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.
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 wasn’t. Instead, he found help, self-worth and direction among some of the very people who contributed to Lane’s 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!
Growing up with the nickname “Pudge,” Lane Kelley always felt out of place in the resort town of Harbor Pointe. Now a beautiful, slim, and brilliantly successful interior designer at a prestigious design firm in Chicago—and on the brink of an important promotion—she receives word that her brother, Nate, has been in a serious accident and is in a coma.
Returning to the family who betrayed her brings back old memories, and she can’t 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 Lane’s 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.
Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh is a compelling and consistently entertaining romance novel by a master of the genre. While unreservedly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that Just Look Up is also available in a digital book format.