book review: Dancing with Fireflies

Dancing With Fireflies Title: Dancing With Fireflies
Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Complimentary Copy Provided via: NetGalley
Rating: B+

Publisher’s Review:
Jade returns home to Chapel Springs after years of protecting her fragile heart. Then along comes Daniel, making her long to dance again.

Creative and complicated, Jade McKinley felt like a weed in a rose garden growing up in Chapel Springs. When she left, she thought she’d never look back. But now, pregnant, alone, and broke, she has no other choice but to return.

The mayor of Chapel Springs, Daniel Dawson, has been an honorary member of the McKinley family for years. While his own home life was almost non-existent, Daniel fit right into the boisterous McKinley family. He’s loved Jade for years, but she always saw him as a big brother. Now that she’s back, his feelings are stronger than ever.

As Jade attempts to settle in, nothing feels right. God seems far away, she’s hiding secrets from her family, and she’s strangely attracted to the man who’s always called her “squirt.” Finding her way home may prove more difficult than she imagined.

My Thoughts:
Have you ever experienced a series of crushing events that knocked the wind right out of you? Have you ever felt so lost that navigating back to “true north” meant digging your way through underbrush and thorns?

This is the place we find Jade McKinley.
dreams shattered
body violated

After a violent assault renders Jade traumatized and pregnant, she reluctantly returns to the one safe place to regain her bearings: home. What is gained is so much more than the love and support of family, but a lifeline in the most unexpected form of a childhood friend.

In Dancing with Fireflies, Denise Hunter weaves a tender story of the power of friendship to restore a wounded heart and the reawakening of self that occurs when layers of doubt, fear, and recovery are worked through with unconditional support.

We find in Jade McKinley the story of what it means to be jarred so far from normal that it takes the support of selfless friendship to dismantle the cement walls erected around a traumatized heart. The journey to healing requires Jade to face her fears and work through them; learning to trust and love again is the only way to reconnect with self, friends, and God.

We find in Daniel Dawson, a kind, gentle, patient, and loyal friend who knows just what to say to build confidence, how much space to give to allow for processing, and the right balance of compassion coupled with firmness to bring Jade’s fears to Light. In Daniel’s character we see an excellent example of committed gentleness that beautifully mirrors the desire of God to heal wounds and restore hearts to wholeness.

Author’s Bio.
Denise HunterDenise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 20 books, including “Barefoot Summer” and “The Convenient Groom”. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist.

In 1996, inspired by the death of her grandfather, Denise began her first book, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her husband says he inspires all her romantic stories, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

When Denise isn’t writing she’s busy raising three heroes-in-the making with her husband.
You can learn more about Denise through her website or by visiting her FaceBook page at

(I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)


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