Julianne by Rebekah Lyn
Julianne always felt she was growing up in her big brother’s shadow. Michael the overachiever, Michael the success story. Julianne was the dreamer. Her life seemed to be on hold. She seemed to be caught up in a string of ‘for the time being’ type jobs, never really finding her stride. She wasn’t content; she had unfulfilled dreams.
Enter the scene: Oliver. They literally bumped into each other in the park. She had just had an epiphany. “That’s when it hit me; life should be about taking time to enjoy the simple things like a beautiful day in the park, spending time with family and friends, or doing work you enjoy. I began to wonder when I became so caught up in just paying the bills and forgot about what I truly love.”
When Oliver discovered she had a degree in public relations, he decided to introduce her to Camerron, who was almost singled-handedly holding together the local community theater. Cameron needed someone to help breathe some life into the struggling company. Julianne thought she could do this, so she immediately volunteered her talents. The more she researched the Renaissance Players, the more excited she became.
Julianne made one concession. Her ‘for the time being’ job had to go. She needed more flexibility, which meant asking her brother for help. He gave her a few hours of work that were more flexible than her old job, and she was off and running.
Complications were inevitable. Julianne was seeing quite a bit of Oliver, and Michael, the overprotective brother, did some background checking. What he found was disturbing. He consulted another family friend, Gavin, who actually knew Oliver well, and the two talked with Oliver. Julianne felt smothered.
What no one knew was that for years, Julianne had had a crush on Gavin. She asked him to take a look at her proposal she would be presenting to Cameron, and when he saw the excellent quality of her work, he saw her with new eyes. When had she become such a lovely woman? He was smitten.
Premiere night was a raging success, but toward the end of the evening, Julianne collapsed from the strain. After Cameron assured her she had a full time job when she returned, she was ordered to take a week off to get some much needed rest.
How Julianne handles attraction to two handsome men, her new responsibilities as publicist for the Renaissance Players, and family dynamics is what makes this story a heartwarming read.
This is the first book written by this author. Rebekah Lyn has crafted an enjoyable book highlighting Julianne’s search for life’s purpose. It is well written, and flows easily from chapter to chapter. It is definitely a character-driven tale which, for the most part, is an easy going moderately paced work of fiction set in modern day Alexandria.
The relationship between Julianne and Oliver is comfortable and predictable. The entire story is a pleasant read. Some may find this novel too static, but I found it cozy and warming. It makes for a good break from books which pump up our adrenaline in suspense. There is a light spiritual element in which Oliver introduces God to Julianne. He lets her know how she can find peace that passes all human understanding with Him. Her response is open ended, and Oliver does not apply any pressure. We get the impression, however, that this is just the beginning for her. I found the conclusion soul satisfying.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Body and Soul Publishing on behalf of the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”