Close to You - Kara Isaac

Monday, September 5, 2016

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
J.R.R. Tolkien - The Fellowship of the Ring

My Rating
★★★★★ - You have bewitched me, body and soul. (More Info) One of the BEST books I have read all year!

About the Book

A disgraced scholar running from her past and an entrepreneur chasing his future find themselves thrown together—and fall in love—on a Tolkien tour of New Zealand.

Allison Shire (yes, like where the Hobbits live) is a disgraced academic who is done with love. Her belief in “happily ever after” ended the day she discovered her husband was still married to a wife she knew nothing about. She finally finds a use for her English degree by guiding tours through the famous sites featured in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. By living life on the road and traveling New Zealand as a luxury tour guide, Allison manages to outrun the pain of her past she can’t face.

Nashville airport...Waiting
for our first flight home.
Jackson Gregory was on the cusp of making it big. Then suddenly his girlfriend left him—for his biggest business competitor—and took his most guarded commercial secrets with her. To make matters worse, the Iowa farm that has been in his family for generations is facing foreclosure. Determined to save his parents from financial ruin, he’ll do whatever it takes to convince his wealthy great-uncle to invest in his next scheme, which means accompanying him to the bottom of the world to spend three weeks pretending to be a die-hard Lord of the Rings fan, even though he knows nothing about the stories. The one thing that stands between him and his goal is a know-it-all tour guide who can’t stand him and pegged him as a fake the moment he walked off the plane.

When Allison leads the group through the famous sites of the Tolkien movies, she and Jackson start to see each other differently, and as they keep getting thrown together on the tour, they find themselves drawn to each other. Neither expected to fall in love again, but can they find a way beyond their regrets to take a chance on the one thing they’re not looking for?

My Thoughts

Kara Isaac took my breath away with such a beautiful story. I can't wait to get my hands on her next release coming out in just a few weeks! Filled with so many dynamics, I was biting my nails, laughing out loud, sighing with relief, and at times, even yelling at the book. I have always been a fan of Tolkien and so I found the setting both brilliant and intriguing. I had the very great pleasure of meeting Kara in Nashville last week. She is so sweet. We had a bonding moment over chocolate. See, I don't like chocolate as a rule. However, South African chocolate (I lived there for a year) is divine. I gobbled it up like there was no tomorrow. New Zealand's chocolate is made the same. And both Kara and I agreed that American chocolate can not even begin to compare. Pictured is the Chocolate Fish she brought with her from New Zealand. I am saving it for my most dire moment. This story hit close to home in the fact that I know what it is to be hurt and have a fear of trusting people. It was so encouraging though to watch Allie and Jackson's journey. Cheering them on and hoping they find their healing in Lord along the way. Filled with quotes from Tolkien and random #NerdGirl knowledge, I had so much fun reading Close to You. This is THE book that I chose to read on my way home from Nashville. I think the people on my flights thought I was crazy for the giggling that commenced a couple of times. If you enjoy a good, clean romance, Lord of the Rings, and New Zealand, you will fall head over teakettle for Kara Isaac and Close to You!

I received a free copy of Close to You in my "Swag Bag" from Christian Fiction Readers Retreat, Nashville, 2016. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

Purchase Options

About the Author
Me and Kara!

Kara Isaac is an award-winning writer who lives in Wellington, New Zealand, where her career highlights include working in tourism as Private Secretary for the Prime Minister. She loves great books almost as much as she loves her husband and two Hobbit-sized children.

Coming Soon!

Can't Help Falling
Releases October 11, 2016

A funny, heartfelt romance about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and picturesque Oxford, England.

Emelia Mason has spent her career finding the dirt on the rich and famous. But deep down past this fearless tabloid-reporter fa├žade, there’s a nerdy Narnia-obsessed girl who still can’t resist climbing into wardrobes to check for the magical land on the other side. When a story she writes produces tragic results, she flees to Oxford, England—home to C.S. Lewis—to try and make amends for the damage she has caused.

Peter Carlisle was on his way to become one of Great Britain’s best rowers—until he injured his shoulder and lost his chance at glory. He’s determined to fight his way back to the top even if it means risking permanent disability to do so. It’s the only way he can find his way past failing the one person who never stopped believing in his Olympic dream.

When Peter and Emelia cross paths on her first night in Oxford, the attraction is instant and they find common ground in their shared love of Narnia. But can the lessons from a fantasyland be enough to hold them together when secrets of the real world threaten to tear them apart? Cobblestone streets, an aristocratic estate, and an antique shop with a curious wardrobe bring the world of Narnia to life in this inspiring and romantic story about second chances.


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