Monday, January 14, 2019

Review: "At First Glance" by Susan L. Tuttle

I remember hearing about At First Glance when it released last year, but I didn't give it much thought—after all, my TBR list was already super long! But I had a lull between review book over Christmas break, and I stumbled across it on Kindle Unlimited, so I decided to give it a shot!

Estate planner Penny Thornton loves dusting off items others gloss over, especially since she relates to feeling tossed aside for the "bright and shiny . When her younger sister's approaching wedding launches Penny back into the throes of her dysfunctional family, she decides to use the festivities to close the gap in their relationships even if it means appeasing them and finally losing the few pounds they've hounded her about for years. But she doesn't expect to meet two very different men in the process: East Fisher, the personal trainer who personifies everything she believes she could never attain, and Jonah Black, a man who reminds her so much of herself. 

Both men are more than they appear at first glance, and both seem interested in her romantically. As Penny uncovers their hidden layers, she discovers when it comes to love and matters of the heart, she's got a lot to learn about estimating value.

This book was so good! I read it all in an afternoon and evening. From the very beginning, I was swept into Penny's story as she dealt with her mom and sister (I was not a fan of them) and suddenly had two interesting men interested in her.

About halfway through the novel, I was ready to throw my Kindle across the room because Penny's actions were so incredibly frustrating to me. But then I put myself in her shoes ... and it is absolutely plausible that I would react in the same way. It's so easy to see who's right and wrong for someone when you're on the outside looking in, but when it's happening to you? Not so clear. And it's certainly easier to judge someone when you've never experienced what they're experiencing. So while this was a sweet romance novel, it also provided the nudge I needed to examine some things in my own life. I love when fiction can challenge without preaching!

I did think that some of Penny's backstory was a little unbelievable (especially the revelation of what happened when her sister Belle joined the family). Everything else, though, was so good! I loved At First Glance, and I can't wait to read Tuttle's next novel. 4-1/2 stars.

Buy the book (or borrow on KU).

Susan L. Tuttle was born and raised in the Mitten State where she met and married her best friend. A homeschooling mom of three, somewhere along the way she blinked and those three littles aren’t so little anymore. Now she balances their teenage years with directing the women’s ministry at her church and writing new stories. She fully believes that God is the biggest romancer in the world and that he loves each one of us lavishly even in all our imperfections—a belief tried and tested by her own misses at perfection. Never having met a cookie she didn’t like, most days you’ll find her enjoying one for a treat between chauffeuring her kiddos around, attempting housework, contemplating exercise, or coaxing her current characters to talk.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I borrowed this book and chose to review it. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small 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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