The Devoted by Jonathan Hull

DEVOTED

The Devoted by Jonathan Hull
Publisher: Dancing Horse Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Historical
Length: Full length (315 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 5 Stars
Review by: Stephanotis

From wartime Italy to the American West, Jonathan Hull takes readers on a heartrending passage through the lives of three families torn by history and bound by an unshakeable – and at times forbidden – devotion.

Ryan Brooks never forgot the powerful hands that pulled him from the wreckage of his parents’ station wagon that summer in 1960 when he was ten and his childhood came to a fiery end during a family vacation. Thirty years later, Ryan returns to Wyoming to thank the dying rancher for saving the life he is still trying to be worthy of. The chilling sight of Mike O’Donnell’s deeply scarred hands is just the beginning of Ryan’s journey as he soon finds himself caught between the rancher’s captivating – and married – daughter, Shannon, and his mysterious Italian wife, Alessandra.

When Mike’s deathbed confession sets Ryan on a search for the truth of what really happened the day his parents died, he unearths a long-buried secret that leads to a mountain cave in Northern Italy and Alessandra’s dangerous love affair with a haunted young German soldier. As past and present collide in an intricately woven story of love and redemption across generations and continents, Ryan discovers that the answers he seeks are inscribed deep in the hearts of those whose lives – and courage – he must measure against his own.

I have to admit there are only a few fiction books that make it to my ‘keeper’ shelf. Books that, no matter how many years pass, I won’t part with them, promising myself that one day I’ll re-read them and get lost in their pages once again. The Devoted is one such book. In fact, it was such an enjoyable read that it will stand out as one of my favorites of 2012.

Mr. Hull pulled me into the story from page one and kept me turning the pages from there on. I found myself picking up the book and wanting to read more even during the busy holiday season. The prose was beautifully written and peppered with captivating characters who I felt came to life as the story progressed.

In fact, it’s not just one story but a collection of wonderful tales cleverly weaved together. I love a story with a secret and The Devoted has many. It’s one of those novels that gets you thinking about the decisions we make and how they impact not only us, but other people too.

It’s both a contemporary story, and also one set during World War Two which makes it not only riveting but tugs at your heartstrings. And yes, has you reaching for a tissue or two.

I loved all the characters and was cheering for all of them. The dialogue was very natural sounding and the pacing, despite this being over three hundred pages, sailed along.

Mr. Hull is a new to be author but after reading The Devoted I’m going to seek out his previous books and will eagerly await his next novel.

If you’re looking for a great book to kick off your 2013 reading I can highly recommend this one to you.

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