About (From Netgalley):
“Allison Shire (yes, like where the Hobbits live) is a disgraced academic who is done with love. Her belief in “happily ever after” ended the day she discovered her husband was still married to a wife she knew nothing about. She finally finds a use for her English degree by guiding tours through the famous sites featured in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. By living life on the road and traveling New Zealand as a luxury tour guide, Allison manages to outrun the pain of her past she can’t face.
Jackson Gregory was on the cusp of making it big. Then suddenly his girlfriend left him—for his biggest business competitor—and took his most guarded commercial secrets with her. To make matters worse, the Iowa farm that has been in his family for generations is facing foreclosure. Determined to save his parents from financial ruin, he’ll do whatever it takes to convince his wealthy great-uncle to invest in his next scheme, which means accompanying him to the bottom of the world to spend three weeks pretending to be a die-hard Lord of the Rings fan, even though he knows nothing about the stories. The one thing that stands between him and his goal is a know-it-all tour guide who can’t stand him and pegged him as a fake the moment he walked off the plane.
When Allison leads the group through the famous sites of the Tolkien movies, she and Jackson start to see each other differently, and as they keep getting thrown together on the tour, they find themselves drawn to each other. Neither expected to fall in love again, but can they find a way beyond their regrets to take a chance on the one thing they’re not looking for?”
If you know my taste is fiction, then you know that I don’t very often venture into contemporary set books. (I’m more of a historical and fantasy book gal.) But this one just looked so interesting. I mean, guys, it’s a romance that twists in elements of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. *cue all the dramatic LOTR soundtrack songs* Who knew such a thing would ever exist? Well, I’m here to say that yes, it does, and yes, I found it pretty awesome. It’s like a Hallmark film meets Tolkien, giving you part romantic comedy with flutter feelings, and part Middle Earth geek feelings that warm the heart with fan-love. Add in that it has points of Christian faith, giving it depth, and it’s just one of the most lovely little reads I’ve experienced. The author’s voice, shown majorly through her main characters, is also very entertaining. The book, while serious in some aspects, abounds with humor that is sure to warm hearts as it did mine. And to top it all off, the book had such a different setting than most Christian fiction. I don’t think I’ve ever read another book that takes place in New Zealand and with a heroine from there. These aspects just made the story all the more wonderfully unique. So yes, I overall enjoyed this book. The only thing I did not fully care for is that there was one scene where I felt the romance had a bit too much touch-feely. But, other than that, nothing else begs to be complained about from me.
In conclusion, I think “Close to You” by Kara Issac is a winner, and one to add to your TBR if you like contemporary romance and Middle Earth. I give it a rating of four and a half, and recommend to mature teens and adults.
Book Review Ratings:
5. Great Book!
4. I liked it!
2. Did not like it.
1. Did not finish.
*Thanks to the publisher through Netgalley for a free electronic advanced uncorrected proof copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. (This book is now available.)