About the Book
Author: Jennifer Seines
Genre: Christian Fiction, Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Romance
Release Date: April 30, 2019
Her father’s will is clear; do what he demands, or lose everything, including guardianship of her younger sister. But there’s a force at work–an evil set on destroying her and her sister. If only she knew whether the enigmatic man helping them is friend–or deadly foe… After the reading of her father’s will, Tess O’Shay’s panic attacks return. In death, Sean O’Shay is attempting to accomplish what he couldn’t do in life—force Tess to finish her education, a dream she abandoned after being raped on campus. Unless she complies with her father’s wishes, she will lose all claim to the only home she’s ever known as well as to the family business. Worse, she’ll have to give up guardianship of her younger sister to Jake Holland, a secretive man fleeing from his past. Fine! She’ll show Jake and her father. She’ll muster whatever meager energy and strength she has, get her degree, and keep what matters most to her. No matter what. Then the man who assaulted her reappears, shattering what little strength she has left. Now she must dig deep to find the remnants of her mustard-seed faith…because that’s the only way she can face the past and right a wrong in order to secure the future.
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About the Author
Jennifer Sienes holds a degree in both psychology and education but discovered life-experience is the best teacher. She loves Jesus, writing and romance and puts it altogether in inspirational contemporary fiction. California born and raised, she recently took a step of faith with her real-life hero and relocated to Tennessee.
More from Jennifer
Since I was twelve years old, I’ve been writing stories. I even wrote fan-fiction before it was a thing—a Happy Days episode, which I’m sure dates me. I took every creative writing class I could, starting in high school, and even declared journalism as my college major until I realized I like fiction a whole lot more than truth, because I can create the characters any way I like.
Tess O’Shay, the main character in Surrendered, came by way of accident. She was a minor character in my first novel (which will be the last published in the series) and my critique group loved her. They wanted to know if she would have more scenes. She did not. In fact, she was deleted with the rewrites. But I couldn’t get her out of my mind—it was like she’d become a real person and refused to be ignored. I loved writing Surrendered because Tess O’Shay and Jake Holland ran away with the story and it was everything I could do to keep up.
The first two novels I wrote were inspired by actual events—my brother’s suicide in the first and my daughter’s near-fatal car accident in the second. These are dark themes, yet I wanted to present them with humor and hope—both of which have gotten me through some tough circumstances. I strive to create characters my readers can connect with—three-dimensional and human—but also fall in love with. I think the best books are those that leave us wanting more.
The story was a bit hard to get into at first. There was a lot of background information and skipping from character to character. I am not a big fan of first person stories where I have to keep up with the characters and what they are doing. Now for what I really liked about the story. I loved the concept and surprises that the author put in. It was hard to see Tess and Katie grieve the loss of their father. What really surprised me was how Jake became part of their lives.
One of the main themes in the book is about secrecy. I have learned that keeping a secret always comes back to smack you in the face. The secret Tess is keeping has made her stop fulfilling her dream and settle for less. She never has wanted to run the family business but her secret prevents her from stepping out in faith. She lives in a world where she doesn't trust anyone and keeps her feelings to herself.
I laughed as I read the part about Tess and Katie's fathers' will. What father in his right mind would bring in a stranger to take over everything and expect his daughters not to have a problem with him. Jake is in way over his head as he tries to fulfill the stipulation in the will. It is hard not to give away anything in the story so I will just say the tension between these characters are strong and I'm not sure who will come out the victor.
Jake also is keeping a secret that has him questioning his abilities. His previous profession causes him to walk away from everything when an unforeseen tragedy happens. I think I have a love/hate relationship with this book. At times the story was almost unbelievable and silly at times. I think I had more problems with the father's story line and thought it was a bit much. There are times when Tess was so stubborn and downright mean to Jake that I wanted him to pack his bags and run away from her.
The story does have some good moments that helped me like the book and I was able to see what the author was trying to achieve. The bottom line is that secrets can hurt others and when you turn your back on God, you leave yourself open to not trusting people, being angry and running away from the truth.
"God always has a way of putting a spin on the ugliness in life."
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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To celebrate her tour, Jennifer is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e1c0/surrendered-celebration-tour-giveaway