Once Upon A Look Up & There Was You: Fiction Week

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Once Upon A Summertime by Melody Carlson

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Plot:

Anna has been managing the Value Lodge in her hometown. It is not what she had in mind when she got into the hospitality industry. It was the safe choice. Out of the blue she gets the opportunity of a lifetime to reinvent herself and breathe life into her career by moving to New York City. Anna applies for a management position at a stylish new hotel, The Rothsberg. But the city is full of surprises including a once-upon-a-time crush, Sean O’Neil, who applied for the very same position. This sweet romantic tale takes you through the streets of New York City and deep into a story of second chances and love.

Opinion:

If you are looking for a quick and predictable love story, Once Upon A Summertime is for you. This book would make a great foundation for the next Hallmark movie. I love a good love story, but this one was too predictable and unrealistic for me. Melody did a good job of capturing the city of New York and making it come alive. While the love story is over exaggerated, dealing with friend drama and work life were easy to connect to. This was far from a permanent collection favorite, but Once Upon A Summertime has plenty of heart and is easy to read. 

Just Look Up by Shelia Walsh

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Plot:

After hustling through the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelly is about to land her dream promotion when devastation strikes. Her brother’s accident brings her back home to a quaint tourist town full of memories she would rather leave behind. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane hopes to check in on her brother and stay focused on work at the same time, something her eclectic family doesn’t understand. Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. He is thrilled to see Lane, but the reunion gets off to a rocky start. He can’t find a trace of the girl he once loved in the woman of today. Will Ryan find the Lane he once knew without jeopardizing their future with the secret that keeps him on the sidelines.

Opinion:

I spend way too much time with my nose in my work or on my phone. I forget to Just Look Up as many of us do. Every Shelia Walsh book I have read has that underlying message surrounded by great characters and a charming story. Being present is the key to living life with purpose and meaning. Lane discovers that once she stops hustling to make it and embraces her true passion and the gift of love she can live free. Being connected online is not a requirement to live a full or meaningful life. Beyond the message, this book is beautifully written and captures the tension between success and hometown roots. I highly recommend this read and any other Shelia Walsh novel.

Then There Was You by Kara Isaac

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Plot:

Paige McAllister needs something drastic. Her boyfriend can’t commit to living in the same country, her job is a dead end and the loss of both her brother and her dream of being a concert violinist has kept her confined to predictability for years. In a moment of temporary insanity she leaves Chicago to move to Sydney, Australia to be a logistics planner for one of Australia’s biggest churches. Josh Tyler is the front man for the church’s top-selling worship band— which is in demand all over the world. His past relationship almost destroyed both his reputation and his family. The last thing he needs is some American girl flipping his life upside down. When Josh and Paige are thrown together to organize the band’s next tour, can they find a way to bridge the fears that pull them apart? 

Opinion:

I adored Then There Was You. It had everything I love in a love story: tension, redemption, and a splash of tender reality. This was a read in one night book, and I payed for it the next morning. Paige’s heartbreak and desire are two things I can relate to. Everyone wants their longtime relationship to work out, but that doesn’t always happen. Everyone experiences a crush they don’t want to have, but can’t stop because they are genuinely a good person. At the center of this story is Paige’s redemption and healing from the past. She chooses to move on into her future with boldness and trust that sometimes taking a chance is the best move to make. I hope you enjoy this story and get lost in its pages, the love story is tender, and the writing is top-notch.

I hope these love stories meet you where you are and give you more than a good story.