Topaz Heat: Inspirational Romance (The Jewels Series Book 3)
Synopsis from Amazon.com
The very moment Derrick meets Sarah, he realizes he has a reason to live. Sarah sees only an unshaven tough kid covered with tattoos and shuts down every advance.
Sarah Thomas has no memory of her broken young life leading up to the tragic murder of her mother. Her memory begins the morning she wakes in the home of her loving adoptive parents. She doesn’t even know her sisters exist until her 15th year. She learns to love her siblings, but always feels a little out of place in their presence.
A benevolent billionaire offers Derrick DiNunzio a home and an education. Fresh off the streets and rescued from a criminal future, Derrick sheds his old life. He trades his ripped leather jacket for silk suits; dealing drugs for mentoring “at risk” youth; lock picking and back door jobs for the rigors of mountain climbing and hotel management.
Sarah cannot seem to see beyond the past Derrick left behind …
This is a 3.5 book series (the .5 being a short novella between Book 1 and 2.) Personally speaking, I loved the third book, Topaz Heat, and reread it twice. Which is why I am reviewing the third book and not the first one. While I wish this third book were a stand alone story, you should read the first 2.5 books to really understand the depth of emotion that occurs from the two main characters in the third book. (That’s the power of a book series for you.) Can you read this one and still feel the emotion and the romance and the message? Certainly.
A few key aspects I appreciated about this series in general: 1) It’s not preachy, but it is undoubtedly Christian-oriented. 2) The characters deal with real, deep, emotional issues and their lives in the past were not cheery or easy. 3) The relationships between the characters were believable.
I adored Sarah and Derek’s heated “I hate you, I love you,” relationship. You have the clash of personalities, the distinct difference in lifestyle, the hotheaded tempers, and the stark differences of how they were raised. All these things create tension and humor. In the beginning of this story, Derek actually tried to give up on his endeavors, as she had thoroughly ignored him for so long, (reference the other books in the series) He disappeared, taking a management job in New York City and didn’t return for six years. When he came back, he still had feelings for Sarah, and they ran too deep to extinguish. More mature now than he had been at eighteen, he goes about his pursuit of her in a more sophisticated manner, to her chagrin. All she can see is the old fresh-off-the-street Derek, though he dresses like a dream, and is very rich, thanks to the most generous Tony Viscoli.
This simple story of a girl who is too blind to see what was right in front of her, while the other guy is hopelessly in love with her, appealed to the romantic in me. There are many others like it I am sure. However, what I found different and refreshing about this story was the message near the end: At one point, Derek makes a comparison regarding his love for Sarah, and Jesus’ love for us. He panders after her for years and years, and she never seems to notice. Just like Jesus’ love for us: So many people do not even notice or care, but that does not ever discourage Him from loving us.
God loves us truly, unconditionally. I only wish I could love like that. That’s one of the major themes in the 3 Book series I’m currently working on. How can we love like that? Is it possible? Is it even worth reaching for? Jesus does not care how many times we fail, how blind we are, or whether those blinders flutter open and shut again. His love never fails.
I do recommend this book for those who enjoy a sweet, charming romance and a heartfelt message, subtle enough to not annoy or hassle the reader.