Close to You by Kara Isaac
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was an unexpected surprise!
Allie lives in New Zealand where she is a Tolkien tour guide. She takes enthusiastic Tolkien fans on tours of where The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were filmed. Being a fan of the movies and books I was looking forward to this fun and unique setting. If a tour like this is real, it is definitely one I'd want to go on.
Allie has loved everything Tolkien since she was a young girl. When her life come crumbling down around her, she signs on as a Tolkien tour guide to hide out until she can get her life back together. After two long years, things still aren't moving along as quickly as she'd like. Then her new tour group arrives and with it one Jackson Gregory. Sparks fly from the beginning with these two! Neither probably makes the best first impression, but they have to put up with each other for the next three weeks. Neither expected for their feelings of animosity to quickly grow into something else entirely.
I really liked Allie, she's smart and her obsession with Tolkien was endearing. Jackson knows nothing about Tolkien or his books. He only agreed to this trip to try and win his wealthy uncle over as an investor and to try and fix the financial mess his life is in at the moment. He takes some time to warm up to and to get the chip off his shoulder, but then he just becomes a real guy who is surprisingly really nice underneath it all. I loved the scenes with these two. They have great chemistry and some of those embarrassing moments they share had me laughing out loud. I liked that this wasn't just a fluff read (not that there is anything wrong with those kind of books, I quite enjoy them), but both Allie and Jackson have a lot of personal things going on in their lives that really affect how they treat each other. I liked that they both grow as individuals throughout the story and how they help each other heal without even realizing it.
Overall, I thought it was a really fun escape. Ms. Isaac paints a picture of New Zealand that made me want to hop on the next plane and visit the beautiful country and of course go on a Tolkien tour. I thought it was well written and other than it being a tad long, I thought it was paced well. Kept me engaged and wanting to see how things would end up. Definitely worth reading. Can't wait to read more from Ms. Isaac, I love finding new authors!!
Romance: Clean (wouldn't have minded a few more stolen kisses!)
Violence: None-very mild
Religious: Mild, not preachy
Other: Don't have to be a Tolkien guru to enjoy! Although, I will admit after reading this it did make me want to watch the movies again. haha
Source: Review copy
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