Cover Image: Julia Monroe Begins Again

Julia Monroe Begins Again

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Member Reviews

This is a sweet story about second chances as well as the importance of forgiveness. Julia dated Samuel in college, however, the relationship did not end well. Eventually Julia met Mark, who she married and together they raised two sons until his untimely, sudden death, leaving her to raise their 8 and 9-year-old boys alone. Now the boys are both in college and Julia is busy with church activities, friends, and her cleaning business. She has never dated since Mark died.
What a shock to see Samuel in her church one Sunday. She cleverly avoids him; however, he is back the next Sunday. It has been twenty years since he broke up with her and seeing him again brings back many feelings, she has never dealt with including anger and the feeling of betrayal. Unable to continue to avoid him, they finally speak, and Julia realizes Samuel has turned his life around and is a Christian. Although Samuel helps her with her cleaning ministry, does many thoughtful things for her, she is not willing to forgive the past or even agree to be friends.
There are many delightful, interesting, unforgettable characters in this delightful, heartwarming story. Startling secrets are revealed and a few times I had to pause while I laughed out loud.
This is a beautifully written story of forgiveness, second chances and the importance of seeking God’s guidance in all areas of our lives. I would love a second book that would continue this charming story. I found it difficult to put down until the last page was turned, although I was not ready for the story to end.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. All comments and opinions are my own.

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Unfortunately, this book has every single romance trope that I don't like.

Julia Monroe is a 40 year old widow and mother to 2 boys. Her boys are at college, she is living with her dog, and cleaning houses with her homemade products. Before she was married, in her 20's, she was head over heels in love with a guy. The guy didn't want to commit, so he left.

Present day, she is at church and sees her old flame there. We follow the progression of her second chance romance with him and her struggle to forgive him for leaving all those years ago.

I truly thought that I was going to like this book. The synopsis and the cover drew me in.
The first scene was excellent! I felt endeared to Julia Monroe and wanted to see more of her life.

However...

I soon realized that her quirky personality actually just felt like immaturity and lack of social awareness. The more I was in her head and reading her thoughts, the more I couldn't stand her. I can see that it was trying to be funny, but I was more so embarrassed by her behavior as a 40 year old woman with 2 sons who had been married for a significant time. It didn't match up.

Then comes the guy and the romance. First of all, she clearly hasn't forgiven him and wants nothing to do with him. Fine - forgiveness is hard. But the way she goes round in her head hating him but also being physically attracted to him drove me nuts. As an almost 30 year old reading about this 40 year old, I saw nothing in her thoughts or behaviour that inspired me, endeared me, or encouraged me about getting older.

The romance itself was so cringe! He was trying to be all cool and suave by ignoring her pleas to stay away. He just knew she still had feelings. Ew. Like dude, back off. It was such a turn off for me. The "hate to love" trope makes no sense in this setting because her words are saying - I don't trust you. Stay away from me. And he is saying - I know you still find me attractive; give me a second chance. NO. There was no cute resisting here, Julia straight up told him. Grrr.

The Christian content was fine. It was refreshing to see her going to church. She prayed here and there and she had a nice come to Jesus moment. This was overshadowed by everything I wasn't liking though.

I got 83% in. I had to quit after she had a conversation in the car with her sons. The boys are letting her know that they are ok with her dating again and they like this guy who's been hanging around.
Julia's reaction to her sons being so clear and mature about their feelings and their mom's life had me closing my ereader and deciding to dnf. I wasn't enjoying it and I didn't want to read about Julia Monroe anymore.

This is likely a case of it's me and the tropes not the book. If you enjoy reading hate to love, second chance romance then this might be a fun time for you. I just really don't like those tropes.

I won't be rating it since I didn't finish it. I hope others have a better time than I did.


I was given a free ebook copy by NetGalley and Bethany House to give an honest review.

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Although the book was decent, it didn't completely meet my expectations. Julia Monroe, a young widow who raised two children on her own in the last decade, has recently turned forty and is optimistic about starting anew. Now that her boys are in college, she sees this decade as an opportunity for a fresh start. Second chance romance.

I was really hoping to enjoy this book, but I just couldn't connect with the main characters, especially Julia. As someone who's a bit older, her behavior and thoughts seemed a bit immature to me. Unfortunately, the humor fell flat and I didn't find any of it funny. Additionally, the dialogue and romantic parts were cringe. All the references to the hero's physique and lusty desires seemed excessive for a Christian romance, overshadowing the intended Christian message.

An alright read, but it didn't personally resonate with me. While it may not have been a perfect match for my preferences, I believe it could certainly appeal to others.

Thank you, NetGalley and Bethany House Publisher for providing me with an eARC. All opinions are my own.

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Funny, touching and real. I loved reading Rebekah Millet’s second chance romance, Julia Monroe Begins Again. The cast of characters includes Julia who stalks her kids at college via her phone (doesn’t every mom do that)? Julia has renegade gray hairs in her eyebrows (the struggle is real) and has come up with some of the wittiest comebacks and quips in her head that I need to add to my vocabulary (“Cat litter clumps”). Add to the mix Julia’s mom (imagine Thelma “Mama” Harper from Mama’s Family, but crankier), a territorial dog intent on gnawing the Achillies heel off the hero of the story, Julia’s two protective and charming sons plus Julia’s ride or die bestie and you have a full story that pulls you in for the highs and lows of Julia’s journey. Five Stars for this funny, faith filled debut novel by Rebekah Millet.

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Loved EVERYTHING about this book. It has a wonderfully unique setting (New Orleans!), a delightful older(ish) heroine, a Godly alpha male hero (former military, not a jerk) and some very touching real life moments as well mixed in with chuckles and laughs.

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In ALL my years of writing reviews for books, this one is the most special to me. And that’s saying something because I’ve read a LOT of books and written a ton of reviews.

I love this book. I love this author. If you’re like me and are SO ready for a fresh take on reunion romance WITH slightly older MCs, this one’s for you! Having recently turned 40, I appreciated reading a story featuring a heroine the same age. There was just so much I could relate to. And really that’s what makes this book all the more awesome. To me relatability is huge. I understood Julia’s struggles, identified with her emotional responses to the changes in her life.

Not to mention, there’s banter galore! Fun moments that balance wonderfully with heavier ones. Romance with sparks yet remains God-honoring. And a beautiful faith thread that refreshes the heart!

Seriously go read this one! It’s my top fave of the year!

I received a copy from netgalley. My opinions are my own.

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Julia Monroe is the mother of two boys who have graduated from high school and are starting college. 10 years ago, her husband passed away unexpectedly. Julia threw herself into her work and concentrated on her children. By doing this she was able to grow her cleaning business, develop her connection with God, and broaden every aspect of her church ministry, all the while focusing on her young boys. She was feeling great until she ran across her ex-Green Beret boyfriend (in church no less), she wasn't sure how resilient she would stay. It had been twenty years since he dumped her, and they hadn’t spoken to or seen each other since.

Julia is refusing Samuel Reed's attempts to mend their relationship now that he is back in his hometown. They still have issues with one another. Will they be able to put their differences behind them and forgive one another? Julia is not optimistic, but Samuel is.

I was rooting for the pair to get together since it was such an authentic connection. The author did a terrific job of illuminating for us that a small act of forgiveness can give us joy, freedom, and grace that can heal our soul and change everything.

I liked the topics it explored and the organic spiritual thread, I enjoyed the likeable and unlikeable characters, the touching moments, and the humor, which frequently made me smile and laugh aloud. I adored the characters, their situations, and how they evolved as this story unfolded.

This story makes for a great escape and one that would be wonderful for a book club pick. There is so much to discuss. I adored how this story was told, it’s a sweet romance about forgiveness, and second chances. I now count this author among my favorites. This was a wonderful debut novel. This author is one to watch.

Disclosure Material Connection: I requested and received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!
The Book Club Network blog https://psalm516.blogspot.com/

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Julia Monroe Begins Again is a delightful story that brings the flavours and senses of New Orleans to life. In this first person narrative, we catch a glimpse of a woman who has been through much, and continues to wrestle with much as her past and present worlds collide. Julia's internal monologue is hilariously captivating and draws readers into relatable life circumstances. It is refreshing that Julia and Samuel are older and that through the mistakes they've made, they have learnt to become stronger as a result. Julia's sons provide another glimpse into the person that she is, and a dose of realism into what being a single parent can be like. Julia's friend, Kate, is the type of supportive friend that we could all use, allowing Julia to flourish and come into being herself.

Rebekah Millet shines in keeping readers engaged in rooting for her characters as she brilliantly captures the fears, doubts, and questions that can enter our minds. This redemption story points towards Christ, and showcases His healing power in the midst of tragedy. Samuel is a model of forgiveness, patience, and self-sacrifice, helping readers to see God's love exemplified through his character. There are a few gut-wrenching scenes in this book that the author empathetically works through, adding layers of depth to this story. Going through these emotions with the characters really brought this story home, especially around the themes of loss, grief, and disappointment. Julia Monroe Begins Again shows that all of us have the opportunity to begin again in life through God's help and comfort.

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This is a quick, sweet book about a mom that has become an empty nester. Julia is widowed and sees her first love in front of her at church. This causes some extreme feelings for poor Julia. Her and Samual's breakup 20 years ago, left her heartbroken. And events that happened after that breakup left her hurting in ways that only few know about.

I loved that Samuel was so invested in making amends with Julia. I loved that he volunteered and made an effort to get on better terms with Julia's mother and to get to know her sons. They boys, Connor and Mason, paying to have a porch put on Julia's house was the perfect way to force Julia and Samuel together. She really got to see up close and personally how he had matured and became a man she could truly trust and rely on.

Julia's sons were wonderful young men. I loved how much faith they had in their mother. They pushed her to do her dream of starting a cleaning product. I also thought that Brooke, Samuel's daughter, was lovely. She grew up without her mom being fully present but Samuel and his family gave her all the love and support she needed.

I understood Julia' s hurt in finding out about Brooke's mom and I really liked the way it resolved itself. A nice sweet, clean romance that I would recommend to anyone.


Thank you to Bethany House, NetGalley and LibraryThing for the ARC of this book. All opinions expressed are my own. year

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What a pleasant surprise to find this story was even more funny, sweet, and hard to put down than I'd ever have expected! Rebekah's debut novel is just delightful. Loved Samuel's character and Julie was so endearing and fun to read. There's a great balance between the sweet and flirtatious, the heavy and painful, and the unexpected humor--Rebekah gets it just right, and I'll gladly read her next book and recommend this one for those who enjoy rom-coms and would like a high-quality clean alternative to Emily Henry or Ali Hazelwood.

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I was gifted this book through LibraryThing and this review is freely given and my own opinions.

The book is a modern romance in the Christian genre. It is quite well written. Her powers of descriptive scenery are pretty well demonstrated. I've been to New Orleans so I could well visualize what she described.

The main characters were fairly well fleshed out. The story line was one where you know how it will end, you're just not sure how you will get to that ending.

The editing was not perfect but not distracting either.

If you want a pleasant, sometimes funny sometimes sad story, this is for you. I enjoyed this book and would recommend i.t to my friends. I give it a solid 4 out of 5-star review.

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I was surprised by the level of depth combined with the funny banter and witty dialog. But what left me feeling disappointed, was the lack of chemistry I felt between our two main characters. The book was a lot of “tell”, and not enough “show”.

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This book was so much more than I imagined it would be going in to it. The description caught my attention right from the beginning and I'm not sad one bit that I added this book to my overwhelmingly large TBR list.

This book had a large vibe of women's fiction mixed with a heaping dose of romantic tension, flirtations and real life situations. There is a lot of heavy in this one- grief, widowhood, unhealthy relationships, miscarriage and even a stalker situation in this book. The balance between the heavy and the not so heavy was perfectly rationed to also lend this into a contemporary romance situation and left me turning pages.

By the end I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

"Considering your reaction today, I think you may have some unresolved issues with him, which makes sense since he was your first great love."
"A great love? No." I reached for my door handle. "He was my worst love."

I loved the redemption aspect of this book. That underlying tone throughout is what made this book really sing for me. I loved the friendship between Julia and Kate. Good friends are good for the soul and this friendship was such a joy to read about.

The romance with Samuel was hilarious, heart wrenching at times an adorable. ALL OF THE FEELS for these two! There were some slight innuendos along the way and what I would consider mature content (still very much a clean read, just heavier topics than what I would recommend for young teens). I adored the genuine descriptions and thoughts of putting yourself back out into the dating world later on in life. The author had a great voice on this and I truly enjoyed reading it. The chemistry was great and the conflict believable and the desire for a HEA so real!

I'm excited to see what this author has to write next! I'll definitely be picking it up!

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the copy. All thoughts in this review are my own.

Content: death of a spouse, grief, miscarriage, unwed pregnancy, mentions of one night stands and lifestyle, slight innuendo, mild amount of religious exclamations (some as pleading prayers), religious undertones, redemption vibe, second chances, later in life main characters, taking chances, flirtations, swoony romance and kisses only.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for the ARC. All opinions are my own.

Julia Monroe Begins Again by Rebekah Millet is a story about second chances, learning to rely on God, and realizing that it’s good to dream big.

This story follows Julia and Samuel 20 years after their relationship ended in betrayal and secrets. Both have had to face huge obstacles, and because of that, they have grown in their faith.

It was so refreshing to read a romance about characters that were older (and somewhat more mature). I also really enjoyed how faith was woven throughout the story in a natural way. This story is different from anything I’ve read before, and I’m impressed considering this is the author’s debut novel.

Samuel was a complete sweetheart and honestly a dream guy now that he has overcome past mistakes. He was so thoughtful and kind to Julia even though she didn’t treat him that well.

Julia was a frustrating character. For her age, I felt that she could still be pretty immature at times (especially compared to Samuel and her best friend, Kate). I am glad that she grew throughout the story, but I hated how it took her so long to forgive for past mistakes when she herself made plenty of poor decisions in her own past.

I would recommend this story if you enjoy second chance romances with a slow burn, characters over 40, and characters that are Christians.

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Wow! This feel-good, exceptionally witty, sizzling chemistry yet clean romance novel is fantastic! Amazing to think that this is the debut book for its author, Rebekah Millet. I highly recommend Julia Monroe Begins Again to every reader who enjoys remarkable writing filled with amusing banter, family dynamics, friendship, and romance.

I was immediately pulled into the perfectly paced story of the multifaceted lives of Julia, her mother, and two sons; Samuel and his daughter; and Kate and her daughter. Within the pages of this story, the characters experience the gamut of emotions such as grief, loneliness, anxiety, freedom, excitement, forgiveness, and love.

Millet's storytelling weaves a tapestry of the Christian faith, the complex connections of family, the vivid warmth of friendship, and a gentle yet electrifying romance that honors boundaries.

The Christian faith content is a source of profound depth and inspiration, especially when Kate is involved. Several noteworthy and impactful scenes are racing through my mind as I write this review. One of my favorites is near the end of the book when Julia and Kate are being authentic Christian friends -- one of them reminds the other of God’s life-changing forgiveness, mercy, and grace that He extends to each of us. Just like other portions of this book, it is so relatable. Having a trustworthy friend who encourages me to keep God and His ways my focus as I constantly depend on Him is such an incredible gift.

As I draw this review to a close, I find it necessary to mention that, given my personal sensitivities and boundaries, I made a conscious choice to overlook the occasional use of coarse language and references to Marie Kondo.

I received an eARC of Julia Monroe Begins Again from Rebekah Millet, Bethany House Publishers, and NetGalley. I am neither obligated to write a positive review nor compensated for doing so. These words truly convey my assessment and authentic sentiments about this romance novel.


As directed, leading up 30 days of this book releasing, I will post this review to Goodreads, Amazon, BookBub, Barnes & Noble, BAM, Instagram, christianbook.com, and my blog. I will update this review and the associated links in a timely manner.

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Okay, this book was so swoon worthy, y’all! It was the perfect combo of witty banter and fiery chemistry while keeping it clean and classy.

Julia Monroe is a 40-year-old widowed mom whose life is turned upside down when her ex-boyfriend from college returns to New Orleans—and joins her church.

Given their history filled with heartbreak and betrayal, he’s the last person she wants to see, let alone be involved with. But Samuel Reed is intent on winning her back. Will Julia be able to let go of the past and open her heart to trusting Samuel again?

I loved this book! There’s something about characters with messy pasts whose lives have been turned around by the Lord that I can’t get enough of. (Probably because it’s my story too.)

As an almost 40-something, I loved that the characters were around my age. I also loved seeing Julia’s growth throughout the book. I’m hoping we see more of Julia and Sam! 👀😍

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If you want a feel-good book, then I highly recommend this delightful novel!
It has a little of something in it for everyone.
I love this new author she has really done a fantabulous job for this debut novel. I hope to see more from her.
Hats off to Julia! She's really something! Plus, I connected to Julia right away on most things! Just wow!
Samuel, too. I guess the Green Berets made him grow up some? He did make me giggle some but it was mostly Julia that did that!
Y'all just have to read this adventure and once you start you'll not be able to put it down!
Sometimes, it just takes life's journey and growing up to make people learn to appreciate each other and in God's timing, too.
Julia's mom r eminds me of my husband's mom, always ready to find fault with everyone but herself. Especially me.
My favorite thing about this book was that it was told from Julia's pov.
I also enjoyed the many themes scattered throughout this book.
I really can't recommend this book enough! Such a cute rom com!
5 stars for keeping me engaged and giggling throughout this story.
My thanks for a copy of this book from Netgalley and Bethany House!
I was NOT required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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I’ve been looking forward to reading Julia Monroe Begins Again. I love the cover and the colors. I love the description. And I really love that it’s an older protagonist starting over to pursue her dreams with a second chance at love. Julia Monroe fills me with hope and the book is witty to boot. Rebekah Millet is a debut author who has a very bright future.

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A delightful romance of rekindled love, including loss, forgiveness, hope, and how to trust again. I loved how Julia expressed her faith in God, and how this strand was integral to the story. I didn't like how owning a gun seemed to be assumed - a small quibble in an otherwise enjoyable read.

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JULIA MONROE BEGINS AGAIN by REBEKAH MIlLLET is a most enjoyable novel with hilarious moments as we follow Julia Monroe’s thoughts, emotions and conversations, even those she has with God, as she tries to understand why her philandering ex, Green Beret Samuel Reed, has shown up in her life after so many years. Underneath all this humour, the author shows us the depth of their emotional turmoil, beautifully balanced with a strong sense of God at work in their lives. Add to this Julia’s cantankerous, chain smoking mother, her equally cantankerous dog, Chewy, and Samuel’s rigid army veteran father, Teddy, to name a few! When her best friend Kate and her college going sons start pushing Julia in a direction that frightens her, we wonder how things are going to turn out between her and the devastatingly handsome and apologetic Samuel……
I absolutely loved this book and cannot recommend it highly enough. It is both an entertaining and inspirational read.
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Bethany House Publishers. The opinions in this review are completely my own.

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