“Dancing with Fireflies” by Denise Hunter

Creative and complicated, Jade McKinley felt like a weed in a rose garden growing up in Chapel Springs. When she left, she thought she’d never look back. But now, pregnant, alone, and broke, she has no other choice but to return.

The mayor of Chapel Springs, Daniel Dawson, has been an honorary member of the McKinley family for years. While his own home life was almost non-existent, Daniel fit right into the boisterous McKinley family. He’s loved Jade for years, but she always saw him as a big brother. Now that she’s back, his feelings are stronger than ever.
As Jade attempts to settle in, nothing feels right. God seems far away, she’s hiding secrets from her family, and she’s strangely attracted to the man who’s always called her “squirt.” Finding her way home may prove more difficult than she imagined.
 I’ve got a new favorite Denise Hunter book.  
On the surface, this doesn’t sound like a perky book.  Jade is trying to overcome some pretty heavy wounds, and Daniel’s family isn’t exactly a picnic, either.  Trying to forge a romantic relationship where there has been a strong friendship, however, is the best kind of basis for love, and Jade and Daniel do much to help each other.
It’s those strong feelings that pave the way for a sweet, strong story.  Hunter doesn’t focus on the pain of the past but the strength of the present to reach for future’s hope.  It’s the acknowledgement of the pain that lends credence to the growth of the character and of the storyline, and therein lies the very best part of the story: the stretching of maturity, the sacrifice of love, and the melding of individuals into a couple – and a family.
Stories of healing and hope are among my favorites, but when the characters don’t just survive the trauma but grow through it, that’s the very best scenario ever – because in real life, isn’t that exactly what Jesus asks of us?
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Denise Hunter is an internationally published best-selling author. Her books have won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and was a RITA finalist. In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all of her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps, too. When Denise isn’t writing, she’s busy raising three heroes-in-the-making with her husband.

Learn more about Denise at: http://www.denisehunterbooks.com
I received a free copy of Dancing with Fireflies in exchange for an honest review.
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