~ About the Book ~
There’s only one thing Chloe Smith has ever wanted: family. Yet the DNA results she’s received have thrown her life into a tailspin. Her utmost desire has ended up being the catalyst for shaking her faith. She doesn’t even know who she is anymore, and she’s certainly too messed up for her longtime crush to give her more than a second glance.
Darryl Jones is struggling between his past and the grace God so freely offers. His sins feel too big for him to handle, let alone expect the woman of his dreams to accept. Chloe is the only woman he’s ever wanted and the one he doesn’t deserve.
As they form a tentative relationship and examine their faith, Chloe and Darryl ache to know they are finally accepted and fully loved.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: #3 Freedom Lake
Release date: 16 August 2018
~ Excerpt ~
“So you got the results back then?” The squeak in Jamie’s voice hinted at her excitement as subtly as a bull horn.
“Yes.” She swallowed, trying to keep her composure.
“I knew it!”
Chloe moved the phone away from her ear.
“I’m so glad I made the decision to move here.”
“Did you tell…did you…” She faltered. What did she call the man who supplied half her DNA but refused to acknowledge the fact?
When Jamie divulged his resistance and lack of desire to claim the title of father, her heart broke. Knowing John Davenport didn’t want to be her father twisted up her words.
“Yes,” Jamie replied, her voice filled with compassion. “I told him I wanted to be near you and get to know you.”
“What did he say?” She gripped her cell, nerves stretched taut.
“He hung up,” Jamie whispered.
Chloe closed her eyes, but it was no use. The pain spread through her whole body as she tried to grasp for calm and peace. Why didn’t he want her? Was it so horrible that she had an extra helping of melanin? It’s not like he hadn’t dated her mom. Maybe it had been a cruel joke.
She knew the pranks high school boys often pulled. The way Evan had teased her best friend, Jo, mercilessly throughout their high school years was testament to the fact. The fact that they were now engaged to be married was proof of God’s work in their lives.
Surely You can work this out too?
~ Review ~
Two emotionally wounded people, two rather messy families, a group of supportive friends, and a strong message about forgiveness, grace, and acceptance are what you’ll get when you pick up the third book in Toni Shiloh’s Freedom Lake series. Chloe and Darryl are characters we’ve been following since the beginning of this series, and there are developments in Chloe’s story, in particular, in the previous book in this series, Grace Restored, so if you want the full picture, I recommend reading this series in order. That said, this could be read as a stand-alone novel, too.
One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about this series is the strong faith element. With many of the characters being new or young Christians, they’re exploring some really foundational elements of what it means to live as a believer, and in many cases, from the vantage point of some difficult circumstances. Chloe was raised by her grandmother after her mother abandoned her as a baby, and at the beginning of this book, she’s only just found out who her father is and learned she has three half-siblings. Let’s just say things get harder before they get better…
Darryl’s situation is slightly different, but no easier—and unlike Chloe, who’s one of the few life-long believers in the group—Darryl is just beginning his Christian walk. Their journeys remind us that, no matter where we are in our walk with Christ, difficult times will come, and no matter what we do or don’t have in our earthly lives, God wants to be our all. And yet, he blesses us with all kinds of earthly love as well. There will be emotional moments, sweet moments, and one totally heart-stopping moment (no spoilers!) as you read this story. I hope we haven’t seen the last of Freedom Lake.
I received a copy of this novel from the author. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
~ Previous Books in Series ~
~ About the Author ~
Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.
She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the president of the ACFW Virginia Chapter.