Biblical fiction is a fairly new genre for me. For years, I avoided it because it just seemed weird to fictionalize the people from the Bible. Then I discovered Lois T. Henderson, and a whole new world opened up to me. I was still picky, though. I wanted to make sure that the author did their research and didn’t try to rewrite the Bible.

I was introduced to Jill Eileen Smith when I reviewed When Life Doesn’t Match Your Dreams. It’s a nonfiction book about women in the Bible that includes fictionalized stories of each woman. I liked her style, how she brought to life each of the women and made me look at them in a new light. I especially appreciated how she did her research, and in doing so, inspired me to want to turn to the Bible and learn more about each of the women she wrote about.

I jumped at the opportunity to review Jill’s latest book, The Heart of a King: The Loves of Solomon. I’ve always been curious about the Old Testament custom of multiple wives. How could that even be? How did the women feel about it? What about the man?  I couldn’t imagine how an author could write a love story with one man and a bunch of women, but Jill Eileen Smith pulled it off. She focused on one wife at a time, sharing her feelings before marriage, what led to the marriage, and how they felt about being one wife of many. She also included Solomon’s perspective which I found particularly interesting.

After finishing The Heart of a King, I realized it’s a love story, but not the one I was expecting. The primary storyline is Solomon and his struggle to follow God and be the king that he was called to be. We see how he sought wisdom, but in the end, his wisdom led to his downfall. He was so busy doing what seemed wise that he lost track of what was important.

The Heart of a King is not a feel good romance. It’s a story of searching and longing and making choices that may be acceptable to our world but that are less than God’s best for our lives. It’s a story that will whisk you away into the exotic world of King Solomon but will open your eyes to the issues that we all deal with in our modern world. It’s a story that will have you eager to open your Bible and read the words of Solomon with a new understanding.

Social Corner:

Jill Eileen Smith’s website

Jill Eileen Smith on Facebook

Jill Eileen Smith on Twitter

Jill Eileen Smith on Instagram

Disclaimer: I received an advance copy of the book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author Sharon Wilharm

Christian women’s speaker, Sharon Wilharm, is a ministry leader, podcast host, and female filmmaker whose stories have impacted audiences around the globe. An accomplished storyteller, Sharon draws the audience in with humor, engages them with stories, then ties everything together to bring to light spiritual truths. Her heart’s desire is to encourage women in their walk with the Lord, showing them how to find God’s will for their life through prayer and scripture. “God is the Master Storyteller,” says Sharon. “I love helping women see how God is always at work behind the scenes laying the foundation for the glorious future He has in store for us.” Sharon is a firm believer in the power of prayer and has many stories to share of God working in miraculous ways in her own life as well as those around her. She’s passionate about teaching women how to pray and loves engaging with women in personal prayer. Wherever she goes, she finds herself surrounded by women in need of prayer, and she considers it an honor to pray with women whether they’re friends, family, or complete strangers. Sharon has enjoyed a lifelong fascination with women of the Bible and loves applying the biblical stories to modern situations. She teaches a Women Through the Bible study at her church, applying the S.O.A.P. method of scripture study. She especially enjoys delving into lesser known women and discovering encouraging truths for women of today. She recently launched a new podcast where she works her way through the Bible sharing the stories of All God’s Women.

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