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Book of the Week #63 "Close To You"


by Kara Isaac

Dr. Allison Shire is the most over-qualified tour guide on the planet. Her lifelong love of Tolkien compelled her to earn a PhD in English Literature from Oxford. When she met Derek, the two married after a whirl-wind romance and moved to Allison's home country of New Zealand where she got a lecturing job at her Alma Matter Auckland University, which is where a woman she'd never met before informed her that she was married to her husband. Now, after Derek has racked up thousands of dollars of debt in her name, Allie finds herself working as a tour guide of the movie locations from The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings in New Zealand. Taking the job and the fact that Derek is stringing their annulment out in an excruciating fashion has left her bitter and she's forgotten why she loved literature and Tolkien in the first place. Jackson Gregory is in a similar boat. He's worked hard to become as successful as he is and prove himself to be above his farm-boy upbringing in Iowa. Yet when his girlfriend leaves him for his biggest business competitor, he's lost everything- his "friends," his living, his business, and the money he planned to use for his family's farm. Though he couldn't care less about Tolkien's works, he agrees to accompany his great-uncle, Louis, on a trip to New Zealand for a luxury Tolkien tour. He hopes that if he can get Louis to believe he loves Tolkien as much as the next, that he'll loan him the money to pay back his investors, save the family farm, and start a new business. Yet he may be in for a lot more than he's bargained for.

I don't read a ton of contemporary romance. From time to time, I'll find one that I'm interested in, but it isn't one of my favorite genres. When I read about Close To You, I was interested in it. Recently, the Kindle edition was on sale for $1.99, and that seemed like a good time to try it out. I wound up enjoying the book. It has lots of twists and turns, and that made me like it more than if it had just been a plain romance. And I like the Tolkien theme. Granted, I haven't read any of Tolkien's books, but they are on my list and I think that made the whole book more interesting.

I like Allie and I felt sorry for her after what Derek had put her through. He's definitely what my mom would call an "unsavory type." He was just mean and had no concern for anyone but himself; the very definition of a villain. Jackson sort of got on my nerves in the beginning, but the more the story unfolds, the more you see why he was as bitter as he was in the beginning. Time and getting to know Allie softened him, and I was glad to see that. I liked Louis, too. He's very wise and seems like a nice guy; the sort of person you'd want to be your grandfather.

All in all, Close To You was a nice read that any die-hard fan of contemporary romance will adore, and occasional fans will enjoy as well.


I give this book a 4 out of 5.

4 comments

  1. Super glad you enjoyed this one! I still need to read BOTH of Kara's novels, which I hear are amazing. :)

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    1. I think you'll really like this one, Rissi. I read a sample of Can't Help Falling, and I'm looking forward to it. Love the C.S. Lewis theme! :)

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  2. Oh I lOVED this book and reviewed it a while back! I love Tolkien. And like you I don't read contemporary much - but I adore this <3

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    1. It was a pretty good book! Definitely makes me want to read Tolkien even more! :)

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