This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.True to You by Becky Wade
Series: Bradford Sisters Romance #1
Genres: Christian Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Bethany House
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Book Depository ◊ Google Play ◊ Kobo ◊ Books-A-Million
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 book in the Bradford Sisters Romance series. This series has a prequel called Then Came You where the background history of the Bradford’s beginnings is explained. It is not a necessary read in order to enjoy this story as the Author does a good job of explaining what you need to know in this book, but if you were interested in reading this series that might be where you start.
Nora is a genealogist, historian and village owner. Yep, you did not misread that at all, she owns an entire village and has been painstakingly adding businesses and venues to her village. She happens to be helping out her sister when she first meets John Lawson. For her it is swoon on first sight, almost literally. John on the other hand was not to impressed with Nora. In fact, the only reason that Nora even saw him again was that John needed help researching his lineage.
John has been trying to locate his birth mother without much success in order to obtain family medical history. As he has a girlfriend, he has no interest in anything with Nora besides her researching services. Unfortunately for Nora, she had a bit of a crush on him. Having once been a spurned woman, she has no interest in creating any friction between him and his girlfriend. They enter into a business relationship that slowly builds to more as they get to know each other. As Nora and John come closer to knowing the truth of his birth they also realize that there might be something undeniable between them.
There is quite a bit of chemistry between these two characters. This story is undeniably a sweet little romance centered around the faith of John and Nora. They must deal with some heavy issues while still sticking to their faith. There is plenty of interactions between the sisters and I found that most enjoyable. The flip side to that is that there is a lot of information about supporting characters given. This does cause the story to become a bit sidetracked which in turn makes it feel slow at times.
What I really appreciated about this story is that it grappled with some pretty dark circumstances. It touched on adoption, negative circumstances surrounding conception, a life altering medical diagnose, and fall out from life shattering reveals. I think some readers of Christian fiction may not appreciate those plot points but I applaud the author for going there. I felt that the circumstances were realistically written and well done.
What do I wish for in this story? An epilogue, plain and simple. In happily ever after romantic reads I am always looking forward to the epilogue. No, it is not necessary, but certainly is appreciated. It helps the story not feel like it closed too soon. I felt like this story just stopped at the end. It appears that this is the first book in a new series and I am wondering if the characters are going to be carried into the next book. Although they may not be the protagonists, their story would finish.
Overall, this book had its charming qualities. The characters were all a bit quirky. The romance was a bit swoony. It had its light and fluffy parts as well as its darker parts. A nice blending for readers who are looking for a little more in their romance reading. There is also a wonderful build-up of the Bradford sisters that will have you looking forward to the next book in this series!
*Thank you to NetGalley & Bethany House for this eARC of True to You*