Close to You / Kara Isaac
Howard Books ISBN9781501117329
Adult Rating: 5
Kara Isaac makes her debut with this contemporary romance, featuring a disgraced scholar and an entrepreneur on a tour of New Zealand.
In Close to You, Allison Shire is running from her past when she meets Jackson Gregory on a tour of Tolkien movie sites in New Zealand. Allison, tour leader, decides she is done with love – she recently discovered her husband was married to someone else while Allison was married to him!
Meanwhile, Jackson’s girlfriend stole his company secrets and jilted him. Accompanying his great-uncle on the three-week Tolkien tour, Jackson pretends to be a Tolkien fan, trying to convince his great-uncle to invest in his next scheme. Drawn to each other despite their initial dislike of one another, can they get past their past hurts and find true love?
The themes of second chances (hope and love) underpin the story. The premise of two flawed main characters trying to move one after betrayals is noteworthy. Isaac weaves in enough backstory for non-Tolkien fans to follow along as they go on the tour with Jackson and Allison. The faith element is light but present. Overall, Close to You is an excellent novel by a promising new author. Her second novel Can’t Help Falling is due in Fall 2016.
Recommended for adult collections in public libraries and school libraries, a clean read for adults and older teen readers, for Tolkien fans.
Carol R. Gehringer