Tattered Innocence

Rated 4.84/5 based on 21 reviews
A tale of passions indulged, denied, and ultimately forgiven:
On the verge of bagging the two things he wants most—a sailing charter business and marrying old money—Jake Murray’s fiancée/sole crew member dumps him. Salvation comes in the form of dyslexic, basketball toting Rachel Martin.
Tattered Innocence is for anyone who’s ever woken up sealed in a fifty-gallon drum of their guilt. More

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Words: 83,620
Language: English
ISBN: 9781301386918
About Ann Lee Miller

Ann Lee Miller earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University and writes full-time in Phoenix, but left her heart in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where she grew up. She loves speaking to young adults and guest lectures on writing at several Arizona colleges. When she isn’t writing or muddling through some crisis—real or imagined—you’ll find her hiking in the Superstition Mountains with her husband or meddling in her kids’ lives.

Also in New Smyrna Beach

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Alexa Verde on June 12, 2014 :
I loved the story line of self-forgiveness in Ann Lee Miller's Tattered Innocence. Faith is an important part of the story, and the characters growth with the lessons they learned made me care and cheer for them.

The book is written in a fresh, unique writing style, and the characters of Jake and Rachel felt real and engaging. They were not perfect, and I liked it about them as well. The world of sailing was a bit unusual for me, but it pulled me into the story, and I might have learned several new words!

I loved the book, and I'm looking forward to read more books by Ann Lee Miller. I received the book in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Michelle James on May 18, 2014 :
After an affair with Bret, a married man, Rachel Martin wants to get as far away from him as she can. Jake Murray’s love life had just turned topsy turvy not only when his fiance Gabrielle dumps him, but she leaves him without a first mate on his charter cruise boat, The Smyrna Queen. Rachel applies for the job and gets it, but at her first meeting with him, she has made up her mind that her new boss is cold and unfriendly.
Jake left the corporate world to start his own business on The Smyrna Queen, a dream he shared with his deceased grandfather. Nearly everything he owns is in this venture. He needs a first mate to help him sail the boat and prepare meals for the guests. Since the only available sleeping quarters are in his cabin, Rachel makes it clear from the beginning that she is there for the job and nothing else.
It is quickly apparent that there is an attraction between the two of them, but neither will admit it because they are both still running away from previous relationships. Add to that, family problems, hurricanes, and the guilt they carry; this story has multiple layers to it. Since this is a Christian romance novel, there are references to God all the way through the book. Rachel convinces Jake to go to a beach service with her, and though he is skeptical at first, he comes around. There are often instances throughout where Rachel and Jake each reach out to God for guidance and forgiveness.
The book is well written, and the story will keep you turning the pages. If you are looking for a light romance novel and don’t mind Christian references, this is undoubtedly a book I would recommend.
Ann Lee Miller grew up in New Smyrna Beach, earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University, and currently lives in Phoenix with her husband and children. She writes full time and lectures at various Arizona colleges.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Jo Huddleston on May 13, 2014 :
Jake Murray advertises for a first mate to help him crew his charter sail boat. Rachel Martin eagerly takes the job. Jake and Rachel are running from their past mistakes. Rachel is pleased to find that the captain she will work for is only a few years older than her own twenty-something. Neither of them wants to share their pasts, which brings along the constant friction between the two. Jake and Rachel are real people with real problems. Characterization and descriptions are well done and there’s enough romantic suspense to keep you coming back to the book. Ann Miller is a good story teller. Ultimately this is a story of forgiveness, particularly forgiveness of self.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Ashley Cael on Oct. 04, 2013 :
Tattered Innocence is the story of Rachel Martin and Jake Murray, both a little broken by their personal lives. Rachel, needing an escape from her life, sets out of find a job that will take her anywhere but here. She applies for a job as first mate on Jake’s boat, the Smyrna Queen. Rachel is not impressed by Jake at their first meeting, he seems rude and standoffish. Not one to let an opportunity pass though, she hopes for the best and does end up getting the job, mostly due to Jake’s lack of other options.

Jake is coming out of a long term relationship/engagement himself and basically has no idea where he’s going now. His fiancée, Gabrielle, has decided she wants a different life in Arizona while he’s left heartbroken and alone on the other side of the country. In comes Rachel, and the rest is history. Kindof.

I did not think I’d enjoy this book, I would say on the list of things I would normally not choose to read, Christian fiction is pretty close to the top, right below biology text books and possibly emails from my boss. I didn’t hate it though, actually. The story didn’t get too preachy, but there were definitely “God’s plan” references, etc. which I didn’t mind too much because they were not on every single page, but some people might not even want that which is perfectly fine, to each his own! Rachel and Jake are not by any stretch “perfect” and that makes them real and likable. Rachel was sarcastic in the face of adversity, which is good, I don’t think I’d be the stoic type either. She made the best of her situation and it worked out for her. I will admit, I did not like Bret and didn’t understand her inability to get over him initially, but I was glad she came to her sense. Also, the sailing term glossary was a bit daunting, but I skipped it and don’t think I missed out on any nuances because of that.

The only semi-frustrating thing I found with this book was I felt it was too wordy at times. Yeah, you definitely did get the whole picture, but sometimes I felt like no one could just DO anything; it always had to be accompanied by a lot of adjectives and adverbs. Lots of ads, basically!

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by this book and glad I gave it a shot. Jake and Rachel aren’t my typical fare, and maybe the freshness of it made me like it more, but whatever, that’s fine! Give it a read if you like new adult type romance, Christian fiction or just need a light read.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Karen Lyons on Aug. 04, 2013 :
I received this book in PDF form and the problem I have had with e-books…is I lose them in all the way too many files I have on my laptop…and also my laptop over heats so, I struggle with e-books…but, I find them and read them because I will usually be blessed because of their stories or information!!! I finally found this one and YES I was blessed that I did!
Ann is an exceptional author and story teller… I have become a big fan of her writing, and this book is no exception. In short, this book is about forgiveness and I absolutely loved the way the story conveyed such a powerful message to the reader.
God bless you, Ann in all you do for Him. In Jesus Name Amen.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Marilyn Moore on April 13, 2013 : (no rating)
Anne Miller has crafted another multi-layered story that intricately brings the lives of Jake and Rachel together in a beautiful tapestry. Anne takes the broken threads from their lives and weaves those threads together to create a story about moving from brokenness to wholeness. In the process they learn to forgive themselves and those who have hurt them. Anne’s characters are real, with flaws and life hurts that one can easily identify with. Supporting the main characters is a cast of colorful people who are also struggling with their own challenges and issues. This is a book that will you’ll thoroughly enjoy and not want to put down.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Cherime MacFarlane on April 10, 2013 :
Excellent read.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Jeremy McClung on April 09, 2013 :
Tattered Innocence continues Ann Miler's proven track record of exploring the inner life of twenty-somethings in an honest and compelling way. This book explores the themes of guilt, forgiveness, grace and love in a genuine and thought-provoking way. This was probably my favourite of Miller's four novels, and the closing line has stuck in my head for two weeks now. For anyone struggling with self-forgiveness; for anyone who feels dirty or guilty; for anyone who wants to move beyond the mistakes of the past, but doubt's God's ability to redeem their failures; for anyone who just wants to enjoy a good book, this is an excellent read!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jeremy McClung on April 09, 2013 :
Tattered Innocence continues Ann Miler's proven track record of exploring the inner life of twenty-somethings in an honest and compelling way. This book explores the themes of guilt, forgiveness, grace and love in a genuine and thought-provoking way. This was probably my favourite of Miller's four novels, and the closing line has stuck in my head for two weeks now. For anyone struggling with self-forgiveness; for anyone who feels dirty or guilty; for anyone who wants to move beyond the mistakes of the past, but doubt's God's ability to redeem their failures; for anyone who just wants to enjoy a good book, this is an excellent read!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Fran Gold on March 27, 2013 :
Wow. This story turned me every which way that was possible. Joy, heartache, humor, uncertainty and more, found their way into my thoughts throughout this book. It brought me back to my younger days of first love, innocent kisses and broken hearts. Days filled with adventures and Dairy Queen, and nights of "Vanilla Moons". Ann Lee Miller has a way of describing the events in such detail that you feel like your right there feeling the ocean spray and tasting salt air. This was indeed a story of mistakes, forgiveness and true love. Absolutely loved this book and look forward to reading more from this author!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Roberta Hegland on March 26, 2013 :
Seventeen years in the making, Ann Miller's Tattered Innocence nails the question, "What does forgiveness feel like?"

In keeping with her tagline Flawed people, Flawless God, Ann drops us into the uber drama of Jake and Rachel, both raw with the hurt of breakups, setting sail on The Smyrna Queen. Captain Jake is clearly unhappy, but so is his new first mate, Rachel. Together, they learn that God meant it when He said, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you." Physically, spiritually and emotionally, they are forced to face their deepest fears and flaws.

Rachel is reminded of "how she used to listen for God, the sound of the ocean in a conch shell - constant, ethereal. But she'd dropped the shell, not wanting to hear what He had to say about Bret...Did she have the strength left to pick up the God-shell?"

Ann's Tattered Innocence is full of anguish and beauty. If you loved her 20-something novels Kicking Eternity, The Art of My Life and Avra's God, you will fall in love again with the New Smyrna Beach extended family and friends.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: S.K. Anthony on March 23, 2013 :
This book took me by surprise!

In the beginning the author provides a list of crewing/sailing terms and what they mean, I decided to skip that and "wing" it, I didn't needt. I was able to follow along with no problems. Though, it's very considerate of the author to this for her readers.

As I got into the story, I'll be honest and say that I thought this was going to be too God-centric for my taste, but it wasn't. Yes, it mentioned God a fair amount but it was NOT preachy in any way. It was beautifully written. It reminds us that we are all capable of making mistakes and with some faith and forgiveness we can still find happiness. Rachel and Jake are great characters, as the story develops you can't help but fall in love with them. They are both family oriented and have a strong sense of duty and care for others. They are just fantastic. Read it, you won't regret it!

This is the first book I read from Ann Lee Miller and I'm happy to say that I'm a new fan ;)
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Dii on March 19, 2013 :
Just when I thought Ann Lee Miller couldn't top The Art of My Life, she turns around and blows me out of the water with Tattered Innocence! I want to add right at the start-DO NOT hesitate to read this book if you have not read other books in this series. It stands alone just fine, as do the others!

Rachel is trying to outrun her guilt over an affair with a married man. Bret used her, she let him and thought it was love. By the time she found the strength to call it off, she had already violated her moral compass, destroying her self-respect completely. Because she needs a new start, she takes a position as first mate on board the Smyrna Queen, a sailing vessel doing five day tours. Jake Murray, captain of the Smyrna Queen and its fledgling tour company has just been dumped by his fiance, Gabrielle, the morning after they had sex for the first time. He is filled with remorse and crushed by the break up. The friendship that formed between Rachel and Jake was initially tentative at best, each harboring their own secret shame and the pain of not feeling worthy to achieve their most treasured dreams. For Rachel, even her dyslexia is a reason to feel inadequate and she strives to hide this from Jake. As their relationship grows and they admit inwardly to deeper feelings, both Rachel and Jake fail to trust the other enough to truly open up. Rachel looks to God for strength, Jake isn't ready to believe God will help him.

Bret tries to re-enter Rachel's life, and without Jake's help, she may have given in. Still, their hearts and minds are hardened to the fact that they have something special that is quietly growing strong. Rachel's guilt still gets in the way and Jake doesn't believe he can give Rachel what she needs, as much as he would like to. When Gabrielle returns with bombshell news, Jake must really look into his heart for the strength to do whats right. Where can Jake turn for the answers he needs?

Ann Lee Miller has once again created two characters who have made HUGE mistakes, but are lost to accepting their own forgiveness and giving up the burdens for the sins they carry. Both characters are stronger than they think, making them real. Their story drew me in and held me until the end and beyond! I actually hurt for them and those impacted by their mistakes. In the end, there was only one character I felt had no redeeming qualities! This is a beautiful story of love, learning, acceptance and redemption through faith!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Dii on March 19, 2013 :
Just when I thought Ann Lee Miller couldn't top The Art of My Life, she turns around and blows me out of the water with Tattered Innocence! I want to add right at the start-DO NOT hesitate to read this book if you have not read other books in this series. It stands alone just fine, as do the others!

Rachel is trying to outrun her guilt over an affair with a married man. Bret used her, she let him and thought it was love. By the time she found the strength to call it off, she had already violated her moral compass, destroying her self-respect completely. Because she needs a new start, she takes a position as first mate on board the Smyrna Queen, a sailing vessel doing five day tours. Jake Murray, captain of the Smyrna Queen and its fledgling tour company has just been dumped by his fiance, Gabrielle, the morning after they had sex for the first time. He is filled with remorse and crushed by the break up. The friendship that formed between Rachel and Jake was initially tentative at best, each harboring their own secret shame and the pain of not feeling worthy to achieve their most treasured dreams. For Rachel, even her dyslexia is a reason to feel inadequate and she strives to hide this from Jake. As their relationship grows and they admit inwardly to deeper feelings, both Rachel and Jake fail to trust the other enough to truly open up. Rachel looks to God for strength, Jake isn't ready to believe God will help him.

Bret tries to re-enter Rachel's life, and without Jake's help, she may have given in. Still, their hearts and minds are hardened to the fact that they have something special that is quietly growing strong. Rachel's guilt still gets in the way and Jake doesn't believe he can give Rachel what she needs, as much as he would like to. When Gabrielle returns with bombshell news, Jake must really look into his heart for the strength to do whats right. Where can Jake turn for the answers he needs?

Ann Lee Miller has once again created two characters who have made HUGE mistakes, but are lost to accepting their own forgiveness and giving up the burdens for the sins they carry. Both characters are stronger than they think, making them real. Their story drew me in and held me until the end and beyond! I actually hurt for them and those impacted by their mistakes. In the end, there was only one character I felt had no redeeming qualities! This is a beautiful story of love, learning, acceptance and redemption through faith!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Sherry Fritz on March 18, 2013 :
This is the fourth novel I have read written by Ann Lee Miller. I like the way Ann brings the characters to life and draws you into their lives and the environment. This is my favorite book so far. It is about Jake who owns and operates a boat and Rachel who applied for a job being part of his crew. They both are working through lost loves and are trying to straighten out their lives. Through their friendship and their trust in God, they get things settled very nicely. Great job Ann.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Rose Caceres on March 16, 2013 :
I received a copy of this book to give an honest review. At first when I started to read this story I wasn’t too sure I would be able to follow along. I don’t know too much about sailing and the list of terms at the beginning of the book did scare me a little. However once I really got into the story I couldn’t put it down. I read more than 75% of this book in one night staying up until well after 3 am. This story was one that I will remember for a long time it was a captivating story that pulled at the strings of my heart right to the very end.
The story is about two people Rachel and Jake. Rachel applied for the job of first mate on the Smyrna Queen to escape her former life having had an affair with a married man, Bret. For Rachel when their affair is taken too far sees no other choice than to run away she didn’t just sleep with a man before marriage she slept with a married man who has his own family. What bothered me most about Bret is that he really wanted to have his cake and eat it too telling Rachel he loved her but he married his wife and wanted to stay for the children so in my eyes I can see why Rachel has ran away. Her affair with Bret has cost her more than just in her eyes her self worth in the process she has alienated herself from her family more than anyone her brother Hall who she practically raised since he was a baby. Jake is a man who fulfilled the dream that he and his grandfather had which was to run their own cruise boat someday since his grandfather’s passing he has seen what matters in life and quit his corporate job and bought the boat the Smyrna Queen and fully restored her only to have his life come crashing around him on the Rachel’s first day when his fiancee Gabrielle decides that she cannot marry him that day and runs away back to her family in Arizona.
The friendship that formed between Rachel and Jake never had a dull moment here you have a woman who’s running from a married man and a man who is lost since his fiancee ran from him. They fight their attraction to one another at every turn Rachel because she believes Jake is still in love with Gabrielle and Jake because he thinks Rachel wants a forever kind of ending he doesn’t think he can give her since he thinks he can’t love again after Gabrielle left him. That all changes when Bret shows up as one of the guests on the boat and Jake poses as her boyfriend to get him to leave her alone. This book was about learning how to find forgiveness or oneself for their sins and finding that God will still be there for you in the end. Rachel finding forgiveness in herself for her guilt and Jake finding that God is still there for him at the end of the day and discovering at the end of the day that you can find love again even after you have lost the only person who have ever loved. I loved this story and the characters in it. I laughed and I even cried at the end when the baby came into the picture. (What baby? Who’s baby? You’ll just have to read the book to find out) This was a great late night read that I will read again and again and keep on the permanent shelf in my Kindle and I cannot wait to read Ann Lee Miller’s other books in the future especially since Avra’s God is about two of the characters from this book!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Wendy on March 11, 2013 :
4.5 stars actually!

Way to go Ann! This is the 4th book I have read by Ann Lee Miller. I would have to say this one was my favorite (with "The Art of My Life" a close second). There were a lot of little things going on in this story but it kept a nice flow to it. I think out of all her books this one had the best flow. It was very easy to follow along in the lives of both Rachel and Jake. The author took you to see a little of their past so you could understand where they were coming from. You had to know where they'd been to understand the decisions they were making today.

Ann did a great job with the character development! I really liked Rachel. She was very likable person, around the same age as my own daughter and I could see them being friends in real life. She had her flaws, her "skeletons in the closet" that kept her from any real relationships. As she opened up you really got to know her and her personality.
But the one I really fell in love with was Jake. I know, I don't really don't fall for the guy. But who wouldn't fall for a guy with a sailboat, right? Jake was great! He was nice, handsome, tried to make the right choices and do right by others. He had his own skeletons. The farther I read in this book the more and more I loved Jake. He never disappointed me.

"Her gaze panned over faded jeans, carpenter's belt, paint-splattered T-shirt, and stopped at toffee eyes trained on her. Her breath hitched. She'd been prepared for an old-salt captain, not a Diet Coke commercial." ~ oh yeah I can picture him!

The other part of this book I loved was the setting. The setting is always an important part for me. That's why I read so many books that take place in other countries, because I like to go to places I have never been.
Ann takes you back to New Smyrna Beach (as in her other 3 books) but the majority of this one actually takes place on a sailboat. It was wonderful. I don't think I would ever actually go on a sailboat. I just have that fear of capsizing that I can not get over. But this was a great book for me to read because I really felt the boat, I felt its movement, its small cabins, the wind, and the spray of the waves.

"Yearning, bonding, upheaval, coming home, whipped through her as though the hurricane raged inside her body and not fifty miles offshore." ~ and that just the description of a kiss, just wait till you read about the actual hurricane!

THE ALL-IN-ALL -
All in all this is a wonderful, Christian based fiction story that takes place on the beaches of FL and on a sailboat. So if you have ever wanted to go sailing...
The author uses a few scripture quotes and the characters talk of God and pray, but this book is not preachy at all! It is just a nice clean story (no sex, although there is talk of sex in the past, and no swearing). I think it would be fine for older teens to read.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Bill Bourne on March 10, 2013 :
Tattered Innocence, by Ann Lee Miller

I have been a fan of Ann Lee Miller’s books since I read the first one, Kicking Eternity, but her newest book, Tattered Innocence, is over the top! The two main characters, Rachel and Jake, stayed with me long after I finished reading the story.

This book illustrates God’s loving forgiveness of sin even when people struggle with feelings of condemnation. Besides Rachel and Jake, the author weaves several other characters into the story with problems and issues of their own. An added highlight is Leaf, Avra, Cisco, and Jesse who were in Ann’s previous books. It was neat to revisit them!

Guilt, remorse, selfishness, lust, affairs, unwanted pregnancy, as well as dysfunctional family and feelings of abandonment are woven into this fascinating story. Each of us can identify in some way with these struggles. Ann Miller uses her gift as a writer to give her readers a glimpse of the magnitude of God’s love through the lives of the characters. That’s what makes this story so powerful!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Bill Bourne on March 10, 2013 : (no rating)
Tattered Innocence, by Ann Lee Miller

I have been a fan of Ann Lee Miller’s books since I read the first one, Kicking Eternity, but her newest book, Tattered Innocence, is over the top! The two main characters, Rachel and Jake, stayed with me long after I finished reading the story.

This book illustrates God’s loving forgiveness of sin even when people struggle with feelings of condemnation. Besides Rachel and Jake, the author weaves several other characters into the story with problems and issues of their own. An added highlight is Leaf, Avra, Cisco, and Jesse who were in Ann’s previous books. It was neat to revisit them!

Guilt, remorse, selfishness, lust, affairs, unwanted pregnancy, as well as dysfunctional family and feelings of abandonment are woven into this fascinating story. Each of us can identify in some way with these struggles. Ann Miller uses her gift as a writer to give her readers a glimpse of the magnitude of God’s love through the lives of the characters. That’s what makes this story so powerful!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Anne M. Baxter on March 08, 2013 :
The superbly talented Ann Lee Miller's books always rate high in my lists. Her books will not be acceptable to the Christian Book Association's standards because they depict the very real temptations and failings of humans--not excusing them by a long shot--but showing us the pain and guilt that results especially from sexual slip-ups. She shows her heroes' and heroines' progressions through and past their temptations and to God.

Tattered Innocence is no exception. Rachel Martin is consumed by guilt and running away from the handsome married coach who seduced her. She applies for and gets a job crewing on a charter sailing boat, The Smyrna Queen, owned by Jake Murray. Anything to avoid Coach Bret Rustin.

Three problems are immediately obvious: (1) Jake isn't the old salt she expected; he's 29 and model-handsome. (2) All the cabins aboard the boat are booked by guests; the only place to sleep is on a bunk in the captain's quarters. (3) She isn't the only one grieving a past relationship; Jake has just been dumped by his fiancee.

Her affections slowly rotate from Bret to Jake, and her guilt deepens to despair when Jake kisses her, no doubt in rebound. He still loves the girl who jilted him.

How can she get past this? She has to resign. There's no other choice.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Jutzie on March 02, 2013 :
Tattered Innocence by Ann Lee Miller
New Smyrna Beach Series Book 4
Jake Murray had dreams. Owning the Smyrna Queen ketch was one of them. Only he had planned to have Gramps at his side and then Gabs. Neither of those things worked out. He does have a beautiful first mate who is helping him in more ways than crewing.

Rachel Martin, cousin to Avra in the previous book, needs to get out of New Smyrna and fast. She has made some poor choices with far reaching destruction. Not only has she hurt own life, but her brothers, her relationship with God and more. Being on the water will hopefully keep her out of trouble.

Once again Ann takes readers on an emotional ride with her lifelike story. Real situations and characters that come to life, making mistakes, needing God’s forgiveness, along with learning to forgive themselves. All her books are stand alone but usually build on characters or connections from previous stories.
http://justjudysjumbles.blogspot.com/2012/06/ann-lee-miller-book-list.html
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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