A sweet story. I enjoy Nicole Deese’s writing style and her talent with characters. The foster home angle was especially deft—Before I Called You Mine was the first of Deese’s novels I had read, and here as there her heart for adoption and children in need was evident. The gradual deepening of Molly’s character throughout the course of the story was excellent, especially how her focus shifted from herself to others’ needs, and her “breaking point” scene was particularly strong. Silas was a good foil to her assumptions—and she to his—as their personalities clashed and complemented by turns, although it wasn’t always easy for me to instantly identify which point of view I was in. Her contact name for him in their texting conversations was a nice touch. Silas’s care for the teens under him was endearing, and I loved how the tensions and interactions between him and his brothers added new dimensions to his serious demeanor. I’ve always been interested in beauty and fashion, so having a heroine with that as her passion was enjoyable for me—so much more than just a fluffy personality. It was interesting to see the nuts-and-bolts work of being a big-name influencer.
I’m not much of a romance fan generally, so I enjoyed the other elements of the story more, although the ending seemed a bit convenient. A few elements were a little edgy for me, particularly an indecent fashion trend that Molly, to her credit, had to make hard choices about. Because of that and the mention of immorality between other characters, I don’t recommend this for younger readers. (Also not a fan of sexy being used repeatedly, but I digress.) For all the character growth, there was very little about Christ or His Word—just a vague deepening of faith without much solid basis or much effect on how and when Silas fell in love. I would have liked to see him waiting on God until he and Molly were in agreement on spiritual things. It would also have been nice to see him in the hero/rescuer role a bit more, given how often Molly took that position.
Overall, a sweet story with some interesting story elements, recommended for fans of inspirational contemporary romance who aren’t bothered by the above caveats. I enjoy Nicole Deese’s writing and look forward to my next try.