By Iola Goulton
A Top Pick for 2017I discovered Becky Wade had free novella available—Then Came You—the prequel to her new series. I downloaded it, and read it, and discovered my review copy of the first book in the series was already sitting on my Kindle. So I read that as well, and now I have to wait months for the next in the series. Yes, True to You was good. Excellent. The best romance I’ve read so far in 2017.
The prequel novella, Then Came You, is the story of Garner Bradford and how he ended up with three daughters. It’s told in a combination of journal entries, telephone call transcriptions, and letters. True to You introduces Garner’s three adult daughters, Willow, Nora, and Britt, and is told in a more traditional third-person style, with the occasional telephone call or letter thrown in for good measure, along with Facebook direct message and text message conversations.
Strange, perhaps, but it worked.
True to You is Nora’s story.She’s a bookish librarian-researcher-genealogist who is a devotee of a certain British period drama, and one of the minor actors (the way she describes him, I see him as a slightly more foppish version of Benedict Cumberbatch). Nora also happens to own a historic village (as you do). She meets the handsome John Lawson when her sister volunteers her as a hostage for a training exercise run by John’s company, and the attraction would have been immediate if it wasn’t for the existence of Allie, John’s perfect girlfriend.
John is adopted and wants to find his birth parents.
Nora seems the perfect person to help him. Only she’s too perfect … and he’s too much of a Christian and a gentleman to be able to do anything with that perfection when he already has the perfect girlfriend in Allie. Allie, who knows his secret and still wants him.
The plot was excellent, with the perfect (!) combination of predictable and surprising.
There were several plot points that I didn’t see coming, but which made perfect sense. The characters were excellent—intelligent, funny, and quirky, and I’m already looking forward to the next two books in the series, to find out how Willow and Britt get their happy-ever-afters (the who has been pretty well identified already. The how … that’s going to be fun to watch. And I don’t know which I want to read more—the story of the ex who’s back in town, or the story of the boy next door who’s been in love with her forever).
The writing was outstanding. There were so many great lines, but I can’t quote most of them because *spoilers*. I especially loved the faith thread. Both Nora and John are Christians, and while the plot never makes a big deal about it, it is central to both their characters and both their stories. It comes across as entirely natural, and that’s tough to pull off.
I think you’ve figured by now that I loved this book. Recommended for all contemporary Christian romance fans.
Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Becky Wade at her website.