Sunday, 2 October 2016

What Matters Most by Kellie Coates Gilbert

Just when she can't take it anymore, Leta finally catches a break. But when things seem too good to be true, they often are.
Finding her dream job went right out the window when Leta Breckenridge had to quit school to help care for her mother suffering from dementia. When a delinquent account may force her mother into a less desirable facility, Leta is thrilled to land a high-paying job at an Austin public relations firm. But her seemingly ideal job turns into a nightmare when she learns the firm is a front for a political opposition organization - and that the research she's been collecting will be used against Nathan Emerson, the handsome senator she's swiftly falling in love with.
Nathan is a rising political star being pressured to run a bid to unseat the current governor of Texas. He's already in a relationship with a woman much better suited to be a politician's wife, but he's never met anyone like Leta. Could this feisty woman hold the key to his heart - and his future?
With emotional depth and keen insight into what drives us, Kellie Coates Gilbert offers a salient story that calls us to consider what we value most in this life.

Review: This is the second book I've read by Ms Gilbert. I enjoyed the first one, but I must admit that I enjoyed the second one even more (What Matters Most). Her Texas Gold novels are a very pleasant read. I am a particular fan of how her storylines could so easily become tomorrow's news cast. There is a strong current of reality to her settings and plot and an authenticity to her characters that together lends to a very believable tale.

What I liked about "What Matters Most" is the unshakable moral compass of both Leta and Nathan. Leta in particular is faced with some very difficult decisions. Money can be a powerful corrupter, and her ability to withstand the financial pressures in order to stand up for what is right is a testament to the power of her faith in God. On her own strength, I do not think Leta would have prevailed through her trials. The theme of "All things work together for good to those who love God" seems to be a prevailing one in this story - though perhaps the "good" in these books is more materialistic than what is reality. While I don't think God's main purpose is to make us happy and to solve all our earthly woes, I do believe he is the business of strengthening our faith and building us into better followers of Christ.

I was also a fan of Leta's quick wit, gentle spirit, and keen intelligence. She was a fun heroine to cheer on. Her love and sacrifice for her mother was also beautiful to read. In addition to Leta, I was impressed by Nathan - it's not often such a Godly and integrity filled individual is portrayed as a political figure. Too bad he isn't running for office for real.

Lastly, I also enjoyed the subplot that delved into some of the nastier sides of a political race - I suppose these things really do happen in reality, but it was rather disturbing to read about it all the same (I'd expand, but don't want to have a spoiler in here). It certainly made for an intriguing angle to the story!

Overall this was a good American political romance that kept me entertained from start to finish.

Thank-you to Graf Martin Communications Inc and Baker Publishing House for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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