Book Review: Count Me In by Mikal Dawn

June 17, 2017 Christian, contemporary, Mikal Dawn, romance 40

about the book

He wants to give her the adventure of a lifetime. She just wants a latte.

Allegra Spencer has been living a careful life. Her safe job as an accountant is bookended by going to church and the gym.

Okay, sometimes the gym.

Fine. She goes to church. And the coffee shop.

She avoids risk at all cost, preferring to stay safe in her cozy condo. Until her accounting firm goes belly up and she’s out of a job.

Tyler Hawk had a glorious career as a star NFL tight end. He retired on a high note and now lives a second dream of owning his own business and leading others on extreme outdoor adventures. But he needs help with his books—and his heart.

When Allegra takes the job, sparks fly.

It’s a case of safety zone versus danger zone, and in their minds, never the two shall meet.

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SERIES: Emerald City Romance #1
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: 121 Publishing House
RELEASE DATE: May 16, 2017
PAGES: 326

“He lived in the moment and she no doubt had three-ring binders of one-, five-, and ten-year plans.”

I need to preface this review with a note to the nervous author: Sweet friend, do NOT go throw up! This is a safe place ♥  Oh – and thank you for making me the senior partner. I’ll try not to hold it over Basham and Monzon too much 😉

That said … Count Me In is fun, sassy, and oh-so-swoonlicious! Allegra is my people, though she’s way braver than I will ever be. Tyler is … well… let’s just say you’re going to need a fully stocked supply of fans, fainting couches, and freezers. The first kiss? #havemercy #stillgrinning

Tyler and Allegra (and Mikal Dawn) have mastered the art of banter as well as internal asides that kept me grinning and even chuckling throughout the novel. Mikal Dawn’s writing style & her own infectious personality perfectly complement her characters and their thoughts. Case in point:

She had to find him. And when she did? She’d give him that kiss they came so close to sharing before Ben interrupted.

Well…after she got help.

Okay, maybe before.

I love that Allegra’s idea of exercise is walking around her coffee table five times before eating a cookie. She is now one of my fave romcom heroines! I love that Tyler can go from not taking anything too seriously, a mischievous/flirty twinkle in his eyes, to taking Allegra very seriously. Yes, he needed a purse whomping more than once but then he goes and does something swoony and redeems himself. He has a firm place on my book boyfriends shelf, forever and ever amen.

Woven into the heart of this fun romantic comedy is a sincere message about conquering fear with God’s help. Tyler lives for adventure and fears being cooped up in boring safety. Allegra lives for lattes and fears adventure, something she considers reckless. She’s also wary of bubble tea and bats… but that’s not important right now. Their separate relationships with Jesus make a difference in their daily lives, and I love how Mikal Dawn seamlessly incorporated this vital aspect of their characters.

Bottom Line: Count Me In is flirty and sweet, romantic and fun! The sincerity of the message wraps organically around the authenticity of the characters and leaves you with the assurance that God cares and He loves you as you are. It’s a great beach read, riding-the-subway read, bubble-bath read or just “curl up in bed and leave me alone while I read” read 🙂 You will fall in love with Tyler and Allegra even as they fall in love with each other. The cast of secondary characters hooks readers’ interest as well and sets a solid foundation for more books in the series. I can’t wait for the next book by Mikal Dawn, and I can’t wait to read this one again!

(I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book which I purchased for my own collection. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / When can I read it again?!? Is now too soon?

KissingBook Level: 4+ / Stock up on fans!

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about the author

Mikal Dawn is an inspirational romance author, wedding enthusiast, and proud military wife. By day, she works as an administrative assistant for an international ministry, serves in her church’s library, runs her kids to all their sports, and drinks lots of coffee. By night, she talks to figments of her imagination as she attempts to write while dinner is burning. And drinks lots of coffee. When she isn’t writing about faith, fun, and forever, she is obsessively scouring Pinterest (with coffee in hand, of course!) for wedding ideas for her characters.

Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Mikal now lives in Nebraska with her husband, Mark, their three children, and one ferocious feline.

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What about you? What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done? Mine would be eating lamb. Yep. Allegra is my people. 😉

Carrie

40 Responses to “Book Review: Count Me In by Mikal Dawn”

  1. Mikal Dawn

    OH DUCKY!!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!! And how did you know I was going to throw up??? 😂😂😂

    I’m so thankful for this review. What a HUGE honor. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!

    Phew! Now I need (another) latte

    • Carrie

      hahahaha! I may have anticipated the urge to throw up after reading your acknowledgments page 🙂 Oh how I love you!

      • Mikal Dawn

        Dude. I just read your question. Your most adventurous thing is eating lamb?! NO. It isn’t. YOU MET ALL OF US CRAZIES IN NASHVILLE!!!! Bahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

    • Mikal Dawn

      I LOVELOVELOVE you!!!!!! And if Tyler were real (yeah, right? he isn’t real…wrap your mind around that. I can’t) and you were single (because), he would totally love you too!

    • Mikal Dawn

      Eep!! It’s still strange to me that people who aren’t my family are reading or planning on reading this. <3 I hope you have fun with Tyler and Allegra!!

  2. Kim

    Great review – as usual! I have this book and I am moving it up to my next read. Can’t wait!

    • Mikal Dawn

      Ah! thank you, Kim!! I hope you have fun reading Tyler and Allegra’s story. Now to get off the internet so I can get working on book two. 😉

  3. Winnie Thomas

    Yay! Two of my favorite people together in the same place–Carrie’s blog! Great review, Carrie! Mikal, your book is fantabulous!

    I’m with Allegra–except for the latte bit. 😀 I’m not adventurous. The most adventurous I get is signing up for CFRR and buying a plane ticket to it. I was only brave enough to do that because I have some awesome FB friends that I’m dying to meet in person, and I know they’ll have my back if I need help!

  4. Katie Donovan

    Well, I’m obviously streets ahead of you all, because I’ve been abseiling and LOVED it (except the whole having to get back to the top to do it again part). But on the whole, I wouldn’t say I’m that adventurous either. I’m obviously somewhere between Allegra and Tyler (who I am going to meet very soon, because reading all these reviews is KILLING me!) Love the review, Carrie!

    • Mikal Dawn

      LOL!!!! Please don’t die, Katie. We all love you too much. But yeah. You’re WAY ahead of us if you’ve been parasailing. Or paragliding. Or white water rafting. Or zip-lining. Actually, I’ve been zip-lining and LOVED it. But that’s as adventurous as I’ve gotten. 😉

    • Carrie

      Thanks, Katie! And uhhh I don’t know what abseiling is but it sounds terrifying lol

      • Katie Donovan

        It’s when you go down the face of a cliff using a rope. Maybe you call it rappelling over there? I didn’t realize it was one of those ‘lost in translation’ words!

  5. Paula S.

    I’d say the most adventurous thing I’ve done was flying from Chicago all the way to Guam by myself. It was when I was a newlywed and I was going to meet my husband at his duty station in the Navy. It was a different world back in 1971! No TSA! I still marvel that I did that! I am NOT a jet setter!

  6. Haley Resseguie

    I read Count Me In last week and LOVED it! Tyler and Allegra were such a fun couple and I can’t wait to see where the secondary characters end up. And when I saw Allegra’s new company name, I about spewed my sweet tea everywhere (I will leave the latte to Allegra)!

  7. carylkane

    Fantastic review, Carrie! You can COUNT ME IN to read this one! 😉

    The most adventurous thing I’ve done is live in Colorado Springs, CO for a year! It was AMAZING! 🙂

    • Carrie

      I would love to live in Colorado Springs. I’ve been there a couple of times & it’s gorgeous

  8. Bonnie Roof

    Oh, what a fun book – I can hardly wait for the opportunity to read it!! Congrats, Mikal!!

    I’ve never been the adventurous type athletically or in many other ways, however, one of my largest and most inspirational adventures was when I quit my job and moved to another state to become a cast member of an ongoing passion play on the life of Christ. I’d never acted a day in my life, although I did have singing experience. I knew no one there other than having a couple of conversations with the pastor (and his wife) who was the founder of the play. I had no job and no place to live – but he knew how inspired I was by the play after continually making the one-way 5 hour drive down to see it and offered to help me find a job and a place to live if I would move down to become a part of the cast. God used that play to turn my life around the first time I saw it!!

  9. Karen Sargent

    Peer pressure! COUNT ME IN! 🙂 Another addition to my TBR! Great review, and I love the excitement in everyone’s comments! Congrats, Mikal. Thanks for recommending another gem, Carrie. — Most adventurous…completing a zip line adventure in Louisville in a cave in spite of my fear of heights (that was peer pressure, too!).

  10. Elizabeth

    This is on my TBR list! I am one of the least adventurous people on the planet. The most adventurous thing I remember doing was spending and afternoon tubing on a local creek. It was wonderful, but I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to do it again!

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