Title: Tattered Innocence
Author: Ann Lee Miller
Series: New Smyrna Beach #2
On the verge of bagging the two things he wants most—a sailing charter business and marrying old money—Jake Murray’s fiancée/sole crew member dumps him. Salvation comes in the form of dyslexic, basketball toting Rachel Martin, the only one to apply for the first mate position he slapped on craigslist.
On a dead run from an affair with a married man, Rachel's salvation is shoving ocean between her and temptation.
Rapid fire dialogue and romantic tension sail Jake’s biker-chick of a boat through hurricanes, real and figurative. A cast of wannabe sailors, Rachel’s ex, Jake’s, a baby—go along for the ride.The many-layered story weaves together disparate strands into a seamless cord. Mother and daughter look eerily alike—down to their lusts. Their symbiotic bond, forged in the blood of childbirth on the kitchen floor and cemented by their secrets, must be cracked open. A son must go home. Sin must be expunged.
Tattered Innocence is for anyone who’s ever woken up sealed in a fifty-gallon drum of their guilt.
I wasn't sure what to expect going into this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. This book was filled with humor, romance, serious moments, and truth. It will take your emotions for a ride (er, sail) and leave your mind filled with thoughts.
Rachel is running from her past. Her affair with a married man has left her feeling like a failure, no better than her mother. She has isolated herself from her friends and family, and takes a job as first mate for Jake. Jake himself is running from his past, drowning under the grief of his grandfather's death and his broken engagement to the woman he loves. His boat has become his life, even to the point of not having gone back to visit his family.
Rachel was witty and sarcastic, definitely my kind of character. She could hold her own against Jake's initial rude and gruff exterior. Both Jake and Rachel are struggling with the consequences of their choices, and I feel like that was shown in a very realistic way. Rachel, try as she might, can't seem to shake the grip that Brett has on her emotions, even though she knows its wrong because he's a married man. Jake will always feel guilty that he let how he felt about Gabrielle keep him from seeing his grandfather before his death, especially now that Gabrielle has called off the engagement.
The writing will definitely draw you in. At first, I didn't think I was going to really love this one, but then the more I read, the more I was hooked. The romance was well-drawn out, slow and sweet, not annoyingly instant. The focus on the characters as individuals, facing individual problems, instead of ev erything being wrapped up in them being a couple was also nice and well-done.
The faith aspect was also well handled. It wasn't so subtle that the point failed to come across, but wasn't so overbearing that is seemed preachy. It was well integrated into the story, and helped move the plot along. If you're struggling with some of the same issues as these characters, this will help you open your eyes and give you food for thought as well.
In short, I enjoyed this story a lot. It was well-written, well thought out, with realistic characters and their realistic problems. You will fall in love with these characters and the setting.
I received an ecopy from the author in exchange for my honest review.
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