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Posted July 14, 2014
Ann Lee Miller has done it again in TATTERED INNOCENCE. Set in the tourist community of New Smyrna Beach, she’s woven a story so rich and complex that a mere book review can’t really do it justice. It is ultimately a story of God’s grace and forgiveness, told with authenticity and without sugar coating, yet in a touching and tasteful manner. Jake and Rachel are both emotionally wounded from past relationships and guilt ridden because of bad choices. Rachel signs on to Jake’s crew as a way to run and hide, but over the course of time her armor cracks, as does his. This is not a one-note romance with a neat and tidy outcome, however. As with all of Ms. Miller’s books, the characters runs deep, with emotional baggage that goes way beyond cliché. The description is superb, the dialogue true, and the storyline wallops the reader with unexpected surprises right to the very end. Ann Lee Miller has become one of my favorite authors, not only for the gritty and true to life stories she tells, but the way she tells them with such grace and poignancy.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 10, 2014
I really like how this book showed the consequences of pass mistakes. There was a great deal of love and forgiveness that needed to happen. These characters were very real people who made real mistakes. They had so much to overcome, sometimes I got a bit bogged down with it. However - these issues were handled in a clean and uplifting way. There were twists and turns that I didn't see coming. I was anxious to see how it could all possibly be worked out. I was impressed by how real the characters seemed. It was fun to see a few characters make a cameo appearance from the first book in this series. You do not need to have read the first book to enjoy this one though.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 18, 2014
After an affair with Bret, a married man, Rachel Martin wants to get as far away from him as she can. Jake Murray’s love life had just turned topsy turvy not only when his fiance Gabrielle dumps him, but she leaves him without a first mate on his charter cruise boat, The Smyrna Queen. Rachel applies for the job and gets it, but at her first meeting with him, she has made up her mind that her new boss is cold and unfriendly.
Jake left the corporate world to start his own business on The Smyrna Queen, a dream he shared with his deceased grandfather. Nearly everything he owns is in this venture. He needs a first mate to help him sail the boat and prepare meals for the guests. Since the only available sleeping quarters are in his cabin, Rachel makes it clear from the beginning that she is there for the job and nothing else.
It is quickly apparent that there is an attraction between the two of them, but neither will admit it because they are both still running away from previous relationships. Add to that, family problems, hurricanes, and the guilt they carry; this story has multiple layers to it. Since this is a Christian romance novel, there are references to God all the way through the book. Rachel convinces Jake to go to a beach service with her, and though he is skeptical at first, he comes around. There are often instances throughout where Rachel and Jake each reach out to God for guidance and forgiveness.
The book is well written, and the story will keep you turning the pages. If you are looking for a light romance novel and don’t mind Christian references, this is undoubtedly a book I would recommend.
Ann Lee Miller grew up in New Smyrna Beach, earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University, and currently lives in Phoenix with her husband and children. She writes full time and lectures at various Arizona colleges.
Posted May 13, 2014
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Jake Murray advertises for a first mate to help him crew his charter sail boat. Rachel Martin eagerly takes the job. Jake and Rachel are running from their past mistakes. Rachel is pleased to find that the captain she will work for is only a few years older than her own twenty-something. Neither of them wants to share their pasts, which brings along the constant friction between the two. Jake and Rachel are real people with real problems. Characterization and descriptions are well done and there’s enough romantic suspense to keep you coming back to the book. Ann Miller is a good story teller. Ultimately this is a story of forgiveness, particularly forgiveness of self.
Posted March 29, 2014
Rachel Martin is on the run from her past. She make a drastic turn in her life to leave a married man behind and make positive changes in her life and find the salvation she is longing for. Rachel’s biggest issue seems to be dealing with her problems and not running from them. Rachel as fights the stigma that comes with having dyslexia.
Jake Murray thought he had everything he wanted in his life until his fiancée dumps him leaving him angry and puzzled. Jake’s fiancée was to be a crewmember in his charter boat. Therefore, Jake hires Rachel to work on his boat. I takes Jake a lot longer than Rachel does to realize how to come to terms with the events in his life and let go of the upsetment and anger in his life.
The chemistry between Jake and Rachel is blistering but it’s a slow burn, neither even realized how much they depended on each other until it was almost too late. I loved how religion was used in the story but not overdone either. I loved how the author showed how one small decision could change your life.
Tattered Innocence is the second book in the New Smyrna Beach series by Ann Lee Miller. While this book is part of a series, it can be read and enjoyed on its own. I found this book well written with complex and engaging characters that help to draw you into the story and do not let go until the very end leaving you wanting more. Overall, this was a fabulous story. I will be reading the rest of the books in the series shortly.
**I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review
Posted October 4, 2013
Tattered Innocence is the story of Rachel Martin and Jake Murray, both a little broken by their personal lives. Rachel, needing an escape
from her life, sets out of find a job that will take her anywhere but here. She applies for a job as first mate on Jake’s boat, the Smyrna
Queen. Rachel is not impressed by Jake at their first meeting, he seems rude and standoffish. Not one to let an opportunity pass
though, she hopes for the best and does end up getting the job, mostly due to Jake’s lack of other options.
Jake is coming out of a long term relationship/engagement himself and basically has no idea where he’s going now. His fiancée,
Gabrielle, has decided she wants a different life in Arizona while he’s left heartbroken and alone on the other side of the country.In
comes Rachel, and the rest is history. Kindof.
I did not think I’d enjoy this book, I would say on the list of things I would normally not choose to read, Christian fiction is pretty close to
the top, right below biology text books and possibly emails from my boss. I didn’t hate it though, actually. The story didn’t get too preachy,
but there were definitely “God’s plan” references, etc. which I didn’t mind too much because they were not on every single page, but
some people might not even want that which is perfectly fine, to each his own! Rachel and Jake are not by any stretch “perfect” and that
makes them real and likable. Rachel was sarcastic in the face of adversity, which is good, I don’t think I’d be the stoic type either. She
made the best of her situation and it worked out for her. I will admit, I did not like Bret and didn’t understand her inability to get over him
initially, but I was glad she came to her sense. Also, the sailing term glossary was a bit daunting, but I skipped it and don’t think I
missed out on any nuances because of that.
The only semi-frustrating thing I found with this book was I felt it was too wordy at times. Yeah, you definitely did get the whole picture,
but sometimes I felt like no one could just DO anything; it always had to be accompanied by a lot of adjectives and adverbs. Lots of ads,
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by this book and glad I gave it a shot. Jake and Rachel aren’t my typical fare, and maybe the
freshness of it made me like it more, but whatever, that’s fine! Give it a read if you like new adult type romance, Christian fiction or just
need a light read.
Posted July 30, 2013
Rachel is running from an affair with a married man, and Jake is running from a broken heart. When Rachel answers the Craigslist add she is floored that the captain of the Smyrna Queen is a young hot guy, not an old sailor.
Within the pages Ann writes a story that is true to life, the characters are real and that makes you want to care and cheer for them.
I was completely pulled into the book. The spiritual element is not overwhelming, but is there, and it makes you evaluate your own life and choices.
I highly recommend this book, and it will be on my top reads for 2013.
Posted May 21, 2013
I really enjoyed reading Tattered Innocence! Ann Lee Miller has an amazing ability to create characters that are realistic and deal with real issues and take them on a journey to find freedom. I love that she does this in such a beautiful and natural way without sounding fake. I would highly recommend this book and the others that Ann has written. I have enjoyed them all.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 23, 2013
Review by S.Katherine Anthony
This book took me by surprise!
In the beginning the author provides a list of crewing/sailing terms and what they mean, I decided to skip that and "wing" it, I didn't needt. I was able to follow along with no problems. Though, it's very considerate of the author to this for her readers.
As I got into the story, I'll be honest and say that I thought this was going to be too God-centric for my taste, but it wasn't. Yes, it mentioned God a fair amount but it was NOT preachy in any way. It was beautifully written. It reminds us that we are all capable of making mistakes and with some faith and forgiveness we can still find happiness. Rachel and Jake are great characters, as the story develops you can't help but fall in love with them. They are both family oriented and have a strong sense of duty and care for others. They are just fantastic. Read it, you won't regret it!
This is the first book I read from Ann Lee Miller and I'm happy to say that I'm a new fan ;)
Posted March 19, 2013
Just when I thought Ann Lee Miller couldn't top The Art of My Life, she turns around and blows me out of the water with Tattered Innocence! I want to add right at the start-DO NOT hesitate to read this book if you have not read other books in this series. It stands alone just fine, as do the others!
Rachel is trying to outrun her guilt over an affair with a married man. Bret used her, she let him and thought it was love. By the time she found the strength to call it off, she had already violated her moral compass, destroying her self-respect completely. Because she needs a new start, she takes a position as first mate on board the Smyrna Queen, a sailing vessel doing five day tours. Jake Murray, captain of the Smyrna Queen and its fledgling tour company has just been dumped by his fiance, Gabrielle, the morning after they had sex for the first time. He is filled with remorse and crushed by the break up. The friendship that formed between Rachel and Jake was initially tentative at best, each harboring their own secret shame and the pain of not feeling worthy to achieve their most treasured dreams. For Rachel, even her dyslexia is a reason to feel inadequate and she strives to hide this from Jake. As their relationship grows and they admit inwardly to deeper feelings, both Rachel and Jake fail to trust the other enough to truly open up. Rachel looks to God for strength, Jake isn't ready to believe God will help him.
Bret tries to re-enter Rachel's life, and without Jake's help, she may have given in. Still, their hearts and minds are hardened to the fact that they have something special that is quietly growing strong. Rachel's guilt still gets in the way and Jake doesn't believe he can give Rachel what she needs, as much as he would like to. When Gabrielle returns with bombshell news, Jake must really look into his heart for the strength to do whats right. Where can Jake turn for the answers he needs?
Ann Lee Miller has once again created two characters who have made HUGE mistakes, but are lost to accepting their own forgiveness and giving up the burdens for the sins they carry. Both characters are stronger than they think, making them real. Their story drew me in and held me until the end and beyond! I actually hurt for them and those impacted by their mistakes. In the end, there was only one character I felt had no redeeming qualities! This is a beautiful story of love, learning, acceptance and redemption through faith!
Posted March 18, 2013
This is the fourth novel I have read that Ann Lee Miller has written and it is my favorite so far. Ann has the ability to bring her characters to life. You are not only drawn into their lives but the environment as well. This novel is about Jake who owns a boat and needs someone to sail with him as he takes passengers out on short cruises. Rachel applied for the job and was hired on. They both were trying to forget lost loves and working to get their lives back on track. Through their friendship and trust in God this was accomplished. The ending is very satisfying. Good job.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 16, 2013
I received a copy of this book to give an honest review. At first when I started to read this story I wasn’t too sure I would be able to follow along. I don’t know too much about sailing and the list of terms at the beginning of the book did scare me a little. However once I really got into the story I couldn’t put it down. I read more than 75% of this book in one night staying up until well after 3 am. This story was one that I will remember for a long time it was a captivating story that pulled at the strings of my heart right to the very end.
The story is about two people Rachel and Jake. Rachel applied for the job of first mate on the Smyrna Queen to escape her former life having had an affair with a married man, Bret. For Rachel when their affair is taken too far sees no other choice than to run away she didn’t just sleep with a man before marriage she slept with a married man who has his own family. What bothered me most about Bret is that he really wanted to have his cake and eat it too telling Rachel he loved her but he married his wife and wanted to stay for the children so in my eyes I can see why Rachel has ran away. Her affair with Bret has cost her more than just in her eyes her self worth in the process she has alienated herself from her family more than anyone her brother Hall who she practically raised since he was a baby. Jake is a man who fulfilled the dream that he and his grandfather had which was to run their own cruise boat someday since his grandfather’s passing he has seen what matters in life and quit his corporate job and bought the boat the Smyrna Queen and fully restored her only to have his life come crashing around him on the Rachel’s first day when his fiancee Gabrielle decides that she cannot marry him that day and runs away back to her family in Arizona.
The friendship that formed between Rachel and Jake never had a dull moment here you have a woman who’s running from a married man and a man who is lost since his fiancee ran from him. They fight their attraction to one another at every turn Rachel because she believes Jake is still in love with Gabrielle and Jake because he thinks Rachel wants a forever kind of ending he doesn’t think he can give her since he thinks he can’t love again after Gabrielle left him. That all changes when Bret shows up as one of the guests on the boat and Jake poses as her boyfriend to get him to leave her alone. This book was about learning how to find forgiveness or oneself for their sins and finding that God will still be there for you in the end. Rachel finding forgiveness in herself for her guilt and Jake finding that God is still there for him at the end of the day and discovering at the end of the day that you can find love again even after you have lost the only person who have ever loved. I loved this story and the characters in it. I laughed and I even cried at the end when the baby came into the picture. (What baby? Who’s baby? You’ll just have to read the book to find out) This was a great late night read that I will read again and again and keep on the permanent shelf in my Kindle and I cannot wait to read Ann Lee Miller’s other books in the future especially since Avra’s God is about two of the characters from this book!
Posted March 11, 2013
4.5 stars actually!
Way to go Ann! This is the 4th book I have read by Ann Lee Miller. I would have to say this one was my favorite (with "The Art of My Life" a close second). There were a lot of little things going on in this story but it kept a nice flow to it. I think out of all her books this one had the best flow. It was very easy to follow along in the lives of both Rachel and Jake. The author took you to see a little of their past so you could understand where they were coming from. You had to know where they'd been to understand the decisions they were making today.
Ann did a great job with the character development! I really liked Rachel. She was very likable person, around the same age as my own daughter and I could see them being friends in real life. She had her flaws, her "skeletons in the closet" that kept her from any real relationships. As she opened up you really got to know her and her personality.
But the one I really fell in love with was Jake. I know, I don't really don't fall for the guy. But who wouldn't fall for a guy with a sailboat, right? Jake was great! He was nice, handsome, tried to make the right choices and do right by others. He had his own skeletons. The farther I read in this book the more and more I loved Jake. He never disappointed me.
"Her gaze panned over faded jeans, carpenter's belt, paint-splattered T-shirt, and stopped at toffee eyes trained on her. Her breath hitched. She'd been prepared for an old-salt captain, not a Diet Coke commercial." ~ oh yeah I can picture him!
The other part of this book I loved was the setting. The setting is always an important part for me. That's why I read so many books that take place in other countries, because I like to go to places I have never been.
Ann takes you back to New Smyrna Beach (as in her other 3 books) but the majority of this one actually takes place on a sailboat. It was wonderful. I don't think I would ever actually go on a sailboat. I just have that fear of capsizing that I can not get over. But this was a great book for me to read because I really felt the boat, I felt its movement, its small cabins, the wind, and the spray of the waves.
"Yearning, bonding, upheaval, coming home, whipped through her as though the hurricane raged inside her body and not fifty miles offshore." ~ and that just the description of a kiss, just wait till you read about the actual hurricane!
THE ALL-IN-ALL -
All in all this is a wonderful, Christian based fiction story that takes place on the beaches of FL and on a sailboat. So if you have ever wanted to go sailing...
The author uses a few scripture quotes and the characters talk of God and pray, but this book is not preachy at all! It is just a nice clean story (no sex, although there is talk of sex in the past, and no swearing). I think it would be fine for older teens to read.
Posted March 10, 2013
Tattered Innocence, by Ann Lee Miller
I have been a fan of Ann Lee Miller’s books since I read the first one, Kicking Eternity, but her newest book, Tattered Innocence, is over the top! The two main characters, Rachel and Jake, stayed with me long after I finished reading the story.
This book illustrates God’s loving forgiveness of sin even when people struggle with feelings of condemnation. Besides Rachel and Jake, the author weaves several other characters into the story with problems and issues of their own. An added highlight is Leaf, Avra, Cisco, and Jesse who were in Ann’s previous books. It was neat to revisit them!
Guilt, remorse, selfishness, lust, affairs, unwanted pregnancy, as well as dysfunctional family and feelings of abandonment are woven into this fascinating story. Each of us can identify in some way with these struggles. Ann Miller uses her gift as a writer to give her readers a glimpse of the magnitude of God’s love through the lives of the characters. That’s what makes this story so powerful!
Posted March 9, 2013
Tattered Innocence by Ann Lee Miller
New Smyrna Beach Series Book 4
Jake Murray had dreams. Owning the Smyrna Queen ketch was one of them. Only he had planned to have Gramps at his side and then Gabs. Neither of those things worked out. He does have a beautiful first mate who is helping him in more ways than crewing.
Rachel Martin, cousin to Avra in the previous book, needs to get out of New Smyrna and fast. She has made some poor choices with far reaching destruction. Not only has she hurt own life, but her brothers, her relationship with God and more. Being on the water will hopefully keep her out of trouble.
Once again Ann takes readers on an emotional ride with her lifelike story. Real situations and characters that come to life, making mistakes, needing God’s forgiveness, along with learning to forgive themselves. All her books are stand alone but usually build on characters or connections from previous stories.
Posted March 8, 2013
The superbly talented Ann Lee Miller's books always rate high in my lists. Her books will not be acceptable to the Christian Book Association's standards because they depict the very real temptations and failings of humans--not excusing them by a long shot--but showing us the pain and guilt that results especially from sexual slip-ups. She shows her heroes' and heroines' progressions through and past their temptations and to God.
Tattered Innocence is no exception. Rachel Martin is consumed by guilt and running away from the handsome married coach who seduced her. She applies for and gets a job crewing on a charter sailing boat, The Smyrna Queen, owned by Jake Murray. Anything to avoid Coach Bret Rustin.
Three problems are immediately obvious: (1) Jake isn't the old salt she expected; he's 29 and model-handsome. (2) All the cabins aboard the boat are booked by guests; the only place to sleep is on a bunk in the captain's quarters. (3) She isn't the only one grieving a past relationship; Jake has just been dumped by his fiancee.
Her affections slowly rotate from Bret to Jake, and her guilt deepens to despair when Jake kisses her, no doubt in rebound. He still loves the girl who jilted him.
How can she get past this? She has to resign. There's no other choice.