Paige McAllister has simply been existing since a tragedy which claimed her brother’s life. When she finally becomes aware of this fact, she turns her life upside down. Paige breaks up with her boyfriend, quits her job and moves halfway across the world to Sydney, Australia. She hopes that major change will be a catalyst for a better quality of life.
Josh Tyler has two unfortunate run-ins with this American stranger on his way back home after a long worship concert tour. His parents just happen to pastor one of the largest churches in Australia. He has learned to be cautious thanks to his family’s prominence. When his mother hires Paige to be the temporary event coordinator for the church, Josh is predisposed to distrust Paige despite the attraction he fights towards her.
When Josh and Paige are force to work together, neither one is happy about it. Their judgments about each other are colored by their own past traumas. Will they be able to overcome not only their prejudices, but their pasts which still haunt them?
Then There Was You is a delightful read. Though Kara Isaac’s latest release deals with serious topics such as trauma, betrayal, loss and the burdens of unwanted fame, it is full of humor, grace and fun.
The chemistry between Josh and Paige is clear from their first meeting. It continues to build as they fight their attraction to each other. Though it is clear they will eventually surrender to their feelings, the journey towards that surrender is so much fun. They have a genuine rapport and mutually shared sense of the ridiculous that overrides their own resistance.
I also appreciate how the author compassionately presents the tragedies that both Josh and Paige experienced in their pasts. It was clear that these tragedies were acting as a hindrance to their futures. One of the reasons I literally couldn’t put this book down is that the author displayed the effects of their past experiences without fully explaining what these events were. The mysteries of their pasts were revealed oh so slowly and because of this, it produced a greater impact.
Then There Was You is also a behind the scenes look at how a mega church can operate. This is a topic I have never seen discussed in fiction before. Thankfully, the author presented the best of how such a church should operate while also showing the pitfalls and unique challenges it faces. The fame that comes along with an internationally recognized name is less forgiving towards those that bear the name of Christ. The standards are impossibly high and forgiveness for failure is non-existent. Not to mention that there are always those with an agenda against those who serve God. Through the lens of Paige’s past we are also exposed to the negative side of large churches. We see the wounds that those who claim God can inflict on others and the extreme emotional damage such hypocrisy can cause.
This is Kara Isaac’s third release and she gets better and better with each one. I remember reading her first book and all the positive buzz which surrounded it. Even though I loved her first two stories, until I read Then There Was You I didn’t truly realize what an exceptional talent she is. If you are looking for an author who can weave in unique ideas to stories which will touch your heart and make you laugh, then I highly recommend you pick up one of her titles.