Cover Image: Julia Monroe Begins Again

Julia Monroe Begins Again

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โ™ก ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™œ๐™ค๐™ค๐™™๐™จ โ™ก
โ€ขtestosterone truck
โ€ขcaretaking
โ€ขpeekaboo tattoo
โ€ขsecond chance romance
โ€ขchewie
โ€ขfirst loves
โ€ขforgiveness theme
โ€ขstrong faith thread
โ€ขgod fearing alpha hero
โ€ขstrong, independent heroine

โ€œ๐™„๐™› ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™™๐™ž๐™™๐™ฃโ€™๐™ฉ ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฎ ๐™›๐™š๐™š๐™ก๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™จ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ข๐™š, ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™ฌ๐™๐™ฎ ๐™ฌ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ก๐™™ ๐™ข๐™ฎ ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™š๐™จ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™š ๐™ง๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ฉ๐™ก๐™š ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™จ๐™ค ๐™ข๐™ช๐™˜๐™?โ€

โ€œ๐˜ย .ย .ย .โ€ ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ฏ๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ฑ๐˜บ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ต ๐˜โ€™๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜บ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜ป๐˜ป๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ. ๐˜ ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ถ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฎ๐˜บ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด, ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆย ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ญ๐˜ถ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฑ.

โ€œ๐™„๐™ฉ ๐™จ๐™š๐™š๐™ข๐™จ ๐™ข๐™ฎ ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™š๐™ง ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ก๐™š๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™š๐™˜๐™๐™ก๐™š๐™จ๐™จ ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ก๐™ก ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™œ.โ€

๐˜ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ค๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ต, ๐˜ด๐˜ฉ๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ฎ๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ฌ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ง๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฆ.

second chance romance is really serving it lately! i really enjoyed this one with samuel and julia. they had A LOT to overcome and it took some time for them, especially julia, to work through their issues. while there was a lot of hurt between these two, there was also some fiery chemistry and sharp banter. i absolutely adored samuelโ€™s patient persistence!

kate was an amazing friend to julia and her voice of reason throughout the story. i loved their friendship and their beignets and coffee dates. at times julia could be frustrating, but i felt like she earned the right to be that way after what samuel did and losing her husband. i also loved juliaโ€™s sons and how supportive they were of starting her own business. the faith thread is beautifully woven throughout this story and a good reminder that anyone is capable of changing for the better.

romance: kisses

thank you to bethany house for the gifted copy. my thoughts are my own.

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"Chewy growled.
"Chewy." I tapped his nose with my fingertip.
"This is all your fault to begin with."
"I'd say the fault mostly falls to your mom."
"You mean her busted pipe."
"I'm ninety-five percent certain she rigged it to leak."
"What?" My disbelief punctured the air. Chewy startled, jumping to the floor with a yelp."

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!!!!
Basically, I read it one sitting. I laughed. I cried. I related well to this mom facing the reality of her kids growing up. She is trying to find a new reality. Boy, do I understand.

Julia is looking for a new rhythm now that her boys are off to college. Although she has been widowed for a long time, she wasn't ready to face the reality of truly feeling alone. But she did not exactly plan on connecting with her college boyfriend either.

Samuel Reed has changed. A lot. Convincing Julia of this is another matter. Dealing with complicated family dynamics is also a bit stressful. This book is about finding yourself in the midst of life's changes.

The New Orleans setting adds to the storyline. Faith, friendship and family are all important elements that weave together beautifully. I can't wait to read the next book in the "Beignets for Two" series.

Thanks to NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for letting me read this one. I begged to read it and plan to review it because I think everyone should read it. Well, almost everyone. All opinions are my own - no beignets necessary for bribing. Although I would take one ...

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Such a sweet and light story of a second chance romance. I loved the growth of the main characters and the writing was very easy to read. The banter was great too!

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BOOK REVIEW - Julia Monroe Begins Again - Rebekah Millet - 3.5 Stars

OK so hopefully today's review makes sense as I've had a headache-turned-migraine most of the day. One of my favourite parts of this blog is being able to promote debut authors. If you've been around Bookstagram for a while then you're probably familiar with Rebekah Millet's book blog, so it's exciting to see her release her own book.

I loved the premise of this story, I'm a big fan of second chance/redemption stories. I'm in two minds about this story which I don't like, I hate having a split opinion on a book. But first, what I did love in this book was the redemption themes showing how God can completely change someone and make them new. The swooony kisses. Mama (in a weird way #iykyk). That Julia had a normal relatable job. That Julia was an older character (also relatable). Chewy. And of course Samuel 2.0.

Ok, so on the one hand, from a purely romantic POV, I loved Samuel's determination to win Julia back, the matchmaking efforts of her friends and family and the constant sweet gestures to he made in his pursuit. However. The other half of my opinion doesn't like how he didn't respect her wishes when she kept saying no to a relationship and I found her friends and family were quite bullying, pushing her to something she said she didn't want. Everything eventually works out and they get their HEA but I find there's a very fine line between pursuing someone and disrespecting their wishes to stay away and I can't decide which side of the line this book falls on. You'll have to read it and decide for yourself.

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Julia Monroe Begins Again by Rebekah Millet is her debut novel, and it is fabulous! ! It is a sweet Rom-Com with all the feels! Julia has just turned forty, she cleans houses, is a single mom, and now both of her boys are off at college. Samuel Reed is a Green Beret is who has a wonderful heart and broke Juliaโ€™s heart 20 years ago. Now he is in back in town and sitting near her at church! What?

I loved this story! Julia Monroe Begins Again has the perfect blend of, sweet romance, interesting setting in New Orleans, pop culture, humor and thoughtful characters I felt very connected to. I adored the secondary characters and Juliaโ€™s friend Kate is the perfect example of a good friend who meddles well. Following Juliaโ€™s journey as she walks through forgiveness, finding love again, and expanding her view of herself is one I enjoyed immensely. The faith narrative was refreshing. It was woven through the story in a beautiful, realistic, and joyful way.

Rebekah Milletโ€™s debut novel Julia Monroe Begins Again is an absolute delight. The humor, wonderful characters, and sweet romance made this a great novel! I highly recommend!

I was given a copy by the publisher and not required to write a positive review.

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โ€œThis would be so much easier if You just told me what to doโ€ฆโ€

Oh my graciousโ€ฆ I am still recovering from this fabulous read! Fair warning โ€“ I will probably babble incoherently about it in this review, despite my best efforts to make sense. I laughed on nearly every page. I shed a few tears, too. And Iโ€™m pretty sure I came thisclose to being electrocuted from all the sparks between Samuel and Juliaโ€ฆ this is NOT a complaint, mind you. Just a swoonified observation.

From the very first page, I suspected that Julie Monroe Begins Again was going to be on my list of favorite reads of 2023. About halfway through, I suspected it would be making my list of favorite books Iโ€™ve ever read. And by the end, I knew it would have a solid place on both lists henceforth and forevermore. Between Juliaโ€™s sassy running commentary (courtesy of the delightfully written first person narrative), her โ€˜demon dogโ€™ Chewy, her best friend (and matchmaker) Kate, her mothering anxiety over her college-age sons, and her chain-smoking-no-feelings Mama, I had lots to guffaw and snicker over. The witty mental asides from Julia combined with the smart dialogue to leave me glued to the pagesโ€ฆ and okaaaaayโ€ฆ swoony hunk Samuel helped with that too.

Speaking of Samuel, I wish yโ€™all could have seen my ever-scanning โ€˜book boyfriendโ€™ antennae go up when I read this first line of chapter two:

โ€œI think Henry Cavill just got saved or joined our church.โ€

Um. yes please! Letโ€™s find out more.

And oh boy did we ever! Turns out Samuel is Juliaโ€™s first love, and they have a tumultuous past โ€“ one that we learn about in layers โ€“ but this former Green Beret is now on a mission to win back Julia and to show her how heโ€™s changed. I meanโ€ฆ honestlyโ€ฆ his sincerity, his intentionality, his integrity, his swooniliciousnessโ€ฆ ghfjdalkjsdlskfhdkslvhjdlska. <โ€“ Thatโ€™s my last coherent thought flying away. Okay, but seriously โ€“ he sounds pretty perfect, right? Well, he isnโ€™t. And thatโ€™s one of the many reasons I loved him AND wanted to shake him silly. Heโ€™s flawed, and so is Julia. They made a lot of mistakes, together and separately, back in college, and true to form they make a few in being reacquainted now. This time though, the mistakes come from people whoโ€™ve lived more life and surrendered to Jesus more than they had before but are nonetheless blindsided by the otherโ€™s return to their world and still deeply scarred (especially Julia) by their earlier romance. I thought their reactions made sense given what theyโ€™ve each been through, and I also thought that they were necessary speed bumps in helping them ultimately leave behind the pain of the past.

There is so much more I could talk about but Iโ€™ll try to sum up. The breathless chemistry and sweet-sizzle kisses between Julia & Samuel is perfection. So is the mix of their flirty banter (particularly on Samuelโ€™s part) and the tender relationship that rebuilds between them. Julia cyberstalking her boys at college, worrying over the gray hair in her eyebrow, and debating how often she really needs to shave her legs is priceless & relatable. Also, the faith thread โ€“ especially the emphasis on taking things to Jesus in prayer instead of reacting in our own humanity โ€“ really spoke to my heart, and I thought the author wove this beautifully into the story.

Bottom Line: In case you canโ€™t tell, I really loved Julia Monroe Begins Again by Rebekah Millet. It doesnโ€™t feel at all like a debut, but rather the work of a seasoned author. Millet has mastered the art of showing vs. telling, and every word felt perfectly placed. I loved everything about Julia & Samuelโ€™s love story โ€“ even when I was frustrated with one or both of them โ€“ and Iโ€™m still grinning every time I think of them. The wit, the humor, the romance, the friendship, the family themes, and the faith themes โ€“ all of that, plus the incredibly engaging writing voice โ€“ make this a fave read that Iโ€™ll go back to when I need to sink into a great story with all the feels. A must-read for fans of Bethany Turner, Pepper Basham, and Becky Wade! Canโ€™t wait for book two!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book

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This is such a cute second chance romance. I loved seeing Julia and Samuel figure their relationship out. Julia seemed determined that there would be no romance. And this story is written in first person you get to know exactly how she feels. Samuel was the perfect hero, with such patience and care. He was determined to make everything right that he could.
Chewy, Julia's dog could be the subject of a whole book., what a character!
If you love cute Christian Rom Coms, this is your book!
Thank you to Net Galley for allowing me to read this book. The opinions are entirely my own.

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Rebekah Milletโ€™s strong, albeit new, author voice shone in this delightful contemporary romance featuring a widowed, 40 year old mother of two college-aged boys and a single, former Green Beret. If youโ€™re looking for a second chance romance with a bit of snark, swoon and sass, this may be the book for you!

HIGHLIGHTS:
-Heartwarming and Hilarious
-Southern, New Orleans Charm
-Second Chance Romance
-Faith, Family and Friendship
-Life After Loss
-A Hunky, Former Green Beret MMC
-A Widowed, Empty-Nest FMC

I adored the New Orleans setting with its historic district, beignets and French Quarter flair. Millet brought the setting alive in a personable, authentic way that I admired. I also loved the hilarious inner monologue Julia had at times as well the characters of Mama and Teddy. I couldnโ€™t have laughed more over their antics, especially Mamaโ€™s. The deep friendship and sarcastic conversations between Julia and her best friend Kate were heartwarming and entertaining.

While I enjoyed the story, Juliaโ€™s reluctance and petulance bothered me in the first โ…“ of the story. But since I was enjoying the secondary characters and snark, I chose to push on and I was so glad I did. I read a review where the reader didnโ€™t enjoy Samโ€™s character, saying any man would have walked away after being subject to Juliaโ€™s immature attitude but I believe his choices to continue to pursue and serve her was a beautiful picture of his new heart in Christ, as well as a picture of how Christ pursues and serves us, even when we are not the most lovable.

I loved Samโ€™s character and the change in his life, the way he handled himself and the way he chose to seek Julia out and offer his love. It was rewarding to see Julia grapple with her circumstances and finally tune her ear to hear the answer God was repeatedly giving her. Oh, how many times we pray for an answer, God answers, and yet our hearts are stubborn, reluctant or not in tune to hear His will.

For me, this story read much like a romantic comedy, filled with faith, romance, friendship, family heartache and forgiveness. There are also threads of motherhood, grief, humility, and ministry. I believe it will easily appeal to both secular and Christian readers. Overall, I enjoyed the story and I am definitely looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Content and Trigger Warnings: Clean (no swearing or inappropriate content). Loss of a Spouse, Miscarriage, Cheating

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.

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I enjoyed this second chance at love romance. I liked seeing how the characters love for each other changed from when they were young to being a more mature love. I also liked how that changed happened as they allowed God into their lives. I liked how there were humorous parts and there were series parts. I thought there was a good balance between the two. I also liked that the characters were older, showing that you are never to old to fall in love again. I thought the story was well done with characters that I would love to be friends with.

I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, and or authors.ย  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.

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I laughed out loud as I read this debut novel by Rebekah Millet. Sometimes I even read a line twice because it was so funny. The story about second chances was easy to get into and full of pop culture references. The storyline is filled with romance and all the ups and downs of that. I especially enjoyed all the specific references to New Orleans. The setting was highlighted by local places, events and foods. I felt like I had traveled there for a vacation with a knowledgeable tour guide who appreciates the area and that was great fun. I was given a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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This book has humor and heart with a southern flare and I enjoyed every page! Books that make me laugh out loud are my favorite and this book had me laughing out loud for sure. Rebekah's humor is fabulous! It's so refreshing to find romance with characters in their 40s.

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A sweet story of new beginnings after big losses. Heartfelt and real with a great cast of characters. I was completely involved in Julia's journey and enjoyed it thoroughly.

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I was so excited to read this debut novel and of course it is even more fantastic than expected! The characters are written so well I had no trouble falling in love with Julia and Samuel and cheering for their happily ever after. I also loved how the characters had authentic trials and struggles that made them seem more real than fictional at times. The lively New Orleans backdrop was the perfect setting to their story and I had moments where I swear I could smell the beignets from the wonderful descriptions in the novel. The spiritual theme of trusting Godโ€™s and His plan was well integrated. I thought the writing was very well done and the story flowed effortlessly. It was easy to get engrossed in the novel as time passed quickly by. This book was such a joy to read and I loved every part of it. Highly recommended!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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Second chance at love stories are one of the tropes that I love the most. And of those stories, I can easily say that Julia Monroe Begins Again is one of my very favorites. This novel had quirky, funny musings that occasionally had me laughing out loud, while simultaneously being a tale of redemption, forgiveness, and of learning to trust again.

As Julia and Samuelโ€™s story progressed, I could easily understand Juliaโ€™s hesitancy to trust her heart to this man who had completely shredded it years earlier. Yet, I loved the way Samuel worked to show Julia that he was not the same man that he used to be. God had truly done a major overhaul of this manโ€™s heart! However, there were definitely consequences and issues that had to be met head on in this story before these two could hope to have a chance at happiness together.

I loved the heart of this book, the way Samuelโ€™s actions spoke even louder than his words about the different man he was now. I liked that the author naturally wove a spiritual message throughout the story and showed the importance of turning things over to God instead of trying to solve problems within our own power.

This book was amazing from start to finish and is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

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Rebekah Millet debut novel Julia Monroe Begins Again shows the promise of great new rom-com author. Millet gives the reader humor while intertwined with a deeper story of new beginnings with a former love.
Julia Monroeโ€™s life has not been easy with being a young widow, newly empty nester and a being a house cleaner. She is happy with her status quo when her former high school love Samuel Reed shows back up and while she wants to hate him for how he left her, she finds that hard with the changes she sees heโ€™s made. Being willing to change her life as she knows it is harder.
I enjoyed this novel and laughed several times. The supporting characters are what made the novel for me. Juliaโ€™s mom is crusty and opinionated but loves her daughter dearly. Best friend Kate is a loyal confidante that we all would love to have, I hope we get a sequel with more of her story! The story has the right amount of faith for the Christian reader showing charactersโ€™ beliefs, but not preachy.
I received a complimentary copy of this books thanks to Bethany House, Just Read, and NetGalley, but all opinions are my own.

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This is a very cute book about a forty-year-old widow finding love again. What she doesn't expect is for it to be with her ex that she dated in college. I thought this book was really well done. I liked the comedy and the characters. Julia was so funny. I also liked how persistent Samuel was, and patient. I also really liked Chewy the dog. I loved how much Julia loved her sons and Samuel loved his daughter. There is a good Christian message throughout the book about seeking His will and not our own and not trying to control everything without consulting Him. Julia also has to learn to forgive Samuel for past hurts. There is a lot of funny moments as well. The only thing I didn't love, since it is a Christian Fiction book, is I thought there was too much focus on Samuel's body. And some sexual innuendos. But overall, I thought this was a good romcom.
โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from netgalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

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Wowwowwow. Wow. Wow. I don't even know how to BEGIN a review for this book. I have so many thoughts about it.

First, find a friend to read this with. It makes it so much...MORE. This book is FABULOUS, and you WILL want to talk about it with someone, so hurry and find a reading buddy!

I laughed so hard at many points (the amount of quotes I copied down is insane!), but I also was deeply touched several times. Her heartache was palpable, and I wanted to kick some patootie a time or two. And her cleaning-lady cursing? Hilarious! At different times, I laughed so hard my kids were staring at me, I got teary-eyed, I hurt for Julia, I was in complete shock with her, I swooned with her. I was basically Julia. Except not really, 'cause I'm pretty sure Kate was based off of me.

Rebekah Millet has found a faithful reader in me, and I will read every book she writes now. Go get yourself this outstanding debut!

WARNING: this book will give you serious book hangover. Prepare yourself.

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Thank you to NetGalley, Bethany House, and the author Rebekah Millet for the opportunity to read an ARC of this title. An honest review was requested but not required.

Quick take: this is not the book for me. I see a really high average on GR so, clearly, I am in a definite minority. But I just found Julia to be an intensely irritating and immature person, and almost every time she was on-page I found myself rolling my eyes. Consider: you are a 40-something woman with two college-age kids. You had a wonderful marriage to a kind, supportive, loving man, who passed away many years ago. You have successfully supported your family, raised two well-behaved, responsible, upstanding sons, participated actively in church, performed years of community outreach, and shown unflagging grace to your cantankerous mother. This is Julia.

And yet, confronted with an ex from 20 years previous, Julia reverts to her inner six year old. Petty behavior (sneaking away from him, telling him he can't attend her church, you name it), sulking, and outright meanness. She BEGS for God's help in forgiving him and understanding what to do, and when it comes to her via church sermons, realizations, moments of inspiration, and Samuel's own testimony, she ignores everything because she's holding such a grudge. Never mind the fact that she's equally as guilty of bad past behavior. Julia then begs for a sign and when she receives one in the form of first her best friend, then her mom, THEN HER TWO CHILDREN telling her to go for it, she still waffles and whines and hedges. Come on Julia. I just could not get on board with her behavior. She allowed Sam to do everything for her and was continuously nasty and snappy to him.

Sam was questionable too. Why did he persist when Julia pushed him away so hard and so often? Because of a 20-year old connection? He didn't even know her big secret. I can't believe most men (or anyone at all, for that matter, gender notwithstanding) would have persisted in their attachment to a person who treated them like Julia did. The fact that he continued to be so pushy and so tenacious made him look like either a doormat or an oblivious jerk.

I enjoyed both of the cantankerous parents, Julia's mom and Sam's dad. Julia's kids sounded like nice boys. I wanted to like Chewy the attack poodle but once he bit Sam I just got annoyed. Typical small dog shenanigans, getting away with biting and other aggressive bad behavior because he's little and fluffy and cute. Wonder if Sam (and Julia) would have thought it was so funny if Chewy was a German Shepherd or Lab?

Eh. I see the appeal of the book and I liked the Louisiana setting and the Christian elements, but I just COULD NOT get past Julia.

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A great clean romance that stands out as a fantastic debut. I appreciated a middle-aged MC going through a period of starting over with grown kids away at college. There were so many fantastic supporting characters and a great furbaby. It's a feel good story that just makes you smile.

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Julia's ready for life in her 40s. It's been a decade since she lost her husband in an accident, and now her sons are out of state going to college. She's not looking for a new chapter, just improvements on the comfortable one she's made for herself. But then Samuel Reed shows up and throws her whole world into chaos.

Samuel broke her heart when she was 18, and seeing him brings up all the memories of both the good and the bad of their relationship. How could she ever trust him, even if he seems intent on pursuing her once more?

I related to Julia on so many levels, and she really grabbed me as a character in the first few chapters. I liked her friendship with Kate and the colorful New Orleans setting. You'll be craving beignets as you read this story!

This book is pretty much a straight romance, in the sense that there's not much going on that doesn't relate to the main characters' relationship. I didn't feel like any of the male characters in this book were especially realistic, foremost the hero, but it wasn't to such a degree that it detracted from the heart of the story. I loved that there was a strong faith message and a healthy church atmosphere, with conversations about faith and many things it entails. This story does have its serious moments, as it deals with some deep topics and long-held wounds.

Overall, I feel like I am the target audience for this book, and it hit its mark. I'd recommend it to my friends of a similar age. However, younger women or teenagers would probably have a hard time understanding Julia's feelings and choices. But I hope that if you're around your 40s, are a recent empty nester, or are facing a new season of life, you'll take a chance on Julia Monroe Begins Again. There's lots to enjoy here!

I received my copy of the book from the author. All thoughts in this review are my own.

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