Just the Way You Are by Pepper Basham

just-the-way-you-are

Genre: Romance
Publisher: Woven Word Publishing
Publication Date: April 2017

Single mom Eisley Barrett has no room for romance. She’s learned the hard way that HEA (Happily Ever After) only exists in fiction or chocolate. When she travels to England in hopes of unearthing a centuries-old family mystery, the last thing she wants is to become entangled with the uptight, cynical actor who is as known for his movies as for his less-than-stellar past.

Wes Harrison would give anything for a clean slate, but some sins only God can forgive. Experience has taught him to be wary, especially of women, so when Eisley pops into his family’s life, he determines to expose her ulterior motives before she can hurt the ones he loves. However, her kind and straightforward personality soon win him over and Wes finds himself wishing for the second chance he hasn’t dared hope for.

Just the Way You Are can only be described as a large cup of hot chocolate topped with laughter and sprinkled with love. Pepper Basham infuses the pages with her unique humor and witty banter that keeps the reader in stitches all the while exploring the theme that God loves us just the way we are.

Eisley blurts out what most of us wish we had the guts to say or only come up with once the moment has passed. Anyone who has been afraid to love will relate to her, though she plunges in hastily. The Harrison family also warmed up to her extremely fast. While I believed it coming from Mr. H. (Wes’ father) who played matchmaker, Mrs. Harrison and Wes joined the bandwagon all too soon, especially given past experiences. Eisley’s family is downright comical and a pleasure to read. I really enjoyed the hint of mystery in the form of her ancestor’s story.

Without a doubt, Basham can write chemistry-laden kissing scenes that steal one’s breath. That being said, considering the characters aren’t married and that they both come from broken pasts, some of the scenes were too steamy and even unwise on the characters’ parts. I loved the concept of Wes being a new creation determined to pursue God’s ideal for us, but the hot and heavy kisses made me question just how far in the past were his womanizing ways. The same occurred with Eisley who didn’t want to repeat the same mistakes she made with her ex-husband but then moves too quickly and too far with Wes. Of course, being a book, everything works out.

 As usual, Basham does not disappoint in the settings department. Split between England and the Blue Ridge Mountains, I couldn’t get enough of the fascinating and beautiful cultures. While I haven’t been to North Carolina, I know what it’s like to be a European freshly landed in the U.S. I could relate (and chuckled multiple times) as Wes tackled his way into a new, and sometimes confusing, culture.

If you like romantic stories that make you laugh, you’ll want to grab a copy of Just the Way You Are. I am once again counting the days until Basham’s next book releases.

Review copy provided by the author. Thanks!

**Originally posted on Radiant Lit.

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7 thoughts on “Just the Way You Are by Pepper Basham

  1. Really well-said, Ellie. I didn’t think to consider how their pasts might be making things more difficult for their presents due to the hot and heavy kisses. And yet, I can’t help but love it.

    Bookland is better than reality almost always. Except sometimes. 😉

    • Thanks, Barbara! I can’t deny that, when Pepper writes kissing scenes, the readers feel the warm fuzzies all the way to the tips of their toes. However, those hot and heavy kisses would have landed them in some pretty sticky situations if it hadn’t been bookland.

      P.S. I love that word by the way. I’m borrowing it from now on! 🙂

      • Absolutely borrow and use “Bookland”…I had no other idea of how to sum up the world of books quickly. 😉 Also, I’m sorry that I misspelled your nickname. I reread my comment today and was like, “Geezzzz, Barbara.”

        • Hahaha, no worries! I’ve been called worse. 😉 I actually used Ellie as my Twitter handle to avoid people confusing it with the guy’s name.

    • Here’s hoping I showed that they both, especially Wes, were trying to do the RIGHT thing- because, it’s really easy to not stop in the middle of those kisses – and even harder to verbally say “Hey, I was wrong. Help me love you the way you should be loved.” Which is the point of the kissing/struggling scenes …aka closet.

      • It’s true. I do recall that moment where they backpedaled. And I like that you included that because I think romances have plenty of moments like that. After all, kisses are great. And sometimes it’s not easy to hold back!

        • AND…HE has a past of NOT holding back, so I really wanted to show how God’s taken control of him in that very intimate choice 🙂

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