Tuesday, April 12, 2022

All That It Takes by Nicole Deese

About the Book:

When the ever-cautious Val Locklier moves cross-country with her son for a secure job, everything she'd planned unravels within the first week. After Val reluctantly agrees to rent an apartment from her best friend's brother, an unexpected chance at an elite filmmakers' mentorship ignites fresh hope for a dream career. But as Val's community begins to expand, so do her insecurities, especially those heightened by her growing attraction to a certain friendly landlord. 

Pastor Miles McKenzie returns home from a short-term mission trip to discover that not only does he have an intriguing new tenant living upstairs, he's also been reassigned to a local ministry on life support. Disillusioned and restless, he distracts himself by throwing his energy into a host of new projects--not the least of which is pursuing Val--without stopping to consider the future. 

As Val struggles to stop hiding behind the camera and Miles wrestles with shattered expectations, they'll find that authentic love and sacrifice must go hand in hand.

You can read an excerpt here.

My Review:

Deese takes readers through an exploration of learning how to understand God's leading when circumstances are puzzling and one is unsure of the future. The main theme of the novel seems to be allowing God to work in life to be able to overcome pain, hurt and debilitation from the past. We are encouraged to work along with God “To take every damaged piece and mold it into something purposeful...good...right...” (134)

The plot is well crafted. The viewpoints do change, all written in first person. Sometimes mid-chapter I would forget from whose viewpoint I was seeing life. The characters were developed rather well. My favorite was Tucker. What a kid!

The book takes place in Spokane (Spoh-can). It's an unusual setting for a novel and I do wish Deese had given us more about the city in eastern Washington State. While a couple of interesting sites were mentioned, I was disappointed when Miles and Val went on a drive and, “three signature Spokane sight seeing drive-bys later...” (152) In a novel this length, those locations certainly could have been identified with a quick description. Readers who may never visit Spokane missed out on getting an idea of the beauty of the city, the river, and the nearby mountain.

This is an engaging story about healing the past and accepting God's design for the present. We see both Val and Miles going through that transition. And it is a good novel showing the life changing impact one person can have on another. Sometimes one kind act of love to another is all that it takes to change a life.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Nicole Deese's (www.nicoledeese.com) eight humorous, heartfelt, and hope-filled novels include the 2017 Carol Award-winning A Season to Love. Her 2018 release, A New Shade of Summer, was a finalist in the RITA Awards, Carol Awards, and INSPY Awards. Both of these books are from her bestselling Love in Lenox series. When she's not working on her next contemporary romance, she can usually be found reading one by a window overlooking the inspiring beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She lives in small-town Idaho with her happily-ever-after hubby, two rambunctious sons, and princess daughter with the heart of a warrior. Photo Credit: © Rayla Kay Photography

Bethany House Publishers, 416 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)


Dora William said...

Waiting for bloggers to read my book and post a review is tiring. I used usbookreviews.com to gather reviews for my book and I am happy with the increase in reviews, sales and visibility.

Cindy said...

I am looking forward to reading this one soon. Lovely review!