Jesus At The Centre
A Dash Of Daring by Elizabeth Maddrey is book three in the series A Taste Of Romance. It is a contemporary novel and can be read as a stand-alone. I however loved meeting up with familiar characters. It felt more like catching up with old friends than reading a novel. Elizabeth Maddrey writes about ‘real’ characters doing ‘real’ life with all its ups and downs. The Touch Of Romance series would make a fabulous trio of films.
Amy works in a poor school in downtown Washington. She is passionate about her job and her students. The only thing that worries her is Zach, the Maths teacher at the school. Zach likes Amy, but Zach is white and Amy is mixed race. Amy has seen the problems of marrying outside your culture, but she really likes Zach. Elizabeth Maddrey explores the mixed race theme within the novel. Only Amy seems bothered about it. She confesses to her Mum, who replies “My skin doesn’t determine my worth. Jesus does.” Amy feels she now has permission to be just who Jesus created her to be.
The course of love never runs smoothly. Elizabeth Maddrey shows this within the novel. If something is good, it is worth fighting for. Relationships don’t just happen, they need to be worked at.
Likewise, faith and a relationship with God does not just happen. It requires a decision to trust God in all circumstances, and to trust His plans and to look for His guidance. Zach looks to God, especially when a Maths teaching job comes up in a well funded school in the suburbs. Should Zach stay where he is? Or should he move? What is God’s plan for his life? Elizabeth Maddrey shows ‘real’ people facing ‘real’ dilemmas.
In A Dash Of Daring Elizabeth Maddrey demonstrates how teaching is not just a job, it is a vocation. Good teachers do not just happen. Good teachers have a passion for their job and their pupils. They go the extra mile.
The theme of teenage pregnancy is explored within the novel. It shows how, with support, teens can cope and abortion does not have to be an option. Every life is sacred.
The friendship and camaraderie of Zach and his two housemates continues in the novel. It is wonderful to see the interaction of the three friends. They offer each other advice and support.
Elizabeth Maddrey shows the importance of the weekly gathering of believers. Both Zach and Amy go to church.
The theme of family runs throughout the novel. There is the blood family, the family of friends, the school family and the church family. Families come in all different forms, and whilst they are all unique, it is important to belong to a family that offers love and support.
I absolutely love Elizabeth Maddrey’s novels, and cannot get enough of them. Faith is at the centre. It is not a ‘pushy’ faith, but a ‘doing daily life with Jesus’ type of faith. Situations and characters are presented that the reader can recognise. I always feel bereft at the end of the novels.
Be daring and give yourself a treat, and read A Dash Of Daring today.