Tuesday, April 5, 2022

All That It Takes By Nicole Deese

All That It Takes
by Nicole Deese
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978076423497

I was SO excited to join Nicole's launch team after reading her first book with Bethany House a couple years ago. I have to tell you, this duology was exceptional! I can't wait to share my review with you below. I received her book for review. 


When the ever-cautious Val Locklier moves cross-country with her son for a secure job, everything she'd planned unravels within the first week. After Val reluctantly agrees to rent an apartment from her best friend's brother, an unexpected chance at an elite filmmakers' mentorship ignites fresh hope for a dream career. But as Val's community begins to expand, so do her insecurities, especially those heightened by her growing attraction to a certain friendly landlord. 

Pastor Miles McKenzie returns home from a short-term mission trip to discover that not only does he have an intriguing new tenant living upstairs, he's also been reassigned to a local ministry on life support. Disillusioned and restless, he distracts himself by throwing his energy into a host of new projects--not the least of which is pursuing Val--without stopping to consider the future. 

As Val struggles to stop hiding behind the camera and Miles wrestles with shattered expectations, they'll find that authentic love and sacrifice must go hand in hand.

My Review:

It's not very often I read Christian books that I know will be life changing for people who read them or know that the story will have a lasting impact on the people who read it. So much so, that I see All That It Takes as an actual ministry.

There is SO much to learn in this story - about ourselves, about others, about how one person can make a profound impact on another, and more importantly about God. This book is unapologetic in its tenderness to women who are in situations that aren't easy: unexpected pregnancy, single moms, women who have had abortions, etc. It highlights the importance of community for these women, and I can say from experience, I felt this story deeply.

Val was such a lovely character to watch bloom and come into herself. Sometimes you have to cut the cord to find out who you really are, and her move from Alaska to Washington did just. The way God brings about opportunities into her life leave her no choice but to step out of her walled world or stay stagnant. Those opportunities aren't easy, and certainly not expected, but she's strong enough to handle it. Her actual story is heartbreakingly real and beautiful. Truly, this book is a ministry. A witness for Christ.

Miles was one of those characters who had me feeling all of his emotions. Pastor Curtis - we don't like him (check), having a passion for ministry in Mexico (check), caring for Val & Tucker (check)! Needless to say, he wears his heart on his sleeve and in his handball game. He had a lot to unravel in his life, too, so it was good to watch an MK peel back the layers of his adult years.

Two other people I want to highlight are Lady Gwen and Rev. Lady Gwen, who has only just met Val, is so perfect for her because Gwen will push Val to dig deeper for the story she's trying to tell. While she's no-nonsense she's also kind. Rev on the other hand gently asks the right questions to Miles and challenges him with the years of relationship they have under their belt.

There were some really great scenes in the story (one word: lightsaber) just like in All That Really Matters. I have tabs throughout the book so be sure to check out my quotes.

This story is as beautiful as it is timely. Our world needs a story like this to give hope in the darkness using real world issues and focusing a spotlight on needed ministries! Very well written, and one I won't soon forget!

*I received the book for review. This is my personal opinion.

About the Author:

Nicole Deese's (www.nicoledeese.com) eight humorous, heartfelt, and hope-filled novels include the 2017 Carol Award-winning A Season to Love. Her 2018 release, A New Shade of Summer, was a finalist in the RITA Awards, Carol Awards, and INSPY Awards. Both of these books are from her bestselling Love in Lenoxseries. When she's not working on her next contemporary romance, she can usually be found reading one by a window overlooking the inspiring beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She lives in small-town Idaho with her happily-ever-after hubby, two rambunctious sons, and princess daughter with the heart of a warrior.


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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.