Just Look Up
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Just Look Up

Tyndale House / 2017 / Paperback

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Product Description

Lane Kelley is an interior designer working for J B Sweet & Associates in Chicago. Now in her seventh year, she highly focused on her goals and hopes to land a promotion as a Creative Design Director at her firm. Ryan Brooks grew up with an abusive alcoholic father and a mother who abandoned him. The Kelley family took him into their home when he was a teenager. He is now putting everything he has into developing twelve vacation cottages in hopes that it will encourage more tourists into the struggling town of Harbor Point, Michigan. Lane’s world turns upside down when her brother is in a motorcycle accident and ends up in a coma. Now she must decide what is important in her life. 

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 384
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2017
ISBN: 1496421485
ISBN-13: 9781496421487

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Publisher's Description

After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home—a quaint tourist town full of memories she’d just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work—something her eclectic family doesn’t understand.

Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren’t ideal.

Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can’t find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he’s found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all along—if only she’d just look up.

Editorial Reviews

Walsh (Paper Hearts) competently addresses issues of self-worth, shame, and redemption in this sweet, well-paced story. She lapses into preachiness at times, particularly when lamenting the ubiquity of mobile electronics, but likable characters and the strong message of discovering what truly matters carry the story to a satisfying conclusion.
This novel features a deeply emotional journey, packaged in a sweet romance with a gentle faith thread that adds an organic richness to the story and its characters.

Lane is an easy character with whom to identify: a smart, “I-glued-my-brokenness-back-together-myself, thankyouverymuch” workaholic whose strength finds too much of its foothold in the rightly earned bitterness of having been bullied as an overweight child and teen. Ryan is the guy who could have been broken by his abusive childhood, but he wasn’t. Instead, he found help, self-worth and direction among some of the very people who contributed to Lane’s feelings of being on the outside of her family, looking in. Their romantic pairing is a perfect blend of patience, discovery and sweet acceptance that goes the extra mile.

Highly recommended for fans of clean contemporary romance, late coming-of-age stories, family drama and inspirational fiction, Just Look Up is definitely one for the keeper shelf!
Growing up with the nickname “Pudge,” Lane Kelley always felt out of place in the resort town of Harbor Pointe. Now a beautiful, slim, and brilliantly successful interior designer at a prestigious design firm in Chicago—and on the brink of an important promotion—she receives word that her brother, Nate, has been in a serious accident and is in a coma.

Returning to the family who betrayed her brings back old memories, and she can’t wait to return to the city. But when Ryan Brooks re-enters her life, she realizes that not all the memories were unpleasant.

Walsh captures the essence of Lane’s angst with the perfect blend of mystery, humor, and delightful word pictures. In this beautiful story of disillusionment turned to healing, Walsh brings about a true transformation of restored friendships and love. Highly recommended.
Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh is a compelling and consistently entertaining romance novel by a master of the genre. While unreservedly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that Just Look Up is also available in a digital book format.

Product Reviews

4.8 Stars Out Of 5
4.8 out of 5
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Quality:
4 out Of 5
(4 out of 5)
Value:
3.9 out Of 5
(3.9 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4 out Of 5
(4 out of 5)
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  1. Eleanor
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Good Read
    January 16, 2018
    Eleanor
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I loved this book! I do not read much but once i started this book I could hardly put it down. I enjoyed the characters and the romance in it. I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes romance but not the really mushy kind!
  2. KavR
    Canada
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Amazing!
    December 29, 2017
    KavR
    Canada
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is real life at it's best -- and worst. Fragile family dynamics, broken lives and the hope God brings if we have the faith to see it. I felt emotionally pummeled as I wrestled right along with Lane and Ryan.

    Lane who has always felt like an outsider in her large and boisterous overachieving family. Who struggles with body image issues and feelings of self-worth. Has the need to prove herself worthy which alters her priorities in a disastrous way. There were times that I got impatient with Lane but then Walsh would deliver another gut-wrenching tidbit from her past and I'd get her that much more.

    And Ryan who has risen above horrific circumstances to become a man of integrity. The Kelley family has played a pivotal role in his life. Lifting him up when his own family failed him. Providing him with the kind of direction and acceptance he could never find at home. He has become the honorary brother and son.

    And then a single reckless act catapults Ryan and the Kelley family into a journey of self-discovery and healing. And the catalyst for a romance that Lane never saw coming. A deeply thought-provoking story that left me wondering how many times I've let fear keep me from looking up and seeing the wonders God has in store for me.
  3. Virginia
    upstate NY
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Good book
    December 28, 2017
    Virginia
    upstate NY
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Lane Kelley left the small town of Harbor Pointe for a job in Chicago. When her brother is in an accident, she returns home and gets reacquainted with family friend Ryan, who needs her help on a project. I thought the book was good and the storyline interesting. I have enjoyed other books by this author.
  4. Natalie Walters
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    It's time to look up and read this AMAZING novel!!
    November 9, 2017
    Natalie Walters
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I'm so glad I looked up and found this amazing book! This is the first full-length novel I've read by Courtney Walsh (I read her novella A Sweethaven Romance in Right Where We Belong-check out my review on Goodreads) and I've been missing out.

    Just Look Up is a highly relevant story and I loved author, Courtney Walsh's note at the end of the story explaining how the plot came to be.

    Let's talk characters. Right away we're introduced to Lane Kelley, a woman who has strived to climb the corporate ladder of success. Chained to her cell phone it takes a life threatening accident to pull her eyes up long enough to face her painful past, which includes childhood friend, Ryan Brooks.

    You guys, this story has all of the emotions and I believe it has everything to do with the masterful way Ms. Walsh crafts characters. Each character, even minor characters, are created with such depth it was impossible to not grow attached to the feelings of each as they played out. If that wasn't enough you have this story--this one that mirrors real life in its authenticity and develops this powerful theme that won't likely leave me anytime soon.

    This story does not shy away from the devastating reality behind personal pain, regret, fears, and heartbreak but Ms. Walsh brings balance penning a sweet story where forgiveness, love, and beauty can be had if only we Just Look Up.

    I highly recommend this book to readers who love a heartwarming romance that tackles tough issues but will leave you inspired, hopeful, and absolutely ready to book your next stay in Harbor Pointe.
  5. Iola
    New Zealand
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Great title that worked on different levels
    October 21, 2017
    Iola
    New Zealand
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I requested a review copy of Just Look Up because Id heard so many good things about it. Surely it couldnt possibly measure up?

    It did.

    Lane is an interior designer up for a big promotion at work when her mother calls to say her brother is on life support following a motorcycle accident. She returns home, but is immediately thrown into conflict with everyone in her family (except perhaps her father, who only gets about two lines in the whole novel). The reasons behind this conflict are gradually revealed as the novel progresses

    Ryan was also in the motorcycle accident, but escaped with minor injuries. Hes from a bad background, but hes made something of himselfwith the help of the Kelley family, who were surrogate parents for him and his sister throughout his teenage years. Hes always had feelings for Lane, but never felt good enough for her. Now he meets the adult Lane, he realises she has issues, and he might be able to help.

    Just Look Up was a great title that worked on many levels.

    There was the obvious, that we have to look up to see the world around us, to live. Lane spent much of time looking down at her phone that she missed what was going on around her. And the more subtle, the way Lane consciously or subconsciously looked down on herself.

    It seemed to me that looking down was a habit formed early in her teenage years, where she looked down because of her low self-esteem. I could relate to thisand I suspect many grown women can, especially those of us who were bookish teenagers who were never part of the cool crowd.

    To me, Just Look Up showed the lie that many of us believe in our teenage years.

    The lie that we dont fit in because arent good enough. Lane was different to the others in her familylactose intolerant in a family that made and sold cheese for a living, unattractive and unpopular (or so she thought) in a family that were attractive and popular.

    What especially hurt for Lane was that her family perpetuated the lie through their harmless name calling (Pudge is not term of endearment. Ever). The result, I think, was a teenager and adult who never understood how precious she was to God, because she never felt she was precious to her family.

    Overall, Just Look Up is a story about how achieving our dreams might not be everything we thought it might be, but the answer might have been in front of us all along. Recommended.

    Thanks to Tyndale Books and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
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