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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.
Number of Pages: 384
Vendor: Tyndale House
|Publication Date: 2017|
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 arent ideal.
Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan cant 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 hes found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all alongif only shed just look up.
Returning to the family who betrayed her brings back old memories, and she cant 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 Lanes 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.
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 wasnt. Instead, he found help, self-worth and direction among some of the very people who contributed to Lanes 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!
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.
Britt98Grand Prairie, TXAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Good Story!July 19, 2017Britt98Grand Prairie, TXAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Just Look Up was a journey in forgiveness, taking chances, and learning to live life instead of being glued to a phone. I really felt for the main characters, Ryan and Lane. They both had things from their past that impacted the decisions they made in the present and they way they viewed themselves.
Lane, in particular, had trouble letting go of all of the hurts she had experienced as a child and young woman. And, honestly, I couldn't really blame her! The things this girl went through, the way she was treated, and the lack of understanding and empathy was cruel. At first, I wasn't sure that I could get past that in the story, yet the author handled and resolved things very nicely, leaving me really enjoying the second half of the book!
I loved the relationship between these two main characters. Their backstory of friendship was sweet and I really enjoyed seeing how things developed between them.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Susan Barrett4 Stars Out Of 5Cute Story with a Great MessageJuly 17, 2017Susan BarrettQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 3Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh is a really cute, relevant book. It is a stand-alone and is my first by this author; Ive been wanting to read something of hers after seeing so many of my favorite authors gush about her writings.
Lane Kelley is an interior designer who is very focused on her career and the company shes involved in. She has worked to distance herself from her childhood hometown and make a name for herself in Chicago and the interior design industry. Its all she thinks about, all she does, all she focuses on. She sleeps, eats, and breathes her career. Its not until she receives a devastating phone call that her brother has been in a motorcycle accident that she slowly begins to wake up and look at those around her instead of being so solely focused on herself.
Ryan Brooks is Lane Kelleys brothers best friend, and was in the accident with him. He had a childhood crush on Lane, and when she comes back to town to check on her brother, hes hit all over again by his attraction to her, and he determines this is his moment to try and win her heart. Will she be able to tear her eyes away from her phone and her thoughts away from work for long enough to notice him?
This is a sweet story that shares a good message about taking time away from your phone and paying attention to friends and family. Its appropriate for all ages. I thought the plot moved along pretty well, albeit predictable, and I liked Ryans character. I will admit it was a lot harder to like Lane because she was SO focused on her phone for so much of the story that it look me a while to find a reason to feel compassion for her. But a note to those who feel the same way about Lane: stick it out. She does have some redeeming qualities and a backstory that will help you realize why she acts the way she does.
Thank you to Tyndale House publishers for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion which Ive done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
IrishGirlatHeartAge: 35-44Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Great readJuly 11, 2017IrishGirlatHeartAge: 35-44Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This book is so relevant for today's life of cell phones, tablets and computers. We have more ways today to be connected with people, yet we seem to interact less and are "busy" connecting to see who and what are right in front of us. Through story, Courtney does a wonderful job of challenging the reader to put down the phone, close the computer and disconnect, so we can reconnect with others on a personal level.
Lane is prickly. Ryan is persistent. Lane is running and hiding from things in her past. Things that caused deep hurt and leading to some misunderstood feeling with others in her life. Ryan recognizes the woman suddenly back in his life, but she is changed. He is determined to get past the wall she had built to protect her heart. She is determined to take care of business and get back to her life. Ryan is has own concerns, which could hurt those he loves the most.
I loved watching Lane work through her emotions and soften toward Ryan and those who had hurt her. Beautiful things happened when she was able to look up and see those around her and understand that relationships can heal. Sweet Ryan learned not only to forgive and love but to be forgiven and to love.
A small side note, I love when the author intends for a certain message to come across through the pages and that message is clear and received. I love even more when a message the author may not have intended makes just as much of an impact on the reader. That's what this book was for me. I got the very intended take away, but i walked away with so much more.
I highly recommend this book. It is well written, the characters are well developed, relatable and real. The story line is beautiful and the message is needed today.
Kate5 Stars Out Of 5ExcellentJuly 11, 2017KateQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5When I see a book written by Courtney Walsh, I know it's a must read. Each and every book I've read by Walsh has inspired and touched my heart in an uncanny way - as if she wrote her books specifically for me. And this one, Just Look Up, is no exception.
Walsh packs a punch in her newest release. Full of real life tension from complicated family dynamics, the unpredictable curveballs of life, and a journey to discover God's grace and forgiveness amid deep pain, this book has it all. From beginning to end I clearly identified with the heroine of Lane and traveled page after page with her, as if I were walking right in her shoes. The message of this book, to look up and see a perspective and plan bigger and better than our own will resonate long after the final page has turned.
I highly recommend this book as well as Walsh's other novels. She has a story and message meant to be heard.
I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
AshleyAge: Under 18Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A sweet story of forgiveness and unconditional love.July 10, 2017AshleyAge: Under 18Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This my first book I've read by Courtney Walsh, but it will definitely not be my last.
Forced to take time off her job in Chicago because her brother is in a coma, Lane Kelly reluctantly returns home to Harbor Pointe and the insecurities buried there. Apart from the busy life she's built for herself, Lane must face the sister who betrayed her trust, the family she's still bitter towards, and Ryan Brooks, one of her few friends growing up. During their time taking care of her brother, Brooks gently questions Lane's life in Chicago, pointing out the flaws in her view of success and the phone that controls her identity. Through Brooks' persistence and perspective on life, Lane comes to realize that her identity is not found in her awards and success at work, but in the unconditional love of God. She does not have to constantly strive to be more- being who God created her is enough. Filled with relatable characters and a charming tourist town that I didn't want to leave, the novel is a touching tale of forgiveness, unconditional love, and the beautiful life God has given us if we just look up.