Review: Then There Was You – Kara Isaac

Kara Isaac. Then There Was You. Bellbird Press, 2017.

Over the last several years, I have been particularly impressed by the caliber of Christian authors.  In conducting the business of the Books and Biscuits Blog, I find myself regularly chatting with authors via email and Facebook.  This week’s book actually arrived as a complete surprise from New Zealand-based author after I asked her a simple question about her latest book release.  After reading this very impressive book, I have to send a huge “THANK YOU!” to Kara for sharing this amazing story with us. :)

Stepping away from the literary-based inspiration of her previous works, Kara Isaac introduces an entirely new set of characters in her latest release Then There Was You.  American event planner, Paige McAllister, finds herself making a drastic move to Australia after an unexpected break-up with her long-time boyfriend.  With the support and friendship of her Sydney-based cousin, Paige lands a job as the logistics planner for one of Australia’s largest churches running their international women’s conference.  Along the way, she continually encounters her boss’s son, Josh Tyler, who also happens to be a famous worship leader and musician.  With plenty of failed relationships and heartbreak between them, Paige and Josh are forced to work together when his tour manager ends up out of commission.  Together, they discover that, in spite of awkward first impressions, they just may be the perfect partnership they have been looking for all along.

New Zealand-based Christian author, Kara Isaac, brings her signature humor and storytelling prowess to this delightful story of second chances and unlikely relationships.  Fans of humorous Christian contemporary fiction will be delighted by this new release.

Overall, I was absolutely thrilled with Then There Was You!  The novel includes a compelling balance of humor and heartbreak that will leave readers laughing out loud, crying into their Kleenex, and wishing for more equally great stories by Ms. Isaac.  Paige’s perspective travelling to a new country for an extended period of time offers great moments of situational comedy, spurred on by an equally great cast of Australian colleagues who make her work life full of surprises.  Josh’s role in the novel comes across as being equally weighted to Paige, rather than taking the backseat role that so often happens to male characters in some stories.  Additionally, Paige and Josh’s extended families, friends, and colleagues offer even more brilliant moments in the novel, leaving one to wish that Ms. Isaac would write more novels that build upon this cast of characters and their world.  Regardless of what she writes next, I will certainly find myself going to great lengths to track it down and read it at the earliest opportunity.

Fans of Ms. Isaac’s previous novels will definitely want to read Then There Was You.  Additionally, readers who enjoy contemporary Christian fiction with a humorous twist will also find this novel to be well worth reading at the earliest opportunity.

Special thanks to the author for the advanced copy of Then There Was You!

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Review: Close to You – Kara Isaac

Kara Isaac. Close to You. New York, NY: Howard Books, 2016.

I had the opportunity to read Kara Isaac’s latest release, Can’t Help Falling, as an advanced copy from the publisher.  If you’ve already read my review, you probably figured out that I thought it was quite brilliant and absolutely hilarious!  With a little help from my local library, I finally had the chance to read her debut novel, Close to You. :)

Allison Shire’s life as an academic fell apart the day that her husband’s wife walked into the middle of her lecture.  With a Ph.D. in English, Allison has left the university world and run home to piece together her life again, becoming a guide for luxury tours of New Zealand.  On one of her last tours, Allison’s group includes Jackson Gregory, a failed businessman with his own share of relationship challenges.  After his girlfriend ran off with his trade secrets and his biggest competition, Jackson is desperate to please his wealthy great-uncle on a zany trip to New Zealand, even if it means three weeks of Tolkien references that he does not understand.  Together, Allison and Jackson discover the true meaning of second chances and seeing through one another to their true selves, against some of the craziest odds ever conceived in fiction or real life.

Ms. Isaac brings the fantastic landscape of New Zealand to life in her debut novel, Close to You.  Fans of Tolkien and the latest film series will be absolutely thrilled with Ms. Isaac’s depiction of his literary works and the behind-the-scenes life of those who call the film sets home.

Overall, I was absolutely delighted with Close to You!  Melissa Tagg, Becky Wade, and several other notable Christian authors highly recommended this novel.  With the added benefit of having read Ms. Isaac’s sophomore work, Can’t Help Falling, I was eager to see what she would do with a story set in her native New Zealand.  She certainly did not disappoint!  With an incredible eye for detail and comedic timing, Ms. Isaac offers a fun and fascinating tale filled with excellent and complex characters.   Additionally, she presents a unique and engaging storyline that will keep readers absolutely riveted.

Fans of Ms. Isaac’s most recent release, Can’t Help Falling, will definitely want to read Close to You.  Additionally, readers who enjoy the light and funny style of Christian novels by Melissa Tagg and Becky Wade should highly consider trying Ms. Isaac’s novels.  Likewise, fans of Katherine Reay’s literary-inspired Christian fiction will want to take a look at Ms. Isaac’s novels.  Readers who are interested in Tolkien may also want to read this book, although (I can attest) a deep knowledge of these subjects are not required to thoroughly enjoy this novel.

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Review: Can’t Help Falling – Kara Isaac

Kara Isaac. Can’t Help Falling. New York, NY: Howard Books, 2016.

Periodically, I have the absolute pleasure of trying out a new author based on a very early copy of their upcoming release.  For Kara Issac’s October release of Can’t Help Falling, I actually read the book in early July!  I am very excited to share my review of this excellent book with all of you. :)

Can’t Help Falling follows the story of Emelia Mason as she arrives in Oxford, England.  Emelia hopes to find a new start and a second chance after her previous career as a tabloid reporter led to catastrophe.  To make amends, Emelia has given up the glitz and glamor for an underpaid position as an events coordinator for a small British charity.  However, her nerdy obsession with Narnia lands her at the unexpected feet of Peter Carlisle, a former Olympic hopeful with his own need for redemption.  Together, Emelia and Peter find themselves continually crossing paths and encountering Narnia-esque moments of serendipity that just may lead them to the greater truths they need to overcome their pasts.

Ms. Issac offers a delightful tale filled with whimsy and hard-hitting truths about faith and life.  Fans of C.S. Lewis and Narnia will find themselves appreciating her literary connections, along with a quirky set of characters and plotlines.

Overall, I was absolutely thrilled with Can’t Help Falling!  Melissa Tagg and several other notable Christian authors highly recommended Ms. Issac’s earlier work, Close to You, but I have not yet had the chance to read it.  Based on the quality of Can’t Help Falling, Ms. Isaac’s debut novel has definitely been added to my must-read list.  Ms. Isaac brings a fascinating literary angle to her novels, reminiscent of the work of Katherine Reay.  I found myself completely drawn in by her storylines and character development.  So often, authors attempt to portray flawed or intelligent characters, but never entirely succeed.  Ms. Isaac manages to defy expectations, as she builds an international cast of scholarly and professional characters, including some first introduced in Close to You.  Based on the caliber of Can’t Help Falling, I am eager to see Ms. Isaac’s future work and her further growth as an author.

Fans of Ms. Isaac’s previous release, Close to You, will definitely want to read Can’t Help Falling.  Additionally, readers who enjoy the quirky characters and plotlines of Melissa Tagg should highly consider trying Ms. Isaac’s novels.  Likewise, fans of Katherine Reay’s literary-inspired Christian fiction will want to take a look at these fun novels.  Readers who are interested in Narnia and C.S. Lewis may also want to read this book, although (I can attest) a deep knowledge of these subjects is not required to thoroughly enjoy this novel.

Special thanks to NetGalley and Howard Books for the advanced copy of Can’t Help Falling!

Looking for this book? Support the Books and Biscuits blog, while shopping at:
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