I have been hearing good things about Pepper Basham for awhile and have even purchase some of her books. Unfortunately my review calendar has not allowed much time for reading books not on it. I was excited to actually put “Just the Way You Are” on my calendar so I could see for myself what everyone was talking about. Just wow!
First of all, this author has an amazing gift with words. The dialogue was so natural and engaging. Characters were strongly defined with enough of both good traits and flaws to make them realistic. Of course at least one character exhibited quite a few more flaws than the others. I was captivated at the opening scene and didn’t want to put the book down until I finished it.
If you can imagine laugh-out-loud humor combined with sizzling romance and topped off with strong faith, that is what you get with “Just the Way You Are”. The book is filled with so many perfectly quotable lines that I would find it difficult to choose a favorite. I loved both Eisley and Wes. Eisley could be such a klutz but was always able to laugh at herself and move on. Wes turned out to be so different from what one would expect of a man in his position and it was easy to see why Eisley would fall for him despite her vow to avoid romance.
“Just the Way You Are” is a fun yet serious look at learning to see ourselves how God sees us and following His plans for our lives. I thoroughly enjoyed Basham’s pairing of two such opposite characters from opposite sides of the world. I look forward to another visit to Pleasant Gap. I hope I don’t have to wait too long!
I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Single mom, Eisley Barrett, prefers to keep romance safely housed within a centuries-old mystery, but when she travels to England to unearth the secret, an actor with a sordid past offers her reluctant heart a very different type of discovery.
Wes Harrison has a past he’s ashamed to confess. Suspicious and cynical, he’s managed to avoid romantic entanglements since a tragedy upended his career and life, that is until American Eisley Barrett comes along. Her authenticity and kindness upend his bitter assumptions and send his heart into unscripted territory.
When his past threatens to ruin a second chance at love, can some Appalachian matchmaking and letters from the grace salvage their unexpected romance?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes novels inspired by her love for history and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her Penned in Time series has garnered recognition in the Inspys, Grace Awards, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her contemporary romance novel, A Twist of Faith, received 4-stars from Romantic Times, and most recently, her newest release, The Thorn Healer, received a Top Pick from RT with 4 ½ stars. Her newest contemporary romance, Just the Way You Are, releases in April 2016. You can get to know Pepper on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, or Instagram.
GUEST POST FROM PEPPER BASHAM:
Thank you so much for featuring my newest novel, Just the Way You Are, on CelebrateLit. I am THRILLED to be a part of this and to share a story that is very dear to my heart.
Just the Way You Are is my first ‘true’ Britallachian romantic comedy. Even though I’ve written comedy in some of my other novels and included elements of both Appalachia and Britain, this one embodies the tag #britallachian to the core. For those of you who’ve read some of my previous books, you know I’m a big fan of my native Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian culture. You may also know that I’m a proud Anglophile.
Those two loves met in Just the Way You Are – and I tossed lots of other things I love best into the mix. What are those ingredients, you might ask?
Well, let me just tell ya! Just the Way You Are is a blend of Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian culture, big (hilarious) family dynamics, matchmaking, Britain, a swoony English hero, a quirky, magnanimous heroine, a bunch of adorable kids, Scooby Doo and Indiana Jones references, lots of humor, a historical mystery, a devious villainess, stately manor houses, secret rooms, love letters, and matchmaking all rolled into one…oh, and did I mention brain-numbing romance?
(Did anyone else feel the need to add “fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, miracles, true love….” From the Princess Bride?) J I don’t think I included torture, giants, or monsters in Just the Way You Are…but I may have the other elements in this novel J
Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating about the brain-numbing, but I do have a tendency to err on the side of overly dramatic J
Within the pages of Just the Way You Are, you’ll meet people from my own family, people from my imagination, and some people who stepped into the story without one ounce of my planning to ever meet them. This story came out of my desire to write something I love reading – spicy romance, clean humor, culture clashes, the big love of family, and redemption.
How did my heroine Eisley Barrett evolve? Out of thin air. I was washing dishes one afternoon and staring out the window into our small backyard with the Blue Ridge Mountains painting a purplish-blue frame on the horizon when I closed my eyes. Into my imagination came this ginger-headed woman walking through Heathrow International Airport pulling a hot pink bag behind her…and then, she tripped and fell. That was it. That’s how I was introduced to my insecure, hilarious, romance-loving, single-mom heroine.
And the dashing hero? Okay, this may sound ridiculous, but I was watching an interview about Richard Armitage (Thoron Oakenshield, Guy of Gisborne, etc) regarding his lovely costume drama North and South where he plays a very dashing British hero. Anyway, he was SUCH a gentleman to watch during the interview. So polite. Kind. Funny, in a sweet way, and then, out of the blue, he said the word ‘gosh’. I know, that may not be a big deal to anyone but me, but after watching celebrity interviews where every other word needed a censor, the very fact that this elegant man used the word ‘gosh’, sent my writing brain into motion. My first internal question? What if a movie star with a tender heart had been burned by the pretension and expectation of celebrity status? What kind of woman could touch a heart who’d lost his faith in love’s authenticity?
Enter my red-head single-mom toting her pink bag through Heathrow and you have the very beginning of Just the Way You Are – a story of forgiveness, second chances…and a little bit of movie magic.
April 6: Reading Is My SuperPower
April 6: cherylbbookblog
April 6: Fiction Aficionado
April 7: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
April 7: Smiling Book Reviews
April 7: Singing Librarian Books
April 8: Bookworm Mama
April 8: my site/autism mom
April 9: Quiet Quilter
April 9: Inklings and notions
April 10: Faithfully Bookish
April 10: Back Porch Reads
April 11: Robin’s Nest
April 11: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
April 12: Blogging With Carol
April 12: Just the Write Escape
April 13: Cordially Barbara
April 13: Moments Dipped in Ink
April 14: His Grace is Sufficient
April 14: A Greater Yes
April 15: Just Commonly
April 15: 100 Pages per Hour
April 16: Book by Book
April 16: A Baker’s Perspective
April 17: Splashes of Joy
April 17: Christian Bookaholic
April 17: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
April 18: Karen Sue Hadley
April 18: History Mystery & Faith
April 18: Through the Open Window
April 19: Henry Happens
April 19: Baker Kella
April 19: Daysong Reflections
To celebrate her tour, Pepper is giving away a Grand Prize consisting of:
A ‘chest’ – in JTWYA historical letters are discovered in a chest that relates to the historical storyline, so all of these lovely goodies are going to be safely inside this chest.
Chocolate – several references take place in JTWYA that compare the hero to chocolate ?
A plaque about family – because that’s a main point of importance in JTWYA
A Spider-man zipper pull – Pete, the heroine’s son, is a major Spider-man fan.
English Breakfast Tea – The hero is English…swoony English
A dishcloth – again, something that relates to a scene in the book regarding the hero and dishes (twice)
Stirring spoon and measuring cups – food and cooking are a big part of Appalachian culture and fellowship, something celebrated in JTWYA
A notebook – Eisley (the heroine) is taking notes about a historical family mystery
A lovely container full of cloth flowers (for fun, and beauty) – the container says – Love and you will be loved. Loving others has an amazing way to find its way back to us (as is what happens in JTWYA)
A little plaque that reads “You are Loved” – a theme of this story
A beautiful lace doily from England (the English part of the story)
Some “Pixie Dust” a fun visualization of the ‘magic’ of romance in this story
and A copy of Just the Way You Are!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b3e0