Authentically, Izzy

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Pub Date 15 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 15 Dec 2022

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Dear Reader, My name is Isabelle Louisa Edgewood—Izzy, for short. I live by blue-tinted mountains, where I find contentment in fresh air and books. Oh, and coffee and tea, of course. And occasionally in being accosted by the love of my family. (You’ll understand my verb choice in the phrase later.) I dream of opening my own bookstore, but my life, particularly my romantic history, has not been the stuff of fairy tales. Which is probably why my pregnant, misled, matchmaking cousin—who, really, is more like my sister—signed me up for an online dating community.

The trouble is . . . it worked. I’ve met my book-quoting Mr. Right, and our correspondence has been almost too good to be true. But Brodie lives across an ocean. And just the other day, a perfectly nice author and professor named Eli came into the library where I work and asked me out for a coffee. I feel a rom-com movie with a foreboding disaster nipping at my heels.

But I’ve played it safe for a long time. Maybe it’s time for me to be as brave as my favorite literary heroines. Maybe it’s time to take the adventures from the page to real life. Wish me luck.



  • Witty, hilarious, and heartwarming contemporary romance about book lovers
  • A sweet, kisses-only romance
  • An epistolary novel written mostly in emails and texts
  • Stand-alone novel
  • Book length: approximately 105,000 words
  • Includes discussion questions for book clubs

Dear Reader, My name is Isabelle Louisa Edgewood—Izzy, for short. I live by blue-tinted mountains, where I find contentment in fresh air and books. Oh, and coffee and tea, of course. And occasionally...

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ISBN 9780840714985
PRICE $16.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 541 members

Featured Reviews

Oh what a perfectly adorable and delight read Authentically Izzy is! Pepper Basham, your characters and writing have my heart.

First of all, I adored the epistolary reading experience here with the text composed primarily of emails and text messages. It was done so well and didn’t feel jilted at all while reading. The storytelling is pure gold and I loved the wit and humor worked into it all. Basham’s writing is truly a notch above in every way! Not to mention my absolute Iove for these characters, particularly Izzy and how relatable she was.

This is a romance that gives you all the feels without being cheesy and just so charming, fun, and enjoyable! It was everything I needed in my reading life and is one I highly recommend picking up if you’re in the mood for a clean, feel-good romance read! Bravo, bravo!!!

Many thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for the gifted e-copy!

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I absolutely loved this book. It hooked me and kept me turning pages until I was done. Finished it in two days! The character development was strong, and the premise was unique enough that it didn't feel like anything else I've read.

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Let’s just get one thing straight: Pepper Basham knows how to write fantastic books. Here she is offering up a partially epistolary story (a style that I would never have read by anyone else) and she MADE ME LOVE THIS STYLE!!! Y’all, it has loads of book references, snarky wit, snappy dialogue, awesome characters, and a sweet and swoony romance that will curl your toes. I loved the emails and the texts that filled the pages and brought these characters to full color life. I love the lessons learned and the real, raw conversations that, while sometimes painful, needed to be had. I loved the journey of love for Brodie and Izzy and how it made them better. Essentially, I loved the whole book - every page. I even messaged Pepper the second I finished it to tell her how amazing it is. So, please, please, please, please, please!!! Go get this book so you can enjoy it too. I promise, no regrets.

I received this temporary complimentary E-book from the author via NetGalley. I am not required by anyone to write a positive review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.

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I could not be more pleasantly surprised with this book! I LOVED it! I could not put it down! Thank you Ms Basham! I have found a new author that has sent me to the moon with her witty banter and her perfectly perfect descriptions of finding that perfect for you lines! I was dying and can not wait for Penelope's story and hope there is one for Luke! I fell in love with the lovely island and the fun small town in North Carolina! Thank you so much!

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This was a fun book by Pepper Basham. I liked that the story was told mostly through text and emails. I thought it was funny and gave a nice insight into each of the characters. I liked the romance in this book. I also really liked the characters and thought they were lovable and ones that I would like to be friends with. I also liked that Brody helped Izzy realize what she wanted to do and then supported her as she did it. I look forward to the next book in this series.

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

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"Authentically Izzy" is a heartwarming and delightful romance novel that is sure to charm readers. Izzy, the protagonist, is a relatable and likable character, and her love for books and her dream of opening her own bookstore will resonate with any book lover. The online dating aspect of the story adds a modern twist, while the long-distance romance creates a sense of longing and anticipation that will keep readers hooked. The writing is witty and engaging, with plenty of literary references and nods to classic rom-coms. Overall, "Authentically Izzy" is a feel-good read that is perfect for anyone looking for a little romance and adventure in their life.

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To move ahead and out of her dating bad luck, Izzy enrolls in an online dating service. This also appeases her adopted family of cousins who want to see her find love again. Izzy LOVES books and works as a librarian. She dreams of running her own bookshop, but that's a big commitment and she's still searching for her true place. Izzy also lives in Mt. Airy, NC which is an idyllic setting for this small town story. She's comfortable here and doesn't enjoy big cities. It doesn't take too long for a local blind date and a match on the online service to both be vying for Izzy's attention. Who will win out? The local professor and writer or the international mystery man.

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I absolutely adored this book. I should preface it by saying that it did take me a few minutes to get into the writing but that was because it's written as a series of emails and texts and it took me a few minutes to get used to that. Once I got into the book though I could not put it down. I had to find out what happened to Brodie and Izzy.

I really wanted to give that writer a thump upside the head though! How could he use Izzy that way!? And how could she not see it?

Within the book, it talks about an epistolary novel that Izzy recommends to someone. That's the type of novel this is. Though I had no idea about it until after reading through it. The first of its kind that I've read! I've read books that had letters within them but not ones that are entirely letters or emails or texts before.

I adored Izzy. I saw a lot of myself within her. She's shy and doesn't reach out to people. She prefers to be alone with her books! Umm, I should probably not show you the size of our bookshelves. LOL Add in her love of the classics and I feel we'd be best friends!

It was with great pleasure I learned that this is a series! Book two review coming soon too! I loved it just as much but now I really really need to know what happens to the rest of the siblings. I'm invested in this family! Also, can I please go visit the islands?!

I have voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received through Netgalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC regulations.

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All the nerdy love for this book! There are so many literary references, especially Lord of the Rings, that any reader will absolutely adore. I thought Izzy and Brodie just clicked so well. As a reader who doesn't have a reader husband, I was kind of jealous of their mutual love of books. (ha! just kidding, mostly. Of course I love my husband) The introduction of Eli was meh. He didn't feel like competition to me. Then the descriptions of Skymar?? All the heart eyes! If Izzy isn't going to up and move to Skymar with Brodie, I will! It sounded so amazing and I was kind of sad it doesn't exist because I couldn't look up pictures.

I will say, I struggled to get into this book at first. I found the epistolary format difficult to read. I was reading an ebook version (which I'm normally a fan of) but something just told me this style of book would probably be better in physical format so I went out and finally bought a physical copy. Then I devoured it. So if you're normally an ebook person (or someone who reads a mix of formats like me) and the electronic copy of this book doesn't do it for you, try the paperback version! A lot of the book is told through emails and texts but there are also large parts in a traditional narrative style, which I was grateful for.

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Okay, so this book has been at the top of my TBR pile for months. I never meant to wait this long to read this bookish story from one of my favorite authors but life(insert shoulder shrug here). I finally read it yesterday and let me just say I DEVOURED it. It was such a charming story that immediately captured my heart and attention. I lost count early on at the laugh out loud moments or the smiles it brought to my face. I WANT A BRODIE!! I have a new book boyfriend after this story(with apologies to my husband :D ). He is charming, a bookstore owner, and from a fabulous island that I really wish was real-I'd be planning a trip to visit! Izzy is adorable and her conversations with her cousins are a hoot! I can't wait for Penelope and Luke to get their own stories!!

P.S. I love all the bookish mentions in this story-especially two personal favorite books that got shoutouts. "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

P. P. S. These will make sense if/when you read the book! :D

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Oh my stars! This delightful romcom felt like a cozy hug for my book loving heart!
Pepper Basham is one of my absolute favorite authors, and if she writes it I know I’m gonna love it! I have been so excited about this book since long before it released, but just finally had a chance to get to it, and wow what a joyful journey this book took me on!
My life story is definitely not the same as Izzy’s, but I related to her in so many ways. Her love of fictional characters, and her journey of learning to let her authentic self shine through really hit home for me and touched my heart in so many ways!
Brodie is an amazing swoon-worthy hero who I fell head over heels in love with! I almost never picture book characters in any specific way when I’m reading, however in Brodie’s case JJ Feild circa Austenland kept coming to mind, and I’m definitely not mad about it! Hear that Mr. Feild, if you can pull off a Scottish accent then please keep your schedule open for when this book becomes a movie! BTW Hollywood, you need to get on that ASAP!
I also loved the secondary characters, especially Luke!
As with everything Pepper Basham writes Authentically, Izzy put a smile on my face, had me laughing out loud, and made my heart swell to the point of overflowing with joy!
I know that epistolary novels (those told through letters, emails, etcetera) aren’t everyone’s jam, but personally they’re one of my favorite things, and I loved this one so very much!
I ADORED every second of Authentically, Izzy! It is one of my favorite reads of 2023, and I most highly recommend it!

P.S. the audiobook is AMAZING and one of my all time favorites! If you’re into audiobooks you need to read this one!

P.P.S. you also need the paperback for your keeper shelf, and if you read ebooks you need that too. This is one of those stories that one needs to own in as many formats as possible!

I received a complimentary ebook copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.
My review was not influenced in any way. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.

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Authentically, Izzy

by Pepper Basham

There are many enjoyable, bookish novels that have a bookshop or library setting or feature a writer, book club, or writer’s retreat. That kind of book appeals to me, and I have read a lot of them. Authentically, Izzy, however, is the most delightful and thoroughly bookish story I have encountered; and because it is epistolary (emails and texts), the reader finds that words, quotes, and puns play a major role.

I smiled and laughed my way through the tale of shy library assistant Isabelle in the Appalachians who, despite having her heart truly and fully broken two times, is convinced by her cousin Josie into going on blind dates and using an online dating service. An added complication is that Izzy grew up with her cousins after the untimely death of her parents. They are wonderful people, but Izzy has never been quite sure of her role as a cousin/sister.

Brodie, whose family has a chain of bookstores on the island kingdom of Skymar near Great Britain, signs on to the same service. His initial goal is to entice someone to come work in his country. Brodie is single, good looking, speaks English with an adorable accent, and is a book aficionado. His family could use the financial stipend their country offers to citizens who hire employees from outside the country to fund his little sister’s much needed surgery and to shore up their bookstore chain. Employment would be the incentive, but could romance be an added bonus?

Reading the interactions of these two total book nerds is an absolute delight, but there are many barriers to a happily ever after. They include a fear of flying, a long distance courtship, and a professor/author in the U.S. who is also pursuing Izzy. There are hints that certain potentially disastrous situations will catch up with the couple. One reveal happens fairly soon, but then the reader is left waiting for the other shoe to drop. What a pleasurable suspense! It is impossible to read this book without hoping for all to work out well in the end!

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

Rating: 5/5

Category: Romance, Christian Fiction

Notes: This book is considered a standalone, but another epistolary novel will be published in August 2023, that focuses on Izzy’s cousin/sister: Positively, Penelope. I can’t wait to read it!

Publication: November 15, 2022—Thomas Nelson

Memorable Lines:

I have found fiction to meet me at the most poignant of times in my life. I learned the power of imagination through Narnia and the intimacy of true friendship in The Lord of the Rings. I found courage from Atticus Finch and an unexpected camaraderie with Emma’s Knightley…Fiction, at its best, speaks to the heart.

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” Can you believe Charles Dickens wrote that? I always thought of him as a dreary sort of fellow since he seemed to spend so much time thinking about ghosts and orphans and women who wear wedding gowns for much too long.

(Why do I keep renewing my passport if I’ve never used it? I think something needs to change. After all, Josephine says flying is the safest way to travel, though I’d prefer a magical wardrobe or even a portkey.)

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Title: Authentically Izzy

Author: Pepper D Basham

Pg: 415

Series: Skymar 1

Genre: Christian Rom Com

Rating: 5 stars

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Authentically Izzy by Pepper D Basham is a rom com that is written in emails, letters and texts. As well as standard novel format. It’s also one they I listened to as well as read. I listened to the first half because it helped to make the emails and letters make sense. While reading the second half.

Izzy was an easy character to relate to. As a fellow book worm. But what made me love Izzy the most is that she had my career as a library assistant. That is the first time, I’ve ever seen it as a career in books let alone a rom com. For readers who don’t like love triangle there’s hints of one in the book, but it is only a hint. While most readers will easily fall for the guy Izzy’s falling for. But not me, I was falling for Izzy’s cousin Luke. What can I say I love a guy in flannel with a southern accent.

I enjoyed Authentically Izzy but I am looking forward to the next two, especially Luke’s story.

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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I can't remember if I've read anything written by Pepper Basham before, but I know I have a bunch of her books tagged as "Want to Read". Authentically Izzy was a delight. I wasn't sure about the format at first, but when I listened to the audio version, it brought the characters to life, and made everything coalesce into a wonderful romantic comedy.

Izzy Edgewood has been unlucky in love, to the point that her family is worried about her disappearing into the books she reads voraciously. They know she's funny, full of great quotes, and a complete Lord of the Rings aficionado, but how is she ever going to meet anyone new when she's buried in her books? When her pregnant cousin takes matters into her own hands and signs Izzy up for an online dating community, Izzy is furious. She has no plans to even open the app, but finally succumbs to her cousin's nagging. One man captures her imagination with his bookish references to The Hobbit and witty responses to her emails. Could her Mr. Right really be "just across the pond" in the tiny island nation of Skymar?

Brodie Sutherland is intrigued by Izzy's devotion to books. His family owns the largest and oldest bookstore on Skymar, so he understands her better than any other woman he's ever met. Their instant connection thrills him but he feels a bit guilty, since he only got on the Heart-to-Heart site for monetary gain. Skymar's government is offering money to any citizen who can bring new residents to their country and the money would go a long way toward giving new life to the family business. The more Brodie gets to know Izzy, the less the money matters. Can he convince Izzy - who hates to fly - to come to Skymar for a visit, and if she comes, will she stay?

This book was beyond fun to read or to listen to. I loved the family dynamics between Izzy and her cousins Josephine, Luke, and Penelope. Each personality explodes off the page, and I can't wait to read the next installment, Positively Penelope!!! Readers who love romantic comedy that is completely swoony, will love this story. I highly recommend!!

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