Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Tyndale House
Released: July 4, 2017
416 pages
About the Book:

After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home—a quaint tourist town full of memories she’d just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work—something her eclectic family doesn’t understand.
Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren’t ideal.
Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can’t find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he’s found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all along—if only she’d just look up.

My Rating & Thoughts:    🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟  (5 stars)

“Lane still felt like she was playing dress-up in the closet of someone much older, much thinner, and much more professional than she ever felt. And yet she’d mastered the art of playing this part perfectly, as if she were born for the role.”

I really enjoyed this story, it is completely fiction but gives readers so much to think about. Ryan was definitely my favourite character, but I also really liked the Chloe, Lane’s assistant. I was drawn to Ryan right from the beginning; he had a difficult childhood with his mom leaving and an abusive alcoholic father but approaches life with positivity and cherishes relationships with others. He got to know Lane’s family in his teenage years after her father hires him at his shop. As a teen he had a crush on Lane, but they lost contact after he went overseas with the Army and she went to college.

Lane is career focused and glued to her phone, after being hurt by those who were suppose to love her she has set her focus on success thinking work can’t hurt her. However just as she is about to present the pitch she feels will get her the promotion she is aiming for a call comes from her family that her brother, Nate, has been in an accident. She hasn’t been home in a few years and has no desire to return to Harbour Point as it holds bad memories for her. But Nate is the one family member she was closest to and so she tries to set aside her feelings and returns home. Lane was easy to relate to, she struggles with self image and valuing herself. I was frustrated with the way that some of her family and town residents talked to her. I could understand why she has stayed away so long and why the hurt still feels so raw.

Ryan and Lane reconnect during Lane’s visit to Harbour Point and Ryan discovers he still has feelings for Lane. They begin to rebuild the friendship they once had with Ryan being an anchor for her during this stressful visit. Over time their friendship begins to turn into more, but can Ryan show Lane that she is worth so much more than how work defines her and can he get her to slowdown and appreciate the beauty that is in front of her. I loved his determination to help her.

This story will make you contemplate what really matters in your life. Do you spend too much time buried in work, your phone or the computer, or do you look up and cherish the beauty that surrounds you and the interactions you have with others? Where is your focus?
(I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House through NetGalley;
opinions expressed in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

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