Monday, November 6, 2023

Book Review: Julia Monroe Begins Again by Rebekah Millet

About the Book:

Samuel was back. It seemed unfair to be blindsided. And in church no less. Shouldn't there be a commandment about that? Thou shalt not step foot inside thy ex's place of worship.

Julia Monroe has just turned forty and has high hopes for a fresh start after the last decade of her life abruptly left her a young widow and a single mom. With both her boys off to college, she can finally focus on expanding her New Orleans-based cleaning business. Julia is ready for new beginnings--but God has other plans. Samuel Reed, the ruggedly handsome Green Beret who shattered her heart over twenty years ago, has returned to town and is the kind of distraction she never saw coming.

After their first interaction in years leaves her mind spinning and her emotions out of control, Julia knows she needs to avoid him if she wants any chance of preventing history from repeating itself, but her meddling best friend keeps throwing them together. And now it seems inevitable that the man who was hard to forget might just be impossible to resist.

My Thoughts:

I love a good second-chance romance, and Julia Monroe Begins Again by Rebekah Millet did not disappoint. Despite twenty years apart, Julia and Samuel had unfinished business to deal with and a sizzling attraction to each other. Their unhappy history gave immediate tension to the story and a bit of an enemies-to-lovers vibe. I enjoyed the sassy banter and smart flirtation between these characters. As the animosity gave way to healing, I appreciated their relationship being different the second time around.

Julia Monroe Begins Again immersed me into Julia’s mind via first person point-of-view. Being of similar age to Julia, I giggled at or nodded along with her thoughts and words. Her particular sense of humor made this novel truly funny to me.

Aside from the sparking romance and light-hearted jesting, Julia Monroe Begins Again held plenty of depth. A handful of the situations Julia and Samuel faced included: the death of a spouse, the challenges of single parenting, becoming an empty-nester, and longing for peace in one’s soul. As the title suggests, this is the story of Julia stepping into a new season, making changes, and opening herself to hope after previous disappointment.

Julia Monroe Begins Again is a strong debut novel. The story held my attention throughout, gave me a book hangover because I didn’t put it down when it was time to sleep, and made me want to try a beignet. The romance, quirky side characters, and emotional depth in Julia Monroe Begins Again created a story that has a permanent home on my bookcase. 4.5 stars. I’m already looking forward to Millet’s next novel!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.

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