Sapphire Ice (Inspirational Romance): The Jewel Series Book 1 4th Edition, Kindle Edition
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Robin Bartlett grew up believing all men were savage beasts, and having her mother shot dead by her father would do that. She went through the foster system with one foster sister, lost a half-sister to it only to regain her later. She worked two jobs and went without to give her two half-sisters a chance in life by funding their college all by herself. She would accept no help from anyone, and she had lost her faith in God a long time ago. Antonio "Tony" Viscolli grew up in the streets and had a rough life. He entered a church one day, hoping to rob it, but instead, had a crisis of faith and was fostered by the youth minister, reformed, and became a real businessman. And he just bought the restaurant that Robin bartended. Robin resented the charismatic and powerful Tony, and suspected his attention to her is simply expecting some sort of payback. Tony knew that God led him to Robin for a purpose, but can he show Robin the way back to God and love?
As inspirational romance, there is no sex in this book, just soulful kisses and deep sense of belonging, and Tony insisted that Robin had to find God before he can love her. But he was nice to her, and expect nothing in return, much like God expected us to love. People who are a bit cynical may find this eye-roll worth, but it was properly plotted, complete with a darkest hour. However, as with most inspirational romance, the only obstacle is one's heart, and most evil simply change their stance upon being confronted and have a change of heart. Which is why this doesn't get a 5-star. If criminals just need a bit of talking-to, there wouldn't really be crminals, would there?
Sapphire Ice was quick to suck me in, and once I was hooked, I couldn't put it down. For being Hallee Bridgeman's first published work, I was pleasantly surprised at just how good it was.
The characters are brought to life and seem like real people. People you can connect with, people you root for and want to be happy. This book made me laugh and cry and rejoice, and I can't wait for the next one!
If you want true romance, not sex, but romance - this book is for you.
This is not a typical sedate Christian romance. It has plenty of thrilling moments and is quite edgy in places. This is the first book in a series, but it can easily stand alone as it has a proper ending.
Posted on Amanda's Books and More
Also note that the story includes a Christian dating a non-Christian.
NOTE: This story contains mature themes. Although they're handled tactfully, I strongly discourage it for younger readers.
The only problem I had was the second meeting of the principals, where it seemed as if the hero was baiting the heroine. Whether this was to see if she'd fall for his riches or was a lapse into power plays, as later in the book, I don't know. But it see med out of character for the hero, and it's never explained.