Cover Image: Julia Monroe Begins Again

Julia Monroe Begins Again

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Member Reviews

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

This is my first Rebekah Millet book and such an absolute delight. This is perfect for fans of second chance romances .

The book follows Julia a forty year old single woman is a widow and has no desire for romance but to expand her cleaning business. Her plans are interrupted by the appearance of Samuel who is an ex of hers that broke her heart. Sam isn't exactly what she remembers and together they work on issues they had not solved and find their way to each other. It's a story about second chances and fresh starts.

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Excellent! I read this book in two days and then thought about it for at least two weeks. I enjoyed the characters, the romance, the humor, the real-life conflicts, and the ending! So proud of Rebekah. Millet and her debut. I hope there are many more like this one to follow! Highly recommend!

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This is one of those books that I hardly know where to start to write an adequate review.
I will say this...immediately upon finishing, I sent the author a message on instagram gushing to her about the book, characters, etc. Yes! That is how much I loved it!
Right from the beginning, this story grabbed me, and it held me until the very end.
Perhaps it is because of the fact that I am also in that 40ish age range that the main characters are in.
Or, maybe it is because it is a beautiful story of love and second chances. All of us are flawed, and can very likely, see us in need of a second chance.
This story satisfied my soul. Beautiful characters, lovely, redemptive story line, and humor sprinkled throughout the pages.
It is one of my favorite reads this year, and I absolutely can't wait to read the next book by this author.
Oh, wait! One important detail I forgot to mention - this is a DEBUT novel! Yes, you heard me right - this is the very first book ever published by this author. That makes the fact that this is an unforgettable story almost an impossibility. But, this author pulled it off so well!
I highly recommend this for anyone over 40 who is looking for a fun romance story.

Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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#JuliaMonroeBeginsAgain #NetGalley

A second chance love story. Julia turns forty and is a widow is trying to make ends meet with her own cleaning business. She also provides free service for the cleaning ministry for her church. With two boys going to college out of state and her mother living six blocks away, life is busy.
Julia is surprised to see an ex boyfriend going to her church and tries to stay clear of him, but he keeps showing up wherever she is at. Her mom reminds Julia of how bad Samuel broke her heart and that she needs to stay away from him. Will they have a chance to see how much they have changed or will they let their past get in the way?

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My thoughts: this is a well thought out book written in first person, a romance about second chance love. Julia is a person I'd love to know. She has a heart for the helpless and goes out of her way to volunteer to those that need care. She also has a dream company she's able to start but she's learned a hard way that dreams don't always come true. So she's afraid to begin. Samuel was a rascal. But he won my heart. Julia was hurt by him very badly and was afraid to get involved, besides she's already experienced real love. A lot of people will be able to relate with their relationship. I greatly enjoyed reading this book and did not want to put it down. If you like chick lit or romance you'll definitely want to check out this book. I was given a copy free and all opinions on my own.

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When I first started reading Julia Monroe Begins Again, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the story. I was on a tight schedule and needed to read it fast before recording a StoryChats @ InspyRomance podcast/YouTube episode with Rebekah as our guest. At that time, prior to the release date, I decided I would reread the book at a leisurely pace when I was in the right mood to appreciate the story. I’m not always a fan of first person single point of view romcoms, and alpha military heroes aren’t usually my favorite.

I enjoyed my second read through of the story, set in suburban New Orleans. Julia is in her forties and she’s a widow with an empty nest now her boys are away at college in North Carolina. Samuel was her first boyfriend when she was in high school, and their breakup was messy. Julia moved on from Samuel, returned to her childhood faith, and was happily married to Mark until his tragic accident a decade ago. Julia is hard working and has a house cleaning business that evolved from a volunteer cleaning ministry she helped set up at her church.

Samuel starts attending Julia’s church, and seems determined to reconnect with her. Julia is confused and struggles to process the Samuel situation. Samuel is a Green Beret who wears an eye patch, and his military background reinforces his alpha male traits. I could understand why Julia had reservations about Samuel and wondered how she could trust him, despite believing his newfound faith from a few years earlier was genuine.

Julia has a lovely sense of humor and can laugh at herself. Her interactions with Samuel and the side characters, including her chain smoking opinionated mama, are real-to-life and often hilarious. Trust and forgiveness themes are explored in the story. As the story progresses we see Samuel’s softer side and his care for the people he loves. I recommend Julia Monroe Begins Again to contemporary romance readers who like second chance reunion romcoms set in New Orleans with a solid faith element in the story.

Many thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for the advanced reader copy.

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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! 5 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I also purchased a copy. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is light.

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“In hindsight, scheduling my first routine mammogram on my fortieth birthday may not have been a wise choice” (location 52). I really enjoyed this book. It’s rare to find a book where the main characters are in their 40s or older. I laughed at Julia’s comments about her aging body. I could relate. It may not be as funny to a younger reader.

I loved Samuel. His humor made me smile over and over. “If we’re disclosing things, you should know I’m missing an eye. The last time you kissed me, I had both eyes” (location 4395). HA The way he served and persisted while facing opposition was incredible.

I appreciated the reminder that we should stop looking at what we can handle and instead look at what God can do.

This was a fun story of a second chance at love. I hope the author has more middle-aged heroines. It was refreshing and different.
Thank you to Bethany House for providing me with a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

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Julia Monroe Begins Again had me hooked from the very beginning. The author definitely has a way of pulling a reader in and making them feel like they're there! I loved the setting, as it's about as far from the overcast Pacific Northwest as you can get.

Julia is a widow of 10 years who just crossed a personal landmark: she turned 40. After having spent the past 10 years focused on her two sons, both boys are out of the house and enrolled in a college several hours away. As a new empty-nester, Julia is trying to fill her time with her cleaning business. She is trying to settle into her life alone when a blast from the past comes waltzing into her church. As someone who had a very bad past relationship around the same age as Julia, and had a similar horrible outcome in that relationship, I can see why she would have such a volatile reaction to seeing her ex-boyfriend in her church home.

Samuel Reed is a former Green Beret, who moved to be closer to his family after serving 20+ years in the Air Force. He finds himself a new member of his 20+ years ex-girlfriend's church, hoping to not just make amends over there past relationship, but possibly have a second chance with her. Only time and hard work will tell if he can win her over!

Rebekah Millet has delivered a fantastic Christian fiction debut novel, with sweet romance that will knock your socks off. As a woman who just turned 40 this year myself, it was wonderful to read a story about a woman my age. Watching Julia and Samuel navigate their past and their future together was so much fun, seeing how the story played out. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series, and I'm really hoping its about Kate!

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

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Overall, I enjoyed this story. The humor was snappy and fun, with Julia fighting the attraction to her high school sweetheart. I thought that the author did a wonderful job of writing the story from a widow's standpoint, with the pros and cons.

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Rebekah Millet’s Julia Monroe Begins Again is a heart-melting contemporary romance debut you are simply going to love.

Julia has just turned forty and she wants to look forward, not back. With the last decade having been fraught with trauma and sorrow, having been left a widow with two young sons, Julia wants a fresh start and a chance to begin again. With her boys off to college, Julia intends to use her free time to expand her cleaning business, however, it seems that God might have other plans for her when Samuel Reed comes back to town and begins to provide her with the kind of distraction she certainly does not need!

Twenty years ago, Samuel had broken her heart into a million tiny pieces and having had her fair share of pain and anguish, Julia is not prepared to go through all that rigmarole all over again. Julia fully intends to give Samuel a wide berth and to avoid him, but that proves far easier said than done – thanks to a best friend who is intent on throwing the two of them together at every turn! It isn’t long before all those old feelings begin to resurface, but is Julia ready to take a chance on love again? Could Samuel provide her with the happiness she never thought she would experience again? Or should Julia put her heart firmly under lock and key and refuse to have anything to do with Samuel ever again?

Rebekah Millet’s Julia Monroe Begins Again is a witty, charming and hugely enjoyable romantic comedy that left me with a massive smile on my face. A captivating tale sprinkled with hope and heart, Julia Monroe Begins Again is a story about second chances, renewal and falling in love that made me laugh and cry and made me eager to read more terrific inspirational contemporary romantic comedies from Rebekah Millet.

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Julia Monroe Begins Again is the debut book of Rebekah Millet. Let me just say…it was funny, it was fascinating, it was fabulous!! Truly, I loved this book. I loved her theme of love and forgiveness and that people can change. If this is what she writes for her debut, I can’t even imagine how amazing her next books will be. And now, I need a sack of beignets!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions expressed are completely my own.

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I can’t remember the last time I read a novel where the heroine could almost be a mirror to myself, and Julia is in my figurative reflection. We are the same age, we both have two boys that are embarking on their adult life, and the uncertainty of our futures as empty nesters yawns wide. Reading Julia’s take had me wondering what’s in store for the next phase of my life while at the same time getting me excited about the possibilities.

Julia’s quick wit was what really won me over with this novel. Her inner dialogue is so relatable and the zingers she shares with those around her is also quite entertaining. The wit and humor on every page kept the story fun and light, and I appreciated the fact that it was told from Julie’s perspective alone. So many times in romcoms you get multiple narrators that can muddle the narrative but with Julia Monroe you get the ins and outs of her psyche and I was living for it!

I also enjoyed witnessing Samuel pursue Julia. There is something so charming about persistence, especially when it’s paired with charm and grace, and getting to see the will they/won’t they of their second chance relationship was pretty true to life. It’s hard to know if someone has really changed, and stepping out in faith as you learn to trust someone that has broken that trust is a hard concept, and reading Julia’s struggle was about as real as you can get.

There are moment in this novel that had me giggling to myself, and other parts that were so utterly magical that they took my breath away. This was such a good story that I fought to put down. This character-driven novel oozes charm and heart, and shows the magic that can happen when you let go and step out in faith.

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Congratulations to Rebekah Millet on publishing her debut novel, Julia Monroe Begins Again. An avid reader and enthusiastic champion of authors, her first novel is outstanding.

Simply described, it's a romcom with a 40-something hero and heroine attempting a second-chance romance ... but it's so much more. The plot, set in New Orleans, includes everyday real world stuff (on page 1, Julia the heroine just had a mammogram), a hunky hero, a colorful cast of supporting characters, witty banter, and an organic and ever-present thread of faith.

Readers of this book will understand these phrases:
- Beignets and cafe au lait
- Chewy the demon dog
- Testosterone Truck
- Pervy Pete
- The Jan Brady of patio furniture
- Tattoo peek-a-boo

I loved everything about this story; I was laughing with the humor on one page and worried about the hero and heroine's happily-ever-after on the next. It includes some heavy, realistic themes which makes it very relatable, and also a swoony hero who makes awesome guacamole.

This is book 1 in the Beignets for Two series, and I hope Julia's best friend Kate is the heroine of book 2. I want her bookstore/cafe/event venue to exist in real life!

I received a complimentary copy of the ebook from the publisher and was under no obligation to write a positive review.

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At 40 years old, having raise two wonderful young men, and successfully run her own small business, Julia Monroe wonders if there might still be more out there for her. When into her life walks her former flame Sam, a retired Green Beret.

I'll just be straightforward, this wasn't a good fit for me. I really liked Sam and Julia as individuals, they have both come a long way and accomplished many great things, but being together just didn't bring out the best in either. The story seemed drawn out, and I wasn't connecting much with Julia, the secondhand embarrassment was strong.

There were good themes of trusting God to hold the reins of the future, as well as some great and supportive side characters. There were also good themes of forgiveness and faith.

Overall, this just wasn't the one for me. I really wanted to like it, because I love "older heroines" and love later in live. I can see where many others will likely differ in their opinions and that is great, but it just wasn't for me.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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What an amazing debut by Rebekah Millet! I loved the Southern, sassy, quirky Julia who’s a widow in her 40’s faced with the past and overcoming her fears when it comes to romance and business. It’s a unique read with a not-so-typical heroine. She’ll definitely cause you to feel a gamut of strong emotions which the writer does an excellent job eliciting, proving she’s someone to watch out for.

Julia Monroe lost her husband Mark 10 years ago. She truly loved him and had two sons with him who are now in their late teens and attending college. But before Mark, there was Samuel Reed. After more than 20 years, she spots him at her church and suddenly the pain, heartache, and betrayal she never forgot is pushed to the forefront. Samuel seems to have changed, but can she reconcile Samuel 2.0 with the Samuel from her past.

As she struggles with forgiveness, she also struggles with real fears and anxiety. She’s so afraid of loss, that she isn’t willing to give Samuel a chance or pursue a business opportunity for her homemade cleaning products. Enter her friend Kate. Everyone should have a friend like Kate who pushes Julia and helps her see what God has been trying to show her all along.

Samuel’s a former Green Beret who lost an eye. He’s gone through a lot in those 20 years he’s been away. He’s definitely matured and is infinitely patient. He recognizes the spark between him and Julia that’s still alive and well, but realizes he’s hurt her deeply. He doesn’t want to give up on her, but he might have to in order to respect her wishes.

It’s a heartfelt, funny, poignant, raw story of loss, second chances, romance, overcoming fears, and forgiveness. Told from Julia’s perspective, I found myself sometimes uncomfortable in her head. She’s opinionated, quick to judge, and flippantly funny. But, she’s also a caring mom, and someone who’s trying to do the right thing. For anyone who’s experienced miscarriages, loss of a spouse, or other deeply traumatic events, it’s easy to sympathize with Julia’s fears. I loved the way things finally resolved in the story. If you’re frustrated with Julia, give her a chance. She might just surprise you.

For an authentic Southern experience, I recommend listening to the audiobook version. The narrator does a great job capturing all the characters, especially Julia and really brings this story to life.

Highly recommend to Christian Women’s Fiction, Christian romcom, and Chick Lit fans. Looking forward to reading more books by this author. I received an advanced complimentary copy from the publisher but also purchased the audiobook version. All opinions are my own and voluntarily provided. 4-4.5 stars

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For every person who has wrestled with themselves over something in life, Julia Monroe Begins Again by Rebekah Millet will resonate with you.

Millet’s debut will charm readers as they meet Julia and her friends then her first love. Julia is such a real and relatable character. Yes, she sometimes comes across as much younger than her forty years, but don’t we all revert to our does he or doesn’t he teenage selves once in a while (and the debate doesn’t even have to be about a person for me!).

This book had me laughing out loud many times as well as commiserating with Julia or siding with Samuel. I loved all the characters in this book. Julia’s best friend and her sons and her mother. Samuel’s daughter and cantankerous father.

And if you are an audiobook listener, do not miss this one. The narrator did a terrific job bringing these characters to life with her voice.

You will forget that Julia Monroe Begins Again is so well written, you’ll forget that this is Millet’s debut.

Disclosure statement: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book and was not required to write a positive or negative review. All opinions are my own.

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The highlights for me of this read were the faith element and the Nola setting (since I've visited there once before)!

I've seen Millet's name (IIRC) in the acknowledgements of a number of fave authors' books, so was excited to hear about this release, her debut novel. It started off strong, and I did enjoy all the Gilmore Girls (and a number of other pop-culture) references! But the read fizzled for me about halfway through, and I found myself skimming to the end to find out what happened. It felt a lot longer of a read than 347 pages, frankly, and I felt it could benefit from some tightening up. The characters were okay, but "not really my favorite" (to borrow from my nephew), and some of the more romantic moments were pretty darn descriptive for my taste, heh.

I might pick up a future book, especially if the Nola location continues, but probably won't rush to do so.

I received an eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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Julia Monroe is a 40-year-old widow and mother to two children away at college who cleans houses trying to make ends meet.

She has raised her kids on her own for the past decade and romance was not on her radar until Sam, the guy who broke her heart in college comes back into the picture. Will Julia be able to forgive and move past her heartache and give love another chance? This book takes you on that journey. Forgiveness and redemption are major themes in this book and there is LOTS of witty humor. To be a debut novel, this book was impressive and I can’t wait to see what else Rebekah Millet has in store.

I would say this book is clean-ish. There are a few innuendos in the book so I will give a caution there.

But overall cute book with faith themes. If you like second-chance romance trope, relatable characters and a good laugh, read this book 😍

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Book Review : JULIA MONROE BEGINS AGAIN by Rebekah Millet

While I didn't immediately connect with the story, I ultimately found myself thoroughly enjoying this debut novel. Julia's initial grudge and subsequent behavior towards Samuel were off-putting, but as more of her backstory was revealed, I was able to give her a second chance. Her past experiences had a profound impact on her, shaping her reactions to Samuel's reappearance. Their banter was incredibly entertaining. Samuel's undeniable sweetness slowly chipped away at Julia's carefully constructed defenses.

The family dynamics were compelling. I found Conner and Mason's playful teamwork to support their mother particularly endearing. Their love and understanding for her were evident as they sought her happiness. Julia's compassion extended beyond her family, as her cleaning ministry and interactions with the elderly, including her mother, demonstrated her big heart.

This heartwarming second-chance story proved to be a worthwhile read. I found the Christian themes of forgiveness interwoven throughout the narrative to be particularly uplifting. I look forward to more works by this author.

Rating: 4.5 ⭐
Pub date: Oct 1, 2023

Thank you Bethany House Publishers for the complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

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