Friday, May 12, 2017

"True to You" by Becky Wade

Once again, Becky Wade is responsible for an insanely late night...

I'm glad I stopped reading when I did (it was already 12:30 a.m.), as if I'd gone literally five more pages, I would've been unable to stop! (More on that later ...)

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he's diagnosed with an inherited condition, he's forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother. 

The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John's already dating someone and Nora's not sure she's ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they're seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

True to You is the first novel in Becky Wade's new Bradford Sisters series. This first book is middle sister Nora's story, though Willow and Britt (and their love interests) make appearances, too.

One of the hallmarks of a Becky Wade novel is well-developed characters, and that carries through to True to You. Nora and John, the former SEAL she falls in love with, are multi-faceted and interesting, as you would expect. But all of the characters—from the often-seen Britt and Willow to the minor minor characters like patrons of Nora's library—are unique and memorable. I especially enjoyed the girls' sourpuss of a grandmother, who had some hilarious lines.

One of the other aspects I enjoyed was the epistolary touch. At the end of each chapter (and sometimes within a chapter), text messages, letters, and phone calls were included. This helped give an extra glimpse into characters; while it was unconventional, I really liked it.

Nora and John's relationship is filled with chemistry; when a romance is written well, there's more tension in the waiting for characters to get together, and that's certainly the case here. I especially appreciated how honorable John was toward Nora while he was dating someone else.

I loved the subplot with the British actor—who hasn't imagined that Mr. Darcy (Pride & Prejudice), John Thornton (North & South), or Matthew Crawley (Downton Abbey) might fall in love with them? The actor (and Nora's obsession with the show he appeared on) provided a unique and interesting obstacle to John and Nora's romance.

Remember how I said I was glad I stopped reading when I did, as I wouldn't have been able to stop if I'd read a few more pages? That's because this is a classic romance that, despite conflict, seems like it's heading to a predictable conclusion for 3/4 of the novel. Then it takes a sudden turn and delves into deeper, surprising, heart-wrenching waters. I did not for one second anticipate where the story was going, and I literally got chills when I realized what Wade was doing. Masterful storytelling!

True to You is a wonderful introduction to the Bradford Sisters series (or, if you've read the prequel novella, Then Came You, a great continuation of the story). It's perfect for lovers of contemporary romance! 5 stars.

Buy the book.
Get the prequel novella, Then Came You, free for Kindle!
Read my reviews of  Then Came You (4 stars); the Porter Family Series: Undeniably Yours (5 stars), Meant to Be Mine (5 stars), A Love Like Ours (5 stars), and Her One and Only (5 stars); My Stubborn Heart (5 stars); and Love in the Details (5 stars).

Becky Wade is a native of California who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and now lives in Dallas. A favorite among readers of Christian contemporary romance, Becky has won a Carol Award, an Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and an INSPY Award.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from the author and 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.”

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