Book Review (and a Freebie!): Red Rose Bouquet by Jennifer Rodewald

January 22, 2017 Christian, contemporary, Jennifer Rodewald, romance 17

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about the book

The dark places in life have taught her this much—some things simply cannot be forgiven.
Cheryl Thompson learned over a decade ago to guard her shattered heart with a veil of cold indifference. Life since that day has been an endless cycle of detachment and loneliness, followed by superficial relationships. Break up, rinse, and repeat. Until something in her snaps. This life…she can’t do it anymore. She returns to her childhood home in the Colorado Rockies to help her nana, only to discover a man capable of thawing her iced-over emotions—a man she knows she doesn’t deserve, so she pushes him away. But he keeps coming back.

Brock Kelly lived high as King of the Slopes in the world of snowboard cross racing. Medals. Money. Fame. But after a visit to an orphanage in Mexico, he gave up his adrenaline-packed lifestyle to follow a calling from God he didn’t know he had—helping kids who’d been damaged emotionally. When his best friend’s baby sister returns to town, he recognizes the hollow look in her eyes and sees the pain beneath her icy armor. It seems God has issued new call on his life. One he is not prepared for.

Falling in love with a woman who keeps secrets is dangerous all on its own. But when Cheryl finally tells Brock what she’s never told anyone else…no wonder she is the way she is. It would take a miracle to heal that wound, and a love bigger than Brock had ever imagined to walk with her through the process.

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SERIES:  Grace Revealing #2
GENRE: Inspirational Women’s Fiction/Romance
PUBLISHER: Rooted Publishing
RELEASE DATE: September 2, 2016
PAGES: 279

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“I believe in redemption.”

There are tears in my eyes still as I sit here, staring at the screen, trying to put into words the beauty and grace that flow from Red Rose Bouquet.  Jennifer Rodewald has a gifting, perhaps like no other, at taking the ugly of life and transforming it into an exquisite story of redemption that brims with mercy and hope. The kind of story that hits you in the feels, even if you think to yourself (as I may have done when I started reading this particular book) “I’ve never dealt with that so at least I won’t cry in this one.” Uh… wrong. Because Jennifer gives you characters in whom your heart fully invests and she teaches you by example to be “willing to look at [their] brokenness, listen to the pain, and let it break [your] heart.”

And perhaps, because of the timing, Cheryl was especially close to my heart as I began to read Red Rose Bouquet. After the women’s marches yesterday and the battle they reignited between pro-life and pro-choice pundits. After reading a book last night that took a very different approach to this topic, one that grieved my heart all the more as I saw the tenderness and grace on every page of Red Rose Bouquet. After knowing that around the world this morning, churches celebrated life … but was it at the cost of “the women who walk away completely shattered“?

Cheryl is broken, some by her own choices and some by lies fed to her. What she needs is the reminder that, as Corrie Ten Boom said, there is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.  Even when she refuses to listen. Even when she doesn’t dare believe. Or love. Or trust. He’s there. With forgiveness and grace and a love that won’t let go.

Enter Brock. The love he shows Cheryl – a love that defies expectations or anticipations – is so touching that I still can barely breathe around the beauty of it all.  His part of her story is exquisitely gentle and wildly romantic and bravely determined. He’s not perfect at it, but he’s a beautiful (sorry, Brock!) reflection of the One who is.

Bottom Line: Red Rose Bouquet by Jennifer Rodewald is a powerful novel of healing and hope. It takes a raw look at the human side of a hot-button political and religious topic, and it coats every word with mercy and grace and Love. There are no easy answers on these pages, only the redemptive embrace where “mercy and truth have met together [and] righteousness and peace have kissed.” (Psalm 85:10)

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I read via Kindle Unlimited. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / Exquisite

KissingBook Level: 4 / keep a fan handy!

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Red Rose Bouquet is FREE for Kindle until Jan 24, 2017.

Reviewer’s Note: If you are a post-abortive woman, may I just say there is no condemnation here? Either on my blog or on the pages of Red Rose Bouquet. But if you have walked away shattered, can I also suggest two resources of hope and help for you? The first is Her Choice to Heal (mentioned in Red Rose Bouquet) and the second is Ramah International.

about the author

Jennifer Rodewald is passionate about the Word of God and the powerful vehicle of story. The draw to fiction has tugged hard on her heart since childhood, and when she began pursuing writing she set on stories that reveal the grace of God.

Jen lives and writes in a lovely speck of a town where she watches with amazement while her children grow up way too fast, gardens, and marvels at God’s mighty hand in everyday life. Four kids and her own personal superman make her home in southwestern Nebraska delightfully chaotic.

Other Books by Jennifer Rodewald


Carrie

17 Responses to “Book Review (and a Freebie!): Red Rose Bouquet by Jennifer Rodewald”

  1. MH

    Have been wanting to read her books for some time. Thanks for the review and also the mention of free Kindle version of the book.

  2. Toni Shiloh

    Isn’t this book absolutely fantastic! I feel like every person needs to read this. This is what Christ’s love is all about and what we should be modeling.

  3. Jen

    writing this book changed so much of how I see life, how I see others. It challenged me to see people rather than issues. To dig for grace even when it feels impossible. To choose compassion. Thank you for this beautiful review. I feel like you truly saw my heart. <3

    • Carrie

      I did!!! And I’m so proud of myself – I didn’t ugly cry until 97% of the way through lol!

  4. Rebecca Maney

    I am echoing Sarah Monzon, in that I knew you would love it! It’s painful. It’s powerful. It’s haunting. It’s healing. What more could you ask for in inspirational fiction? Great review!

  5. Deana Dick

    I thought your review was awesome. I can’t wait to read it. I think I may need to get some tissues ready before I start the book.

  6. Winnie Thomas

    Wonderful review as usual, Carrie! I’ve heard so many great things about this book. I have it on my Kindle, and I need to get to it soon. I wish I could clone myself so I could get more books read! 😀

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