The Isaac Project by Sarah Monzon

the-isaac-projectGenre: Romance
Publisher: Radiant Publications
Publication Date: August 2015

Becky Sawyer catches her boyfriend lip-locked with another woman and receives the devastating news that her grandfather doesn’t have long to live all in the same day. The dying man holds one last wish — to see her happily married. Inspired by the Biblical account of Isaac and Rebekah, and desperate to grant the man who raised her his final wish, Becky embarks on an unconventional journey to find a husband.

Love failed his parents, leading Luke Masterson to believe that a lasting marriage requires something more. Determined to not repeat their mistakes, Luke resolves to stay away from women — especially a crazy one who gives her best friend the task of finding her a husband. However, unable to shake the sense that the Lord is nudging him toward Becky, Luke agrees to move across the country to marry the complete stranger. But danger and miscommunications threaten the unusual marriage almost before it has a chance to start.

The Isaac Project delivers a fun, modern-day twist to the story of Isaac and Rebekah. Sarah Monzon weaves a tale of hope, faith, and forgiveness in her debut novel. Inspired by one of my favorite Bible stories, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read this. While it offers an interesting premise and a nice story, it fails to achieve its full potential — namely in regard to the female protagonist.

Once they married, Becky came across as selfish and immature with a personality that shifted between hot and cold faster than a traffic light changing colors. Becky’s horrid and unfair treatment of Luke made her difficult to like. The man gave up everything to move to another state, marry her, and help grant her grandfather’s final wish, and still she treated him poorly. After all he did for her, one would expect Becky to try harder and be nicer instead of making the man jump through all her ridiculous and unreasonable hoops.

I loved Luke and have to commend his commitment to making their unlikely marriage work. Nonetheless, I never saw what made him fall in love with Becky in the first place. Feelings might have surged once she matured and quit being self-absorbed, but as is, it didn’t come across as believable.

At one point, something occurs (don’t want to give away spoilers) that threatens to tear the couple apart for good. While the issues could have been easily resolved had Becky just opened her mouth and talked, I could understand why she felt upset. Unfortunately, her constant mood swings up until that point took away any punch that event might have had, making it difficult to empathize with her.

I liked Becky’s relationship with her grandfather and her care of animals — if only some of that had transferred to her interactions with Luke. The ranch setting drew me in as well and I could see myself right there alongside her.

All this being said, The Isaac Project offered a quick and entertaining read that I would recommend to romance fans. The reader must simply keep in mind that this is Monzon’s debut novel. I have high hopes for this author and am eager to see what she sends our way next as I believe the issues mentioned above are kinks that will work themselves out as Monzon grows and gains experience as a writer.

Review copy provided by the author.

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