Close to You
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Close to You

Howard Books / 2016 / Paperback

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Product Description

Allison Shire is done with love and travels to New Zealand to work as a tour guide for Lord of the Rings movie sites. But she doesn't expect to meet Jackson Gregory, a would-be entrepreneur who's pretending to be a Tolkien aficionado. Will the know-it-all guide and fake fan take a chance on romance? 320 pages, softcover from Howard.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Howard Books
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 5.50 X 8.38 (inches)
ISBN: 1501117327
ISBN-13: 9781501117329

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Publisher's Description

A disgraced scholar running from her past and an entrepreneur chasing his future find themselves thrown together—and fall in love—on a Tolkien tour of New Zealand.

Allison Shire (yes, like where the Hobbits live) is a disgraced academic who is done with love. Her belief in “happily ever after” ended the day she discovered her husband was still married to a wife she knew nothing about. She finally finds a use for her English degree by guiding tours through the famous sites featured in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. By living life on the road and traveling New Zealand as a luxury tour guide, Allison manages to outrun the pain of her past she can’t face.

Jackson Gregory was on the cusp of making it big. Then suddenly his girlfriend left him—for his biggest business competitor—and took his most guarded commercial secrets with her. To make matters worse, the Iowa farm that has been in his family for generations is facing foreclosure. Determined to save his parents from financial ruin, he’ll do whatever it takes to convince his wealthy great-uncle to invest in his next scheme, which means accompanying him to the bottom of the world to spend three weeks pretending to be a die-hard Lord of the Rings fan, even though he knows nothing about the stories. The one thing that stands between him and his goal is a know-it-all tour guide who can’t stand him and pegged him as a fake the moment he walked off the plane.

When Allison leads the group through the famous sites of the Tolkien movies, she and Jackson start to see each other differently, and as they keep getting thrown together on the tour, they find themselves drawn to each other. Neither expected to fall in love again, but can they find a way beyond their regrets to take a chance on the one thing they’re not looking for?

Author Bio

Kara Isaac is an award-winning writer who lives in Wellington, New Zealand, where her career highlights include working in tourism as Private Secretary for the Prime Minister. She loves great books almost as much as she loves her husband and two children.

Editorial Reviews

"Allie and Jackson share an immediate chemistry that readers will appreciate from the start. Both have built solid emotional walls that take effort to tear down, which makes for a courtship full of humor, tears and introspection that leads them both back to God."
“A terrific set-up…Isaac showcases a strong romantic sensibility and clever plotting.”
"The perfect combination of sweet and sass, Close To You is a charming debut that had me laughing and left me smiling. Well done Ms. Isaac!"
"A new voice on the romance scene, New Zealander Kara Isaac has crafted a sweet and oh-so-original debut romantic comedy that will delight contemporary romance fans, Tolkien lovers and inspy romance readers alike. Add this novel to your TBR stack … and add this author to your 'authors to watch' radar. Recommended!"
"[A] charming novel that blends faith, romance and Tolkien." 
"A fabulous debut. Well-written, clever, and warm-hearted this love story with the back drop of Lord of the Rings will delight romance readers everywhere. Add Isaac to your favorite's list."
"Well-written and fun, Close to You made me laugh out loud and fall in love. An enchanting romantic escape into the land of Frodo and Aragorn."
"I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a debut novel so much. Close to You is filled with warmth, wit, and more than a few laugh-out-loud moments! Kara Isaac has proven herself to be an exciting addition to the world of Christian romance."


"Close To You is a tasty blend ofunlikely romance, lovably flawed characters, and dialogue just snarky enough to make me want to pull up a chair and watch. Kara's unique voice and fresh premise combine to create a compelling story that lingers like your favorite dessert long after the last page."
"Kara Isaac is a fresh new voice in the world of inspirational contemporary romance . . . and I can't even decide what I love most about her debut novel. The setting, the romance, the wit, I love it all! I especially loved the undercurrent of hope and redeemed dreams. Definitely an author to watch and characters to love!"
“Kara Isaac is a fresh new voice in inspirational contemporary romance! Close to You is well-crafted, funny, unique, and endearing. A delight!”

Product Reviews

4.9 Stars Out Of 5
4.9 out of 5
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Quality:
4.8 out Of 5
(4.8 out of 5)
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4.8 out Of 5
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Meets Expectations:
4.8 out Of 5
(4.8 out of 5)
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Displaying items 1-5 of 24
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  1. taralynee
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    light, fun, unique
    August 31, 2017
    taralynee
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The lightheartedness of this book was something I really needed. And I'd been wanting to try Kara Isaac's books for quite a while, so basically this was great all around -- reading something from my ever-increasing TBR list that happened to be just exactly perfect for me right now.

    Close to You reminded me a lot of the movie Leap Year... Not in story, really, but just in the feel of it-- they are both such fun stories, and even though there is sad stuff that happens, they are happy stories. Bright. Like sunshine.

    Allison is a Lord of the Rings tour guide in her native New Zealand, and she's given enough tours that she's basically seen it all as far as her clients go. Except for one that changes her life permanently.

    While love is the last thing Jackson expects to find on his trip to New Zealand as he masquerades as an avid Tolkien fan, he quickly realizes that just maybe he doesn't have his future mapped out at all.

    This book is well-written and truly a fun read. It's such a sweet story. This one has to be ice cream. You pick the flavor. Something that is refreshing to you.
  2. Crystal
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Super Book for Tolkien Fans!
    August 23, 2017
    Crystal
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    After discovering her husband is actually already married, Allison Shire escapes the shame and pain from his betrayal by becoming a luxury tour guide for Tolkien enthusiasts. While she impatiently waits for confirmation that her request for an annulment is granted, Allison meets self-absorbed, handsome, and overly confident Jackson Gregory on one of her tours. Trying to hide his lack of knowledge- and enthusiasm- for the overzealous Tolkien-themed tour, Jackson has one simple goal in mind- to convince his wealthy great uncle to invest in his next business venture so he can help save the family farm back in the States. While initially repulsed by each other, Allison and Jackson find their hearts opening to one another as the tour guests mysteriously seem to be playing matchmaker with them. However, when Jackson learns that Allison is actually married, and Allisons husband betrays her once again, they both must overcome their fears of being hurt again in order to allow trust to pave the way to love.



    I, personally, am not very familiar with Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit (gasp!), so many of the references to the movies/books were lost on me. However, I did recognize the humor laced throughout the story! Allison and Jackson are two very unlikely people to be attracted to one another, yet the development of their relationship was conceivable. Isaac did exceptionally well at portraying the personal growth of both characters, especially Jackson. Unique ending, too!



    This review contains my own thoughts and opinions. I have not been compensated by the publisher or author in any way.
  3. Britt98
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Enjoyed This Book
    July 28, 2017
    Britt98
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Close to You was a really fun contemporary novel! I loved the unique setting and sometimes a bit wacky characters. I could easily see this being a very fun romantic comedy movie. This was the first book I read by this author and I look forward to reading more.
  4. Annelr
    Brighton, MI
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Sass and Passion in New Zealand
    December 31, 2016
    Annelr
    Brighton, MI
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Close to You, debut novel by Kara Isaac is quite an entertaining contemporary romance. Alison and Jackson meet on a three week tour of Tolkein's New Zealand and the snarkiness begins! Both have baggage from the past, big baggage, hurtful baggage, destructive baggge. Can they get past the previous disatrous relationships and begin something new? Will they be able to see beyond their wounds and understand that life does not have to be defined by their mistakes? Isaac, amidst the background of The Lord of the Rings, blends a great storyline and flawed, charming characters with humor, faith and family values to bring readers a delightful love story. Looking forward to reading more of this author's work.
  5. Brittany_BnBblog
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Close to You Kara Isaac (5 Stars)
    December 13, 2016
    Brittany_BnBblog
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Allison Shire's life as an academic fell apart the day that her husbands wife walked into the middle of her lecture. With a Ph.D. in English, Allison has left the university world and run home to piece together her life again, becoming a guide for luxury tours of New Zealand. On one of her last tours, Allisons group includes Jackson Gregory, a failed businessman with his own share of relationship challenges. After his girlfriend ran off with his trade secrets and his biggest competition, Jackson is desperate to please his wealthy great-uncle on a zany trip to New Zealand, even if it means three weeks of Tolkien references that he does not understand. Together, Allison and Jackson discover the true meaning of second chances and seeing through one another to their true selves, against some of the craziest odds ever conceived in fiction or real life.

    Ms. Isaac brings the fantastic landscape of New Zealand to life in her debut novel, Close to You. Fans of Tolkien and the latest film series will be absolutely thrilled with Ms. Isaac's depiction of his literary works and the behind-the-scenes life of those who call the film sets home.

    Overall, I was absolutely delighted with Close to You! Melissa Tagg, Becky Wade, and several other notable Christian authors highly recommended this novel. With the added benefit of having read Ms. Isaac' sophomore work, Can't Help Falling, I was eager to see what she would do with a story set in her native New Zealand. She certainly did not disappoint! With an incredible eye for detail and comedic timing, Ms. Isaac offers a fun and fascinating tale filled with excellent and complex characters. Additionally, she presents a unique and engaging storyline that will keep readers absolutely riveted.

    Thanks!

    Brittany at the Books and Biscuits Blog
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