Dancing with Fireflies
About This Book
Jade returns home to Chapel Springs after years of protecting her fragile heart. Then along comes Daniel, making her long to dance again.
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.
Holy hot sauce, Batman! This book is definitely not for the faint of heart—in the best way possible! Denise Hunter lights up every page of this romance with sparks, chemistry, and two people’s intense longing for faith and love. From the agonizing drama of the opening scene in Chicago to the steamy embrace in the final snowy scene, this novel is pedal-to-the-metal every step of the way. A beautifully written, poignant story of hope in the midst of life’s darkest moments, well-blended with the heart-pounding, breathless discovery of the ultimate love of a lifetime.
I didn’t realized when I first picked this up that it was the second book in a series, but I never felt lost in the story world for not having read book one, Barefoot Summer. Though I imagine people who’ve read that book will enjoy seeing more of Madison and Beckett in this story. This series seems to be all stand-alone novels about the McKinley siblings, and I am absolutely looking forward to reading the rest of these (plus going back and reading book one)!
I ended up not marking a whole lot of favorite passages as I read because, well, it was all great! I loved Denise’s writing voice throughout. A very natural, almost conversational writing style that felt similar enough to my own that I had no trouble slipping into these pages and getting instantly, wondrously lost in them.
That’s not to say there weren’t a few things I wish had been done a little differently, one being Jade’s thorough acceptance of her pregnancy and eventual single motherhood. Especially given the circumstances that led to her getting pregnant, it felt a little implausible to me that she never once questioned whether to even have or keep the baby. Even if only a momentary doubt that was immediately dismissed, I felt like she should have at least thought about it once. I mean, she’s practically penniless, homeless, living secretly in her parents’ antiques store, and she doesn’t even wonder if her unborn child would be better off with an adoptive family? I applaud her resolve, but I didn’t entirely buy it.
I would’ve also liked to see a little more of Daniel’s intentions behind accepting the marriage proposal. He seemed to accept it as just “the closest I’ll ever get to having her,” but wouldn’t he at least have thought about trying to woo Jade? That, if he said yes, married her, and played his cards right, she might one day come to love him as much as he loves her? Instead, he just accepted that Jade would never love him for real, and that he’d have to be okay with that for the rest of his life. Come on, man, fight for her!
Speaking of wooing, Jade never had a moment when she put two and two together and acknowledged that Daniel had been her secret admirer all along. She surmised it, but kinda dismissed it afterward as untrue or unimportant, when what I wanted was a full-blown “Oh my gosh, it’s Daniel! It’s always been Daniel!” kind of revelation. More than that, I would’ve loved to see her confront Daniel with that truth, to see her see the look on his face when he’s found out. What a tender moment that could have been!
But don’t worry, this book has more than enough spine tingling moment to make up for the one or two more I wish had been there. This is not only one to keep, but one to re-read. A lot.
Available March 11, 2014 from Thomas Nelson