Sometimes a book just speaks right to your heart, and Finally Accepted by Toni Shiloh is one of them. I have to say, there is one part of the book that totally took me by surprise. In fact, I sent Toni a message telling her my thoughts on the matter lol. Unfortunately, it is a huge spoiler, so I can’t share the details here, but let me just tell you that I was in total shock, upset, and then amazed at how Toni turned this scene around for the good. She used it to remind us all that our eyes need to be on the Lord. There are things in our lives that we may not feel are idols in any way, but they may be in God’s eyes. Please, if you have read this story and know what scene I’m talking about, message me!!! I want to know what you thought 🙂
About the Book
There’s only one thing Chloe Smith has ever wanted: family. Yet the DNA results she’s received have thrown her life into a tailspin. Her utmost desire has ended up being the catalyst for shaking her faith. She doesn’t even know who she is anymore, and she’s certainly too messed up for her longtime crush to give her more than a second glance.
Darryl Jones is struggling between his past and the grace God so freely offers. His sins feel too big for him to handle, let alone expect the woman of his dreams to accept. Chloe is the only woman he’s ever wanted and the one he doesn’t deserve.
As they form a tentative relationship and examine their faith, Chloe and Darryl ache to know they are finally accepted and fully loved.
I have enjoyed reading the Freedom Lake Series by Toni Shiloh. Not only does she write beautiful stories, but she writes stories that are realistic, relatable, and full of faith. There are so many things going on in this book – in a good way. The Lord just pricked my heart while reading this, more so than any others in the series.
First, I was happy to see some old characters get married. I won’t say which ones (Read it!), but I love it when beloved characters from a previous novel make a splash in the book. You get a sense of closure with that couple, plus they bring a lot of fun to the novel itself. Make no mistake though, Chloe and Darryl are awesome. Both of them struggling with their own demons (which I found in some instances to be pretty similar), they need to learn how to let go and forgive before they can move on. Not just in their relationship, but life in general. I think the most well written part of the whole story was when Darryl came to realize that what he was preaching to Chloe was something he needed to work on himself. Aren’t we all like that a little bit? We point fingers and tell others what they should do, but don’t take the time to apply it to ourselves. Talk about conviction! Yes, the
Lord can speak directly to your heart through Christian fiction and that is exactly what happened here for me.
I loved watching these characters grow, but what really made the story was a lot of the secondary characters. Jamie and Darryl’s grandmother were my absolute favorite. Jamie’s upbeat attitude was so infectious, even to me as a reader. You can’t help but like her and feel drawn to her. And Darryl’s grandmother was just a wealth of wisdom, whether you want to hear it or not. Shiloh always write secondary characters that you grow to love as much as the main characters and that is so important to the story for me. You can have wonderfully written main characters, but if the secondary characters are written as an afterthought, it just doesn’t make a story for me.
Finally Accepted touches on several emotions and themes. Forgiveness. Selflessness. Keeping your eyes on the Lord. Grace. Love. I am sorry to see this series come to an end, but I plan on revisiting these characters whenever I can! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
Toni Shiloh is a wife, mom, and Christian fiction writer. Once she understood the powerful saving grace thanks to the love of Christ, she was moved to honor her Savior. She writes to bring Him glory and to learn more about His goodness.
She spends her days hanging out with her husband and their two boys. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the president of the ACFW Virginia Chapter.
You can find her at http://tonishiloh.wordpress.com.