cover image Julia Monroe Begins Again

Julia Monroe Begins Again

Rebekah Millet. Bethany House, $17.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-7642-4095-9

Millet debuts with a sweet second-chance romance between a disillusioned widow and a former flame who’s determined to prove he’s changed. Julia Monroe, the 40-year-old owner of a fledgling nontoxic cleaning products business, has sidelined herself from dating since the death of her husband 10 years before, when she realized that “if you loved someone... they could be taken from you, and I didn’t have the strength to go through that kind of pain again.” One Sunday at church, she spots her high school ex Samuel Reed, who cheated on and unceremoniously dumped her 20 years ago. Julia’s hidden a secret from him for almost as long: she was pregnant with his baby at the time and later miscarried. When Samuel, who is now in the Green Berets, asks for another chance, Julia is persuaded by her best friend and sons to spend time with him and begins noticing the ways he’s changed, including his newfound faith. After Samuel gets hit by a car, Julia comes clean about her burgeoning feelings, but it turns out Samuel’s hiding a secret of his own—one that puts the possibility for a relationship at risk and forces each to seek God’s wisdom. Readers will be charmed by Millet’s sympathetic characters—especially headstrong, hopeful Julia—and the romance at the story’s center uplifts without being saccharine or overdone. It’s a heart-warmer. (Oct.)