Author: Nicole Deese
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: A Fog Harbor Romance #1
Release Date: April 11, 2023
Publisher: Bethany House
Three friends. Two broken promises. One missing manuscript.
As a senior acquisitions editor for Fog Harbor Books in San Francisco, Ingrid Erikson has rejected many a manuscript for lack of defined conflict and dramatic irony--two elements her current life possesses in spades. In the months following the death of her childhood best friend and international bestselling author Cecelia Campbell, Ingrid has not only lost her ability to escape into fiction due to a rare trauma response, but she's also desperate to find the closure she's convinced will come with Cecelia's missing final manuscript.
After Ingrid jeopardizes her career, she fears her future will remain irrevocably broken. But then Joel Campbell--the man who shattered her belief in happily-ever-afters--offers her a sealed envelope from his late cousin, Cecelia, asking Joel and to put their differences aside and retrieve a mysterious package in their coastal Washington hometown.
Honoring Cecelia's last request will challenge their convictions and test their loyalties, but through it all, will Ingrid and Joel be brave enough to uncover a twice-in-a-lifetime love?
Reviewer: Mindy Houng
"We can't change the time we've spent, just how we choose to spend the time we have left."
Wow. I've been a fan of Nicole Deese's writing for some time now, but every time I read a new book from this fabulous author, I'm astounded all over again by how beautifully she weaves raw, aching human emotions into a masterpiece. The magic she wields with her written words is beyond description. I loved the contrast between Ingrid's first-person, present-tense narrative and Cece's third-person, past-tense journey of their friendship. The author stitches overwhelming grief, guilt, regret, anger, hopelessness, and despair alongside loyalty, undying friendship, faith, love, hope, and a second chance to create an unforgettable quilt of forgiveness and redemption. It's a must-read for all women's fiction and contemporary romance fans everywhere.
Ingrid was an easy heroine to love, even in her utterly broken state. Her past was difficult, but the reader doesn't know the depth of her pain and shame until halfway through the book. I loved how the author drew me in and pieced together Ingrid's story one event at a time, wrapping each hurt with love and care from Cece and Joel. And Joel.....he's a completely sigh-worthy hero. Though he doesn't have a voice in the storyline, his loyal, steadfast, compassionate heart shines clearly through his actions. And Cece is a mighty force in both of their lives, even if we don't actually get to meet her.
This book definitely goes on my Top 20 reads of 2023 list.
I received the book from Bethany House via Interviews and Reviews. I was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Kristina Hall
If you’re looking for a deep contemporary romance, The Words We Lost is it!
This is the third book I’ve read by Nicole Deese. Unlike the other two I’ve read by her, The Words We Lost contained a split-time element and a prevalent theme of grief and its effects on the characters’ lives. At first, I wasn’t sure what to think, but The Words We Lost drew me in. Ingrid was such a well-developed, sympathetic character. Even though she didn’t always make good decisions, I felt for her. I did have a little trouble connecting Ingrid in the present section of the story with Ingrid in the past section, but that got better as I read on.
A missing first draft and an unfinished series gave the plot an intriguing twist for a reader like me. I appreciated that Nicole Deese kept the romance and language clean. Her descriptive yet clear writing style worked great for this novel.
Overall, The Words We Lost was an enjoyable read that I’d recommend to those who like Christian fiction and contemporary romance. I’m looking forward to reading the second book in this series!
Disclosure: I received this book free from Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews. My opinions are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
This was my first time reading a book by Nicole Deese. She is a talented writer. Her characters jump off the page, and her prose is exquisite in its delivery. With grace and care, she has tackled the subject of grief wrapped in an engaging story.
The author is very descriptive in her writing, and it made me feel like I was right there, smelling the sea air and visiting the shops of Fog Harbor. I loved the way the author introduces us to Cece and how she tells a story about her two favourite people - Ingrid and Joel. As they read this new manuscript together, Ingrid learns to let her guard down and how to love and trust again.
After reading several other reviews, I expected to need a box of tissues while reading. Sadly, the book brought up no emotions within me, even though I have lost my mother and at least a dozen other people dear to me in my lifetime. Death is always lurking around the corners of my life, so I had a hard time understanding the kind of grief Ingrid was experiencing.
That said, the story will grip you as will the characters and the mystery of the missing manuscript. With themes of faith, grief and learning to trust again, you will enjoy The Words We Lost if you like contemporary romance.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Bethany House through NetGalley for my honest review.
Reviewer: Charity Henico
Oh. My. Goodness. I have no idea where to start with this book. I had no idea what to expect, and I had no idea how I had never read a book by Nicole Deese before.
This book is labeled romance, but it's so much more than that. This book is about grief, learning how to grieve, and how to forgive. As I'm still mourning my grandparents' passing last May, I cried all through. This book was really hard but really healing for me to read.
This is an emotional roller-coaster to read, and I was completely engrossed in every part of the story.
I don't know what else to say about a book that touched my soul as this one did. I am so grateful I was able to read it.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Bethany House through Interviews & Reviews. No positive review was required, and all opinions were my own.
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