*Just Destiny by Theresa Rizzo


What would you do if your whole world fell apart?
Jenny Harrison made some poor choices in the past, but marrying Gabe was the best thing she’d ever done. They had the perfect marriage, until a tragic accident leaves Gabe brain dead and her world in ruins.
Devastated by grief, she decides to preserve the best of their love by conceiving his child, but Gabe’s family is adamantly opposed, even willing to chance exposing long-held family secrets to stop her. Caught in a web of twisted motives and contentious legal issues, Jenny turns to best friend and attorney, Steve Grant. Steve wants to help Jenny, but he has reservations and secrets of his own.
When something so private and simple turns public and complicated, will Jenny relent? What is Steve willing to sacrifice to help Jenny?

This is the second book I have read by this author and she has a really nice writing style. Both books have been well thought out and revolve around court cases. The topic of this second book is quite controversial which would make this book a great choice for book clubs and those who like to hash out and debate issues that are quite often divided. There is a list of discussion questions at the end that can be used as a guide if needed.
Jenny abruptly becomes a young widow. At the time of her husbands death she was pressured to make a decision to donate his organs. Knowing he would want to save lives she agrees but at the same time she requested to have his semen collected and frozen so she could conceive his child. What seemed like a harmless and logical decision to her at the time turned into an ugly lawsuit by a family member to block her from access to his nephews semen.
The question up for debate is this: Is there a difference between using a persons organs to save lives that already exist vs. using that persons semen (or a woman's eggs) to create life that they may or may not have wanted. Especially when they will have no say whatsoever in how many children are conceived and obviously will not be around to raise them. Should anyone be allowed to proceed in doing so without any documentation from the deceased expressing their wishes? I know what I think... but, I'll just keep my opinions to myself!
Alongside the controversial court case there are also some side stories. We have Steve, Jenny's neighbor, who has always loved her but out of respect for his friend kept his distance. He is engaged to a very self absorbed woman and now finds himself drawn to Jenny out of concern for her well being. This is no doubt causing conflicting emotions for him and what he really wants.
This is a very twisty, turny story with lots of surprise reveals throughout... once again, as I said of the last book... felt like an episode of a soap opera. This is not a bad thing... I used to love my daily soaps! You just never knew what was going to happen next. Makes for some very engaging storytelling and keeps you on your toes.
I will admit that I wasn't very fond of Jenny. But, at the same time she was grieving and her reactions and decisions were very conflicting and not well thought out as a result. The ending did not surprise me but at the same time I found her roller coaster of emotions frustrating. So, the jury is out on how I feel about the outcome.
All in all this was a great read, probably not for everyone... especially anyone who really doesn't want to get into a moral debate about the issue of in vitro fertilization. I actually found this very eye opening. Makes me want to ensure my wishes are loud and clear in my will when it comes to organ donation. It's one of those things that will just make it easier on those we leave behind.

Thanks to the author for the complimentary copy of this book! 

Theresa Rizzo

Theresa Rizzo is an award-winning author who writes emotional stories that explore the complexity of relationships and families through real-life trials. 

Born and raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, she currently lives outside of Boulder, Colorado with her husband of thirty years. She’s raised four wonderful children who are now scattered across the country.
Theresa’s debut book, He Belongs to Me was a finalist in the General Fiction Category of The 2013 USA Best Book Awards! 
Find Theresa on the web at www.theresarizzo.com
or connect with her on 


  1. Thanks for the lovely review, Kat!
    So glad you enjoyed the book. I'm pleased the story stimulated you to take action with regards to making your wishes known. I agree that it'll make life easier on loved ones left behind--a real gift.

    1. Good luck with your promotion! Hope you get lots of reader love! :)