Yay! One more book off my e-reader! I'm loving this challenge and I'm sad it's almost over! Where did November go?!?
Julia by Sarah Krisch (click on author's name for Goodreads page)
The Good Life Book One
Release Date: August 9, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received an epub from the author
in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 3 Worms
A failed actress, twenty-something Julia McCarthy begins writing a fictionalized blog as a form of self-therapy. Based on her carefree summers at her grandparents' farm, she never expects her little experiment to garner a viral following, but it does. Boy, does it ever.
Now, with thousands of loyal blog followers, and a syndication deal with the Chicago Herald, Julia is approached by GreenTV to adapt her blog into a TV show. The producers see her as a "Rachel Ray on the Prairie-type". She sees herself as a fraud.
In Julia's fictional world, she's successful. She can pay her bills on time. Heck, she even has a fictional gorgeous husband and charming little boy. Ready to realize her dreams, Julia returns to her grandparents' farm to shoot the TV pilot.
Brad Taylor is definitely not her type: he’s rugged, sensible, and oh-so smug about learning that Julia’s blog is a farce. As the manager of her grandparent’s farm, Brad doesn’t have time to deal with whimsical women who don’t even know how to cook.
Julia can't allow her attraction to Brad to distract her, not when her dreams are about to come true. But are these truly her dreams, her good life?
A fun, fast (150 pages) contemporary romance
Julia is the first book in a trilogy and I really enjoyed my introduction to the town of Harmony Grove. Ms. Krisch did a nice job of creating a warm, welcoming environment and endearing characters.
Julia McCarthy is a interesting young woman. She thinks she has her life figured out. She thinks she's a big city girl, dreaming of a career in acting, getting weekly mani/pedis. When her dreams of being an actress go sour, she begins a blog called The Good Life. However, instead of writing about a life and career in acting, she's writing about the farm life and simple living she experienced on her grandparents' farm as a child. Now, with her blog syndicated and about to become a reality t.v. show, her dreams are set to come true. But after spending some time at the farm, Julia has to reconsider her ideas on what makes 'the good life'.
On the McCarthy farm, Julia finds Brad Taylor, a boy she has fond memories of from childhood. Brad, having recently left the military, is now managing the farm. He seems to have found his good life. At first, he and Julia are at each others' throats. But soon, their interactions become fun and flirtatious. Watching as these two figure out how they can both get their good life was a pleasure.
I liked the setting for Julia. My grandparents had a farm, so the McCarthy farm evoked fond memories of my childhood. I also liked Trudy and Guy, Julia's grandparents. They were loving and supportive -- exactly what grandparents should be. :) I delighted in seeing Julia realize what she really wanted out of life. And I found Brad to be a gentleman and a hard worker. There are a few other secondary characters introduced, such as Madi, Brad's sister. I liked Madi but the others didn't make much of an impact. Oh, I adored Goose, Brad's dog, and Tornado, the orchard pig. They added a few giggles to the story. :)
I did feel like the story was rushed in a few places. Especially certain scenes between Julia and Brad. It seemed like some important things were glossed over. I also wished Brad had fought a little for Julia. I understood his reason -- not wanting to stand in the way of Julia chasing her dreams -- but he seemed a little too complacent about it. There were some questions left unanswered and I hope it's all resolved in the continuation of the trilogy.
With the exception of those things, Julia is a charming story. I enjoyed meeting Julia, Brad, Trudy, and Guy, as well as the community of Harmony Grove. Julia and Brad's story is a sweet one, and this was a fast and fun read.