Wednesday, November 22, 2023

JULIA MONROE BEGINS AGAIN by Rebekah Millet, Reviewed by Rebecca, Trixi, and Kim

Julia Monroe Begins Again (Beignets for Two):
A Sweet RomCom Second Chance Romance

"So you're looking forward to getting back to your old quiet life? Nights alone with that devil dog?"

"Samuel was back. It seemed unfair to be blindsided. And in church no less. Shouldn't there be a commandment about that?" But there he was . . . all tall and handsome, wearing . . . an eye patch? Julia Monroe couldn't skedaddle out of that sanctuary fast enough, but she should have known that attempting to out maneuver a former Green Beret wouldn't be a successful mission . . . except that she had not known. For heaven's sake, the man in question had broken her young heart and summarily dumped her. Now twenty years later, widowed, with both sons in college . . . and her past decides to come sneaking up on her? . . . in church! . . . of all places. Not fair! Case closed.

"I'd fallen back on what I could do, rather than leaving my problems where they belonged, in God's never-failing presence."     

"This would be so much easier if You just told me what to do . . . . But where's the faith in that, right?"

The continuum of sophisticated sass served as a much needed buffer for the intensely jagged edges of emotion lurking around ever corner; pain, regret, anger, and grief flowed freely between these pages, as two flawed but forgiven people found their way back to blessedly beginning again. Such an impressive debut!

*I received a copy of this book from Baker Publishing through Interviews and Reviews. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 4.5 stars

I adore this debut by a brand-spanking new author! I've followed Rebekah Millet on Facebook for quite a while now, and was so excited when she revealed that she contracted with Bethany House for a book. I was even more excited to be able to read and review it!!

There are so many things to love about this book—first off, it's a reunion love story. I don't know why, but those are my favorite kind. Maybe because there's a lot for the hero and heroine to work through as to why the relationship didn't last. What I admire, Samuel and Julia don't avoid their shared messy past. They face it head-on without reservation knowing that in order to move forward, they have to look backwards. Too many stories nowadays don't have characters that talk things through and avoid the “elephant”—or in this case “spaniel”—in the room. It saddens me because so many problems can be handled when we talk about stuff...even the raw, messy, ugly things. Now admittedly, Samuel had declared his intentions up front, which understandably made Julia wary. There were also quite a few snort laugh-out-loud moments for me...the funny to balance out the poignant moments they shared. I love humor laced stories, and then every time Julia “cleaning lady cursed” it hit my funny bone even more!

The best friend Kate—she's not afraid to tell Julia the truth in love, always pointing back to Christ and His word when Julia loses focus on what matter most. She's a steady influence and the one person Julia can count on and lean on when things get tough. We need more of those kinds of friends in our own lives. I really, really hope Millet has a story in the works for her because she deserves her own happily-ever-after!

Let's not forget our handsome hero Samuel—I love the human behind his character! His layers were complex, real, and at times, hard for me to read about. He had a past full of regrets and pitfalls, but I love how Millet showed Christ’s changing power in Samuel. He readily admits his faults and never blames anyone else for his mistakes. And he's a relentless flirt, the stinker! He is equal storybook hero and flawed but forgiven man who would do anything for anyone just because it needs to be done. His love for his cranky-pants father, his relationship with his brother Wyatt and his desire to make things right with Julia endeared him to me.

This story touched every emotion and felt so real to me. It's like I stepped into the pages of this book and lived, walked and talked with the characters. It's a powerful story of forgiveness, Christ’s life changing love, strong friendships and a second chance to make things right to those who you've wronged. Watching Samuel and Julia fall in love again was thoroughly satisfying for this hopeless romantic! If you pick this book up (and you absolutely should), make sure to clear your calendar because you'd be hard-pressed to put it down! Easily one of my top five books for 2023 and I eagerly look forward to seeing what Millet pens next.

*I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House publishers and was not obligated to leave a favorable review. All opinions expressed here are mine alone. *

I loved Julia Monroe Begins Again! It has everything I love in a story, second chance romance, humor, faith, great side characters, a wonderful heroine, and a major swoony hero, I’m mean he’s a Green Beret, need I say more?

I basically loved everything about Samuel! His faith has changed him and he’s ready to do whatever he needs to do to win Julia back! Julia is not quite so ready for Samuel and, at first, she does everything she can to avoid him, but know matter how hard she tries, she can not resist his charms. The humor is perfection and kept me laughing throughout. This is one story I didn’t want to end.

Julia Monroe Begins Again is the debut novel by Rebekah Millet. I’m actually stunned that this is a debut novel! I really loved this story and can’t wait for whatever she writes next. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator is fantastic!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. I also purchased a copy. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is light. 5 stars.

BackCover Blurb:

Samuel was back. It seemed unfair to be blindsided. And in church no less. Shouldn't there be a commandment about that? Thou shalt not step foot inside thy ex's place of worship.

Julia Monroe has just turned forty and has high hopes for a fresh start after the last decade of her life abruptly left her a young widow and a single mom. With both her boys off to college, she can finally focus on expanding her New Orleans-based cleaning business. Julia is ready for new beginnings--but God has other plans. Samuel Reed, the ruggedly handsome Green Beret who shattered her heart over twenty years ago, has returned to town and is the kind of distraction she never saw coming.

After their first interaction in years leaves her mind spinning and her emotions out of control, Julia knows she needs to avoid him if she wants any chance of preventing history from repeating itself, but her meddling best friend keeps throwing them together. And now it seems inevitable that the man who was hard to forget might just be
to resist. 

Bethany House Publishing, October, 2024
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:



1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing our reviews on the blog today Debra!


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