- Paperback: 223 pages
- Publisher: Independently published (March 23, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1520913486
- ISBN-13: 978-1520913483
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,533,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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What Matters Most Paperback – March 23, 2017
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What Matters Most
Helen Bea Kirk
Review by Barbara Bamberger Scott
In What Matters Most, author Helen Bea Kirk has painted a big canvas that engages us with its intimate portraits – a woman looking for what she’s lost by holding on to little pieces of the past, and a strong man used to being in control who wants to give in, for the first time, when he finds something he didn’t know he was looking for.
When Meaghan and King first meet, it’s under less than ideal circumstances: heavily disguised, she’s robbing his pawnshop. When he tries to stop her, she fires her pistol. Yet for some reason, when the police arrive on the scene, he lies and covers for the mysterious stranger, more curious than threatened. He finds a family photo she dropped at the scene and begins to look for her. Their paths continue to cross; he and his family own several pawnshops where, she believes, there are items that were stolen from her - her only links, however minimal, to a family she barely knew. She stalks King, even hiding in his closet and under his bed. She needs work and answers a job ad – as his housekeeper and personal secretary. She observes that he has a girlfriend who appears obsessed with keeping her grasp on him at any cost, while he is obviously trying to back off from the relationship. And he has an ailing but highly perceptive mother who recognizes Meaghan’s feelings for her son, and his for her, long before they do.
Add the following to this star-crossed “like affair”: an alpaca ranch, a long-lost deranged cousin intent on stalking Meaghan, an innocent twelve-year-old boy whose very existence could be the crux of more than one mystery, and an unknown woman skilled in the art of boxing. This makes for an action packed, constantly shifting story line.
Kirk, an experienced wordsmith with four other novels to her credit (The Bachelor of Belmead, Returned to Me, Shepherds' Mayday, Done Running), has gone the distance in this latest work. Her heroine Meaghan is gutsy, angry, wounded, and very fast on the uptake, while leading man King is a once-burned-twice-love-shy tough guy with a lot of baggage. But King has something Meaghan never really enjoyed – a close, loving family. Being part of that family for even a little while makes her long for warmth – his warmth.
Kirk’s writing is skillful. She has a good ear for conversation, an apparent liking for bizarre (but tasteful) situations -- as when Meaghan ropes and confines a herd of unruly beasts -- and a lively sense of humor. The backdrop of the pawnshop business supplies some interesting undertones as King takes it on himself to find Meaghan’s missing treasure.
Kirk’s imaginative gifts pull together many seemingly unconnected threads and weave them into an intricate tapestry that will make you stand back and admire -- as you turn the pages.
What will you do if everything you had as a memory of your loved ones is stolen? Job is only helping in paying half of your rent, your distant relative is making you clean the house for hours long in exchange for a place to live. You find your belongings at pawn shops and on internet trying to sell you back your own things? Will you risk life in trying to steal them like Meagan? How much it’s ethically right or wrong in trying to get your belongings back?
That tag line on cover perfectly defines the book.
What matters Most is character driven realistic fiction novel with bit of romance a bit of suspense, and lots of drama. A refreshing love story of Meagan Morris and King Pullman narrated in third person which was focused on their life, their past and people around them. It’s about importance of things, memory of loved ones that emotionally attach you to the things they left behind.
I can’t separate characters from what I liked and at the end I loved whole book so I guess there no need in sectioning this review.
What I liked-
Variety is spice of life- here this verity was characters and they spiced this book so perfectly. All characters had their flaws, they were so much realistic and relatable. Book was very lighthearted, funny that made me chuckle now and then. It was emotional and had a feel good factor in it.
The beginning was remarkable, it directly started with Meagan out in her truck with gun ready to look out for her possessions in King’s pawn shop and her first encounter with King. This beginning only made the overview on both character interesting and I knew I’m going to love this book.
Meagan was a widow who lost her family at young age. Her husband died fighting in Afghan. She had no one except her best friend Rhonda (divorced and crazy for handsome man). Her family heirloom and possessions were all she had left in memory of her loved ones, but when they were stolen, it was emotional breakdown for her and also it drew her deeper into financial crisis. She was strong feisty woman who can fight and even can use a gun. She was real nice talented woman but she was desperate to get her things back. She didn’t have money to buy her things back from pawn shop and paying for what was hers was infuriating, nope she won’t do it. So she planned to steal them from those who possessed them. And that’s how she met King and his family.
Meagan’s situation was really bad. Life was so unfair to her, she had a lot of pain in her but still she kept herself going, I admire her for that. Her thoughts and monologues were heart touching, it made me understand her better and that’s why it felt fair when she went on hunt for her heirloom. I feared initially like King that she would end up in jail or hurt someone in her desperation but I’m surprised seeing that she actually never meant to mortally endanger anyone and she hardly used her gun and I like her ethics and compassion for people around her.
King Pullman was rich, handsome, mature, and kind to a fault. He had a great experience with people and could judge them just by look. When Maegan came to his shop in disguise to steal her Grandma’s pear, her action falters his judgment and he didn’t turn her to police. Photo she left at shop made him curious to know about her. He was protective for his family as well so to save his father brother from her gunpoint, he hunted for her possession before she does.
King couldn’t understand her madness and I don’t blame him because these two characters hardly knew each other and it was easy for him to overlook Meagan’s situation and emotion because they never talked about it. But when he searched a bit about Meagan, met Andrew, and in climax met his customer and her Willowby relative, he eventually understood her and that changed his thoughts about Meagan.
They both King and Meagan struggled in life, matured in life very early. Good thing was it was it’s not love at first sight. The relationship between Meagan and King was slow burner and very sweet. It was clean romance novel with family drama.
Pullman family were into pawn business. Jack Pullman (angry old man) his eldest son King and younger one Ace (28 but acted like a teenage). King’s mother Sandra was nicest of all and kind learned woman but stroke had taken its toll, she was weak and needed care. I loved this old lady in the book. This Pullman family was really amazing and it was amusing to read them in the book.
Gayla was cunning woman who had biggest crust on King since 9th grade and was after him since that. She was extorting money by emotionally blackmailing him and poor King was tolerating her out of guilt (that I got why) and his fear of hurting her (that I couldn’t understand because he knew the truth very early). She was so full of lie and mean woman and totally blind in her madness for King. But the change in this character at the end of the book was shocking.
Andrew was another mean person who never valued women in his life and was after Meagan because his parents were bribing him to date her. That Willowby family – distant relative of Meagan- were weird. It was hard to digest that woman like Meagan was tolerating them.
There was no big suspense in the book except who was the robber. Rest of the things were already put in front of readers so it was easy to see where thing will go eventually but how that I couldn’t guess.
In climax when Sandra played a detective part to save his son was surprising, I like the way she revealed Gayla’s lies and set her son free. Oh and that fighting and hospital part and everything after that was hilarious. End was not how I guessed it but I like the way author wrote it, nice and sweet that left me smiling.
Overall, it was entertaining, dramatic, light hearted, clean romance novel with interesting characters that anyone will enjoy.
Meagan lost everything - her family and her precious possessions. She was on a mission. Her late husband taught her well! She sets out to retrieve her precious items and she's not afraid to do anything necessary to get them back. Everything in her broken life changes when she meets King Pullman.
King is great (my favourite character). He first meets Meagan when she holds hims at gunpoint demanding jewellery she demands is hers. Kind is scared for himself and his family but instead of handing her over to the police he lets her go with the jewels.
Now King is changed forever - he cannot stop thinking about this mysterious woman.
The story continues at a great pace and we find more out about both Meagan and King.
This story made me laugh and smile a lot. It was light hearted in places but also packed a punch too.
I loved the interaction between King and Meagan and how King shows his feelings toward Meagan who secretly feels the same.
I'm glad the story ended how it did. A lovely ending for a fantastic story.
My first experience of author Helen Bea Kirk and it definitely won't be my last.
I cannot wait to read more of her work!
A refreshing read and a change to what I normally read.
Fantastic!! Highly recommended!
Most recent customer reviews
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