A second-chance at love for this rock star... To Bring You Back by Emily Conrad (Review & #Giveaway) #christianromance #romancebooks #bookreview #booktour @celebrate_lit

Welcome! Read my review and enter the tour giveaway below...

To Bring You Back
(Rhythm of Redemption Romances #1)
By Emily Conrad
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 348 Pages
August 16, 2021 by Hope Anchor LLC


He’s determined to confront the past she’s desperate to forget.

Broke in more ways than one, the last thing Adeline Green can afford is for her now-famous high school crush to descend on her quiet life.

People in the small town of Lakeshore, Wisconsin, think of her as the hard-working church secretary or as the local food truck’s lunch-hour cashier. They’d never suspect the shame she’s hiding.

She attended high school with both the lead singer and the drummer of the rock band, Awestruck. In fact, she used to play in the band herself, but that was back before Awestruck made it big—and before her relationship with lead singer Gannon Vaughn took a turn that ultimately led to tragedy and heartbreak.

She’s living a different life now, but when Gannon shows up, he brings with him a public spotlight that threatens to expose her deepest regret. The closer she gets to him, the more she risks the carefully curated life that’s finally brought her a measure of peace.

Gannon Vaughn and his rock band, Awestruck, have conquered the music industry, but he can’t overcome his feelings for Adeline.

She may have been right to cut off contact between them years ago, but thanks to the grace of God, he’s a changed man. When he hears Adeline’s struggling, he sets out to turn her life around and win back the love he lost to poor choices eight years ago.

But when Gannon’s fame and their mutual regrets jeopardize their relationship anew, will grace be enough to bring them back to God and each other?

A meaningful Christian romance with a side of fame and fortune for readers who enjoy faith-filled escapes and happily-ever-afters where no one is beyond hope of redemption.

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

TO BRING YOU BACK is a story about forgiveness, particularly for one's self, and grace. It's about friendship, tough choices, getting out of the way of what is best, learning to let God be the hero and second chances at love. Recommended to those who enjoy strong Christian messages mixed with romance with plenty of chemistry.

I really liked the start of this story and loved the end. I also loved Gannon. He was a great character who both fit his rock star persona and someone who is trying his best to live as God wants him to. He really hopes to win Adeline over, but more than that, he wants her to live her life. I liked Adeline. She has a lot to work through in this story and has been carrying her baggage around and trying to both punish and redeem herself. Her character goes through quite a bit of development and I definitely liked her a lot more at the end of the story. They have good chemistry that you can easily feel. Then there was Gannon's bandmate, John, and Adeline's friend, Tegan who were great side characters. I also really liked the musical parts and the band dynamics. Plus, I plain liked the story of a rock star being this personable, vulnerable but confident person trying to win a girl over. I loved that in the end, they were both where they should be for love to have a real chance.

As I've alluded to, the middle of the story was a problem for me. I think I just had issues with how mean Adeline is to Gannon. She's still carrying all this guilt for something that happened nine years previously when she was just out of high school and has been punishing herself ever since and then still takes it out on him. I also wasn't really sold on the whole way the story was written so that she and Gannon are still in love after nine years. People usually change so much or come more into their own in that time and Gannon and Adeline don't really even talk a lot but he's ready to go all in. I wanted more development, more of them talking and becoming reacquainted before all that, which does end up getting ironed out, but it came across a bit as insta-love because they hadn't been in touch for so long. My other issue was the religious aspect felt too strong (like God as a lover should never be stated like that) and the fact that Gannon was literally friends with or cared for people only because he might be the one to help them turn to Christianity. I personally want people to be friends with me because they like me. It's actually a negative stigma of Christianity and one that pushes people away. That really bothered me.

In the end, was it what I wished for? There were parts I really enjoyed and even loved of this story. There were also some major things that didn't work for me. There was definitely potential here and I can see the series getting better as it goes. Overall, the story was enjoyable with a great hero. Those who like second-chance, rock-star romances with strong religious elements may enjoy this one.

Content: Some references to past situations, drug and alcohol use, compromising situations and innuendo, but would still consider this clean.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from Celebrate Lit, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to Amazon affiliate links.)

About the Author

Emily Conrad writes contemporary Christian romance that explores life’s relevant questions. Though she likes to think some of her characters are pretty great, the ultimate hero of her stories (including the one she’s living) is Jesus. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their energetic coonhound rescue. Learn more about her and her books at emilyconradauthor.com.

More from Emily

A Guilty Pleasure with a Purpose

When a reader called the Rhythms of Redemption Romances a guilty pleasure, I had to smile because that’s exactly what To Bring You Back, the first book in the series, was to me as I wrote it.

Don’t get me wrong, To Bring You Back is firmly Christian fiction, and it’s not “guilty” of being blush-inducing. Because of the characters’ history, theirs is a slow-burn romance that focuses more on the emotional side of their relationship than the physical.

But, To Bring You Back is a rock star romance.

When I first started writing it, I was embarrassed to admit that’s what I was working on.

After all, rock star romance has a reputation for being an unrealistic and shallow escape from reality with “guilty pleasure” written all over it.

Maybe there was some of that escapism going on. At that point in my writing journey, I was dealing with disillusionment, and I enjoyed the break of writing about rich and famous characters.

However, as I wrote To Bring You Back and went on to read others’ romances about famous characters, I found that the characters’ occupations and net worth don’t impact the most important elements of their stories.

The tales can still showcase meaningful relationships and God at work in the lives of people who—rich and famous or not—need redemption.

Fame, money, and music help up the entertainment value, but those same features add even more rich conflict to explore.

The men of Awestruck, starting with lead singer Gannon Vaughn in To Bring You Back, have allowed me to ask questions like: How good is grace? What does it mean to live in forgiveness? What gives a person worth? And, when is living the dream no longer worth the price?

To write this post, I took a break from working on the first draft of the final book in the series, and it’s been fun to look back and see how much my opinion of these stories has changed.

If To Bring You Back and the books that follow are a guilty pleasure, they’re a guilty pleasure with a purpose. God has worked in my life through them.

It’s my prayer that He’ll also use them in your life, both to explore meaningful questions and to provide a few hours of entertaining escape.

Tour Schedule

The Sacred Line, April 25

Remembrancy, April 28

Wishful Endings, April 28

Simple Harvest Reads, May 7 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Tour-Wide Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Emily is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and an ecopy of To Bring You Back!!

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

No comments

Post a Comment

I love comments! I try to read and reply to them all. Feel free to agree or disagree and generally share your thoughts with me.