Saturday, May 21, 2016

"someone like you" by victoria bylin

A second chance at first love. A new faith. A manipulative ex. A business that's taking off. Julia Dare's life looks nothing like she'd once imagined, but it could end up being sweeter than she'd dreamed possible.

Single mom Julia Dare has a lot on her plate.

A brand new Christian, Julia is busy trying to run her own business, spend time with her widowed mother, and raise her young son, Max, despite his father's less-than-ideal influence on him. When a big account from her event-planning business sends her to the Caliente Springs resort, she's shocked to come face-to-face with Zeke Monroe, the resort's general manager and her college sweetheart.

With his faith in tatters, Zeke Monroe is determined to keep the historic Caliente Springs resort running despite financial difficulties. But when Julia walks back into his life, he can't ignore the feelings she stirs up. As they work together on an important client's dream wedding, the fate of the resort soon depends on their success. When Zeke and Julia are pushed to their limits both personally and professionally, will their history put up walls between them or bring them together?

Someone Like You is a story of reconnection, of lost and found faith. In college, Julia was an unbeliever who wanted nothing to do with God and didn't believe in lasting love. Zeke was the Christian missionary kid who fell in love with her and compromised his beliefs to be with her. Six years later, their paths cross again, only this time, Julia is a new Christian with a young son and frustrating ex, and Zeke, still feeling like a failure over past mistakes, isn't quite sure what happened to his faith. As they reconnect, it's quickly apparent that the sparks are still there, but this time it's Julia who is hesitant to become involved with someone whose faith isn't what it should be.

While Someone Like You is a compelling story with a sweet romance, the aspect that really stands out is the characters. Every character, from Julia and Zeke to the smallest supporting character, feels like a real person. This is especially true of Julia's ex-boyfriend Hunter. Hunter is clearly a terrible person, and he could easily slip into an over-the-top, melodramatic bad guy role. Instead, he is a manipulative narcissist who probably resembles someone you know in real life.

Someone Like You also contains a secondary romance involving Julia's mom, and it's so sweet. I love reading about older characters falling in love!

The only thing I didn't absolutely love about the novel was the resolution with Hunter. It didn't strike me as wholly believable, whereas everything else seemed like it could happen in real life.

That's a minor quibble, though; overall, I loved Someone Like You. I've been hearing about Bylin's writing for a few years now, but this is the first of her novels that I've read. I can guarantee it won't be the last! 4-1/2 stars.

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Victoria Bylin writes contemporary and historical romances known for their realistic, relatable characters. Her work has finaled in contests such as the Carol Awards, the RITAs, and the RT Reviewers' Choice Award. A native of California, she and her husband now make their home in Lexington, Kentucky.

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Enter Victoria Bylin's 5-Book Giveaway!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. 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."

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