Friday, July 6, 2018

Review: Just the Way You Are by Pepper D. Basham

 Pleasant Gap Romance Book 1

Heidi Reads... Just the Way You Are by Pepper D. Basham

My rating: 2 stars / It was okay


Single mom, Eisley Barrett, prefers to keep romance safely housed within a centuries-old mystery, but when she travels to England to unearth the secret, an actor with a sordid past offers her reluctant heart a very different type of discovery.

Wes Harrison has a past he’s ashamed to confess. Suspicious and cynical, he’s managed to avoid romantic entanglements since a tragedy upended his career and life, that is until American Eisley Barrett comes along. Her authenticity and kindness upend his bitter assumptions and send his heart into unscripted territory.

When his past threatens to ruin a second chance at love, can some Appalachian matchmaking and letters from the grave salvage their unexpected romance?

My Review

I really thought I would enjoy this book more, but even with its quirky Appalachian and swoony British main characters, I had a difficult time connecting to them. I felt thrown into the story and wished for more of a setup to draw my interest to the plot. I was distracted by the alternate gushing and angsting of Eisley over Wes, and even though their kissing scenes were amazing, I felt like there was something missing. I think it would have helped to see more of their friendship developing early on, instead of being told about it. I did appreciate the way they shared their faith and even studied the Bible together. Eisley very much identifies as Appalachian, and the constant references to her personality and the contrast in cultures got old really quick.

The "treasure hunt" for details of a mysterious ancestor was fun, especially with secret passageways and abandoned castles, but even with layers being revealed, the story felt ambiguous. The villainess was rather two dimensional and predictable, and I thought it was a cliche plot device. It was a pleasant story overall, and all my Goodreads friends gave it 4 and 5 stars, so I'm definitely in the minority here. I'm not giving up on the author since I've read other stories of hers that I liked; this one was just a miss for me.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

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