When You Look At Me is another dazzling story by the fabulous Pepper Basham.
About the book:
An unexpected mother-to-be
A romance-leery composer
And a forgotten melody from the past that holds the keys to their futures
When Julia Jenkins’ great aunt dies and leaves her a Victorian mansion with decades of secrets, Julia never expects to unearth a World War 2 espionage mystery. Struggling with her own past since an assault left her pregnant, her future as a solo parent leaves her dreams uncertain. The inheritance from her great aunt gives Julia the ability to take a step back into her future, but also sends her into the discovery of a love story she’d never anticipated. As she goes through her aunt’s treasured possessions, Julia uncovers some oddly written piano music with a musical code she can’t decipher on her own. Not to worry, introverted Englishman and composer, Henry Wright, is thrust on the scene by a pair of homespun matchmakers who know the ‘right’ man for Julia’s wounded heart.
Henry arrives in Pleasant Gap with the task of composing the soundtrack for his best mate’s newest film. The Jenkins’ family’s southern welcome and gregarious personalities set his reticent nature on edge, but he’s inexplicably drawn to his gentle and music-loving hostess, Julia. Uncertain how to build a friendship with the wounded woman, and rather hopeless in communicating well through words, the bond of music becomes a bridge between her uncertainty and his awkwardness.
But her broken past and his families’ expectations build a wall much greater than the cultures that separate them. As they work together to solve a musical mystery from the grave, will an unlikely romance from the past inspire their hearts to trust in a God who’s written the perfect melody for their lives?
I love how the author tackles different personalities in each of her books. In this story, the main characters are both introverts with a passion for music. The heroine, Julia, is reeling from a devastating incident which left her heart wounded and her mind cautious of romance. From the first chapter I found myself rooting for her, championing her happily ever after.
Henry is the exact opposite of the outgoing hero, Wes Harrison, from book one. Henry’s reflective. One who’d rather listen than speak. But just like the music he composes, there’s a richness to his character. Pair him with the tender-hearted Julia, and you have a beautifully crafted romance.
One thing I love about Pepper Basham’s writing is that she paints the scenes with words. You not only can visualize the stunning backdrop of Blue Ridge mountains, but you are there, inhaling the crisp air, taking in the vibrant hues. With this lovely story, you also get enthralled with the music. The author describes it so vividly you can almost hear the strums of each song.
Above all this, there’s a thread of mystery with Julia’s aunt and the charming home bequeathed to her.
I love the spiritual elements that the author weaves into each of her stories, and this one is no exception. The theme of being brave, of stepping out even while fear screams its ugly threats, is refreshing and heart-strengthening.
Hats off to Pepper Basham for yet another five-star novel. I’m eagerly awaiting the next story in this series.
*I received a copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Click HERE to purchase When You Look At Me!
About the Author:
Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes romance peppered with grace and humor. She currently resides in the lovely mountains of Asheville, NC where she is the mom of 5 great kids, speech-pathologist to about fifty more, lover of chocolate, jazz, and Jesus. Her debut historical novel, The Thorn Bearer, released in May 2015 and has garnered awards such as Reader’s Favorites Award, finalist in the Grace Awards, shortlisted for the Inspy Awards, and a finalist in ACFW’s Carol Awards. Her second historical novel, The Thorn Keeper, released in Feb 2016 and her first contemporary romance, A Twist of Faith, released in April 2016 with a 4 star review from Romantic Times. In December 2016, her third historical in the Penned in Time series, The Thorn Healer – released with a 4 1/2 star review from RT and a Top Picks rating. You can get to know Pepper on her website, www.pepperdbasham.com, on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley.