Cover Image: Julia Monroe Begins Again

Julia Monroe Begins Again

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Member Reviews

I enjoyed this story, as I really liked how the characters developed over time. I wasn't a huge fan of the main character, but definitely liked our hero Samuel. I felt like the author did a good job with the message of forgiveness and redemption throughout.

At some points Julia did feel a little immature and felt more like she was 20 rather than 40. I had to remind myself she was 40.

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Thank you to Rebekah Millet, NetGalley, and Bethany House for this #gifted book!*

Synopsis: “I think the man you hate, the man who broke my heart, stepped back into my world today.” As a single mom with two college aged boys, Julia Monroe is a widowed woman who has put her dreams on hold for a long time. But when Samuel Reed, her extremely attractive Green Beret ex-boyfriend, shows up at her church one day, her whole world begins to change. As Samuel begins to help her and relentlessly pursue a relationship, Julia can’t deny that there’s an attraction there. But she also can’t shake the fear that he would break her heart all over again. Is a future really possible when there’s so much pain from the past?

Analysis: Julia Monroe is the perfect romcom to read going into summer and really any time of the year! This book is a breath of fresh air for Christian fiction. It has witty banter, relatable characters with real life problems, sweet romance, and solid biblical truth. I absolutely loved Julia’s personality: she’s strong, funny, and a bit awkward. And Samuel is a man’s man with good work ethic who isn’t afraid to chase after what he wants (respectfully, of course). One thing that makes it unique is just the reality of life that the characters face. Rebekah doesn’t shy away from adult’s past mistake and the later consequences and just hard life circumstances. This book will have you laughing and crying alongside the characters, and you’ll find yourself rooting for second chances and love. Absolutely a 5-star read and a must-add to your TBR!

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*I was given an ARC in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions ťexpressed in this review are my own.

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Julia is a 40 year old widow with two sons in college. She's active in her church and cleans homes for a living. Julia is mostly satisfied with her life until she sees him at church! Him, being her college love that broke her heart 20 years ago. Now he keeps turning up in her life and it's throwing her in a tailspin.

I had a hard time connecting with Julia quite a bit of the time. For being a Christian woman she had a hard time believing that Samuel could have repented of his wild college ways and turned over a new leaf. I felt it too long for us to discover why Julia and her mother felt so strongly about Samuel. I feel she should have had that talk with Samuel a lot sooner than she did.

On the other hand, I loved her friendship with Kate and their dinners together, and feel everyone needs a friendship like that. I also liked her relationship with her sons. I appreciated the message that we all need forgiveness and mercy and should extend it to others.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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“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.”

This second-chance romance is full of themes of redemption and forgiveness, and I loved that. I also really enjoyed that it featured characters in their 40s, a demographic definitely underrepresented in literature in general, and romances specifically.

I have to admit that early in the book I found Samuel, and the best-friend character Kate, coming across as really pushy and was concerned that Julia’s boundaries were not being respected. However, in keeping with the theme of redemption, these characters had redeemed themselves by the end of the book. Samuel proved to be a true gentleman, and Kate a supportive ally.

Overall, Rebekah Millet’s writing is fun and fast-paced, and I chucked at more than one pop-culture reference.

I’m looking forward to reading of Kate’s romantic escapades in the upcoming sequel.

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Julia Monroe Begins Again
by Rebekah Millet is a sweet romance that I adored. Readers of Christian fiction will love this book. This second chance romance has all the right elements to make it compelling and quickly engaging. I loved the characters and the very real situations they found themselves in. I highly recommend this book. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.

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Enjoyed! My friends and I interviewed Rebekah and talked about this book

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Julia Monroe Begins Again is a Christian romance novel written by Rebekah Millet.

Summary: Julia has been through a lot. Her husband died in a car accident ten years ago, leaving her to raise two small sons alone.

But now those sons are off to college, and she’s afraid to break out of her rut and step back into the dreams she once had for herself. It’s safer just to stick with what she knows, and easier too.

But when an old flame returns to town wanting to rekindle their relationship, things don’t feel so safe anymore. Could she even consider trusting him again after he betrayed her so long ago?

My Thoughts: I loved this book. Five stars.

I wasn’t more than a couple of pages into the story when I knew this was going to be one of those books I needed to finish in one day-just so I could know how everything turned out.

This book is so well-written, with lots of twists and turns to the story, a lovely romance, and a great message of redemption and trusting God.

The characters are fabulous, the relationships nuanced and quirky, and while so many stories in this genre tend to feel forced or cheesy, this one was executed beautifully.

I highly recommend this book as one to buy (which I hardly ever say, and is my highest form of praise), and (HINT, HINT) I sure wouldn’t mind another story written about Julia’s best friend!

I would like to thank Bethany House for providing me with a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my review. Thank you!

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This is a good book. The two main characters are Julia and Samuel. They dated in college until one day Samuel broke up with Julia. Twenty years later Samuel showed up in Julia’s hometown. They kept showing up at the same place. Samuel kept asking her on a date. She finally said yes. They fell in love.

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Thank you NetGalley for the ARC of Julia Monroe Begins Again by Rebekah Millet.

Julia Monroe is a widowed mother of two kids. With the boys off to college she is now trying to figure out her life and starting over. When her ex from years ago returns to town he becomes a huge distraction. Julia is attempting to focus on her cleaning company but God had other plans.

This is an inspiring and clean romance. The main character struggles with faith, parenting, priorities and all sorts of relatable things. This book is filled with humor, romance, family, struggles and faith

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This was such a great debut! I loved Julia and Samuel (and all the other characters!) Watching Julia walk through life as a widow and then try and figure out how to handle life with Samuel back was all done so well. I appreciated the way Samuel respected her wishes, while still making it clear he wasn’t going anywhere.
The way Julia cared for her boys and had them in mind during everything was so sweet - and as a mom I completely related. While Julia’s mom drove me a little bonkers at time, I came around and knew she just wanted what was best for her daughter.
I’m looking forward to future books from this author!

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Title: Julia Monroe Begins again
Author: Rebekah Millet

Ch: 40 plus epilogue

Pg: 376

Series: Beignets for one book 1

Genre: Christian Contemporary romance

Rating: 4 stars

Publisher: Bethany House

Julia Monroe begins again is the debut novel by Rebekah Millet. It’s a second chance romance and those tend to not be a favorite of mine. But I did enjoy this one. It just took a bit for me to warm up to it. As it took me a bit to warm up to Samuel Reed. Normally I love military and veteran heroes, but like Julia Monroe, it took me a bit to forgive him for things he had done in the past. I'm not going to give away what he did but for me it’s definitely something while I would forgive in real life it wouldn’t lead to a second chance in real life and it's something I judge on a case-by-case bases with characters I read.

While the romance didn't really keep me turning the pages it was the secondary characters and sense of community that kept me turning the pages. Not to mention I'm a sucker for a good Louisiana setting. And I loved the pop culture references that were sprinkled throughout the book. And parts of Julia's mom reminded me so much of my own mom. The faith content in this one was chef's kiss. And even I'm not Julia's age I'm closer to her age than the 20s something heroine's we normally get in contemporary romance so I'm glad to see an older heroine.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

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Julia Monroe Begins Again by Rebekah Millet is book #1 in the Beignets for Two series. It's her debut novel. I think she has a wonderful career ahead of her. This story is a hallmark movie on steroids. It's got romance, humor, faith, complications, healing, trust, and forgiveness all rolled into one book. Julia Monroe Begins Again starts on Julia's 40th birthday. Both of her boys are out of the house and she's hoping that this year will be a year of new beginnings for her. Little does she know what the Lord has in store for her. She's been widowed for 10 years and has two sons that are in college. She's hoping to expand her cleaning business. Then one day in church she sees Samuel Reed. A guy she never thought she'd ever see again or that she'd ever want to see again. He was her boyfriend when she was younger and he hurt her greatly. She figured she'd just stay away from him. Of course, God with the help of her best friend has other plans.
I really enjoyed this debut novel by Rebekah Millet. It was a belly full of laughs. I loved the setting in New Orleans. It was a beautiful novel that gave you all the feels. I really felt Julia in all her emotions has she tries to figure things out. I also loved Samuel so much. I loved the epilogue at the end and I admit that I shed a tear or two when reading it. If you love books filled with humor, faith, 2nd chances, and first loves then take a chance. I can't wait for the book #2. I was given a copy, but all opinions are my very own!

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“Julia Monroe Begins Again” was the final book I read in 2023, and what a fabulous book it was to finish off the year with🩷 I SO enjoyed listening to the audio version of Rebekah Millet’s debute, and have been profoundly touched by its faith elements🙏🏻

“Julia Monroe Begins Again” follows the story of a 40 year-old widowed single mother of two college-aged boys. When Julia is reunited with an old flame from a difficult time in her past, Julia’s instinct is to flee and avoid him. But when he shows up at her church, Julia is forced to spend more time with him against her will. Will this ex-bad boy who looks like Henry Cavill’s doppelgänger be able to crack through Julia’s firmly constructed walls??? READ TO FIND OUT🤭😍

What I loved so much about this story is the FAITH content🙏🏻🩷 I loved the redemption of both MC’s and reading about the freedom they have found in Christ. I also appreciated how hard they worked to ensure their rekindled relationship honored the Lord🩷🙏🏻 As for the romance…. Eeek!! It was soooo sweet!!!! Seeing Samuel work so hard to regain Julia’s trust was absolutely SWOONWORTHY😍 His acts of service were >>>> I absolutely loved him as an MMC!!

Overall, I really enjoyed this story & would recommend it to others🥳


🚨TW: mentions of a miscarriage, brief discussions about ab*rtion, car accident (not fatal)
🚨CW: no language & just kisses!!

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I didn't really love this book. It wasn't necessarily what I thought it would be, and had content that other people may have thought funny, but made me cringe.
I did love the cover though, and thought it was beautifully done.

I recieved a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishers through Netgalley and was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts and opinions above are my own.

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Julia Monroe Begins Again
by Rebekah Millet
Pub Date 24 Oct 2023
Bethany House,Bethany House Publishers
Christian| General Fiction \(Adult\)| Romance

Bethany House and Netgalley sent me a copy of Julia Monroe Begins Again to review:

Samuel was back. It felt unfair to be blindsided. In church, no less. There should be a commandment about that, right? Keep your distance from your ex's place of worship.

The last decade of Julia Monroe's life left her a young widow and a single mom, but she's got high hopes for a fresh start. She can finally focus on expanding her New Orleans-based cleaning business now that both boys are in college. Julia's ready for a new beginning--but God has other plans. He's the ruggedly handsome Green Beret who broke her heart over twenty years ago, and he's the distraction she never expected.

After their first interaction in years leaves Julia's mind spinning and her emotions out of control, Julia knows she has to avoid him if she wants to prevent history from repeating itself, but her meddling best friend keeps pushing
them together. I think it's inevitable that the man who was hard to forget might be impossible to resist now.

I give Julia Monroe Begins Again five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

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thank you to netgalley for the advanced reading copy. I really enjoyed this and will be getting copies for my shop.

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Julia Monroe is a widow who has raised two boys who are now in college. As an empty-nester, she's left trying to figure out how to fill her days and stop worrying about whether her boys are taking care of themselves. She's always been very active in her church and in a volunteer ministry. And as a self-employed woman, it's easy to bury herself in work activities.

But when her ex-high school sweetheart suddenly reappears in her life, she's reminded of secrets she's left long-buried. As Julia tries to figure out how to avoid Samuel as much as possible, he's determined to reconnect with her. She's the "one that got away," and there's nothing he wants more than a second chance. He's grown and matured since he messed everything up the first time around. But now that he's found her again, he's committed to showing her just how right Mr. Wrong can be.

As a Christian, I appreciated that there was more of a focus on who they were, what they valued, and how they had grown than on physical attraction (although that was still there). This wasn't a question of whether they were going to end up in bed together, but whether they would end up together at all. And Samuel proves in more ways than one that he's turned into Mr. Right for Julia. Now it's just a matter of whether she can take a chance on love again, knowing the pain of losing someone you love.

I will say that I did feel like the book was a little drawn out with all of Julia's hemming and hawing. There was one specific incident that happened that almost was the turning point for their relationship until she sabotaged it with her over-thinking. And I think that last hurdle didn't lend much of anything to the story, personally. But other than that, I enjoyed the characters and storyline.

Thank you to Rebekah Millet, Bethany House and NetGalley for an advance review copy.

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Julia Monroe Begins Again is the debut novel of Rebekah Millet, and she completely swept me off of my feet with this story! From page one, I connected with Julia and her predicament of turning forty years old. She is such a kind, generous, witty, and faithful woman, I immediately decided she would be my book best friend. Julia, as well as all the other characters, are so realistic–both in their strengths and their flaws–that they are impossible not to fall in love with each and everyone, even Julia’s mother.
Prepare to snicker, belly laugh, cry, and swoon as you read this second-chance romance. It is an incredible story of learning forgiveness, moving forward, and listening to that still small voice. I loved watching Julia step into a new era of her life, even when it wasn’t easy or pretty, because her growth stretched my heart and made me look at turning forty in a much more flattering light.
Overall, this is one of my favorite contemporary romances of the year. I would highly recommend this book to all Christian contemporary romance lovers, especially those who enjoy books by Courtney Walsh or Becky Wade.

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions are my own.

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Thank you NetGalley and Bethany house for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Before I say anything else, I need to put out a trigger warning that this book talks about a miscarriage. It also heavily features Christianity, which I wasn't aware of before I started reading it (my own fault, for not reading the description properly though, I guess). It's not something I normally would choose to read, but decided to continue since I was given this book as an ARC after all.

Julia was widowed young. Her two boys are in college. She goes to church, and cleans houses for a living. One day, her college boyfriend Samuel turns up, the one whose baby she miscarried, who had cheated on her and broke up with her. They inevitably get talking again, and he ends up doing some work for her on her house. She has a tense relationship with her mother, who knows what happened in the past, and she disapproves of Samuel being back in Julia's life in any way whatsoever. Julia struggles with feeling attracted to Samuel again despite his past treatment of her.

I DNFed this book at 50%, having read 20 chapters. By that point, I still didn't feel anything for any of the characters, didn't feel like I knew them, and there wasn't much plot at all. I think a reader who likes Christian women's fiction might like this book more than I did, as frankly I don't think I'm the target audience for this story.

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Some humorous moments in this book and likeable characters, although the book struggled to maintain my focus at times.

I received a complimentary copy of this book and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.

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