By Jessica Kate
Christian Contemporary Romance
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 352 Pages
July 30th 2019 by Thomas Nelson
Jessica Kate’s hilarious, romantic debut novel proves that some mistakes—including love—are begging to be made again and again.
Natalie Groves once had big dreams. But soon after her fiancé, Jeremy Walters, inexplicably broke off their engagement and left town, her father was diagnosed with cancer. Now tasked with keeping her family afloat, Natalie’s grand plans have evaporated . . . and God feels very far away.
Fast-forward seven years, and Jeremy is back in Charlottesville with an infant son and years of regrets. When his niece, Lili, lands on his doorstep in need of a place to stay, Jeremy needs help—and fast.
An internship opening finally presents Natalie a chance at her dream job, but she needs a second income to work around it—and the only offer available is Jeremy’s. They could be the solutions to one another’s problems, provided they don’t kill each other in the process. When they join forces, sparks fly. But they both know there’s a thin line between love and hate . . . and that love will turn out to be the best decision—or the biggest mistake—of all.
Praise for the Book
“A stunning debut . . . This tale of love and redemption will stay with you long after you've closed the book. A must-read.” —Rachel Hauck, New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Dress
“Witty. Charming. Heartfelt. I could go on and on about Jessica Kate’s debut novel. From its highly relatable characters to its pitch-perfect dialogue, Love and Other Mistakes is a delightful, romantic read filled with just the right amount of sass. I lost count of the number of times I laughed out loud as I watched Natalie and Jem navigate their relationships, careers, and faith. Definitely one of the most enjoyable books I've read lately, and I can't wait to see what’s next from Jessica Kate!” —Melissa Tagg, Carol Award–winning author of Now and Then and Always and the Walker Family series
“Love and Other Mistakes wraps a poignant and warm look at relationships within a smart, sly, and knowing comedic voice. Readers of Sally Thorne and Bethany Turner will be immediately at home with Natalie: an all-too-real heroine who balances whip-smart agency with an endearing vulnerability and whose intersection with long-lost Jeremy helps her forge a path to confidence and discover the woman she was always meant to be. Kate’s unputdownable debut recognizes that all human relationships—familial, friendship, romantic—are worth the keen eye and clever insight of her talented pen.” —Rachel McMillan, author of the Van Buren and DeLuca Mysteries
“If you’re looking for a story with sass on top of style, or a fresh voice pumped full of fun, you need to read Love and Other Mistakes. Then after you’ve enjoyed this—and I’m confident you will—make a date with whatever this exciting new author writes next!” —David Rawlings, author of The Baggage Handler
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There is a lot going on in this story! We know about Natalie and Jeremy and their past being engaged. Both of them clearly are still working through this break-up, especially now that their lives are being intertwined again seven years later. Plus they are both dealing with a lot of other factors affecting their lives with other family members. In a way, these problems almost made the story seem a bit more realistic, because we often get plagued with multiple life events that cause stress and chaos. Life is not pretty; it is messy. I also just think I really related to dealing with a sick, dying father while life is throwing all kinds of other curve balls at you, based on events in my own life.
And then we have Lili's story. She is a pastor's kid who has just found out that her father is cheating on her mother with her teacher. That blows up her entire world and she is trying to deal with that, plus the usual stuff about being a teenager. So she moves in with her uncle Jeremy to get a bit of a break, to help sort out her mind, and also to help him out with his infant son, since the baby's mother isn't exactly in the picture.
The two stories, while quite different, are very closely intertwined because it is part of the same family and each event affects the other. It's interesting to watch these characters cope with their own faith and life understanding as they are navigating the ugly roller coaster of life. I think the intensity of their stories, and the fact that Lili's story plays just as much of a role as the second chance between Natalie and Jeremy, makes this more of a dramatic novel with some romantic elements in it.
I also want to point out that while this is listed as a Christian contemporary romance, you are not going to have Christianity shoved down your throat. To me it was more of a way at looking at how even Christians do not have perfect lives. But these people are, at the same time, using their faith to help them through. And yes, Natalie is interested in becoming a youth leader in a church, so there is also that aspect. So I think readers who are not necessarily interested in Christian romances would also enjoy this one.
I think teenagers and young adults would quite possibly relate to Lili's story as well. So I don't think this is a book just for adults. I would err on the side of saying maybe more mature young adult readers, but I think it could work. And maybe keep a tissue or two by your side, just in case.
It is an interesting debut novel and I will not shy away from trying to read more from Jessica Kate.
I did receive a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to leave a positive review. All opinions are my own.
About the Author
She packs her novels with love, hate, and everything in between—and then nerds out over her favorite books, movies and TV in the StoryNerds podcast. When she’s not writing or discussing fiction, she’s hunting the world for the greatest pasta in existence.
Her debut novel Love and Other Mistakes releases July 2019, while A Girl’s Guide to the Outback hits shelves in January 2020.
Receive her sassy short The Kiss Dare FREE when you sign up for her newsletter at jessicakatewriting.com. StoryNerds podcast is available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts and at www.storynerds.podbean.com.