Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Then There Was You by Kara Isaac

Posted July 1, 2017 by meezcarrie in Christian, contemporary, giveaway, Kara Isaac, romance / 74 Comments

about the book

Would you give up everything for a life you hate with the person you love?

Paige McAllister needs to do something drastic. Her boyfriend can’t even commit to living in the same country, her promised promotion is dead on arrival and the simultaneous loss of her brother and her dream of being a concert violinist has kept her playing life safe and predictable for six years. Things need to change. A moment of temporary insanity finds her leaving her life in Chicago to move to Sydney, Australia. There she finds herself, against many of her convictions, as a logistics planner for one of Australia’s biggest churches, and on a collision course with her boss’s son.

Josh Tyler fronts a top-selling worship band and is in demand all over the world. But his past failed romantic relationships almost destroyed both his reputation and his family. He’s determined to never risk it happening again. The last thing he needs is some American girl tipping his ordered life upside down. Especially one who despises everything he’s ever worked for and manages to push every button he has.

When Josh and Paige are thrown together to organize his band’s next tour, the sparks fly. But can they find a way to bridge the differences that pull them apart? Or will they choose the safety and security of what they know over taking a chance on something that will require them to risk everything?

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GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Bellbird Press
RELEASE DATE: June 7, 2017
PAGES: 343

“People are rarely what we think at first glance.”

From the very first page of Then There Was You, I was chuckling.  It didn’t take long to outright laugh aloud. On Paige needing assurance after her first encounter with Australian wildlife:

“No one is being assaulted. That is the call of a kookaburra.”

On Josh’s less than fond nickname for Paige:

“…the American stared at him. After the dinner at his parents, he’d decided to call her that.”

On Paige’s victory dance:

“It looked like a safety video he’d seen once, warning of what it would look like if someone was getting electrocuted.”

On Josh’s fumbling attempts to confess his interest in Paige:

“His vocabulary failed him. Another few seconds and he’d be reduced to miming.”

Needless to say, I adore Kara Isaac’s writing voice. It’s full of warmth, humor, sincerity, and emotion. Josh and Paige are endearingly flawed with their own stories that color their assumptions about each other when they first meet. (Or should I say colour since this is set in Australia? lol) This not only serves as a gentle reminder for all of us to look past first impressions and/or prejudices but also makes for some excellent banter between these two characters. (I’ll refrain from giving you more examples – you really just need to read it for yourself!)

Speaking of banter, the romance in Then There Was You is swoony and fun and heartfelt – and full of moments where you forget to breathe because you’re so caught up in the chemistry playing out on the page. Josh? Hello. He’s hot, he loves Jesus, he’s a musician, he’s adorably grumpy at times and HE HAS AN AUSTRALIAN ACCENT! Need I say more? Paige is adorable in every way – approachable, feisty and unintentionally quirky. Her friendship with her brother is deeply touching, and as someone who has a similar relationship with her own brother I keenly felt Paige’s emotions when she thinks about Ethan.

Another something I really appreciated about this novel is the care given to both the Australian and American vocabularies. We, of course, speak English in both places but the language does have its subtle (and not so subtle) differences, and Kara Isaac does a great job at including these differences without making an issue of it. Of course, now I’m making an issue of it (lol) but I find it rare in novels that I read. Probably my favorite example of this is the scene where Josh and Paige are eating lunch at the mall’s food court. When we’re seeing Josh’s perspective, Paige dips her chips in tomato sauce. When we switch back to Paige’s head, Josh steals a fry and puts it in ketchup. It’s little details like this scattered throughout a novel that take it from ‘good’ to truly great.

Bottom Line: From the sassy banter, the laugh-out-loud humor, and the breath-stealing romance to the sincere emotion and poignant spiritual insight, Then There Was You is delightful on all levels. It also contains one of my very favorite declaration scenes of all time. (I’ve read that section more than once. Don’t judge.)  Brilliantly written, endearingly relatable, Then There Was You belongs on every romcom fan’s must-read list!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / Fantastic!

KissingBook Level: 4 / Keep those fans and fainting couches handy!

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Don’t just take my word for it! Check out these great posts from my friends!

Read another rave review @ Fiction Aficionado

Or another one @ RelzReviewz

Which character spans all 3 of Kara’s novels? @Faithfully Bookish

Read the first line @ BookwormMama

about the author

Kara Isaac is a RITA® Award nominee who lives in Wellington, New Zealand, where her career highlights include working in tourism as Private Secretary for the Prime Minister. She loves great books almost as much as she loves her husband and three Hobbit-sized children.

website | Facebook | Twitter

Other Books by Kara Isaac


Kara Isaac is giving away a Kindle ebook copy of Then There Was You to one of my readers. Open internationally, except where prohibited by law. This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What do you love most about romantic comedies?

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74 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Then There Was You by Kara Isaac

  1. danielle hammelef

    My favorite movie is a rom com! I love the way they make me smile and laugh out loud. I need that in my life so much like everyone else.

  2. Winnie Thomas

    I loved, loved, loved this book! I can count on Kara for a creative, fun-filled story. Her characters are amazing, the settings are great, and the inspirational messages are soul-filling. I love the humorous scenes she dreams up. I enjoy romantic comedies, whether books or movies, for the break they give me from life’s problems.

    Awesome review, Carrie! Awesome book, Kara!

  3. Pam K.

    I guess what I love most about romantic comedies is that they just make me feel good. I read them with a smile on my face and feel a sense of satisfaction when I read the conclusion. I love the banter between the characters too. I’m very much looking forward to reading Then There Was You. Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. Terressa T.

    Well that review just makes me need to read this book – soon! I love when I can laugh out loud in a book, especially within the first few pages! I love being carried away in a story because of the characters-humor is a fantastic gateway to get to know characters. It also gives me insight to an author and I almost am guaranteed to continue reading anything from that author!

  5. I’m a fan of great dialogue and witty repartee which rom-coms generally feature. Plus, they just make me happy. I love a good love story and I also love to laugh so…

  6. Dianne Casey

    I like rom-coms because they are fun reads. Great interactions between the characters and a great ending.

  7. Nicole

    I love the banter between the characters, longing glances, and those almost kisses! I’m looking forward to reading this book!

    • Yes, the almost kisses! In one of my other books I had a reviewer say that there was a scene that was too steamy for her taste and the characters didn’t even kiss. I think a good “almost” kiss can be just as good as the real thing 😉 I hope you enjoy Then There Was You if you have the chance to read it 🙂

  8. Evangeline

    You are a new author to me and I would love to win a copy of your book. It looks interesting. ?

  9. Melissa Romine

    I just love these funny situations people get into when they are trying so hard to either impress someone else or trying to remain inconspicuous. Kara Isaac is a master at some laugh out loud situations!!
    I try to always read her books where I won’t embarrass myself by laughing or fanning!!

  10. Rebecca Booth

    In this troubling time, we all need books to entertain us and make us laugh! I’m sure your book does that a love story and a comedy mixed!

  11. Lori Smanski

    i love most about romantic stories how the two people learn to trust each other and God

  12. Kay Garrett

    How can you not love something that makes you both feel warm inside and puts a smile on your face?? You just have to love it!

  13. Trixi

    I love the witty banter between the hero and heroine in a romantic comedy…it always makes me laugh out loud!

    Thanks for the giveaway chance!

  14. Terrill Rosado

    Rom-coms are my favorite romance sub-genre. In fact, my favorite authors are rom-com writers or those who readily infuse humor into their books whether it be suspense, women’s fiction or even non-fiction. I’m an easy audience, with the exception of slapstick, when it comes to humor. I thrive on doses of humor to break up the monotony and/or stresses of everyday life. Since I can’t be reading 24/7, I’m thankful for a funny family.

  15. Yay! I’ve been waiting to read your review! (And thanks for linking to mine ?)

    I love the banter between the characters in rom com, but I think what really makes a rom com for me is the dry, witty voice that comes through in the narrative, and Kara does that so well (as you exhibited in some of those quotes above!) Kara is also one of the few authors I’ve found who can do physical comedy well on the page. (I still snort over some of the scenes in Close To You).

    And I am totally not judging you on the number of times you’ve read that declaration. I’ve read it so many times I’ve lost count, and I still get a goofy smile every time. In fact, I’ve got one right now just thinking about it!

    *sigh* And you know I’m totally going to have to go and read it AGAIN now that I’m thinking about it, don’t you?! GAH!

    • I’m pretty sure I’ve read that declaration a hundred times more than either of you and it still makes me giddy 😉 (that whole scene came to me while I was out walking one day and trying to work out how to finish the book and it just unravelled in my head like I was watching a movie 🙂 )

  16. Bonnie Roof

    Who doesn’t love some humor in the books they read – a brief reprieve from the life’s stresses??

    Wonderful review, Carrie – thanks!! Looking forward to reading “Then There Was You”!!

  17. Chanel M.

    There’s so much to love about romantic comedies (books and movies). I love the witty banter, chemistry, the moments that make me swoon and the happy endings. I also love the ones that make me laugh. Those are the ones I’ll probably come back to again.

  18. Meredith Miller

    The humor and the ability for it to make me laugh out loud. I love the imperfections that usually happen to make the humor and that the author was brave enough to write about characters who may not be perfect.

  19. I love the light hearted stories. They are the “take me away” kind of reading that makes one feel good. And that’s what a good book should do.

  20. Rachael

    The laughs–the humorous and crazy situations the characters get into on the way to True Love. And the witty dialogue. That’s always great.

  21. Stacy

    I like to see the characters have to face a problem which really shows their values so you can believe their love will survive challenges.

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