This week, I’ve been reading an extraordinary book. As far as I know, Accepting Elijah’s Heart is M. Michelle Derosier’s first published novel. It’s a romance between Reina, a young widowed mother still torn with grief over the murder of her husband, and her neighbor Elijah, a reformed playboy.
Reina was once a strong Christian but since she lost her policeman husband, she’s been drowning in grief, anger, and bitterness. Only her baby Nate keeps her going: the baby her husband never lived to meet. When the unthinkable happens and she forgets her baby in a cab, her neighbor Elijah notices the commotion. He helps the panicked Reina through the next few hours.
An unlikely friendship begins, and heads into an even more unlikely romance. Reina is struggling to hold onto her faith in the God who allowed her husband’s murder. Elijah, a new Christian, feels unqualified to help her rediscover her trust in God. Their growing feelings for each other complicate things further. Reina doesn’t want to betray her husband’s memory by opening her heart to another man. And with Elijah’s dangerous job as a firefighter, she can’t bear the thought of finding love, only to lose it again. Reina isn’t Elijah’s usual “type.” And she comes with a lot of baggage. Yet he can’t deny what his heart is saying.
This book thrums with raw emotion. M. Michelle Derosier’s writing cuts to the heart. I felt these characters’ struggles and pain right in my core, and I am right there with them as they stumble forward. It’s not a cookie-cutter story, and there were a lot of unexpected turns. It’s an incredible debut novel and I look forward to reading a lot more from her.
Small heads up for some mild language from a non-Christian character. But the message of faith is loud and clear. If you want to take a chance on a new author, check out Accepting Elijah’s Heart, available on all online retailers.