Blog Tour: Destiny by Cindy Ray Hale

Destiny #1. Self-Published (Nov. 2013) Lola's Blog Tours
Destiny Clark, a young Mormon girl living in Tennessee, is wildly infatuated with Isaac Robinson, the headmaster's son at her Baptist high school. When they're cast together in the school's production of Les Misérables, Destiny is horrified to find that she has to be publicly humiliated by acting out her true feelings of rejection onstage. 

As their rehearsals begin, Destiny realizes the unimaginable: Isaac has developed deep feelings for her despite their religious differences and the fact that he has a girlfriend. 

But will they be able to find their place amongst the backbiters of their ultra-conservative world?                                                                           

Weaving around Destiny and Isaac's alternating viewpoints, Destiny is the first book in a series inspired by the characters of Les Misérables and explores heartbreak, self-discovery, intolerance, and love.

Destiny's family converted to Mormonism years ago. She's really happy about her new faith and believes she's following the right path for her but the trouble is she still goes to a Baptist school where everyone treats her like a pariah. Everything changes when she meets Hannah on a camp retreat. Hannah is the first real friend she has had that accepts her. She's also a very devious friend by trying to get Destiny's forever crush, the headmaster's son Isaac, to notice her. Meanwhile, Isaac sees his cousin Hannah with Destiny - a Mormon becoming friends. Quickly not wanted this Mormon to try to convert his cousin he hatches a plan to get close to Destiny and discover secrets that he will later on reveal to Hannah. By doing that he will show her what Mormons are really like. But, as Isaac gets closer and closer to Destiny he becomes drawn to her and can't help feeling what an amazing girl she is and that maybe everyone truly is wrong about her.

Destiny deals a lot with faith and the contradictions people don't realize they are doing. Both sides of Isaac's and Destiny's family believe that they are all good Christians but then they hate one another. Isaac's father is very verbal about his distaste for Mormons and even tells Destiny that she isn't a Christian. Destiny's father forbids the two from dating because Isaac isn't a good Mormon boy. They are both very hypocritical it's astonishing. I've had experience where I was once trying to talk about the very different things I felt about the religion I am in and I've been told that I was just simply wrong and how can I believe that? So I understood Destiny's situation and felt for her. Who is anyone to say what you believe is wrong?

The other part of this book is about the growing romance between Isaac and Destiny. I thought they were really sweet together although Isaac and Destiny kept secrets from one another. I'm still waiting for Destiny to admit hers... I like that they both became or were open-minded with each other and I loved that they were truly good people who cared for one another. They had great chemistry together and I really just wished that everyone would see they weren't doing anything wrong. I do wish there was more of a back story between Destiny and Issac. Issac mentioned how she thought she was becoming cute but that was about it. Suddenly he couldn't stop thinking about her. Other than that I liked that the author delved into this topic. It's difficult for both sides to be in a relationship with both people being in different religions. You are "supposed" to be in a relationship with someone in your same religion but sometimes it doesn't work out that way. I loved the exploration of that and the way different religions might perceive each other. Destiny's story was really unique and gives way to a topic that isn't talked about as much in YA.

About the Author

Wife. Mother. Writer. Cindy Ray Hale lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with her husband and four children. In addition to being a writer, she’s an avid reader and a social media junkie. She starts her morning by writing with a freshly-blended berry spinach smoothie next to her. She’s obsessed with Les Misérables, playing the piano, and stalking up-and-coming musicians on YouTube. Destiny is her first book and will be available for purchase November 2013. 

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“I was wondering if we could keep this on the down-low? 
“Why would you want to do that?” I had a feeling it was because her parents disapproved, but I wanted to see what she had to say about it. 
“Um…” She chewed on her lip like she was contemplating which reason to give me from a long list. “It’s complicated.” 
“I’m listening.” 
“If Michael comes out here and finds us, we have to pretend we’re out here as friends looking at horses.” 
“That’s not an explanation.” 
She ducked her head and wouldn’t look at me. “Isn’t it enough for me to just be your girlfriend quietly with no questions asked?” 
“Are you worried about Aspen? You don’t need to be afraid of her. She made her decision.” 
She shook her head. “No, I could care less what Aspen thinks.” I didn’t believe it, but there was determination in her jaw as she said it. 
“Are you worried about your parents? Because I can talk to them.” 
Her eyes flew open in terror, and she shook her head vehemently. “No! Oh my gosh! Isaac, don’t do that!” 
“I don’t like pretending and sneaking around like I’m ashamed to be with you.” 
“Please, can we just keep it quiet for a few more weeks?” She looked up at me with such desperation. I couldn’t deny her small request. 
“Okay. But I want you to at least go to Homecoming with me next weekend,” I said with a hopeful grin. 
She arched an eyebrow disapprovingly. “I can meet you there and be with you I suppose, but never in a million years will my parents let you pick me up formally as my date.” 
“We’ll have to set up several Les Mis practices then. Maybe we can do one at your house so your parents can get to know me a bit better?” 
She gazed at me cautiously but nodded.  “Okay, but you have to make it seem like there’s nothing going on between us.” 
I sighed and swept my fingers across the silky skin of her collarbone. “That won’t be easy.” 
“You’ll just have to try.” She stood on her tiptoes to kiss me again. 
“You’re not supposed to date me, are you?” I had a feeling Hannah had been lying about Destiny’s parents suddenly changing their stances on dating. 
She refused to meet my penetrating gaze. I cupped my hand under her chin and angled her face toward mine. “I want you to feel like you can be honest with me. Please, just tell me.” 
When her cobalt eyes met mine, she had fear in them. “There are so many people who think we shouldn’t be together. It’s not just my parents. What about yours? Your dad hates us. If he found out you were dating a Mormon…” 
“He doesn’t hate you. How could you say that?” 
Anger flashed in her eyes. “He hates what I am. It’s the same thing.” 
I opened my mouth to speak but closed it again. She was right.

Thanks to Lola's Blog Tour and the author for providing me with a copy of Destiny in exchange for an honest review!


  1. This sounds like a unique book. I don't recall ever reading anything quite like it. The romance sounds complicated for the two main characters and I am curious about how it all works out. I am also curious about why Destiny attends a Baptist high school. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh well she attends one because her family used to be Baptist but they converted and their grandparents wanted to keep them on in the school. It's explained fairly early in the story so that isn't a spoiler in case you were wondering.

  2. This sounds so interesting! A lot of the things you mentioned in your review actually happen in real life with religious people. I think it is getting better, but I've been told I'm not Christian, and I was also told (as a teen) that I shouldn't hang out with certain friends/boys because they were a different religion. It's a complicated and really touchy subject for a lot of religious people. I'll definitely have to read this. Thanks for the review!

    1. It's very harsh in the way people try to define your beliefs or your non-beliefs like that makes you a good or bad person. It is a touchy subject but I enjoyed Destiny more than I would have expected.

  3. I haven't heard of this one before but it sounds really interesting. It sounds really believable. The romance sounds really sweet and innocent. Great review, Adriana :)

  4. Great review! Indeed it's a topic that isn't talked about a lot in YA and I think Cindy dealt with the religion aspect really well. I enjoyed learning more about both religions as I didn't know a lot about them going in. I was a bit shocked at the hostility between the two and I really hope everything turns out well for Destiny and Isaac, they are really sweet together. Thanks for being part of this blog tour!

    1. I didn't know that much about them either. I have some experience with talking to some Baptists but it wasn't the greatest experience. I hope everything works out for them too. Thanks for having me!


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