Book Review: Until I Met You by Lara Van Hulzen

Posted September 10, 2023 by meezcarrie in Book Review, clean, contemporary, Lara Van Hulzen, romance / 5 Comments

Until I Met You book review

Until I Met You by Lara Van HulzenUNTIL I MET YOU by Lara Van Hulzen
The Endicotts of Silver Bay #3

GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Clean/Inspirational)
PUBLISHER: Tule Publishing
RELEASE DATE: July 20, 2023
PAGES: 208

When his parents move to Silver Bay, California, Dominic Endicott, ever the dutiful son, packs up his life and heads to the small town. He sees it as temporary, appeasing his mother and making sure his dad’s health is stable while Dominic keeps the family business running. Dominic planned on keeping his head down, focused only on working and spending time with his family. Until a beautiful brunette forces him to look up.

Local Chaplain and community center employee Rachel Anderson loves her little town that she’s called home for the past year. Silver Bay is a far cry from her life growing up in LA, and that’s perfectly fine with her. When she mistakes newcomer Dominic for her friend, Chet, her simple, curated life becomes complicated.

Thrown together to work on raising money for the town’s community center, the sparks between Rachel and Dominic are too strong to ignore. But Dominic represents everything Rachel has been running from, while Rachel has Dominic rethinking his entire life plan. Can these two bridge the gap between their worlds and give love a chance?


Other Books In This Series


“With one swoop of tenderness, he’d wrapped her up in his charm and there was no turning back.”

Until I Met You is my first introduction to Lara Van Hulzen’s writing, but it definitely won’t be my last. I fell in love with the town of Silver Bay, the Endicott family, and Rachel Anderson. I have not read the first two books, or the preceding Silver Bay series, but the author easily acclimated me to this fictional world so I didn’t feel lost. The cast of supporting characters – including a Great Dane and a Basset Hound with loads of personality – is warm and engaging, and you get the sense that Silver Bay is a town you’d never want to leave.

Rachel is exactly the type of person you would want to be a chaplain. She is compassionate, full of joy, smart, and friendly, and while the book doesn’t touch on her faith too much it also doesn’t completely ignore it. With a few simple sentences scattered throughout the story, we can tell she loves God, makes church a priority, and relies on prayer for wisdom. She also has a great sense of humor and a few surprising layers that are revealed as the story progresses. Dominic is the identical twin of Silver Bay resident Chet Endicott, but Rachel has only ever felt friendly feelings toward Chet – nothing like the instant zings of attraction she feels when she meets Dominic. And Dominic is definitely swoony, so I can see why. But even more than that, he is one of the good guys in life – steady, tender-hearted, easygoing, family-oriented, and humble (despite his family’s wealth and prestige). The chemistry between Dominic and Rachel sparks & sizzles but stays chastely passionate. I enjoyed their relationship from the entertaining meet cute to the sweet epilogue and all the flirting & kissing in between.

Bottom Line: Sometimes we all just need to escape the messiness and stress of this world by burrowing into a sweet story that doesn’t add to the drama. Until I Met You by Lara Van Hulzen is the perfect choice if you’re looking for such a read, one where you’ll feel the tension of life ebb away with only minor conflict and plenty of reasons to smile. Rachel and Dominic are a fun couple to follow through this story, and you’ll enjoy getting to know them and watching their romance blossom. And because dogs make everything even better, Dottie & Dantes bring lots of quirky personality and endearing love to the mix as well. I look forward to returning to Silver Bay in the next book!

(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: 4 stars / enjoyed it!

KissingBook Level: 3+ / will forget to breathe on occasion

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Lara Van Hulzen

Writing stories since she was a young girl, Lara Van Hulzen’s dream of being a novelist became a reality with her Men of Honor series. An avid reader, she worked as a book reviewer for 18 years with various organizations. She has a BA in Journalism and a Masters of Divinity in Chaplaincy. Lara loves tea, baseball, and living in Idaho with her husband and Great Dane. Connect with Lara at her website.

What about you? What makes you want to read Until I Met You by Lara Van Hulzen?

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5 responses to “Book Review: Until I Met You by Lara Van Hulzen

  1. Sarah

    This sounds just right for those times you want to hang out with book friends who put a smile on your face and make you happy. Thanks for introducing me to a new author.

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