Monday, January 30, 2017

Can't Help Falling

GIVEAWAY

ISAAC, KARA
CAN'T HELP FALLING

She's moved to Oxford looking for a new start. He's only interested in chasing his dreams. But when they discover a shared passion, they can't help falling for one another...

Emelia Mason has spent her career finding the dirt on the rich and famous. But deep down, beyond her fearless, tabloid-reporter fa├žade, there's a nerdy Narnia-obsessed girl who still can't resist climbing into wardrobes to check for the magical land on the other side. When a story she writes produces tragic results, she flees to Oxford, England -- home to C. S. Lewis -- to try to make amends for the damage she has caused.

Peter Carlisle was on his way to becoming one of the Great Britain's best rowers -- until he injured his shoulder. He's determined to fight his way back to the top even if it means risking everything. It's the only way he can honor the memory of the one person who never stopped believing in his Olympic dream.

When Peter and Emelia cross paths on her first night in Oxford, the attraction is instant they find common ground in their shared love of Narnia. But can dreams of a fantasy land be enough to hold them together when secrets of the real world threatened to tear them apart? Cobblestone streets, an English manor house, and an antiques shop with a curious wardrobe bring the world of Narnia to life in this inspiring and romantic story about second chances.

My Review:

Sqqqueeaaallll!!!! Kara Isaac has taken my favourite ever children's series and incorporated it into a contemporary romance. I'm beside-myself-giddy!!!! Do you love all things Narnia? Yes? Then this book is for you. No? That's okay, you might not thrill at every literary reference but you'll still thrill at Peter and Emelia's complicated love story.

The Narnia tie-ins are fantastic! Love Emelia's obsession with wardrobes...and I guess now is as good a time as any to confess that I share that same fascination. So, of course, I love the pivotal role a wardrobe plays in this story. And I'm thrilled that Reepicheep makes an appearance in an impactful way. :-)

Infused with humour and witty dialogue this almost reads as a romantic comedy except for the shadow of secrets looming in the background. So even as I laughed over pithy comments and situational slap-stick, I felt the weight of those secrets bearing down on Emelia and Peter...and me. Deliciously conflicting and made for an anxiety-riddled read.

A clever first meet had me grinning...and quickly falling for a certain Oxford rower. Brilliantly done. But did I mention it's complicated? Really, really complicated. And Isaac doesn't let us know exactly how complicated right at the start. She dangles delicious tidbits that we have to slowly piece together until we get the whole awful truth. That's when my laughter turned to tears -- some of them angry as I railed against stubborn ol' Peter. Gah!

I thrilled over the faith thread Isaac has woven into this story. Because, well, as Reepicheep would say, "We have nothing if not belief." And Emelia has been living with nothing for a long time but learning to believe in a loving God -- and in her own self-worth -- is so hard.  I got shivers up my spine and at one point!

A poignant, funny and tender romance that inspires hope in second chances.

Giveaway Opportunity:

 If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Can't Help Falling please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoread AT yahoo DOT ca. If you post a comment and add your email address please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday February 5 2017.  Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

60 comments:

  1. Didn't you review this one before....or maybe I'm thinking we had talked about this book elsewhere? In any case, I've read this one. She has some great writing but I just couldn't connect with this story for some reason. I do want to read her first one "Close to You" at some point in time for the Hobbit angle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read and reviewed Close to You earlier this year and I think we might have talked about the Tolkien angle -- how I wasn't a huge fan...I've read The Hobbit but that's it. Still loved that book though. But I'm a Narnia girl all the way. :-)

      Delete
    2. Ah, that's right, now I remember!! I guess I'm more of a Hobbit fan having read all the books (my dad had the whole paperback collection) and watched most of the movies that have come out. And, since my mom now lives in New Zealand (since 2001), I'd love to visit her and take a tour of where they filmed...wouldn't that be an adventure?? ;-)

      Delete
    3. Oh wow --yes -- a real adventure. I've always wanted to go to New Zealand. Such breath-taking landscape! Hope you get to go sometime but I know the air fare is crazy steep.

      Delete
  2. Great review! I love the Narnia books so I'm sure this is one I'll enjoy!

    colorvibrant at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Heidi. And yes, I think you will enjoy this Narnia infused story. Good luck, Heidi.

      Delete
  3. I will not get even one Narnia reference LOL but the complicated Love Story sounds like it will be a good book that I would enjoy reading thank you for the chance to win a copy iamabho (@) gmail (.) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's such a fun read -- you'll love their story anyway -- even when it gets gnarly. Good luck, Linda.

      Delete
  4. New author for me. cheetahthecat1986(at)gmail(dot)com.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love your review here Kav. Humor and witty dialogue is a winner for me. Thanks for the giveaway! momrain(AT)aol(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a great review for a great book. I haven't read Kara but I sure would like to. Thank you, Kav! mauback55 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't enjoy saying negative comments, but I will skip reading this one cause I did not enjoy Close to You! -:(
    Guess I am not a hobbit, narnia person...I'm sorry! She is a great writer, and I hope her next books are more my type.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooohhhh...now I want to book chat with you, Jackie! I'm not a super hobbit person, so this one is my favourite. I love the way different books call to different readers. Lucky for us we have a multitude of authors to choose from. I wonder if Kara Isaac will continue the book theme trend in her future books?

      Delete
    2. Hi Jackie (and Kav!)

      I hope you don't mind my chiming in but I just wanted to say it's not a negative thing that Close To You wasn't your cup of tea. As an author, obviously I want everyone to love my stories but as a reader I also know that sometimes I read a book that every one seems to love but for some reason just isn't the right fit for me and the same will be the case for all of my books.

      I'll be sharing the details of my next book in the next couple of weeks but I can tell you that this one doesn't continue the literary theme. Hopefully it will be more your thing but if not I'm so glad there are so many other wonderful Christian romance authors writing amazing stories for your enjoyment :)

      Delete
    3. Oooh....I'm looking forward to finding out more!!!!!

      Delete
  8. Wow, so many interesting comments and connections and viewpoints, in addition to the good review! I have never read anything by this author, so..... dixiedobie at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll have to give her a try so you can chime in! Good luck, CC.

      Delete
  9. Have been wanting to read Kara Isaac's books for awhile. Would love to read this.

    mindyhoungATmsnDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm loving her books. Hope she releases another one soon. Good luck, Mindy.

      Delete
  10. Love Narnia. Thank you for the chance.
    leliamae54(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, another Narnia fan. Good luck, Lucy.

      Delete
  11. YAY!!! I'm SO glad this is good, I wasn't sure but I knew I wanted to read it....now I feel more sure I want to read it! :D

    Many Blessings, Amada
    amada_chavezATyahooDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well,I think it's great but as you can see from a few comments other readers weren't as fond of it. You'll just have to read it and make up your own mind. Good luck, Amada.

      Delete
    2. :) True, but you and I usually agree! ;) I enjoyed Narnia and I've LOVED old wardrobes ever since! :D Plus the whole mention of "a mysterious tea cup" intrigued me!

      Delete
  12. I won this book on another blog and am trying to be patient for it to arrive. I really liked Kara Isaac's first book Close to You (even though I'm not a Tolkien fan and didn't get all the Lord of the Rings references). I have a feeling she is going to be another "must read" author for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I hope it comes soon! I'm with you on Kara Isaac being on my must read list now too.

      Delete
  13. Gosh, I hope I didn't imply a negative view with my comment! I never want to scare readers away from books, I think each one of us has to decide if a book is to our liking or not. There are many different genres and tastes for different readers. Kara has great writing skills when it comes to a story & I never meant to imply I didn't like her as an author! I just couldn't connect with this book as much as I wanted to.

    I want you guys to decide for yourselves if this is to your liking, this was strictly my opinion on the book itself....NOT her writing (which was excellent). I'm looking forward to reading Close to You at some point in time :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No worries, Trixi. Reading is always a personal choice. I've read some books that people have adored only to find them fall flat for me (the books not the people. LOL) That's the wonder of fiction. Every story can't connect with every reader.

      Delete
    2. Hi Trixi (and Kav!) I'm going to let you in on something. When I wrote the first draft Can't Help Falling I didn't connect with it AT ALL!

      Unlike Close To You, where Jackson and Allie spoke to me during the whole writing process, Peter and Emelia felt like strangers that whole nine months. When I turned it into my editor I knew that it wasn't good enough but I also had no idea what was missing or how to fix it. It wasn't until I pulled it apart and did major rewrites as part of the editing process that Peter and Emelia started becoming real to me. Even then I was dreading its release because I was so sure that people were going to be able to see on the page how much I'd struggled writing it and I was bracing myself for the "sophomore slump" reviews I was sure were coming! So no one has been more surprised than me the way it has resonated with some readers and I am so grateful and humbled by that.

      Like Kav, I sometimes read a book that everyone else seems to adore and go "huh, that one didn't really do it for me." So I don't see your comment as negative at all. Just the reality that every book can't be the right fit for every reader :)

      Delete
    3. That's interesting, Kara, but I can tell you this reader didn't see that writing struggle at all. You make it look so easy! Peter and Emelia's story tickles me in so many ways. I was committed from that first wardrobe scene. Bwahahahaha! (And Reepicheep sealed the deal)

      Delete
  14. Me, too, Trixi....don't want to be negative! Your last paragraph is a good summation!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Again, no worries. It's not being negative if you just don't feel a connection with a story. Like I said to Trixi, that happens to me too where others are over the moon about a book. As you both say -- it's up to each individual to decide for themselves whether the like a book or not.

      And on that note -- I recently read a book that had quite a bit of negative talk around the cyberworld and some lower rated reviews. Well, I loved that book. Loved it!!!! But I'd put off reading it because of what I'd read. So there you go -- we're all different. And isn't that a wonderful thing? God knew what he was doing when He made readers and writers. :-)

      Delete
    2. Now, I want to know what book you're talking about, Kav! I am famous for loving books that aren't as popular with other readers.

      Delete
    3. The book was Innkeeper at Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen. It's different from her previous work and some people didn't like it for various reasons. But I LOVED it.

      Delete
    4. That's so great to know. I, too, had read that some were disappointed. I purchased it, anyway, but have yet to read it. Thanks for sharing the title. It makes me feel optimistic. :-)

      Delete
  15. Oh my goodness gracious I have heard sooo many awesome things about "Can't Help Falling." Why haven't I put this on my list? Not entering because I just won but WOW! You clinched it. Stellar review. I am sold!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kelly. And just so you know you can still enter draws even if you've recently own. That's the wonderfulness of randomness...it's so random. :-)

      Delete
  16. I haven't read any books by this author, but I've read lots of wonderful reviews. Would love to give her books a try. Thanks for the opportunity.
    pwestfall7 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think she's great! And I think she only has the two books out so far so there's time to catch up. Good luck, Pam.

      Delete
  17. Don't scream when I confess I have not traveled to Narnia. If I win this book I promise I will, in preparation for Can't Help Falling.

    Dblaser(at)windstream(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Narnia just makes me happy. I remember reading each of the books in the series so vividly. And I have all the various editions in my collection from the ratty old library discards to brand spanking new editions. I bought the new books to replace the ratty ones but I couldn't bring myself to throw out the old ones. LOL Good luck, Diane.

      Delete
  18. Thanks so much for the review and having this giveaway, Kav! I'm so so thrilled that you enjoyed Can't Help Falling! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Kara. Thanks for writing such awesome books!

      Delete
  19. I'm so happy to see your wonderful review, Kav. When Can't Help Falling first came out, a reviewer from a blog I follow DNF'd the book. I was shocked. First, that she even mentioned the book if she didn't finish it and, second, that she had no valid reason for not recommending it except for not finishing it. As a reader, I look at reviews to help me decide if a book is a good fit for me. If someone doesn't finish it, that doesn't tell me anything and it is unfair to the author. For those who don't research a book like me, they may decide from this one reviewer not to read it. I went as far as contacting the blog to share my thoughts on the matter. For reference, the above mentioned blog is a multi-reviewer blog of romance, in general, with 1-2 Christian fiction reviewers. Sorry for the irrelevant rant. :-) Reading tastes are subjective and I want to support an author in the most positive way possible. That's why I enjoy your reviews and support of Christian fiction. tlhcoupon(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, and that book cover!! It gives me tummy flutters every time I look at it. :)

      Delete
    2. Yes -- I don't see how you can review a book if you haven't read it. I appreciate honest reviews -- whether I agree with them or not -- but please read the book first! Oy. If I really don't like a book enough not to finish it then I don't review it.

      And yes -- the cover is lovely -- quite unique too. Good luck, Terrill.

      Delete
  20. Oh I LOVE The Chronicles of Narnia! I'm excited to hear they tie into this one. I haven't read anything by this author yet but I've been eyeing a few of hers.

    ecriggs1990(at)aol(dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really love her style and the Narnia tie-ins are sweet and funny and sometimes poignant. Good luck, Liz.

      Delete
  21. I think I read some sort of children's condensed version of some of the Narnia books when I was young, but probably won't get most of the references either.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com






    r books

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll still enjoy this romantic read, I think, Patty. Good luck.

      Delete
  22. Kara's books both sounds like amazing reads! Thanks for the chance!

    samanthabis23 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  23. We love the Narnia series in our house. We have had two collies named Aslan and Lucy and a dachshund named Petey (Peter). This Narnia based romance sounds intriguing to me. Thanks!

    mo1202007ATyahooDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you for doing this giveaway. I have been wanting to read Can't Help Falling since I finished Close to You. My 4 and 1 year olds have already tasted our love for Tolkien and Lewis. My husband has been reading This Hobbit to them and we have a giant stuffed Lion named Aslan that you can sit on like you're riding him.

    Feel free to email me at Becca-Martin AT att DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  25. Good luck, Melissa and Rebecca.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks for the chance to win this giveaway!! lindaherold999ATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete