Just Destiny

Just Destiny

4.6 31
by Theresa Rizzo

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What would you do if your whole world fell apart?

Jenny Harrison made some poor choices in the past, but marrying Gabe was the best thing she'd ever done. They had the perfect marriage, until a tragic accident leaves Gabe brain dead and her world in ruins.
Devastated by grief, she decides to preserve the best of their love by conceiving his child, but Gabe's

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What would you do if your whole world fell apart?

Jenny Harrison made some poor choices in the past, but marrying Gabe was the best thing she'd ever done. They had the perfect marriage, until a tragic accident leaves Gabe brain dead and her world in ruins.
Devastated by grief, she decides to preserve the best of their love by conceiving his child, but Gabe's family is adamantly opposed, even willing to chance exposing long-held family secrets to stop her. Caught in a web of twisted motives and contentious legal issues, Jenny turns to best friend and attorney, Steve Grant. Steve wants to help Jenny, but he has reservations and secrets of his own.
When something so private and simple turns public and complicated, will Jenny relent? What is Steve willing to sacrifice to help Jenny?

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Theresa Rizzo
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5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.83(d)

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Just Destiny 4.6 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 31 reviews.
Peachey04 More than 1 year ago
This is a very moving story of one woman's journey after suffering tragic losses. A well written story that has heartache, self discovery, suspense and plenty of plot twists. The author has an intense writing style that captures Jenny's angst as she comes to terms with her losses and tries to pick up the pieces. There are many ups and downs in this thought provoking heartfelt story. A wonderful read that should not me missed. Reviewd by Linda of Fae Books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book makes you think about options. It give you another prospective on life. I finished this book in one day. I would recommend this book to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was completely drawn in on the very first page. I cannot wait to see the continuation of their story in the next book.
TheBibliophilicBookBlog More than 1 year ago
Jenny Harrison was unbelievably and overwhelmingly happy in her marriage to Gabe Harrison. Everyone always thought they had the perfect marriage, but now Jenny’s looking to add an addition to their family – a child. On a weekend getaway, Jenny tells Gabe she’s thinking about children but doesn’t let him know she’s a few weeks pregnant yet. When Gabe is struck by a car while they are biking, he is left brain dead and Jenny’s world implodes. At the hospital, Jenny is approached by a transplant coordinator asking about organ donation and since Jenny miscarried from the stress, she requested his sperm be extracted and frozen. Jenny wants to conceive their child to have a piece of Gabe in her life, but his uncle is so opposed he’s suing Jenny to keep her from using the frozen sperm. Jenny turns to her best friend, an attorney, for help…but he may not want to help her for his own selfish reasons… JUST DESTINY brings up a lot of ethical, social and legal questions and will spark up a lot of debate between readers. Readers only meet Gabe for a short while and Jenny is the main focus of the story. Jenny has a checkered past, but seems to have matured in her time with Gabe for the most part. There are more than a few shocking secrets unveiled during the arduous trial which keep the decision on a precarious edge. JUST DESTINY is engaging and thought-provoking. It felt to me as if JUST DESTINY demonstrates that no matter our pasts, we all deserve happiness. I don’t want to give any of the details or my opinion on Jenny’s decisions – just read JUST DESTINY.
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Are you ready to read an emotionally charged story that will simply leave you breathless? Well then, Just Destiny is the book for you. For two years, twenty-eight year old Detroit newspaper journalist Jenny Harrison had a wonderful marriage to Gabe, a forty-three year old general surgeon with two college-aged children. Adding to her happiness is the excitement of learning that she is newly pregnant, even though they had originally made the decision not to have children. While on an anniversary weekend getaway, a tragic accident takes the life of Gabe, and a sudden miscarriage turns her world completely upside down. Jenny's life falls apart with the sudden death of Gabe and their unborn baby. Jenny agrees to donate Gabe's organs, and creates an ethical controversy when she requests that Gabe's sperm be recovered and stored at a sperm bank so that she can still have a baby as a loving legacy to her husband. But someone stands in her way ... Gabe's elderly uncle George threatens to sue Jenny if she willfully pursues the artificial sperm insemination. Steve Grant, an ex-professional baseball player turned attorney, is Jenny and Gabe's next door neighbor and best friend. Steve is a loyal friend who lends his total support to Jenny after Gabe's death. He does not agree with the decision that Jenny has made, but he stands by her during the emotional and controversial legal battle, because deep down he has stronger feelings for Jenny than just friendship, even though he is engaged to another woman. When Steve reveals his true feelings to Jenny, will their friendship turn into something more because it is just destiny? Oh My Goodness! Author Theresa Rizzo sure does know how to weave an emotionally powerful story that pulls at the heartstrings and stirs the soul! Written in the third person narrative and set in Detroit, Michigan, the readers are easily drawn into Jenny and Steve's story. This is a beautifully written storyline that captivates the reader's attention, it is full of angst, suspense, and enough twists and turns that keeps them guessing. I loved following Jenny and Steve as their relationship gradually changed and developed. You can feel the palpable connection and the angst and guilt that they have because of Gabe's death, it leaves the reader hoping that somehow they'll both find their way to each other. With a strong cast of characters who are realistic and easy to relate to; dramatic dialogue and interactions; and a stunning storyline that mixes romance, heartache, dark secrets from the past, and titillating courtroom drama; Just Destiny is one hell of a compelling story that will leave the reader emotionally spent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters’ are presented with quite a few social, moral and ethical issues, and it feels like the author’s stance on those issues is shouted out quite loudly.  Although it is not uncommon for authors to address current  issues, I much prefer a story told in a way that the makes the reader think about their own perspective on the topic rather than to be told how to feel about the issues.  A little more writing finesse and ambiguity in the writer’s  opinion would have made this story significantly more interesting to me. The story focuses on Jenny and her decisions and actions after the death of her husband.  Jenny is an interesting  character.  She is in an unenviable situation which would usually make her a sympathetic character, however, her inconsistency, selfishness and dishonesty made her an unlikeable character for me.  In fact, there were many times in the book that if felt like the author didn’t like this character given the way Jenny was presented.  I would have liked more insight to Gabe, deceased husband, and Steve, hunky next-door neighbor, in order to form an opinion based on something other than Jenny’s perspective of them. The story was well paced and engaging.  I had a hard time with some of the character reactions to situations in the story, and I can’t say if that is because I didn’t get a good feel for some characters or I thought the response was inconsistent with characters’ presented attributes.  Although a HEA ending is usually appealing to me, I’m not sure that I buy into the epiphany that lead to this one.   I enjoyed the book.  It is an easy vacation  read.   **This review was done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official**
Anonymous 4 months ago
"Wassup Rebecca?!"
Anonymous 5 months ago
Waits 4 mangle
Anonymous 10 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
U won't be sorry if uphrchase!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story great charachters must read
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kherbrand More than 1 year ago
 I really enjoyed reading this book.  It held a secret that I didn't see coming, and it was revealed in such a way that I had to go back and read it again. It wasn't a big game changer, but it did put some things in perspective.  There are other secrets revealed that have a larger impact, but I felt this first one gave depth to the relationship between Steve and Jenny that I didn't think was there yet.    Steve had been good friends with Jenny and Gabe before Gabe died, so it was natural for Jenny to turn to him to lean on.  He was engaged, but his fiance was not someone that Jenny had every approved up.  Being so wrapped up in her grief and legal battle that she isn't even aware when Steve breaks things off with his fiance. And she is even more clueless when it comes to his feelings for her.  Like life, this one is messy and the ending leaves some things unresolved and surprised me.  While I do think it is a happy ending, it didn't end the way I expected it to, and that was a nice change! 
AReadingNurse More than 1 year ago
I haven't read a book like this in a very long time. This book has everything wrapped up into one: Romance, Heartache, self-discovery, a suspenseful trial, and most importantly this book is one that makes you stop and think and question what you believe is right or wrong. I don't know about you guys but this is something that I do not see in many stories and it is something that I realized that I want to see more of in books. This beautiful yet heart breaking story is about a 28 year old journalist named Jenny who fell in love and married a man is who twelve years older than her. Gabe is a brilliant philanthropic doctor who is the father of 2 college - aged children. Jenny feels that she has it all in her marriage. Love and two step- children who she adores. When Jenny and Gabe first got married Jenny had decided that she did not want children, but as time progresses she stars having doubts. Andas "destiny" sometimes works she finds out that she is pregnant. As Gabe and her go on a mini-vacation to celebrate their two year anniversary she attempts to find a way to tell Gabe about her pregnancy. But before she is able to tell him the truth, tragedy strikes and Gabe is hit by a car. Ambulance quickly arrives at the scene and they transport him to the hospital, but his condition is what the medical field calls, DOA - Dead on Arrival. He is completely brain dead and he is put on life support.  As Jenny trys to decide what to do; keep Gabe on life support, take him off, donate his organs, tragedy strikes again and she miscarries her baby. At this point all she can think about is that she can't lose her husband and her baby at once. So as she donates his organs she also has one more request, she wants to extract some of his semen, so can still have his baby. This raises some eyebrows, but none more than Gabe's uncle George As his legal guardian George feels that this is completely illegal and tells Jenny she will take him to court and stop her.  Just writing about the plot of the story I can continue on an write an essay. There is so much going on that if I addressed all the key points of this book, then this would be longest blog post EVER. I bet you can tell just from those couple of paragraphs that this is an emotional book. There are books that  make you cry and then there are books that effect you so much that you can feel the main characters distress all the way to your bones and that is what this book did to me. Even though this book was emotionally draining, the writing and the plot development was so great that I did not put this book down for one moment. I was actually FORCED to put this book down when my Ipad battery died and I was no a very happy camper.  Reading about this way Jenny was attempting to pick up her life after Gabe's death was heartbreaking but yet so realistic. Her determination and struggle at every turn was so inspiring. As someone who just finished nursing school some of the challenges Jenny faced were ones we talked about in school. And how it is so important to discuss with your love ones what your wishes regarding resuscitation are. These are hard discussion, but oh so necessary.  And then this court case. This whole idea of whether Jenny had a right to her husbands sperm since he was unable to give consent was so thought-provoking. I was completely torn in to. There was the part of me that believed YES give this woman a chance to have her dead husbands child. And then there was the logical part of me that said maybe this is not such a good idea. All in all Theresa Rizzo does a great job at defending both sides of the argument and allowing the reader to come up with their own opinion.  During the court case some things are revealed from both sides. Both Jenny and George have some skeletons in the closet. I have to admit I completely did not see Jenny's twist coming. And the way it was revealed was one that completely threw me off guard. Not because there was a dramatic build up but because of how it was just thrown out in a memory. I almost did not believe what I had read and had to go back and re-read the scene. George's secret I have to saw I guessed correctly in a bit of foreshadowing in the beginning of the story. AND  YES THERESA IF YOU ARE READING THIS, I GUESSED CORRECTLY!  I have gone this far in this review and I have yet to discuss another great part of this book. When Jenny's world falls apart, helping her pick up the pieces is Gabe and her best friend Steve. He is her rock and shoulder to cry on during this difficult time. But Gabe too has a secret. And before you guys all go thinking that this is an obvious love story, girl's husband dies and he falls for his best friend, it is everything BUT that because there is 2 big problems. Steve is engaged to marry someone and else and second he thinks that Jenny's plan to have Gabe's baby is wrong.  There is so much to this amazing book and  it honestly a MUST READ for everyone! 
TheBookBag More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written, modern story!  I read Theresa's previous book, He Belongs To Me. It was one of those books that just caught me off guard. It sounded good enough but I ended up loving it and loving the author's writing. So I knew Just Destiny was going to be a wonderful read. I have been looking forward to reading another one of Theresa's stories. The following is from the prologue of the book and when I read it, I just had to find out what it meant. What an enticing start to a story! 'Even if he couldn't give her his heart, he'd embarrassed himself in front of millions of people and given her her dream proposal. The love would come.' And what an interesting and controversial topic to explore, having the baby of your deceased spouse. That could not have been an easy subject to write about, lots of emotions and opinions of what's right and wrong. But Theresa does a wonderful job showing all sides to the issue. Once again, I was enraptured with the writing in this book. I am not a writer myself so I don't know how one makes the words just flow off of the page and into the readers imagination but Theresa has that ability. I just loved reading these words and I found myself so engrossed in the story. As I read a story, I bookmark a lot of lines that speak to me in some way. And usually in ever book I read I find at least one passage that I really love. This is the one from Just Destiny. 'Jenny looked sideways at her mom. "I liked it better when you had all the answers." "I never had all the answers.' She smiled. "You just thought I did."' I highly recommended Just Destiny if you are looking for a beautifully written, modern story. I can't wait for Theresa's next story!
KelliN More than 1 year ago
I loved Theresa Rizzo's first book, He Belongs to Me, and really didn't think I could love Just Destiny any more, but I did. I found this book completely impossible to put down. What I love about Rizzo's writing is that her premises are so believable. While reading Just Destiny, I kept having the feeling that Jenny's tragedy could happen to me, or anyone else I know. Only a great writer can make you put yourself in a character's shoes, and Rizzo does that for me every time. Jenny was an easy character to relate to. I really felt for her: first she loses her husband, then her entire life is made public through a legal battle. Jenny desires nothing more than to have Gabe's child and keep a piece of him with her always. However, Gabe's uncle (who raised him) is adamantly opposed and takes Jenny to court over the issue. Jenny is not alone in her battle: she has a supportive attorney but most of all she has Steve, her neighbor and best friend. Steve was best friends with both Jenny and Gabe and therefore is personally invested in Jenny's case. I liked watching their relationship grow throughout the story. The legal battle was interesting and added another layer of intensity to the story, while continuing the heartfelt premise of Jenny's struggle to cope with her husband's sudden death. Rizzo threw me for a loop with the ending, and at first I wasn't sure how I felt about it, but upon further reflection, I think it was perfectly suited to this story and the characters. My one wish is that she would have included an epilogue because I wanted to read more about Jenny's happiness. Just Destiny was so many things, but at its heart it was about personal growth and I loved that. I love Rizzo's intense, all-consuming writing style. Her second novel is even better than the first, and I can't wait to read what she comes up with next!
JenZuna More than 1 year ago
This is not my normal genre of book that I read. However I was very intrigued when I read the synopsis. It has romance and a bit of a legal drama which I love. So many questions are raised about ethics and what's right and wrong in this story. All Jenny wants is a piece of her and her husbands love to carry on. Tragedy can strike at any time and fate can be cruel. With the help of her best friend, and an unlikely friendship that develops with her husband's ex wife, Jenny fights for what she wants and what she deserves. This book was suprising, dramatic and heart wrenching at times. There are a lot of twists and turns, and some pretty dramatic revelations for Jenny about her life and who she is as a person. I was completely enthralled with this book from the beginning and could not put it down. This is a perfect poolside, beachside or fireside book to curl up with. Any reader will find something they love in this story. I can't wait to read more from Theresa Rizzo!
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Just Destiny by Theresa Rizzo is an emotionally electrifying journey filled with controversial tension, courtroom drama and an in-your-face awakening for Jeni as she learns how those around her perceive the person she is as she fights for the right to use her late husband’s sperm to impregnate her. Jeni’s journey to a newfound self-awareness of the person she is, who she is becoming and who she wants to be is filled with miles of painful potholes, dark tunnels and more twists and revelations than a mountain road. Theresa Rizzo has made a statement about love, need and loss, that is thought-provoking to say the least. Through it all, she never once tries to force the reader to agree or disagree, and in the end, when you think, this is it, I KNEW that was going to happen, she cleverly throws in one more heart-stopping twist, that in turn leaves the reader romantically charmed and slightly taken aback. If you have ever had any thoughts about if it’s possible for a man and woman to be platonic friends, Jeni’s relationship with her neighbor raises this issue, perfectly timed and choreographed to play into the story well. Do you have feelings regarding the use of a deceased husband’s sperm, this is huge to the story. Is it anyone’s concern? Is the sperm of the deceased different than harvesting organs to save the lives of those who need them? Is risking putting another generation at risk for a genetically transmitted disease not to be considered? Ms Rizzo is telling a story of love, of need and of acceptance that the past cannot be relived. There are no do overs, but there is a future to be lived. Jeni is not always likable, but she learns to be honest with herself, a huge step. So many secrets have been withheld, only to meet the light of day like graffiti on the walls of the world. Beautifully written under the guidance of Ms. Rizzo’s creative touch, both the story and the characters come alive and leave their imprint on your mind. This is not pure romance, the drama is high, the intrigue is taut, souls are bared and the aftermath is laid at our feet to ponder. I received a copy of Just Destiny from Theresa Rizzo in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in and looks at you
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite Just Destiny by Theresa Rizzo is a story of love and loss. Jenny and Gabe have been happily married for a couple of years and are about to go away for a weekend. Jenny leaves their dog with the neighbour, Steve, who has just become engaged to Annie. During the weekend, Jenny brings up the subject of children, knowing that she is pregnant, but things turn nasty when Gabe says he does not want any more kids. Jenny storms off on her bicycle with Gabe following, straight onto a road where Gabe is hit by a car. At the hospital, he is pronounced completely brain damaged and Jenny has some tough decisions to make. In the meantime, Steve has a few of his own choices to make and, somewhere along the line, his life and Jenny’s become entwined. What follows is the story of love, deceit, legal wrangling, and triumph. But whose triumph? And what is it for? Just Destiny by Theresa Rizzo was a wonderful book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a heart-warming story - sad and bittersweet, yet happy as well. So much was happening, with several different stories meeting up with each other but it was easy to follow. Theresa has written this book in such a way that anyone who reads it will find themselves being drawn into the story, almost living the parts. It’s got a great storyline, good characters, and everything ran as one smooth story. I look forward to reading the next one!
AubreyReads More than 1 year ago
As usual, I’m a little late getting this out. It’s not an easy review to write, because it’s such an emotionally driven book. Not in the I-need-tissues way (although that could apply), but in the how-do-I-not-start a debate way. This story contains a lot of material that really makes you think and reevaluate your opinions and your preparations in general. Not that it’s preachy or is going to change your views on anything, but I think it pushes you to see things from multiple views. It really makes you think about what could happen, and how utterly insufficient your 'what ifs' have been. I find that’s common in legal/medically driven stories, especially when it’s done well. Theresa did this well. Everybody has an opinion on how it should have happened, and how it should have turned out, but Theresa makes you think about those opinions. What drives the characters on the other side of your beliefs? I’m not going to go into details about mine, but I enjoyed watching everything play out. I could see the arguments of both sides, and I wasn’t sure how I wanted it to end for a while. Yes, there is romance and all of that, but I found the court and medical stuff the most interesting. Given my background, that shouldn’t be a surprise. I’m a total nerd like that. The beginning of the story was rough for me. I’m not great with emotion, so when everything goes down with the husband I felt unprepared. Yes, I knew it was going to happen – it’s in the freaking synopsis – but it didn’t make me handle it any better. Theresa, you made me like a character, and then completely ripped them away. Je-sus. I can appreciate any story that makes me think, instead of just experience. Yes, I like easy reads, but it’s good to have these random thought-provoking gems. I think anybody can enjoy this, no matter where you stand in the whole after-death rights, spousal rights, IVF, etc. It’s just done that well. But, no matter what, keep a box of Kleenex on hand. Theresa had me turning the pages non-stop. Jenny was borderline for me, as I easily don't like female leads, but I could understand her actions and thought process. I haven't read Theresa's other book, but I will definitely be one-clicking, and she is definitely an author to watch. Especially if you like an emotional ride.