Justice by Emily Conrad
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About the Book
Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she's pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it. As Brooklyn wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake, she can't bring herself to tell him the truth. To make matters worse, if the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake's coffee shop has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both. Can Jake and Brooklyn overcome the obstacles thrown in their path, and finally find the truth in God's love and in each other?
At the core, this story’s title is the one-word bare truth of each character’s reality. Revenge, payback, responsibility, love, forgiveness, and loss all expose the depth of faith and steer the course toward Justice.
Friends from childhood, Jake and Brooklyn can’t seem to figure out what being in love with each other might look like. Their buddies and parents all expected them to marry long since, but Jake and Brooklyn explore relationships with others while they learn to navigate the scary world of responsible adulthood. When the time is finally right for them to move toward each other, crisis inflamed with outside jealousy steps between them. It takes ever-maturing belief to weather the storms, and a lot of help from their friends in an attempt to step back and find the bigger picture.
Jake is a driven young man, full of life and faith, overcoming the devastating death of his father and rising above to operate a popular business while making a difference, or trying to, in the lives of young people at church. Jake tries to follow in the footsteps of his bigger-than-life father, as well as fight the good fight of faith and hormones in the teenagers he wants to influence. He just can’t seem to work up the courage to show his longtime female buddy how he feels. Brooklyn is a naïve young woman who tortures herself by living in the shadow of her dysfunctional and cruel mother. She tries to convince herself that she’s not good enough for anyone, especially God, but has the sense to reach out to a wonderful group of women role models and finally, the person she’s leaned on for most of her life, Jake. When everything goes south, it’s grow up or shut up time. Jake falls back on his deep-seated anger while Brooklyn begins to understand the meaning and sacrifice of forgiveness. Watching their journeys crisscross and wander is a delight. Well-done.
Most of the side stories are woven beautifully into the thread of the story; the biggest one, that of the business competitor, feels a little like a shiny thread that is rough against the grain. While it’s more realistic to be on the side of the victim and not truly understand the hows of the vengeance-seeking little demagogue, I am left feeling a little puzzled. It’s like the scratchy tag on the inside of your shirt. Jake has some growing-up to do, and his business rival helps him learn, on a lesser scale, the lesson in forgiveness that Brooklyn is teaching him through her own faith expedition.
Told through multiple viewpoints, this debut novel is rich in Christian faith portrayal, and not shy about the depth and realities of sin. The characters have great dialog and emotional depth which spoke to me. Those who read deeply inspirational romantic fiction will find much to love about Justice.
About the Author
Emily Conrad writes Christian fiction. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two 60+ pound rescue dogs. Some of her favorite things (other than Jesus and writing, of course) are coffee, walks, and road trips to the mountains. She also blogs and offers free short stories at EmilyConradAuthor.com.