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Tattered Innocence Paperback – March 14, 2013
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About the Author
Ann Lee Miller earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University and writes full-time in Phoenix, but left her heart in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where she grew up. She loves speaking to young adults and guest lectures on writing at several Arizona colleges. When she isn't writing or muddling through some crisis--real or imagined--you'll find her hiking in the Superstition Mountains with her husband, meddling in her kids' lives or at AnnLeeMiller.com. Tattered Innocence debuts in February, 2013. Ann says: Every year in elementary school the teachers wrote, "daydreams too much," on my report card. Like Ty Pennington, no doubt, put his, "can't sit still," to good use on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, I cashed in my bad behavior writing novels. However, sometimes the daydreaming didn't work out so well in real life. When I was twelve, my job was checking the depth when we sailed near shallows. I jabbed a pole at the bay floor and yelled out how many feet of water we had by reading the notches on the stick. One day the pole stuck in bottom, and the next thing I knew, I clung to the pole, suspended a couple feet above the water, and my family sailed away. Of course, I didn't waste all my hollering about mud and barracuda and cold water as I sunk into the seaweed waiting for Dad to lumber the motor-less, forty-foot hulk back around to fetch me--I wrote it into one of my books.
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Rachel has been seduced by a married coworker and takes a job on Jake's boat to escape her shameful choices and the generational patterns passed down from her mother. Although Jake is nursing hurt from being dumped by his fiancee, he can't stop his attraction to Rachel. As they work together through the crises of a hurricane, frustrating passengers, and exes, their bond strengthens.
It's a story of faith, forgiveness, letting go of shame, rebuilding, figuring out how to take responsibility for one's actions, and opening up to another person (using wisdom this time).
Like all Ann Lee Miller's characters, Rachel and Jake are people we know. Or are. Their thoughts, dialog, and actions are real. I love these books because they're so true to life, with hope.
Her stories may be about twenty-somethings and their coming-of-age angst; about fractured families and human failures and personally perceived short-comings, but we can all relate at any age. On opposite ends of the reader spectrum, for seniors,(gosh I hate that handle!) like myself, I've been there, done that, and still struggle with the guilt of foolish actions, but teen readers may glean helpful insight into the consequences of certain decisions.
Most importantly for romance seekers, Ann does not disappoint! Love and God's goodness always persevere. Now I know what forgiveness feels like and you, dear reader, can also.
Thank you Ann Lee Miller for another inspiring read. I am anxiously awiting more!
Jake left the corporate world to start his own business on The Smyrna Queen, a dream he shared with his deceased grandfather. Nearly everything he owns is in this venture. He needs a first mate to help him sail the boat and prepare meals for the guests. Since the only available sleeping quarters are in his cabin, Rachel makes it clear from the beginning that she is there for the job and nothing else.
It is quickly apparent that there is an attraction between the two of them, but neither will admit it because they are both still running away from previous relationships. Add to that, family problems, hurricanes, and the guilt they carry; this story has multiple layers to it. Since this is a Christian romance novel, there are references to God all the way through the book. Rachel convinces Jake to go to a beach service with her, and though he is skeptical at first, he comes around. There are often instances throughout where Rachel and Jake each reach out to God for guidance and forgiveness.
The book is well written, and the story will keep you turning the pages. If you are looking for a light romance novel and don't mind Christian references, this is undoubtedly a book I would recommend.
Ann Lee Miller grew up in New Smyrna Beach, earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University, and currently lives in Phoenix with her husband and children. She writes full time and lectures at various Arizona colleges.
This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.