Are you looking for a good Christian novel? One that is delightful, thought provoking, entertaining, enlightening, and just plain great. I have one for you. This is not Christian fluff but a hardy serving. It is Book One in a series and Book Two, A Love So True is releasing soon.
“A Heart Most Certain” by author Melissa Jagears is Christian romance novel published by Bethany House. It is the first in her Teaville Moral Society, and I was captivated quickly. It is by far the best one I have read by this author.
Jagears is a genuine storyteller. She has woven and developed a tale that interested me immediately. It didn’t take pages or chapters to get into this book. I was into it immediately. Her main characters are believable and relatable. I found myself trying to mimic some of their movements and gestures myself. Descriptions are not overly long and boring, but enough to put me in the time and place. Conversations flowed effortlessly. I would repeat a line sassily from the book as I tilted my head. The heroine, Lydia King, is a fledgling Christian in a women’s group, The Teaville Moral Society, at her church. This Society marches against the Red Light District in town. They help on their terms for what they deem worthy only. Lydia finds herself assigned the monumental task of obtaining a donation from one of the town’s richest men, Nicholas Lowe. Lydia is promised to Sebastian Little, son of the mayor. While Lydia and Nicholas have a relationship built on getting a contribution from him, sparks begin to fly amidst frustration and irritation. Slowly Lydia begins to learn precious lessons from Nicholas, better ones than she has learned in her moral society. He in turn learns from her. There are many supporting characters. The author uses them effectively.
This book is filled with everything I love in a Christian novel. First and foremost it has great messages. This author clearly knows her Bible and loves God. I love scripture in a novel. The inspiration in the book encouraged me and warmed my heart. Using scripture, biblical stories and parables the author hits us not only on our head to think about these things, but she hits us in our heart where we feel things. My favorite line was “So if a whole lot of nice people can’t keep you in church, then you can’t use a whole lot of bad people to keep you out.”
This book had a great romance. I could smile, blush, or cry with Lydia. I could relate to her. She loved books and to read. Her heart would lead her but others might pull her away from what she knew was right. She was often torn between taking care of family or doing for herself. She was a people pleaser but she was determined.
The men were opposites. There was competition between Sebastian and Nicholas. Sebastian wanted arm candy since it was a campaign year. A Christian pretty wife on his arm would help him win. He liked Lydia despite what his parents thought. Nicholas was hard and guarded until Lydia cracked his shell. He led a secret life and was judged unjustly by his church congregation. No one ever saw him tithe or give to anything. He appreciated Lydia but unjustly judged her also. They taught each other a lot. The author knows how to create tension and purity in her love stories. She is a professional in writing breathtaking kisses.
It had a great plot, adventure, suspense, mystery, drama, inspiration, and even humor. There were historical things I didn’t know. This story was complete, but There is a second book. Jagears is a master at making me laugh “”Though I’m certain I’d have an easier time convincing a turkey to crawl onto our table and stuff itself for Thanksgiving than getting Mr. Lowe to hand me a penny.”
I would highly recommend “A Heart Most Certain” to anyone. It would make a great book club read or women’s study group book. There are discussion questions in the back. It has so much substance in it that readers will want to talk to others about this wonderful book. I rated it a 5 out of 5 stars only because there was no 10! Get ready for book two! A copy of the book was provided by Bethany House for my honest review.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matt. 7:1-2