series (Tyndale House), titled Mark of
Distinction is one fans have waited for since the release of her debut
novel last year, Born of Persuasion. The series follows orphan and atheist, Julia,
as she attempts to decipher fiction from truth while fighting for survival and love.
To call it a historical series would not do it justice. Jessica’s novels are
filled with rich suspense and romance, neither in the classical sense.
Born of Persuasion (book one) tells Julia’s
story immediately following the suicide of her mother. Julia finds herself
orphaned and longing to reunite with her love, Edward. However, when Julia
discovers her betrothed has vowed to serve the church, she becomes wild with
grief and desperate to relieve her situation and free herself from a future of servant
hood at the hands of an anonymous caretaker. Readers follow along as Julia
meets the mysterious Mr. Macy who is, at the same time, easy to love and easy to loathe.
Mark of Distinction (book two) builds
upon the mystery of Born of Persuasion.
Many questions still linger for readers from the first novel, as they try to
figure out what is real and who can be trusted. Readers will love the way
Jessica writes her characters into desperate situations, only to miraculously
with the suspense is an authentic story of faith and a desire to believe by
Julia, who was indoctrinated as a child by her atheist father. Julia finds
herself at the end of the first novel at a crossroad of belief. It seems she does make a choice and begins to walk, gingerly as ever, down that path. Her belief slowly evolves in book two–at times stalling and back pedaling, as the wounded Julia searches for answers.
will find themselves engulfed in a story of danger and romance as book two in
the series sheds new light on Julia’s true heritage and the death of her mother.
New characters are introduced in the second novel, while other characters from
the first book in the trilogy make appearances. The characters we love to hate
are there as well, tormenting us and making us question their motives. Can they be trusted? What will Julia do
next? Notably, readers will meet Lord Dalry who serves as a love interest
and companion for Julia. His sensitive and peacemaking nature, a diplomat in
training, will draw readers in. Julia, who is stubborn and hotheaded, finds a
confidant in Dalry, who she grows to love. However, the question persists as
the pages turn: How deep is that love? Strong
enough to make Julia abandon another?
Also in Mark of Distinction, Julia further
examines the power of wealth and what it can and cannot do. She must decide how
much she loves security and money and what she is willing to sacrifice.
Readers will find themselves adoring Julia while
simultaneously being frustrated with her. They will question her, cheer her on,
and even scold her as they delve deeper into the book. Dotta’s
talent is benchmarked by how wells he crafts the character of Julia. Readers
will feel that they know her, and will see their own reflection in her rash
decisions, triumphs, and failures as she struggles to believe, survive and
love. She is an unforgettable character in Christian fiction who deserves the
entirety of this trilogy devoted to telling her story.
In a word, the series so far is remarkable, but it is so much more than that, as it challenges readers to examine closely the world around them, the faith within them, and foundation below them.
The finale of this series, titled Price of Privilege, will release in late 2014.