Author: Nicole Deese
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 5, 2022
When the ever-cautious Val Locklier moves cross-country with her son for a secure job, everything she'd planned unravels within the first week. After Val reluctantly agrees to rent an apartment from her best friend's brother, an unexpected chance at an elite filmmakers' mentorship ignites fresh hope for a dream career. But as Val's community begins to expand, so do her insecurities, especially those heightened by her growing attraction to a certain friendly landlord.
Pastor Miles McKenzie returns home from a short-term mission trip to discover that not only does he have an intriguing new tenant living upstairs, he's also been reassigned to a local ministry on life support. Disillusioned and restless, he distracts himself by throwing his energy into a host of new projects--not the least of which is pursuing Val--without stopping to consider the future.
As Val struggles to stop hiding behind the camera and Miles wrestles with shattered expectations, they'll find that authentic love and sacrifice must go hand in hand.
Reviewer: Paula Shreckhise
A beautifully written, heart-tugging story.
Ms. Deese has given us characters that are real. We recognize part of ourselves in their stories. They are vulnerable but want to serve and are looking for God’s purpose in their lives.
Miles is a pastor whose ministry focus has changed, but he resents the senior pastor for moving him to an outreach facility that he sees as dying. A mentor coaches him about listening to God. “That still small voice will speak when you’re ready to listen. Your job is to slow down long enough to hear it.” He has stayed single for his ministry, but God has other plans for him.
Let the fun begin when Miles finds Val in his thought-to-be-empty rental apartment! As they get to know each other, Ms. Deese inserts wit and humor. She also has fun showing us Val’s ten-year-old son, Tucker.
Val is trying to make a fresh start and is wary of opening up to new friends. ”Perhaps the first real step in being seen by those you loved was lowering your guard enough to risk being honest.”
Some difficult topics are dealt with, but the author handles them with grace and finesse. Through her characters, she challenges us to really love our neighbor by putting away pride, uncertainty, and vulnerability. “Sometimes all that it takes is one person being willing to step out in love for the betterment of another to change the trajectory of an entire life.”
This story runs the gamut from solemn to cute and quirky.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Winnie Thomas
“. . . sometimes all that it takes is one person being willing to step out in love for the betterment of another to change the trajectory of an entire life.”
Deep, thoughtful, and beautifully written, Nicole Deese’s book, All That It Takes, showcases her great talent for crafting exquisite stories with unforgettable characters. Miles McKenzie and Val Locklier are realistically-flawed and emotionally layered main characters faced with major life changes. When their lives collide, with help from Miles’ twin sister Molly, they find their futures may look different than they had planned. I enjoyed seeing them grow and change in their relationship and outlooks.
With Deese’s signature sense of humor, vivid imagery, and emotional depth, this story kept my interest from the first page. Powerful themes of faith in God, service to others, and the impact our actions can have on others are seamlessly incorporated into the tale without being preachy. When I pick up a book by Nicole Deese, I’m guaranteed a thought-provoking, touching read, and this one certainly delivered. It’s headed right to my keeper shelf.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers. All opinions are my own.
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