ALWAYS BY MY SIDE by Iola Goulton
SERIES: Trinity Lakes Romance #4
GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Iola Goulton
RELEASE DATE: May 30, 2023
A hardworking introvert meets a handsome adventurer longing to settle down.
Tabitha Thomas longs to leave Trinity Lakes and travel the world in honor of the beloved grandmother who raised her and her siblings. But she’s needed at home—she’s the responsible triplet, the one who stayed home to run the family inn while her brother and sister left to live their dreams.
Kiwi Logan Wylde doesn’t call any place home. When an injury frustrates his travel plans, he accepts an invitation to return to Trinity Lakes and recuperate at the Lakeview Inn, where he hopes to rediscover his purpose in life.
When Tabby and Logan find a property deed while cleaning out Gran’s rooms, Tabby embraces a new challenge—to solve the mystery of the floodplain and renovate the old boatshed. Working with Logan reignites long-suppressed feelings, but will their differences drive them apart?
An opposites-attract, friends-to-more, small town contemporary Christian romance.
Welcome to Trinity Lakes, a warm and welcoming small town in east Washington, filled with charm, family, and friends, where fresh starts, second chances, and romance abound. You’ll meet swoony bachelors, cowboys, and adventurers, sweet and sassy ladies, and your new best friends. This series of standalone Christian romances will warm your heart, inspire your faith, and bring a smile to your soul.
Other Books In This Series
Imagine a quaint, lakeside community in Washington state, a town that seems to attract Aussies and Kiwis in delightful droves. Then imagine a lovely lakeside B&B with a hospitable young owner… and voila! You will find yourself in the setting of Always By My Side by Iola Goulton.
Trinity Lakes definitely draws readers in with its charm, and Goulton stands ready with her engaging characters to keep you invested in their story. I really related to Tabitha (Tabby) in several ways, though not in everything (more on that in a moment), but especially in her self-made pressure to do everything for everybody. I’ve gotten better at saying no over the years, and the turning point for me was finally understanding the truth that Tabby is given by several people in this book:
“Did it ever occur to you that doing something that isn’t your calling might be preventing someone else from stepping up to their own calling?”
I loved this message that Goulton weaves into the framework of the story, partly because it was so meaningful for my own growth in the past and partly because it’s not one that’s addressed often in fiction. And Tabby isn’t the only one who is waiting for God’s direction in Always By My Side – swoony Logan with the swoony New Zealand accent and the vagabond spirit also wrestles with discerning what God wants him to do next. Speaking of Logan, I so enjoyed his character, and not just the swoony parts. He is a man of integrity and kindness, and I think you’re going to love him too! I didn’t agree with Tabby’s logic in some of the assumptions she makes about him (and the subsequent fallout from her misguided ideas), especially in the latter parts of the book, but I still enjoyed her otherwise warm and friendly personality.
Bottom Line: Always By My Side by Iola Goulton has a beautiful message to match its beautiful cover – and a sweet romance too! Logan and Tabby are opposites in many ways, and Logan provides the perfect easygoing balance to Tabby’s rigidity. But they’re not completely different, and the book’s faith thread highlights those commonalities perfectly. There’s also an intriguing bit of mystery regarding the boatshed on their property, and I look forward to seeing how it continues to be resolved in future books. Some repetition of information (that seemed as though the character was learning it for the first time… again) bogged down a few sections of the book for me, but overall Always By My Side is an entertaining and engaging romance with affable characters and a Kiwi twist! And because they so intrigued me, I hope we get to follow Tabby’s siblings in other books by this author!
(I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book which I read via Kindle Unlimited. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / enjoyed it!
KissingBook Level: 3+ / will forget to breathe on occasion
Iola Goulton is the empty-nest mother of two who lives with her husband in the sunny Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, not far from Hobbiton and writes contemporary Christian romance with a Kiwi connection. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Unpronounceable Names (Iola is spelled iola and pronounced yo-la, not eye-ola and definitely not Lola).
Iola holds a degree in marketing, and works in human resources for a local company, wrangling spreadsheets by day and words by night. When she’s not working, Iola is usually reading or writing her next book review.
Find Iola at iolagoulton.com.
What about you? What makes you want to read Always By My Side by Iola Goulton?