Even Better than Close to You
I enjoyed Kara Isaac's debut novel, Close to You, mostly because it was set in New Zealand. Okay, the story was also very good, but it was set in New Zealand. It had places I knew--a novelty for me.
Can't Help Falling wasn't set in New Zealand, and that did lead to an intial feeling of disappointment. But it did still feature Close to You's Allie and Jackson as characters, now transplanted to England where Jackson is studying at Cambridge and Allie is teaching at Oxford--the main setting for Close to You.
Narnia freak Emilia Mason has left her LA life as mudraking celebrity "journalist" and taken a events/fundraising job in a small literacy charity in Oxford. Here she meets rowing coach Peter Carlisle, who seems to know almost as much about Narnia as she does ... and who she works with at the charity.
I thought Close to You was great. But Can't Help Falling is even better. Better writing, better characterisation (perhaps because I already 'know' Allie and Jackson), and especially better integration of Christian themes: Peter is a Christian and won't even consider dating Emilia because she isn't--something Emilia finds even more odd than the fact Allie and Jackson aren't sleeping together.
Peter is a great Christian character. Well, he's a great character, period, who happens to be a Christian. Yes, he has his faults (this is a romance and the path of true love never did run smooth. At least, not in fiction), but he also has wisdom and grace beyond his years.
Recommended for all lovers of Narnia and a good contemporary romance.
Thanks to Howard Books and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Kara Isaac at her website.