Friday, February 22, 2013

An Emotional Yet Hopeful Story

Secrets Over Sweet Tea
by Denise Hildreth Jones
Christian Fiction / Contemporary
Available March 2013
Tyndale House
416 pages

About the Book
Secrets can be funny things. We think they keep us safe, but more often than not, they spill out when we least expect and make a mess out of everything. It’s a truth Scarlett Jo Newberry knows all too well—a truth Grace Shepherd and Zach Craig are about to learn the hard way. As the lives of this boisterous pastor’s wife, polished news anchor, and beleaguered divorce attorney intersect in the tree-lined streets of Franklin, Tennessee, scandal threatens to topple their carefully constructed worlds. Grasping at survival, they embark on a journey of friendship and courage, desperate to find a way back to laughter, love, and life.

My Thoughts
Denise Hildreth Jones has long been a favorite author. I've been patiently anxiously waiting a new book for TWO YEARS, so I was STOKED when I received a copy of Secrets Over Sweet Tea for review two months before it was "technically" available!

Denise starts by introducing readers to a fantastic—and diverse!—cast of characters. I immediately connected with Grace—feeling both sorry for her situation and frustrated that she wouldn't stand up for herself. She seemed like such a feisty, independent woman, except in her marriage. I suppose we all have our secrets and "masks" that we slip on and off depending on where we are and who we're with.

And Scarlett Jo! She was gregarious, hilarious, and outrageous! But her love for the Lord and for the people around her was palpable. I loved her habit of praying and walking every morning and actually think it's something I'll try in my own neighborhood. She's a force to reckon with, but her compassion for Grace and Zach (and others) really drove the story. Of course, Scarlett Jo has her own secrets as well, and I really loved how the roles reversed between Grace and Scarlett Jo. I thought it was a great picture of the give and take in relationships.

Denise has outdone herself with this emotional yet hopeful story. Tackling such a bevy of heart-wrenching topics (divorce, reconciliation, adultery) could have taken over the story and/or left readers in despair. Instead, the author used these subjects to move the story along and show God's grace in life-like circumstances.

Secrets Over Sweet Tea is a beautiful story about friendship, hope, and grace. My recommendation? Rush out and purchase a copy as soon as it becomes available next month! I believe you will be as touched as I was by this incredible book.  [5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Denise Hildreth Jones has spent the last eight years writing fiction that has been hailed as both "smart and witty." Her ability to express the heart of the Southern voice has led to her being featured twice in Southern Living and receiving the accolades of readers and reviewers alike, but it is the simple joy of writing stories that keeps them coming. Her previous novels include the Savannah series, Flies on the Butter, The Will of Wisteria, Hurricanes in Paradise, The First Gardener, and Secrets Over Sweet Tea. She has also written two works of nonfiction—Flying Solo and Reclaiming Your Heart.

Denise makes her home in Franklin, Tennessee, with her husband, five bonus children, and her dog. And on her days off, she will settle for a long walk or a good book and a Coca-Cola.

Denise Hildreth Jones Online
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook


  1. Awesome review. I think this is one that I want to read.

    1. It was so good ... different than expected but really great.

  2. Replies
    1. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it when you do!


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