Allison Shire thought she had found her happily ever after, that is until she finds out her husband already had a wife she knew nothing about. In an effort to escape the whole ugly situation, she travels to New Zealand to work as a tour guide, guiding Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fans to the well know sites from the movies. Jackson Gregory was at the top of his game. He was about to make it big in business and had the girl of his dreams, that is until she left him to be with his biggest competitor, taking with her all his business secrets. Left with nothing and feeling responsible for losing his investors money and wanting to someday return it to them, his only chance seems to be with his great uncle who has money enough to invest in another of his ideas. In order to do that he volunteers to be his uncle’s assistant spending three weeks trying to convince him he’s a total Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fan. The problem? He doesn’t have a clue about any of it. When Allison and Jackson first meet sparks fly. She pegs him for a fake right away but as they continue to get thrown together on various outings, they begin to see a different side of each other. The attraction between them is strong but both have things they have to get past. Will they be able to work through those things and perhaps find something neither of them expected?
This was such a great story and I enjoyed every minute I was involved in it. There was lots of great humor (which I love) but there was also a seriousness about it that dealt with real-life issues like love, loss, guilt, anger and family relationships, just to name a few. There were a lot of things relating to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit which I was not familiar with because I’ve never read the books or seen the movies (I know, I know). However, I didn’t feel like that was a distraction at all from the story itself. I loved getting to know Allison and Jackson and seeing how they each grew and changed throughout the book. I appreciated Jackson’s great uncle and how he handled Jackson and the whole trip with wisdom and love. One thing I really wished was that there would have been an epilogue. I longed for just a little more but that’s partly because I hated to see it end. This is the author’s debut novel but it sure didn’t read that way. If you enjoy books by Jenny B. Jones then I definitely think you should give Kara Isaac a try and keep this “Close to You” until you finish. Loved the cover, loved the story, highly recommended
*This complimentary copy was provided by Howard Book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
A couple memorable quotes:
Allie pressed the phone against her ear, leaning her head against the leather seat. “What if I’m not supposed to be doing this? What if I’m messing up God’s plan?” Kat laughed. “You can’t mess up God’s plan. He’s a whole lot bigger than that…”
But you changed me. You helped me understand that God doesn’t want me to live a life that’s defined by my mistakes. And I’m so grateful for that.”
For more information about this book or other books by Kara Isaac I encourage you to visit her website at http://www.karaisaac.com.