WHAT MATTERS MOST
(TEXAS GOLD COLLECTION BOOK #4)
Kellie Coates Gilbert
Genre: Contemporary Inspirational Romance / Christian
Date of Publication: July 5, 2016
Number of Pages: 320
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Love and Politics Collide in This Emotion-Packed
Fourth Texas Gold Novel
Kellie Coates Gilbert strikes gold once again in the latest book in the Texas Gold Collection. Readers will be drawn into the story through Gilbert’s deeply emotional writing that highlights the complexities of human relationships.
Out of her desire to care for her mother who is suffering from dementia, Leta Breckenridge drops out of college. Her next step means leaving her comfort zone. After learning that a delinquent account may force her mother into a less desirable facility, Leta takes a leap and lands a high-paying job at an Austin public relations firm. But her dream job soon turns into a nightmare when she learns that the firm she is working for is a front for a political opposition organization—and that the research she has been collecting will be used against Nathan Emerson, the handsome senator she’s swiftly falling in love with.
Nathan is a rising political star being pressured to run a bid to unseat the current governor of Texas. He’s already in a relationship with a woman much better suited to be a politician’s wife, but he’s never met anyone like Leta. Could this feisty woman hold the key to his heart—and his future?
Praise for the Texas Gold Collection
“This tale of family and faith brings to light what truly matters in life.”—RT Book Reviews, 4 stars
“Kellie Coates Gilbert delivers emotionally gripping plots and authentic characters.”—LifeIsStory.com
“Well-drawn, sympathetic characters and graceful language make this an engaging choice for readers.”—Library Journal
Kellie Coates Gilbert is a former legal investigator and trial paralegal, as well as the author of A Woman of Fortune, Where Rivers Part, and A Reason to Stay. Gilbert crafts her emotionally charged stories about women in life-changing circumstances in Dallas, Texas, where she lives with her husband.
From the beginning, you feel compassion toward Leta without pitying her. Although her college aspirations were interrupted in the 11th hour, she didn’t waste time moping. She juggles two jobs (at one point, three!) to support a mother who doesn’t even recognize her most days. You have to respect someone who sacrifices so much to care for another person who doesn’t even realize what’s being done for them. I think that many people in Leta’s predicament would have chosen a cheap facility to put their parent in if it meant less financial strain in already dire circumstances.
Gilbert doesn’t dwell on Leta’s looks, but I’m guessing that they’re striking enough for some man (who turns out to be a senator potentially running for governor) to notice her while she arranges flowers at Central Market. And while her distress might have been enough for him to forgive her damaging his car without seeking any sort of compensation (or insurance information for that matter), you get the feeling that her attractiveness might have played a role as well. Of course, as their relationship goes from casual to personal, his appreciation of her looks become more evident. However, Gilbert makes it clear that the good senator is mostly infatuated with Leta’s heart, not her outward appearance.
While the circumstances of Leta being hired by a PR firm out to slam the senator’s reputation seemed too good to be true, I suspended my disbelief because I wanted to see where things were headed. Gilbert builds some great suspense as you see both Leta and Nate having to choose between their head and their heart. You don’t ever doubt for a moment that the heart will prevail, but it’s exciting to see how everything unfolds anyway. Throw in some dirty tactics (hey, this is politics we’re talking about, right?) and some chilly, reluctant assistance from the ex-girlfriend and you’ve got a wonderful recipe for complicated. Throw in some misunderstanding with a heaping dose of jumping to the wrong conclusions, and the recipe gets 5 stars.
While I like how things are revealed and how the end turns out, it all felt rather rushed. The novel has a great pace throughout – no meandering sweet nothings in this one – but then you get to the last chapter and BAM! The battle was won after a single volley of arrows. There was no grand rush of bodies slamming into each other and clanging of metal. I wish Gilbert didn’t speed through the satisfying takedown. And I especially wish she hadn’t rushed something else as well. But I’m not telling you about that. Just read the book. You’ll be glad you did.
GIVEAWAY! THREE PRIZE PACKS!
Prize 1: Box of Texas Treats & Signed Book
Prize 2: $10 Starbucks Gift Card & Signed Book
Prize 3: $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card & Signed Book
June 11 – July 25, 2016
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