Justified – Varina Denman – Mended Hearts #2 – David C. Cook – Published 1 June 2015



In a small Texas town ruled by gossip, Fawn Blaylock believes others are justified in condemning her untimely pregnancy. Stifled by guilt, she yearns for grace while the local football coach treats her with gentle respect.

Justified perfectly captures the rhythm and romance of life in a small town, telling the unforgettable story of a woman searching for renewal, a man looking beyond what others see, and a community torn between judgment and love. It is the unforgettable story of broken dreams, second chances, and relentless hope.

My thoughts

What a beautiful story. Great characters, quaint small-town setting and romance to swoon for, all with a side helping of suspense. Fawn’s life changed the moment she realised she was pregnant. Now she is seeing her town of Trapp and its inhabitants in a whole new light. Away from her family and the prestige and comfort it brought, she is beginning to question her faith, her choice in friends and who she can trust. JohnScott’s family reached out to Fawn when her family shunned her. He feels a desire to protect and look out for Fawn, but is unsure if he could ever deserve to have a future with her. I loved JohnScott in the first book in the Mended Hearts series, Jaded. He was funny and caring, but we saw him through Ruthie’s eyes – as a cousin. In this book we see a whole new side to him – and it’s a handsome, romantic, protective, sweet, frustrating side. I can understand Fawn’s attraction to him completely. The relationship that gradually builds between Fawn and JohnScott is that perfect mix of comfortable and chemistry-filled tension. The romance is perfectly interwoven with humour, friendship and faith. I would recommend reading the books in series order. While each has a fairly complete story arch, Fawn’s story begins in the first book, Jaded, and a whole lot of undercurrent stories continue throughout the two books. I enjoyed the continuation of Ruthie and Dodd’s story in this second book, as well as the return of all the other familiar faces of Trapp. Trapp is such an authentic small town where everyone knows everyone (and their business). You can taste the dirt, smell the creosote (if I knew what that smelt like), and hear the town gossip. This beautiful story carefully handles topics of forgiveness, shame, abuse, resilience and love with an authentic and down-to-earth voice. Justified is highly recommended as a great contemporary romance. The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

More information

Category: Fiction Genre: Christian contemporary. Themes: Pregnancy. Romance. Abuse. Family. Friendship. Small towns. Series: Mended Hearts #2 Published: 1 June 2015 by David C. Cook. Format: Paperback, ebook. 416 pages. Author’s website: Varina Denman.   Find it on Goodreads