Journal

Justified by Varina Denman

I love discovering new series of books that already have a couple of books out. Usually, when I find a book I love, I can’t wait to read the sequel. After I read Jaded, I was excited to start Justified–especially because of who the main character would be. The subject of these books put the main characters in some really hard situations–but the lessons they learn are incredibly relevant for nearly anyone who reads them. 

**I received a copy of this book from David C. Cook and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**

In a small Texas town ruled by gossip, Fawn Blaylock believes others are justified in condemning her untimely pregnancy. Stifled by guilt, she yearns for grace while the local football coach treats her with gentle respect.

Justified perfectly captures the rhythm and romance of life in a small town, telling the unforgettable story of a woman searching for renewal, a man looking beyond what others see, and a community torn between judgment and love. It is the unforgettable story of broken dreams, second chances, and relentless hope.

“God wants our best, and He’s patient while we work on it, but we’re never going to be perfect Christians. He doesn’t want or expect that. If we were perfect, we would have no need for Him.”

-JohnScott Pickett, Justified

Characters: Fawn Blaylock was a fascinating character. She is a character whose standing in a community had fallen… a lot. At the start of the novel, she is pregnant, trying to end an unhealthy relationship, and abandoned by her family. She is probably one of the most broken characters that I have read about. But that same brokenness let’s her become a new person–a better person who can live out her faith. Other favorite characters from Denman’s first novel of this series also show up and they are fun to visit with again.

Storyline: Like the first book of this series, this one comes with some hard truths–but it makes for a beautiful story. I loved watching Fawn become a new person and becoming less selfish and more selfless. The storyline also offered a few surprises in it which always makes for a great read.

My Thoughts:  I really enjoyed this book… and finished it quite quickly. The story flowed quite well, and the message of the story stood out without being dominating. This is a book that I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys Christian fiction with a strong message within the pages.

About the Author:

An avid reader and blogger, Varina Denman enjoys writing fiction about Christian women and the unique struggles they face. She seems to have a knack for describing small town life, and is currently working on a three book Texas series which will soon be published by David C. Cook. The first book in the series, Jaded, won the 2013 ACFW Genesis contest for romance.

Varina attended three Texas universities over a span of five years, majoring in four subjects and earning zero degrees. However, she can now boast sixteen years as a home educator, volunteering in the local cooperative where she has taught numerous subjects including creative writing and literature.

Even though Varina has spoken at ladies’ retreats and taught women’s Bible classes, she finds the greatest fulfillment facilitating prayer groups. She lives in Burleson, Texas, where she helps with Family Ministry in her home congregation. Varina is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and North Texas Christian Writers.

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