Thursday, July 27, 2017

True to You: a book review

True to You. Becky Wade. 2017. Bethany House Publishers. Pages: 367. [Source: bought]

Commanding voices and the clatter of a scuffle drew closer to their location. Like a sewing machine needle increasing in speed, Nora's heart picked up its pace.

"Oooh," Britt said. "I'm liking this."

A grinding sound came from above. The sprinklers that had been embedded in the ceiling descended. "No!" Nora called out.

In the next instant, cold water hit her in the face. Squealing, she drew herself into a ball, tucking her head between her upraised knees and wrapping her arms around her shins. Across the room, Britt hissed with disgust.

"Thank you so much for inviting me to partake in this fun experience," Nora said to her sister, though the words went little further than her ancient clogs. "Next time I feel overly content and dry and warm, perhaps I can come again."

The door to their room banged open. Nora angled her face toward the entranceway just as a man filled the opening. A big man. Square-jawed. His grave gaze swept the square footage in a millisecond. He seemed not to notice the falling raindrops, though they peppered his wet, spiky brown hair and drizzled down his stubbled face. He radiated complete and total competency.

The force of his presence careened into Nora like a hundred-mile-an-hour wind. In response, she could do nothing but hold her ground and blink.
~ Excerpt from Chapter 1

~~~

Rating: ✭✭✭✭✭

I knew I was going to enjoy this novel when I first saw this come up in an email from the Bethany House Publishers review program. I was going to review this for them, but I ended up running out of time despite how much I was enjoying it and because I was just home from college.

I was exactly halfway done this novel when I had to stop (because they ask that the book be deleted from your kindle, or other reading device, when the month's over). I just had to order it when I ordered my last book haul from chapters.indigo.ca.

From the beginning, I was hooked. I connected with Nora so hard it was like a vice.

At the beginning of the novel, we were introduced to Nora Bradford when she's participating in an training exercise with her younger sister, Britt. Of course it takes longer than she expected, and of course everything has to go wrong when the smoke machine sets off the smoke detector and ends up dousing everyone and everything in the building.

It's at this training exercise that she meets John Lawson. Big, strong, handsome, ex-Navy SEAL John Lawson, CEO and owner of Lawson Training Incorporated.

I'm not a big fan of contemporary, or many novels that take place in the present day. The last time I did, I nearly threw my kindle across the room because I was at the end of my rope when it came to Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey. This novel, though, surprised me so much. I could hardly put it down, despite the fact it was Camp NaNoWriMo this month.

One thing I knew drew my attention to this story the most was the fact that John Lawson was an ex-Navy SEAL. When this book graced my email, I was attracted to it mostly because I had just finished watching the latest season of Hawaii Five-0. One of the main characters of the show is Lt. Commander Steve McGarrett, an ex-officer of the Navy.
Alex O'Loughlin as Steve

Because of this, I ended up picturing John Lawson as Alex O'Loughlin, the actor who plays Steve McGarrett. Despite the fact that John has brown hair and hazel eyes (like me!) and not black hair and blue eyes (like Steve).

I really enjoyed John's character, and his whole search for his birth mother and father due to a devastating medical diagnosis. His whole journey was realistic and gripping, and, in the end, made me hope that a man like him will one day enter into my life.

I didn't think that John was capable of emotionally crumbling like he did in the end, but he did. And that made him seem more human. I honestly can't wait to see more of him in the coming books.

Nora was by far one of my most absolute favourite female characters that I've encountered in a long time. I've never felt more connected to a female character than I was to her. She appreciated the old, classy things. She dressed old-fashioned, she did her hair in old-fashioned styles. She is a bibliophile like I am, though her library sounds like it's a bit more fantastic than mine. She's running out of space for bookshelves and books while I sit here with room for only 1 shelf. haha

Her job sounds absolutely divine. She runs the historical town centre in Merryweather, Washington, a place she got for a graduation present from her father. Over the years she's been working to add buildings to the place to give visitors the sense of what the town might have looked like in its early days. It reminds me of the time I went to Fort Edmonton in Edmonton, Alberta, and how I felt like I was on a real timey-wimey adventure - the most excitement I had for quite a few years.

Her main job, though, is that she is a genealogist. It's an interesting profession, though I would honestly find it a bit tedious after a while.

Nora and me shared a lot of views on the world, it seemed, and we also seemed to have the same insecurities. I also really look forward to seeing her again in the coming books, because she's the kind of character that I would follow to the ends of the Earth, need be.

This book came at the right time in my life. Every few days, I would get this melancholy feeling in my chest whenever I thought back to how a lot of the girls I know from collage had boyfriends. A girl from my Torah reading group had gotten engaged during the final reading break before the end of the school year; a girl in the same digital media program is blatantly in a relationship with a boy in the same program; another girl in the same program seems to be in a relationship with a second year (and now graduate) of my program; and once and a while, while I was walking about the campus grounds, I would walk by at least five couples, all smiling and happy.

It was depressing, because not a single boy approached me or was introduced to me, except one, to even be a friend until right before school was over for the summer.

But this book taught me that finding a man isn't everything. I don't want to be burned like Nora was. I can be content with my books and my writing and Pebbles until the right man, my John Lawson, comes walking (or running), into my life.

True to You is the first of the Bradford Sisters Romance series, and I just can't wait for the other ones to come out. I can't wait to see if Willow mends her relationship with Corbin, or if Britt finally realizes that her man has been in her life for years and she yet to realize it. It's so thrilling!

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