Sarah Thomas has always shunned Derrick DiNunizo. Her brother-in-law, Tony, helped Derrick get off the streets, clean up his life and gave him a home. Most of all, Tony introduced Derrick to the Lord. Derrick has loved Sarah from the first time he met her, but instead of seeing the new person he's become, all she sees is the unkept, street kid who has lots tattoos. Derrick even left town thinking distance would shake the love he has for her. Now several years later he returns home to run one of Tony's hotels. He realizes that his feelings haven't changed but Sarah is just as stand-offish. When she gets sick and Derrick sweetly nurses her back to health she begins to see him in a different light. But just when things look kinda hopeful Derrick's past returns with a vengeance. Before all is said and done, they will be stretched to the very limits of their faith.
Topaz Heat is an excellent romantic suspense! Hallee Bridgeman is a new author to me so I wasn't sure what to expect. Wow! What a wonderful surprise! The story was very well written and seemed to have the perfect blend of suspense, romance and intrigue, with some splashes of humor along the way. I fell in love with the characters and thoroughly enjoyed the interaction of the 'family' and the closeness they shared. I really appreciated the underlying message that, as believers, we are new creatures in Christ and that our old self is done away with. Derrick was a great example of how God can change a heart and when He does He changes a life as well. That's always an encouraging message to hear. Sarah was a very relateable character and though we don't like to admit it, I'm guessing we probably all have a little 'Sarah' in us. You'll find Derrick to be very romantic. There were several toe-curling moments between him and Sarah. And I must say, the Epilog was totally sigh-worthy! Topaz Heat is Book 3 of the Jewel Trilogy but I didn't feel lost not having read the other two books (Sapphire Ice & Emerald Fire) first. I will, however, be reading those very soon. I think reading them in order would be beneficial in gaining the family history but not necessary for understanding the story. Topaz Heat is a great romantic suspense and one I would definitely recommend. Great job, Hallee!
*This complimentary copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*