Saturday, February 15, 2020

If For Any Reason by Courtney Walsh

About the Book
Emily Ackerman has traveled the world, her constant compass and companion a book of letters her mother left for her when she died. With no father in the picture, her mom’s advice has been her only true north. But when professional failure leads Emily back to Nantucket to renovate and sell the family cottage she inherited, she wonders if her mom left advice to cover this . . . especially when her grandmother arrives to “supervise.” And especially when her heart becomes entangled with Hollis McGuire, the boy next door–turned–baseball star who’s back on the island after a career-ending injury.

As sparks fly between her and Hollis, Emily is drawn to island life, even as she uncovers shocking secrets about the tragic accident that led to her mother’s death. With her world turned upside down, Emily must choose between allowing the voices from her past to guide her future or forging her own path forward.

My Thoughts
“If For Any Reason”, I loved this title and the way it played into the story. When I first heard it, it sounded a bit strange but I didn’t think much about it. Then as the story of this book started to unfold it made complete sense and I loved it.
Courtney Walsh knows how to put her characters through the hard things in life and she writes in such a beautiful way that their pain, struggles, and emotions become yours. I always connect with her characters in a way that I don’t often do and it’s honestly beautiful. This was definitely the case with Emily and Hollis. Emily was such a broken character, she had lost so much and built so many walls and my heart honestly broke for her. But I loved watching her journey to healing and finding where she belonged. And Hollis, while it was his own choices that led him to where he was he’s deep remorse and dedication to being better was enough to endear him to me. I also loved the quiet way he broke down Emily’s walls and showed her unconditional love. I really enjoyed the way their relationship played out and how real they were able to be with each other.
Jolie was a sweet kid and the author did a great job of writing an authentic preteen who was still likable! I also loved Hollis’s family!
The setting of this story was beautiful and the escape to Nantucket was exactly what I needed on these dreary winter days!
If you like fiction with a lot of heart, tender romance, and emotions that reach deep then I cannot recommend this book enough!

Meet the Author
Courtney Walsh is a novelist, artist, theatre director, and playwright. She writes small town romance and women's fiction while juggling the performing arts studio and youth theatre she owns and runs with her husband. If For Any Reason is her eleventh novel. Her debut, A Sweethaven Summer, hit the New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller lists and was a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category, and her contemporary romance Just Let Go won the Carol Award in 2019.
A creative at heart, Courtney has also written two craft books and several full-length musicals. She lives in Illinois with her husband and three children and a sometimes naughty Bernedoodle named Luna.
Connect with Courtney online at her website ( or on any of these social media platforms:

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

A Girl's Guide to the Outback by Jessica Kate

About the Book
How far will a girl go to win back a guy she can’t stand? This funny, sweet, and romantic story proves that opposites do attract—and that God has a sense of humor.
Samuel Payton is a passionate youth pastor in Virginia, but below the surface, he’s still recovering from the blow of a failed business and insecurities he can’t shake. His coworker, start-up expert Kimberly Foster, is brilliant, fearless, and capable, but years of personal rejection have left her defensive and longing for a family. Two people have never been more at odds—or more attracted to one another. And every day at work, the sparks sure do fly.
When Kimberly’s ambitious plans for Sam’s ministry butt up against his risk-averse nature, Sam decides that obligations to family trump his work for the church. He quits the ministry and heads home to Australia to help his sister, Jules, save her struggling farm. As Kimberly’s grand plans flounder, she is forced to face the truth: that no one can replace Sam. Together they strike up a deal: If Kimberly comes to work on Jules’s dairy farm and lends her business brains to their endeavor, then maybe—just maybe—Sam will reconsider his future with the church.

As Kimberly tries her hand at Australian farm life, she learns more about herself than she could’ve ever expected. Meanwhile Sam is forced to re-evaluate this spunky woman he thought he already knew. As foes slowly morph into friends, they wonder if they might be something even more. But when disaster strikes the farm, will Sam find it within himself to take a risk that could lead to love? And will Kimberly trust God with her future?

My Thoughts
I loved this book! Contemporary romance with humor is my absolute favorite and this book had it in spades! From the very first sentence I was grinning like a fool and it didn’t stop the whole time I was reading! Often it actually made me laugh out loud! But it wasn’t all humor, this book has a lot of heart to it as well and I really resonated with some of the lesson the characters had to learn!
At first glance Kimberly and Sam are too opposite to work together (and believe me it’s hilarious) but I loved watching them discover how well the actually complimented each other and balanced one another out! Kimberly had the vision and plans and Sam had the heart and they really just made a perfect team. It was so fun to see them move from constantly frustrating each other to cautiously working together, to realizing that they were made for each other!
I also absolutely loved the secondary story between Jules and Mick! Their story was sweet and I really enjoyed seeing them find their way back to each other!
It was really fun to have the story set in rural Australia and I loved all the Aussie stuff and lingo that was in it! And the farm life was really well-written giving the reader an extremely clear picture of how it was run without ever leaving me feeling bogged down by the details!

In short this book was amazing and it may have been my first Jessica Kate but it for sure won’t be my last!

Meet the Author
Australian author Jessica Kate is obsessed with witty romances.
She packs her novels with love, hate, and everything in between—and then nerds out over her favorite books, movies and TV in the StoryNerds podcast (official podcast of Reading Is My Superpower!) When she’s not writing or discussing fiction, she’s hunting the world for the greatest pasta in existence.
Her debut novel Love and Other Mistakes released July 2019, while A Girl’s Guide to the Outback hit shelves in January 2020.

Receive her sassy shorts The Kiss Dare and The Kiss Thief FREE when you sign up for her newsletter at

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.