Book Review: For The Love of Joy

13 Jan

For The Love of Joy by Janet W. Ferguson returns the reader to lovely St. Simons Island in the 5th book of the Coastal Hearts contemporary romance series. Favorite characters from previous books join in as Davis and Joy navigate past hurts and present obstacles to find joy and love and forgiveness.

Is he married or isn’t he?

Years ago, a Dear John letter and then an IED explosion overseas rocked Davis Donnelly’s world and left him unclear about his marital status. He’d signed divorce papers, but broken mentally and physically, he’d never bothered to find out if his marriage actually ended. Now that he’s about to start a new position as an outreach minister, it’s time to settle things once and for all. At the moment he tracks down his wife — or former wife? — she takes a tumble while chasing a little boy. Her son. And that’s when life flips upside down.

Joy Jennings Donnelly made her share of mistakes. But one thing she never considered a mistake was her child, and she’ll do anything to protect him. Even keep his paternity a secret.

When she’s suddenly injured with not a soul to help her or her son, Joy is forced to rely on the man who has the most reasons to hate her.

Janet W. Ferguson is a Grace Award winner and a Christy Award finalist. She grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served as a children’s minister and a church youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. She writes humorous inspirational fiction for people with real lives and real problems. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a cat that allows them to share the space.


My Impressions:

Janet Ferguson writes contemporary romance with endearing characters who navigate serious issues. In previous books, addiction and overwhelming anxiety are just two of the timely themes explored. For The Love of Joy brings together Joy and Davis who both have enough baggage to fill a cargo bay. Trust issues along with feelings of worthlessness separate them from each other and God. Tough emotions and situations, but Ferguson has a light hand as she includes much needed humor. I really enjoyed my return trip to St. Simons Island and rate this a recommended read.

Davis Donnelly believes his marriage to Joy has been over for a long time. At the beginning of a new ministry, he seeks to put the past squarely in the past. What he finds is not an ex but a wife and a child he knows nothing about. The two clash from the get-go, yet the sparks that first brought them together continue to kindle. I loved the interactions between the two even as they frustrated me — so real! Their relationship is colored by their own misconceptions, misunderstandings, and the false talk that they and others have repeated over and over. These two need a lot of work. But God reaches in and brings coincidences together to bring healing. While that is the main story, I was delighted with 2 year old Hank who steals the scene over and over. And that humor that Ferguson injects? It comes from not only events in the novel, but the hokey idioms that abound. I married a Mississippi boy and live in Georgia. We both laughed at the sayings both Joy and Davis spout. My favorite actually comes from another character who mocks Davis’ redneck sayings — Not my pig. Not my waller. Classic! The faith message is strong as the story of the woman at the well becomes real in Joy’s life.

Sweet romance, humor, and a hope-filled message, For The Love of Joy is one you don’t want to miss.


Audience: adults.

(I purchased the ebook from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


4 Responses to “Book Review: For The Love of Joy”

  1. Janet W. Ferguson January 13, 2021 at 6:48 pm #

    Thank you so much!! I’m glad you liked the colloquialisms!

    • rbclibrary January 13, 2021 at 7:54 pm #

      I’ve been hearing about the wonders of Smith Co watermelons for 40 years. Glad you used a reference to them in the book. 😉

      • Janet W. Ferguson January 13, 2021 at 8:02 pm #

        They are famous, ha!

      • rbclibrary January 13, 2021 at 8:45 pm #

        They are now!

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