Then There Was You – Book Review

then there was you

 

Would you give up everything for a life you hate with the person you love?

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 his past 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?

GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Bellbird Press
RELEASE DATE: June 7, 2017
PAGES: 343

“People are rarely what we think at first glance.”

From the very first page of Then There Was You, I was chuckling.  It didn’t take long to outright laugh aloud. On Paige needing assurance after her first encounter with Australian wildlife:

“No one is being assaulted. That is the call of a kookaburra.”

On Josh’s less than fond nickname for Paige:

“…the American stared at him. After the dinner at his parents, he’d decided to call her that.”

On Paige’s victory dance:

“It looked like a safety video he’d seen once, warning of what it would look like if someone was getting electrocuted.”

On Josh’s fumbling attempts to confess his interest in Paige:

“His vocabulary failed him. Another few seconds and he’d be reduced to miming.”

Needless to say, I adore Kara Isaac’s writing voice. It’s full of warmth, humor, sincerity, and emotion. Josh and Paige are endearingly flawed with their own stories that color their assumptions about each other when they first meet. (Or should I say colour since this is set in Australia? lol) This not only serves as a gentle reminder for all of us to look past first impressions and/or prejudices but also makes for some excellent banter between these two characters. (I’ll refrain from giving you more examples – you really just need to read it for yourself!)

Speaking of banter, the romance in Then There Was You is swoony and fun and heartfelt – and full of moments where you forget to breathe because you’re so caught up in the chemistry playing out on the page. Josh? Hello. He’s hot, he loves Jesus, he’s a musician, he’s adorably grumpy at times and HE HAS AN AUSTRALIAN ACCENT! Need I say more? Paige is adorable in every way – approachable, feisty and unintentionally quirky. Her friendship with her brother is deeply touching, and as someone who has a similar relationship with her own brother I keenly felt Paige’s emotions when she thinks about Ethan.

Another something I really appreciated about this novel is the care given to both the Australian and American vocabularies. We, of course, speak English in both places but the language does have its subtle (and not so subtle) differences, and Kara Isaac does a great job at including these differences without making an issue of it. Of course, now I’m making an issue of it (lol) but I find it rare in novels that I read. Probably my favorite example of this is the scene where Josh and Paige are eating lunch at the mall’s food court. When we’re seeing Josh’s perspective, Paige dips her chips in tomato sauce. When we switch back to Paige’s head, Josh steals a fry and puts it in ketchup. It’s little details like this scattered throughout a novel that take it from ‘good’ to truly great.

Bottom Line: From the sassy banter, the laugh-out-loud humor, and the breath-stealing romance to the sincere emotion and poignant spiritual insight, Then There Was You is delightful on all levels. It also contains one of my very favorite declaration scenes of all time. (I’ve read that section more than once. Don’t judge.)  Brilliantly written, endearingly relatable, Then There Was You belongs on every romcom fan’s must-read list! 

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / Fantastic!

KissingBook Level: 4 / Keep those fans and fainting couches handy!

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Guest review contributed by Reading Is My Superpower. Peek at Top Ten Tuesday and Favorites Friday but also frequent author interviews/giveaways in a style of review that stands out from the rest.

 

 

 

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