Then There was You: By Kara Isaac
Genre: Christian Romance
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Paige McAllister needs to do something drastic. Her boyfriend can’t even commit to living in the same country, her promised promotion is dead on arrival and the simultaneous loss of her brother and her dream of being a concert violinist has kept her playing life safe and predictable for six years. Things need to change. A moment of temporary insanity finds her leaving her life in Chicago to move to Sydney, Australia. There she finds herself, against many of her convictions, as a logistics planner for one of Australia’s biggest churches, and on a collision course with her boss’s son.
Josh Tyler fronts a top-selling worship band and is in demand all over the world. But, in the past, his failed romantic relationships almost destroyed both his reputation and his family. He’s determined to never risk it happening again. The last thing he needs is some American girl tipping his ordered life upside down. Especially one who despises everything he’s ever worked for and manages to push every button he has.
When Josh and Paige are thrown together to organize his band’s next tour, the sparks fly. But can they find a way to bridge the differences that pull them apart? Or will they choose the safety and security of what they know over taking a chance on something that will require them to risk everything?
If you’ve read many of my book reviews, you may remember that Kara Isaac is one of my favorite authors. After winning a copy of her first book in a blogger contest, I couldn’t put it down. Love, love, love her writing style. This story is just as fun. I applaud her bravery in diving into what it means to work for a mega-church. That’s something you don’t read everyday in romantic fiction.
I have a thing for musician characters – I’ll just lay that out there lol.
Neither character was really what I expected before diving into this story. I loved the banter between Paige and Josh, the conflict and romantic sparks. As always, Kara creates superb characters full of flaws, insecurities, rough round the edges, secrets. I loved the way she revealed her characters’ secrets intermittently throughout, giving the reader only need-to-know info so that when the reveals came, we were equally surprised as corresponding characters.
I think it’s a brave story, one that tackles some deep misconceptions and presumptions of mega-churches with ease and simplicity, without over-hyping the negatives or the positives of mega churches. It’s nice to know authors are willing to tackle some of these hard topics within Christian fiction. As part of a family who was deeply hurt by a church organization in the past, this was interesting to read. For me, that was 20 years go, and not a mega church. I was so young, I consider myself past all that now. But it’s something that many people I know personally deal with, and to read the story of a character with similar reservations that real life family members and old friends have is comforting to me. Pagie’s story relates to so many others, more than people might realize.
Like I said, I enjoyed the witty banter, the crackle of attraction and tension, the overall progression of the relationship and the individual struggles both Paige and Josh had to handle before even addressing their own growing feelings for each other.
Yes, definitely, for any fans of christian romance, I recommend this read!