- File Size: 4878 KB
- Print Length: 267 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: April 6, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B06W54FJM3
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #484,127 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Just the Way You Are (A Pleasant Gap Romance Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 267 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 14 - 18|
|Grade Level: 9 - 12|
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Actually yes there is, and Pepper Basham does a wonderful job of crafting one of the sweetest romances I've read in a while. Both Wes and Eisley are healing from painful pasts; he's a reformed rake and she's barely over the betrayals of her ex, a serial adulterer. Both want to trust God and throw themselves into His grace and incredible plans for them, but the reality of life often gets in the way. People and circumstances continually try to tear these two apart, but they hang onto each other with cheer-worthy tenacity, through tough circumstances and across oceans. Pepper's use of the Song of Solomon quote about love that many waters cannot quench fits perfectly into this story.
The individual scenes and subplots Pepper crafts took my breath away. England comes alive, from the fancy Christmas gala to Wes' family home, Rose Hill Cottage. I love the interactions between Eisley, Wes, and later, Wes and the kids. I got a real kick out of the tower scene, and enjoyed Eisley's journey toward becoming a true author. I wanted to see more of it, and maybe a little more of Julia Ramsden's story. If Pepper truly wanted to go epic, she could've made this story a historical/contemporary novel, although what exists is great on its own.
In general, I wanted and needed to see "more" of a few things. For instance, Eisley drops bits of her siblings' stories, but doesn't go into detail. I love where this is going--I want to see Pepper develop a whole series based on the Jenkins family. But the problem is, the way Eisley talks about these stories at times, it feels like the reader should already know all the details. That could've been done better. As noted, I wanted to see more of Eisley's research project, and maybe some more character development for Vivian. She's a good villain, but a bit flat--right at the end, she seemed borderline psychotic. Kind of a letdown--I've seen the crazy ex before. I would've also liked to see less of Eisley and Wes' conflict revolving around whether Eisley would or would not leak information to the tabloids. Seen it, and besides, she proved over and over that she wouldn't. At one point I wanted to ask Wes, "Dude, when are you gonna get it?"
The Kindle edition, at least, had some editing problems. There were a few misspellings or varied ones (Lizzie, Lizze, Lizzy, McElroy, MacLeroy, etc.) There were also some name changes; a minor character is called Mack Richardson, then Mack Larson. This was annoying at times, but forgivable in light of the good stuff. My only advice to Pepper is, please write more.
Highly suspect of his parents' house guest, Wes is sure Eisley is visiting for more reasons than novel research. Now that he has gotten right with God and reformed his ways, Wes hasn't dated anyone in two years, and he is certain the American visitor is not going to break his resolve. Until he suddenly decides that Eisley is guileless and genuine, and then he full-out pursues her, much to her consternation.
She doesn't want to be involved with someone with his kind of past. Not when it so resembles the past that made an ex of her husband. Yet the new Wes has a genuine joy and peace about him which can't help but draw her to him, and the two decide to become friends.
I did take issue with a few things in this novel. I knew from the first chapter that this book was way more straight-up romance than I prefer to read. I strongly considered not continuing because it was not my style. But the characters had so much potential, with Eisley healing from betrayal and Wes proving he is not bound by previous mistakes, that I decided to stick with it. There's a lot of silliness with how many people try to convince these two they are perfect for each other, which is far from anything I've encountered in real life. Additionally, due to content I would not recommend this to readers under age 16.
From an editing perspective, I was distracted by missing words or quotation marks, character names inconsistently spelled (using McKelroy and MacLeroy on the same page was particularly noticeable), and other goofs like the scene where Eisley's stated hairstyle changes from being in a ponytail to being loose to being in a ponytail again. I realize these things happen and that some readers truly do not mind, but they are big detracting factors to me and it would be unfair not to address it when I've taken other books to task for similar issues.
All that being said, I did think the author did a good job making use of her characters' potential. The complexities of the relationship star in the final third of the book, with each working through obstacles both expected and surprising. Overall I liked it enough that I would try this author again, and I realize it's not the book's fault that it isn't in my preferred genre. Sometimes it takes more than one try to click with an author, and maybe that will be the case here.
Top international reviews
This is a novel which shows how grace and love can change even the hardest of hearts. I loved it and am eager for more stories about the family. Be prepared to fall in love with Eisley, Wes and their families. Another thing to love is the interactions between parents, children and siblings. A true family affair which is unputdownable.