A heartfelt read to escape into... If for Any Reason by Courtney Walsh (Review & #Giveaway) @Celebrate_Lit

I reviewed this book back in February, but am reposting for this
promotion. You can read it and enter the tour giveaway below...

If for Any Reason
By Courtney Walsh
Christian Contemporary Romance, Time-slip
Paperback & ebook, 416 Pages
February 3rd 2020 by Tyndale House Publishers


Emily Ackerman has traveled the world, her constant compass and companion a book of letters her mother left for her when she died. With no father in the picture, her mom's advice has been her only true north. But when professional failure leads Emily back to Nantucket to renovate and sell the family cottage she inherited, she wonders if her mom left advice to cover this . . . especially when her grandmother arrives to "supervise." And especially when her heart becomes entangled with Hollis McGuire, the boy next door-turned-baseball star who's back on the island after a career-ending injury.

As sparks fly between her and Hollis, Emily is drawn to island life, even as she uncovers shocking secrets about the tragic accident that led to her mother's death. With her world turned upside down, Emily must choose between allowing the voices from her past to guide her future or forging her own path forward.

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My Review

IF FOR ANY REASON is a poignant story of loss, family, choices, and love. It takes place in the summer on Nantucket and time is split between the past and present (although mostly in the present) as a daughter tries to find her way without her mother. Definitely recommended to inspirational contemporary romance fans!

I love this author's writing style and the characters she creates that always pull on my heart! This story is no exception. Both Emily and Hollis (as well as Hollis's daughter Jolie) all stole my heart almost from the start. I do have to admit that I was quite frustrated with Emily in many places in this story because she's not living her own dreams and she lets fear rule her, but I also understood it. I loved Hollis so much! This guy with his boy-next-door, best-friend persona, but also his charm, his willingness to work hard and to try to find redemption for his mistakes... I loved his character so much! He was a safe place for Emily to land, but also for his daughter if he could just figure things out and she'd let him in. Hollis's family were also fantastic as was the location. Then there was Emily's grandmother... goodness that woman needed more of her ice to thaw!

There was also the secondary story in the past with Emily's mother that added an extra component to this story as it unfolded. It felt nostalgic and I liked the picture it created to help me understand Emily's mom and grandmother. I had a love/hate relationship with the letters. I liked them, but I felt some of them didn't quite feel completely genuine, and I felt like Emily relied on them too much with her experience and age. Otherwise, the letters were a sweet part of this story. The romance for this story was perfect. There were challenges and tension, but also this genuine sweetness founded on these characters' past friendship. There were also some swoon-worthy moments.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and am looking forward to more from this author. Memorable characters, an interwoven message of faith, interesting family dynamics, a bit of mystery, and the sweetest romance made this story well worth the read.

Content: Once closed-door love scene relevant to the story.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Courtney Walsh is the author of ten inspirational novels. Her debut, A Sweethaven Summer, was a New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller. Courtney lives with her husband and three children in Illinois, where she is also an artist, theater director, and playwright.

3 Bits of Wisdom Every Mother Hopes Her Daughter Cherishes
By Courtney Walsh

There are so many types of mother-daughter relationships, and I’ve discovered that in most of my novels, these relationships are explored in one way or another. My most recent book, If For Any Reason, delves a little deeper into this universal relationship, as the main character’s only connection to her late mother is a book of letters she left behind for daughter when she died.

It was interesting to think through the advice and wisdom I would want to be sure to share with my own daughter, if for any reason I wasn’t here to share it in person. There’s so much I would want to say, so many lessons I would want to share, but if I had to boil it down to three bits of wisdom, I think it would be these:

Ask for help when you need it.

I’m not sure why it’s so difficult to admit we need help sometimes, but in the past year and a half, my family has faced some pretty significant medical challenges, and I learned that it’s necessary to let other people help you. One of the quickest ways to burn out and get overwhelmed is to try to do everything on your own. Now, I’m not talking about laziness. I’m not talking about figuring out ways to get other people to do things for you that you don’t want to do, but genuine help in this journey of life—spiritually, mentally, physically—all the ways that you need to be strong and healthy. You were never meant to figure everything out on your own. And it’s less lonely when you let people in.

Mistakes are good . . . as long as you learn from them.

Okay, it’s inevitable. You’re going to mess up. You’re going to make a million mistakes and sometimes you’re going to really, really regret them. It’s okay. It’s okay to make the wrong choice now and then . . . but only if you learn from it. Because even though there’s a lot of grace for your mistakes, there are still consequences, and if you’re not willing to learn what you did wrong, you’re just going to keep making a mess of things. Don’t do that. Don’t be stubborn and unmoving. There are opportunities to learn something new every single day, and there are people all around you who can help teach you—but only if you humble yourself, realize you don’t know everything, and are willing to learn. Remaining teachable is one of the greatest things you can do. Learn this lesson early, and you’ll go far.

Be yourself.

This is one of the most important and most challenging lessons any of us could learn. It’s a platitude, isn’t it? Advice you’d find on the outside of a coffee mug or embroidered on a throw pillow. But it’s more than that, this whole idea of being who you are, who God created you to be. Here’s the tricky part—how do you know who that is? The only way I can tell is to spend time with yourself. And to not be afraid to sit in the quiet with your thoughts. Learn what God says about you so that if those ideas are challenged or someone else tries to put a label on you that you don’t want, you’re armed with the truth. This will serve you well as you work to discover who you are.

The truth is, as a mother, I’m constantly learning. As a person, I’m constantly learning. And while these are just three bits of wisdom I hope my daughter carries with her, there are so many other lessons I hope she learns, lessons I hope I can teach her so she doesn’t need to learn the hard way.

What about you? What’s one bit of wisdom you want to be sure to pass along to the next generation?

Tour Schedule

Among the Reads, April 7
Remembrancy, April 7
Robin’s Nest, April 8
Wishful Endings, April 9
Batya’s Bits, April 10
Worthy2Read, April 12
Hallie Reads, April 13
Splashes of Joy, April 14
Older & Smarter?, April 15
Cultivating Us, April 15
Simple Harvest Reads, April 16 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Back Porch Reads, April 17
Vicky Sluiter, April 18
Mia Reads, April 19
Artistic Nobody, April 20 (Guest Post from Donna Cline)

Tour-Wide Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Courtney is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Barnes & Nobles gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

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