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Saturday, February 19, 2011

My review of A Billion Reasons Why by Kristin Billerbeck!

Practically Perfect
Can God’s best include passion and security?

About the book:
A Billion Reasons WhyKatie McKenna had resolved to live a quiet life, marry a practical Christian man, and leave all her “worldly” desires behind.  Since moving to California, she’d made it her goal to live life logically and for the Lord.  She has the perfect life—a fulfilling job, a cute apartment, and a wedding to plan with her soon-to-be fiancĂ©, Dexter. 

But then in walks Luc DeForges, the handsome ex-boyfriend who’d broken her heart.  After graduating college and rejecting Katie, Luc cornered the organic food market and became one of the most eligible multi-millionaire bachelors.  But now he’s back and asking her to go home to New Orleans to sing at his brother’s wedding.  She hasn’t fallen victim to her emotions since leaving New Orleans, and she’s invested too much to give into them now. 

When Luc was in his element, there was nothing like it.  His excitement was contagious and spread like a classroom virus, infecting those around him with a false sense of security.  Katie inhales deeply and reminds herself that the man sold inspiration by the pound.  His power over her was universal.  It did not make her special. 

Katie’s boyfriend, Dexter, is a practical man.  As Katie’s roommate Eileen offers, “Katie, no matter how many entries you put in that book, Dexter is not going to be a romantic.  I mean, fine, you’re going to marry him.  He’s a good man.  I just don’t want you to be disappointed.  No matter how many junior high school hearts you draw next to his name, Dexter is going to order you what the Internet says is the proper gift for each anniversary.  He’ll probably have a program created that does it for him.”  But Dexter is safe.  He’ll be a good dad.  He’s very intellectual.  He’s punctual.  He’s everything she needs in a husband.

And Dexter will propose as soon as she gets her grandmother’s ring from her mom.  And Luc will provide her with a free trip home for just that purpose.  Plus, she needs to go home to New Orleans.  It’s her last chance to find out why Luc tossed her from his life like a banana peel off the back of her father’s pickup.  Love is a decision.  A choice.  All the leading experts said so, and she’d decided she would love Dexter in a way that honored and respected him.  The way she’d loved Luc left her worn out and depleted, like an empty air mattress.  Then what use was she?  She’d get her ring and closure as well.  Then nothing would stand in the way of her life with Dexter.

But what if God has more in store for her?  What if God’s desire for her is a heart full of life?  Can the passions she had as a young woman, which led to many of her past mistakes, still have a place in her life?  

My review:
I read this book nearly straight through. I had to sleep, but it was hard setting this story aside to do that. For some reason this story appealed to me more than most. Maybe it was because of the whole need for healing from the past, or maybe it was the desire to fully love rather than settle for safe. Whatever, the reason, I loved this story. I didn't want to do anything but read it until I got to the last page. Some great points were made throughout the story about the sacrifice of love and how sometimes what seems right and save is really manipulation. On the other hand what sometimes seems like manipulation really is true love. I know, it's confusing, so you have to read the book to find out what I mean. It was pretty profound in that respect.

I enjoyed the minor themes in this book and how Luc became instantly likable the day he fed that sweet child in her classroom sweet potatoes and ended up wearing some of it. I loved how the author showed the intense emotion that comes from having such a strong bond to someone that was never meant to be broken. Yeah, eight years was a long time for him to wait, so I could see where it would baffle her. It kind of baffled me, too, but then again, I fell in love with Luc myself so I was pretty blinded from the get go. :) And unlike heroines from other novels Billerbeck has written who are snarky, I found this heroine, Katie, to be quite lovable, too. They truly made a great couple. I agreed with all of the people in her life. They wanted to protect her, but at the same time they wanted to see her bloom, too, and be who God made her. And that wasn't what she had chosen for herself.

The setting for this story was pretty romantic, too. I enjoyed the cultural experience and I dare say it made me want to go to New Orleans to check out the town for myself. That was very well done. I think the setting totally added to the romance. So did the old money theme that is often prevalent in the south. That was great. All in all I found this book highly entertaining and very romantic. There wasn't a lot of smooching but what did occur was definitely something to savor. I highly recommend this book for romance lovers. It's a great getaway for the mind and a perfect beach read. Oh, and this story gave me a greater appreciation for the 1940s and swing than I thought possible.

This book was provided to me for review by B&B Media in exchange for a review. The thoughts I've expressed above are completely my own and I was not compensated for my opinion regarding this book.

Kristin Billerbeck is a successful novelist from northern California.  She has authored more than 30 novels, including the Ashley Stockingdale series and the Spa Girls series.  She is a leader in the Chick Lit movement, a Christy Award finalist, and a two-time winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year Award.  She has appeared on The Today Show and has been featured in the New York Times

A Billion Reasons Why by Kristin Billerbeck
Thomas Nelson/Feb 2011/ISBN: 978-1-59554-791-0/320 pages/softcover/$14.99 ~

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1 comment:

ElizaClancy said...

This book sounds like a fun one!

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