About the Book
Author: L.M. Karen
Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction
Release date: November 5, 2021
A sweet second chance romance of healing as two childhood friends find their way back to each other.
Alison and Grady met in kindergarten and quickly became inseparable. They grew up together as best friends until a series of misunderstandings drove them apart just as they graduated high school. Ten years later, a chance meeting throws Alison and Grady together again. It might take him a minute, but Grady discovers he still knows Alison like the back of his hand.
As Grady and Alison reconnect they find the second chance at love they always wanted and the healing they never knew they needed.
This is the third and last book in the Oak Street Series Trilogy. Each book can be read separately as standalone books but are better when read together.
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About the Author
LM Karen writes contemporary Christian fiction romance. As a longtime lover of words, she can generally be found behind her laptop or with a book in her hand. A graduate of Toccoa Falls College, her heart is in the mountains. She eventually made use of the voices in her head by putting them on the page.
Read an Excerpt from the Book
I take a deep breath before venturing back out to the popular establishment from the restroom, then begin to edge past the crowd back to the front where my date agreed to meet me before proceeding to a table for dinner. I haven’t gotten many steps before I hear a high-pitched squeal calling my name.
“Alison! Alison McKay!”
My shoulders tense. I would recognize that voice anywhere. I turn and find a beautiful brunette with glowing green eyes bouncing toward me.
“I just knew that was you!” she cries, scooping me into a huge hug.
Although at least eight years younger than me, Lily Knight towers over me. The last time I saw her was my high school graduation day. She was only around ten at that time but already my height. It’s been ten years since then, and she’s grown into a beautiful young woman. My heart aches unexpectedly, and I am shocked to find myself glad to see her.
“Lily, it is good to see you,” I say sincerely when she lets me go.
She squeals exuberantly, “Gosh, Alison, you haven’t changed a bit. Still so beautiful. How are you? Why did you stop coming around? We all miss you so much.” Lily hugs me again and, without allowing me to answer any of her questions, keeps talking. “Ohmigosh!” She pulls away from me and takes my arm excitedly. “Grady is going to die when he sees you!” she exclaims, pulling me toward the opposite corner of the bar from where I had previously been sitting.
My feet and my heart concurrently and instantaneously stop, and I pull my hand away from Lily’s. Of all possible scenarios, likely and unlikely, I would have placed seeing Grady Knight tonight as the single most unlikely thing to happen, only short of actually enjoying my date tonight. I am not prepared. The thought of facing Grady Knight, the only man I’ve ever loved, and therefore the only one to have shattered my heart, tonight? On monthly date night? When I have likely been spontaneously canceled on and left alone in a pretentious fusion restaurant? I shake my head in horror and back away. I feel conclusive in stating there is nothing more abhorrent that could happen.
Lily turns and blinks at me in surprise at my abrupt stop. “He’s this way, Alison. He’ll definitely want to see you,” she says with a worried frown “Are you okay? You look pale…well, even more pale than you usually are. Not that you’re normally pale, you just have a naturally alabaster complexion.” She adds the last with an envious smile.
“I…I am sorry, I have to go,” I stutter and turn quickly toward the door, making a run for it before Grady sees me, or I see him.
“Alison McKay,” a friendly voice calls appreciatively through the crowd. My actions freeze. I inhale a panicked breath as my heartbeat thunders at what I’m sure is an unhealthy speed due to the adrenaline and norepinephrine flooding my system. I force myself to turn around.
The crowd easily parts for Grady as he makes his way to me. He is below average height for a Caucasian American male yet he has a presence people notice. The last time I saw him was our high school graduation day. His light brown hair is the same, but instead of it being shaggy and long, it’s neatly cut and combed. The freckles on his face have lightened but his eyes are the same warm brown. His face is more chiseled, I notice. In truth, all of him appears to be more sculpted than the last time I saw him.
Deep breath. I can do this. “Hello, Grady.” I’m pleased my voice is even despite my insides quaking violently.
The author delivers a story that had me anticipating where she would take the main characters in this sweet look at second chances. What really intrigued me the most was why Alison and Grady stopped talking. They were best friends in school when suddenly Alison just stopped communicating with Grady after high school. I can only imagine that someone got their feelings hurt by a misunderstanding. In high school we start to take relationships seriously and are easily upset by some misspoke action or word.
Alison is very disciplined in her words and mannerisms. It’s no wonder she was bullied in school. Poor thing was so smart that others didn’t know how to take her. Even now with a prestigious position in a lab, her demeanor is straightforward. I think she needs to enjoy life more and not be so serious. This agreement she has about dating and reporting her progress to someone was odd. Even though Alison may be different I absolutely adored her. She is a character I don’t see very often in books but oh my is she someone I would want to be friends with. She has this uncanny ability to look at things in a logical way that others overlook. Bravo to the author for writing a character that is different in a way that impresses me with her intelligence and straightforward approach to life.
Grady is this down to earth character who has never forgotten about Alison. When they run into each other years later it was not by accident. See I don’t believe in coincidences. What I believe is they have unfinished business that God has ordained to see it to completion. Grady is funny because he wants to reconnect with Alison but can’t figure out what stopped them from keeping in touch. When the author gives us flashbacks from their childhood and into high school it is evident that they were close. Now Grady has to figure out how to get Alison to go out with him.
There are fractured relationships that are hard to repair and in this story the relationship between Alison and her father is in dire need of help. How hard it must have been for Alison to feel like a guest more than a daughter in the home she grew up in. There is no emotional attachment from her father who is cold and distant to Alison. It is no wonder why she gravitated to Grady and his family while growing up. Who wouldn’t want to be around a family filled with laughter and love? The more I read the story the more I connected with Alison. Reading how Alison and Grady reconnect is both charming and funny. It’s like getting to know someone for the first time but with a vague feeling you have met before.
The book reflects both hope and forgiveness. I love the way the author brought Alison and Grady back together without rushing the story. Each step they took was a step toward healing and finding their way to a second chance for happiness. The ending is sweet and delivers a message of never giving up.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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To celebrate her tour, L.M. is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.