a hurricane.

As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution forces her to head north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. Dealing with his own issues, Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. And then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?

When Dawn Breaks turned out to be, well, nothing like I thought it would be ... and I mean that in the best way! If I had to choose one word to describe this book, it would be "real." Life isn't all sunshine, rainbows, and puppies for the characters in this novel, but their trials aren't over the top dramatic, either.

I liked many things about this novel. Jacqueline is a very sympathetic main character, and I cheered for her throughout the novel. She grows tremendously in her walk with Christ from the beginning of the novel to the end, and that transformation was fun to read about.

I also loved, loved, loved Gavin's journey. He was such a good kid who had some really hard things dealt to him. Slattery certainly didn't pull any punches when describing life in a group home—it made me want to become Gavin's foster mom!

I also really liked the fact that romance wasn't the be all and end all for these characters. Yes, I did enjoy the romance between Jacqueline and Jonathan, the handsome railroader, but her happiness and the trajectory of her life most certainly did not depend on whether or not Jonathan wanted to be with her. She was most concerned with following God's lead. I found that refreshing.

Of the three main characters (Jacqueline, Gavin, and Jonathan), I felt that Jonathan's story was the weakest ... possibly because I didn't quite understand his job. However, that minor criticism won't keep me from wholeheartedly recommending this novel. While it's marketed as romance, the romance is light enough that I think even those who don't enjoy romance will like this novel, and I look forward to reading more of Slattery's writing in the future. 4 stars.

Buy the book.

Jennifer Slattery writes missional romance novels for New Hope Publishers. Her debut, Beyond I Do, released in August 2014. She also writes Christian Living articles for and devotions for her personal blog, JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud; Internet Cafe Devotions; and Takin' it to the Streets', a ministry serving Omaha Metro's working poor and homeless.

When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, hanging out at the mall with her teenage daughter, enjoying her real-life hero husband, or serving in her church or community.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from the author and publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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