Trapped in her car, precariously dangling from the edge of a cliff, Kate Darby resorts to something she hasn’t in years — prayer. She is unsure whether God listens, cares, or even exists, but her grandmother believes, and Kate has nothing to lose. Not a second too soon, Nick Sheridan arrives and risks his own life to save hers.
If she were looking, which she isn’t, Nick is everything Kate could want in a man — caring, strong, and considerate. It doesn’t hurt that he’s good looking too! However, he shares her grandmother’s faith, and Kate isn’t ready to render control over to a God she can’t see or hear.
Though she only planned on staying in town long enough for her grandmother to recuperate from a stroke, Kate finds herself torn between two worlds. She loves the fast-paced life of the big city and working with a prestigious marketing firm. But, now that Kate is back in Meadows, she is also drawn to the peaceful small-town living and the joy of being close to her grandmother and even Nick, who she is coming to care for more each day. In order to move forward, Kate is forced to re-evaluate her goals, dreams, and beliefs.
Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin is a story brimming with potential that sadly fell short. I loved the premise of two people with broken pasts discovering hope, redemption, and a second chance. It is something many readers can relate to, but the author made it unique by comparing Kate’s journey with that of the California Condors. I enjoyed learning about these interesting birds that I had previously known nothing about.
However, try as I might, I struggled to connect with the main characters, especially Kate. I understood why she fell for Nick, but I failed to see what drew him to her. In their first encounter, Kate jumps to thoughts of him and a future, even when she’s supposed to be in shock after just surviving a near-death experience. It didn’t get better from there. Throughout the story, Kate’s affection for Nick felt more like an unhealthy idolization than love, and unfortunately this opinion remained to the end. Even her “epiphany” or decision to follow Christ came across more as something she had to do to hold on to Nick rather than a true and heartfelt decision.
For the most part, I liked Nick. Granted, he had issues (don’t we all!), but they felt genuine and so did his turn around. His faith also seemed sincere probably due to the fact he made his decision months prior to Kate entering the picture. That being said, his level of emotional and romantic involvement with her, despite knowing she didn’t share his beliefs, disappointed me. After Kate’s supposed turn of heart, Nick made a big deal of needing to step back and let her figure things out for herself. His brother also warned him of the importance of allowing Kate space to first fall in love with Christ and then Nick. Nonetheless, he didn’t back away. If he had, Kate’s profession of faith might have felt more authentic. As is, this novel was one of those rare cases where, at the end, I wanted the main characters to part ways and not end up together.
Kate’s grandmother, the condors, and quaint Meadows kept me intrigued enough to make Until I Found You good for a one-time read. Romance fans, as well as anyone interested in learning about North America’s largest land bird might enjoy picking up a copy of this book.
Review copy provided by publisher. Thanks!