A love for music that leads to unexpected love... When You Look at Me by Pepper Basham (Review & #Giveaway)

This is such a sweet story! If you aren't familiar with this series, you can grab the first book for
FREE from Amazon, then read my thoughts on the second book and enter the giveaway below...

When You Look at Me
(Pleasant Gap Romance #2)
By Pepper Basham
Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 297 Pages
October 25th 2018 by Woven Words Publications


An unexpected mother-to-be
A romance-leery composer
And a forgotten melody from the past that holds the keys to their futures

When Julia Jenkins' great aunt dies and leaves her a Victorian mansion with decades of secrets, Julia never expects to unearth a World War 2 espionage mystery. Struggling with her own past since an assault left her pregnant, her future as a solo parent leaves her dreams uncertain. The inheritance from her great aunt gives Julia the ability to take a step back into her future, but also sends her into the discovery of a love story she’d never anticipated. As she goes through her aunt's treasured possessions, Julia uncovers some oddly written piano music with a musical code she can’t decipher on her own. Not to worry, introverted Englishman and composer, Henry Wright, is thrust on the scene by a pair of homespun matchmakers who know the ‘right’ man for Julia’s wounded heart.

Henry arrives in Pleasant Gap with the task of composing the soundtrack for his best mate’s newest film. The Jenkins’ family’s southern welcome and gregarious personalities set his reticent nature on edge, but he’s inexplicably drawn to his gentle and music-loving hostess, Julia. Uncertain how to build a friendship with the wounded woman, and rather hopeless in communicating well through words, the bond of music becomes a bridge between her uncertainty and his awkwardness.

But her broken past and his families’ expectations build a wall much greater than the cultures that separate them. As they work together to solve a musical mystery from the grave, will an unlikely romance from the past inspire their hearts to trust in a God who’s written the perfect melody for their lives?

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My Review

WHEN YOU LOOK AT ME is a heartfelt, beautiful story of turning something terrible into something wonderful and perfect, but only found by letting go and trusting in a God who knows best. Readers will love the small-town charm, the swoon-worthy English gents, the close-fit family relationships, and the sweet and toe-curling romance. This story is perfect for inspirational contemporary romance fans!

I loved these characters from the start! The beginning of the story when Julia and Henry meet was hilarious and a great introduction to their personalities. They just grew on me more from there. The introverted, cautious, and shy way they moved about each other as they slowly developed a friendship and then battled attraction was quite entertaining, but also perfect for these characters. I also loved all the humor in this story, from Julia's dad, to the mouse incident in the car, to Julia having everything go wrong while trying to make dinner for Henry... I literally laughed out loud. I also could relate to Julia's struggles and challenges as a new mother as I've been there.

I enjoyed the first half of this story and thought it was about to end and then looked at the percentage on my Kindle and realized I had quite a ways to go... I wondered what else was going to happen. A whole lot did. And that whole lot that happened during the second half of this story... was my favorite part. It felt real. It brought a different setting, and not the ideal, easy situation Julia and Henry faced at the beginning. They needed that start for them to even be open to a relationship (particularly Julia with what had happened to her). The real test was when things weren't perfect, when Henry saw Julia messy and under a stressful situation and she saw his consistency, and when their circumstances pushed some distance between them. That's what really pushed this story from like to love for me. It allowed both of these characters to really face challenges that tested if they truly trusted themselves, each other, and God.

"What is courage, if not, in part, continuing to dream even where there are nightmares?"

In the end, was it what I wished for? If you enjoy contemporary romance with a strong inspirational element, but one that feels genuine, then definitely grab this story! The characters were lovable, the story had plenty of twists and humor, and the romance is sweet with some fabulous chemistry. I'm excited to find out what other happily-ever-afters await the Jenkins family.

Content: Some references to a prior rape related to the story. Clean.
Source: I received a complimentary copy through JustRead Publicity Tours, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.

Other Books in the Series

Just the Way You Are
(Pleasant Gap Romance #1)
By Pepper Basham
Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 267 Pages
April 6th 2017


Single mom, Eisley Barrett, prefers to keep romance housed within a centuries-old mystery, but when she travels to England to unearth the secret, an actor with a sordid past offers her heart a very different type of discovery.

Wes Harrison has a past he's ashamed to confess. Suspicious and cynical, he's managed to avoid romantic entanglements since a tragedy upended his career and life, that is until American Eisley Barrett comes along. Her authenticity and kindness upend his bitter assumptions and send his heart into unscripted territory.

When his past threatens to ruin a second chance at love, can some Appalachian matchmaking and letters from the grave salvage their unexpected romance?

Humor, love, mystery, cute kids, crazy families, and culture clashes make this Britallachian Romance a unique and delightful romantic comedy sprinkled with adventure.

Grab a FREE copy for your Kindle!

About the Author

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes historical and contemporary romance novels with grace, humor, and culture clashes. She’s a Blue Ridge Mountain native and an anglophile who enjoys combining her two loves to create memorable stories of hope. Pepper is also a mom of five, a speech-language pathologist, and a lover of Jesus and chocolate. She resides in Asheville, North Carolina with her family.

Tour Schedule

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

Tour-Wide Giveaway

(1) winner will receive:
  • print copy of Just The Way You Are (Pleasant Gap Romance #1)
  • print copy of When You Look at Me (Pleasant Gap Romance #2)
  • a plaque which says: Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life.... love comes along and brings you a fairy tale
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 22, 2018 and lasts through 11:59pm October 29, 2018. Void where prohibited by law. US addresses only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you read any of this author's books? Any thoughts on this one or my review?

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