A roller-coaster ride of emotion... Start with Me by Kara Isaac (Review) @justreadtours

Welcome! I've read some fabulous Christian romance
lately and this is one of them. Read my full review below...

Start with Me
By Kara Isaac
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 285 Pages
June 29, 2020 by Bellbird Press


Lacey O’Connor is finally a sure thing for the promotion she’s spent ten years working for. But when a scandal rocks her firm she finds herself on a collision course with the one person she has spent five years trying to forget. Only to discover he doesn’t even remember her…

Victor Carlisle has spent the last three years trying to convince his family he’s no longer the playboy alcoholic who tore their life apart. When a company merger is announced with a US sister firm, he’s presented with the perfect opportunity to prove he’s changed. Only to find himself falling for his competition and the one woman his family will never accept.

As the competition intensifies the choice looms between the professional and the personal. Can they find a way beyond their past decisions and present aspirations to take a chance on the one thing they’re not looking for?

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My Review

START WITH ME is one of those books that stays with you after you've turned the last page. It's about the messiness of life, forgiveness, redemption, faith, and letting someone else really see you. It's about complex families, career goals, friendship and romance. And in the end, it's a story that will pull on readers' emotions and tug on their hearts. Highly recommended to Christian contemporary romance readers, as well as main-stream romance readers who don't mind a light inspirational element!

Surprisingly, this was the first book that I've read by Isaac, although it's the second on my shelves. I had heard really good things and been meaning to give her a try for quite a while. I'm quite happy that I did! These characters were deep and complex, with pasts that they were still trying to recover from, but who were amazing people. They were both really easy to connect with, and I think that, in part, was due to how vulnerable they come across the page. They had walls that were always up, but then somehow they started to let each other in. I also loved that they're acquaintances and then friends before they decide they can't stop thinking about each other. There were all these obstacles though and things they were still dealing with that they had to figure out before there could be any type of happily-ever-after. The romance is super sweet, but also definitely swoon-worthy. *sigh*

Then there were the relationships. I loved Lacey's friends! There obviously was a lot of history there, and I think I need to go back and read a previous book, but I could still keep up with everything. The family dynamics were quite interesting as well and I enjoyed seeing those develop as the story progressed. There were also co-worker and boss relationships. Jen was a definite favorite. I also liked how this posed the question of what you would do if you had worked years for a promotion and it meant giving up love, which I think is something many can relate to.

My one complaint is that there was a bit too much back and forth with the romance. Plus both felt they weren't worthy of the other, which I get, but they both felt like they were in the same situation and I wanted there to be a bit more contrast there. I also would have liked a bit more added on at the end. I was still trying to figure out how they would exactly make it work.

In the end, was it what I wished for? I thoroughly enjoyed this story and will definitely be reading more from this author! A story with great characters, a plot that was relatable in so many ways, an element of faith that was woven lightly throughout, and a romance that made for a delightful read as it tugged my heart back and forth.

Content: Some innuendo, drinking, references to past mistakes (including drugs and sleeping around), but nothing too detailed.
Source: I received a complimentary copy through JustReadTours, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Are you a fan of this author? Have you read this one or will you be?

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