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All of Me Wants All of You Paperback – June 11, 2014
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The Amazon Book Review
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All of Me Wants All of You is an emotional and provocative tale portraying the depths of love. "In order to receive love, it is essential to enjoy pleasure - and to trust being vulnerable to it." Dean and Kate's marriage is pleasing to the eyes of others, but in reality it is a train-wreck, a play of deception. Under the covers of their marital bed sheets, nothing is happening. When a young vibrant woman, Larissa, haphazardly enters their lives, their marriage and relationship is tested to its foundation's core. Facing an impasse, both spouses hold on to their devotion to faith and family values. Kate looks at their lack of intimacy as a "problem to ignore," while Dean's perspective is a "mystery to be solved." Looking deep within their souls, will they surrender the past, open up and enjoy the present, and seize the strength to change their future? J.Z Howard writes with unbridled passion in All of Me Wants All of You. I applaud his boldness and non-hypocritical approach to marriage, sexuality and temptation regarding the contemporary Christian Church. His use of biblical verses are placed dynamically within the storyline. His characters are ruggedly handsome men and empowered, yet very feminine women. These are not your run-of-the-mill, stereotypical Christian novel characters. Instead, they are real people, facing big issues, holding on to their faith. As a reader, your heart and soul bleeds for the characters as they face the enormity of their personal conflicts. All of Me Wants All of You is a gritty, emotionally charged, page-turning saga that peaks and then dramatically recedes into a promising, redeeming conclusion. Reviewed by Readers' Favorite reviewer Cheryl E. Rodriguez
About the Author
J. Z. Howard is a ten-year veteran of Hollywood’s television industry. He has directed multiple award-winning videos, as well as published three addiction recovery books. His latest novel, All of Me Wants All of You, reflects his desire for people to get in touch with both their masculine and feminine sides in order to create a more balanced and selfless person in the eyes of God. Howard currently lives in Minnesota with his charming wife and true love.
Top customer reviews
The author spends a great deal of time exploring the interrelationships of these characters, and shows the sensitivity toward the ramifications of all their decisions. He weaves an intricate plot that will have you searching your own heart as to what God may want you to do in your own marriage or life. In dramatic strokes, this story interweaves many godly principles into the trials of these identifiable people seeking wholeness, and will challenge readers to take stock of their own thoughts and actions, which can lead to a restoring of broken relationships.
I highly recommend this book to any one who would like to go "deeper" in a love relationship that is struggling. This book champions numerous positive ideas and solutions that can help heal a relationship with a spouse, using the spiritual power of a Christian perspective to live "victoriously."
The four main characters don’t seem to have much in common at first. Dean and Kate’s marriage is in deeper jeopardy than Kate wants to admit. As a single mom, Larissa struggles with balancing independence and parenting a teenager while lamenting her grim childhood in foster care. Trevor knows what he wants in a woman but doubts he will find her. Each character is searching for something -- connection, community, and intimacy. Yet each character has scars -- some are internal, some are external. I enjoyed that each has a personal epiphany of self-awareness by the end.
In his portrayal of these people, Howard makes it easy for us to connect with them. They are completely human, with strengths and struggles, looking to help and be helped by their loved ones. These are original characters that turn stereotypes upside down. Dean craves more intimacy and sexual connection in his marriage, despairing that nothing will ever change. He loves Kate deeply, but needs more from her than she is willing to give. It’s not just about more sex; it’s about a stronger bond on an emotional and spiritual level within the marriage. Kate is afraid of many things -- sex, confrontation, facing her past -- and so fills her life with too many demands and activities. Larissa is connected to her sexuality, but does not understand her value beyond that part of her. Finally, Trevor fears that his physical scars are too much for a romantic partner to look beyond.
What I found most refreshing about the book is how the characters talk about their relationship with God without being preachy, strident or judgmental. They are all in a different place on their faith journey, and each reaches out to others for support. The best part -- no one is an expert, not even the minister, when it comes to interpreting God’s will. They struggle while sharing insights and experiences, but they are all searching to connect with each other and Howard’s storytelling demonstrates their journeys in the most complete way possible.