A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Faith. Family. Fiction. Fun.

Julia Monroe Begins Again by Rebekah Millet: Book Review

 *Book received for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Samuel was back. It seemed unfair to be blindsided. And in church no less. Shouldn't there be a commandment about that? Thou shalt not step foot inside thy ex's place of worship.

Julia Monroe has just turned forty and has high hopes for a fresh start after the last decade of her life abruptly left her a young widow and a single mom. With both her boys off to college, she can finally focus on expanding her New Orleans-based cleaning business. Julia is ready for new beginnings--but God has other plans. Samuel Reed, the ruggedly handsome Green Beret who shattered her heart over twenty years ago, has returned to town and is the kind of distraction she never saw coming.

After their first interaction in years leaves her mind spinning and her emotions out of control, Julia knows she needs to avoid him if she wants any chance of preventing history from repeating itself, but her meddling best friend keeps throwing them together. And now it seems inevitable that the man who was hard to forget might just be 
impossible to resist.

Rebekah Millet (rebekahmillet.com) is a Cascade Award and ACFW First Impressions Award-winning author of contemporary Christian romance novels. A New Orleans native, she grew up on beignets and café au lait, and she loves infusing her colorful culture into her stories. She exasperates her husband by rearranging their furniture and being a serial plant killer, while her two sons keep her laughing and share her love of strawberry Pop-Tarts. You can find Rebekah on all social media platforms.

Oh what a delightful read this was! Julia Monroe very quickly drew me into her story and had me rooting for her to get the second chance at a happily ever after. When we meet Julia, she has been widowed for 10 years and her sons are away at college, leaving her on her own with her dog... until a man from her past walks into her church and wants a second chance with her. 

I know not everyone is a fan of the second chance romance trope, but I personally love it... and I really loved how this one was handled. During their previous relationship, they were both young and not living a Christian life... as such, their reunion twenty years later has us seeing that they both have changed a lot since then. But they have a lot of previous hurts to work through! I loved this idea that God brought them back together at the right time for them... while also still not diminishing the love that Julia had with her deceased husband... that can be a really tricky line to walk, but I thought the author did it very well. 

I love stories in which faith plays a large part in characters' lives, but oftentimes I find that books like that---particular in romance--- the characters can almost come across as a little too perfect and as such not quite believable. I thought the author did a wonderful job of balancing that faith content with flawed humans. These characters were imperfect--- they had pasts that were not squeaky clean and while they wanted to hand things over to God, they sometimes struggled to do so completely. They were physically attracted to one another and struggled with temptation--- just as many Christians do in life. I thought this made the story seem much more genuine and I really enjoyed it. 

While the story ends in a happily ever after as a good romance should, there is some content that may be triggering to some readers to include miscarriage and loss of a spouse. 


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