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If for Any Reason

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Emily Ackerman has traveled the world, her constant compass and companion a book of letters her mother left for her when she died. With no father in the picture, her mom's advice has been her only true north. But when professional failure leads Emily back to Nantucket to renovate and sell the family cottage she inherited, she wonders if her mom left advice to cover this . Emily Ackerman has traveled the world, her constant compass and companion a book of letters her mother left for her when she died. With no father in the picture, her mom's advice has been her only true north. But when professional failure leads Emily back to Nantucket to renovate and sell the family cottage she inherited, she wonders if her mom left advice to cover this . . . especially when her grandmother arrives to "supervise." And especially when her heart becomes entangled with Hollis McGuire, the boy next door-turned-baseball star who's back on the island after a career-ending injury. As sparks fly between her and Hollis, Emily is drawn to island life, even as she uncovers shocking secrets about the tragic accident that led to her mother's death. With her world turned upside down, Emily must choose between allowing the voices from her past to guide her future or forging her own path forward.


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Emily Ackerman has traveled the world, her constant compass and companion a book of letters her mother left for her when she died. With no father in the picture, her mom's advice has been her only true north. But when professional failure leads Emily back to Nantucket to renovate and sell the family cottage she inherited, she wonders if her mom left advice to cover this . Emily Ackerman has traveled the world, her constant compass and companion a book of letters her mother left for her when she died. With no father in the picture, her mom's advice has been her only true north. But when professional failure leads Emily back to Nantucket to renovate and sell the family cottage she inherited, she wonders if her mom left advice to cover this . . . especially when her grandmother arrives to "supervise." And especially when her heart becomes entangled with Hollis McGuire, the boy next door-turned-baseball star who's back on the island after a career-ending injury. As sparks fly between her and Hollis, Emily is drawn to island life, even as she uncovers shocking secrets about the tragic accident that led to her mother's death. With her world turned upside down, Emily must choose between allowing the voices from her past to guide her future or forging her own path forward.

30 review for If for Any Reason

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    A hopeful, delightful story. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Emily is the main character, and she has a treasure. Her late mother wrote her a series of letters with guidance on life. She needs the letters now more than ever as she travels to Nantucket to prepare the family’s cottage for sale. Her neighbor is a former baseball star who had a serious injury. My favorite aspect of all was the characters. Emily felt like she could be any one of us, and her story is ultimately heartwarming. I adore hopeful stories and th A hopeful, delightful story. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Emily is the main character, and she has a treasure. Her late mother wrote her a series of letters with guidance on life. She needs the letters now more than ever as she travels to Nantucket to prepare the family’s cottage for sale. Her neighbor is a former baseball star who had a serious injury. My favorite aspect of all was the characters. Emily felt like she could be any one of us, and her story is ultimately heartwarming. I adore hopeful stories and this one is filled with hope, healing, and love. The most touching thing of all was the letters from Isabelle, Emily’s mom. This sweet book left me feeling inspired and uplifted afterwards, and who doesn’t need more of that?! I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

    Like usual for this kind of book, this was a sweet love story and a charming tale of overcoming adversity. If you've read a lot of Christian romances, you know what to expect, and that's what you get here. Like usual for this kind of book, this was a sweet love story and a charming tale of overcoming adversity. If you've read a lot of Christian romances, you know what to expect, and that's what you get here.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Toni Shiloh

    The thing I most found interesting in If For Any Reason is the letters Emily carries from her mom. As a mom, I’m always fascinated by what kind of legacy other moms are leaving for their children. I have a notebook I write into for my boys, but not like Emily’s mom. Still, I loved seeing how Emily treasured these, how they effected her life, and the new insight she gained when her past came forward. In true Courtney Walsh style, this book hits on a lot of heartache we go through. But there’s alwa The thing I most found interesting in If For Any Reason is the letters Emily carries from her mom. As a mom, I’m always fascinated by what kind of legacy other moms are leaving for their children. I have a notebook I write into for my boys, but not like Emily’s mom. Still, I loved seeing how Emily treasured these, how they effected her life, and the new insight she gained when her past came forward. In true Courtney Walsh style, this book hits on a lot of heartache we go through. But there’s always growth, a romance to make you smile, and an ending that gives you the hope that life will get better. If you’re a fan of Ms. Walsh, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re looking at checking out one of her books, give If For Any Reason a try. There are many insights to glean while reading. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley. My review was not required nor influenced.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

    This book really resonated with me. While is started slowly, I came to appreciate how the author took her time to set up the characters, their stories, and the significance of the Nantucket summer setting and the memories it held for the characters. As the second half of the novel starts, the book really packed on the emotional punches. It was about difficult relationships and learning about unthinkable truths that turn your world upside down. It’s about the desire to belong. I really appreciate This book really resonated with me. While is started slowly, I came to appreciate how the author took her time to set up the characters, their stories, and the significance of the Nantucket summer setting and the memories it held for the characters. As the second half of the novel starts, the book really packed on the emotional punches. It was about difficult relationships and learning about unthinkable truths that turn your world upside down. It’s about the desire to belong. I really appreciated that not everything was tied up in a pretty bow at the end of the book. A few relationships are left on unsteady ground, in that uncomfortable space where you’re not sure if everything will work out how you want it to. This is so true to life, which is why I appreciated the honesty of leaving those relationships in the in-between space where fractures still exist. And I loved the love interest, Hollis. He’s the type of book hero I like reading about: caring, steadfast, never giving up on the woman he loves and will to stay and fight for the relationship. A truly touching novel.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    Delightful novel! My engagement grew as the pages continued to turn. There are several wonderful themes in the novel including the relationship between fathers and daughters, fight or flight in the tough times and the importance put on money. All of the main characters were lovable and well written. If for Any Reason made my heart sing.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Clark

    If For Any Reason is a story of belonging and changing dreams told through a romance and friendship in the ideal setting of Nantucket. Themes of grace and honesty permeate the world Emily and Hollis find themselves in — literally and figuratively. As they deal with some hard things life has thrown at them, they must find the grace to work out their faith and relationship with God while a tentative connection grows between them. Courtney Walsh excels at writing stories that blend one part women’s If For Any Reason is a story of belonging and changing dreams told through a romance and friendship in the ideal setting of Nantucket. Themes of grace and honesty permeate the world Emily and Hollis find themselves in — literally and figuratively. As they deal with some hard things life has thrown at them, they must find the grace to work out their faith and relationship with God while a tentative connection grows between them. Courtney Walsh excels at writing stories that blend one part women’s fiction with two parts romance and charm! She manages to include deep themes with endearing characters that stir empathy and thought in the heart of a reader. This story is another prime example, with the spark-laden friendship between Emily and Hollis developing naturally. And, Courtney takes a delicate situation and portrays it with compassion and grace, yet still depicts it appropriately with its consequences and fallout. The romance between Hollis and Emily feels so realistic. They are simply captivated by each other, but it’s not a superficial connection — both characters are mature, both are intentional in their friendship, even if it scares them to be so vulnerable. I especially like one of the decisions Hollis makes (insert heart eyes HERE) at a moment when Emily needs space for clarity. This review would not be complete without a paragraph devoted to Hollis’s daugther, Jolie, AKA JoJo. This girl steals every scene she’s in! She has so much spunk and acts exactly her age. I liked that she has a voice and an opinion that matters to the adults around her. It’s great to see a bright character like her add such pivotal value to a story. One more thing I really enjoyed about this story was its inclusion of letters and a few short flashback scenes. These fill in some blanks of the deeper themes and relate things like grief, family, and the resounding impact of choices in a wonderful story device. I’m looking forward to more stories in this series set on Nantucket, a place I have just added to my must-visit travel list! Thanks to Tyndale for the review copy. This is my honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    4.5 Stars A beautifully written story that takes you on an incredible journey of discovery, healing and hope. So clever the way the plot intertwined. I enjoyed all the aspects. I couldn’t resist the cover, I mean a gorgeous Nantucket beach, and a cottage that is in need of transformation- it’s not lost on me that the owner of the house is in desperate need of it herself. Almost everyone has some unresolved business that has to be challenged- and all the way throughout, an insight into the author 4.5 Stars A beautifully written story that takes you on an incredible journey of discovery, healing and hope. So clever the way the plot intertwined. I enjoyed all the aspects. I couldn’t resist the cover, I mean a gorgeous Nantucket beach, and a cottage that is in need of transformation- it’s not lost on me that the owner of the house is in desperate need of it herself. Almost everyone has some unresolved business that has to be challenged- and all the way throughout, an insight into the authors own real life world of theater production. That was a fun element I really enjoyed. Descriptive enough, not over powering I was sucked right into this story. Plenty of tension, mystery regarding the truth that has eluded Emily since the death of her mother. I also enjoy the non-overbearing way the text inspires and lifts without being preachy. A fantastic Christian Fiction read. Thanks to Tyndale House & Netgalley for the eARC. This is my honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jodie (That Happy Reader)

    The book is a sweet story of blending the past with the present. It is a story of personal growth, hope, understanding and forgiveness. While the storyline is somewhat predictable , it really doesn’t take away from experiencing Emily’s journey to self-fulfillment. I appreciated the Christian undertones to the book which added a special element. My favourite part of the book are the letters Emily receives from her late mother Isabelle, as well as Isabelle’s own story of falling in love. I recomme The book is a sweet story of blending the past with the present. It is a story of personal growth, hope, understanding and forgiveness. While the storyline is somewhat predictable , it really doesn’t take away from experiencing Emily’s journey to self-fulfillment. I appreciated the Christian undertones to the book which added a special element. My favourite part of the book are the letters Emily receives from her late mother Isabelle, as well as Isabelle’s own story of falling in love. I recommend this book to fans of Christian fiction and PG Romance. Thank you to Edelweiss and Tyndall House Publishers for the ARC of this book in exchange for the honest review provided here.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Age Appropriate For: 18 and up. This story is about two different people dealing with the aftermath of a pregnancy out of wedlock and raising those children. Best for Ages: 18 and up I have to start by saying that the narrator for this book, Hannah Cabell, added so much to the enjoyment of this story. Her narration was so good, I would give her five stars almost on her own. I would love to listen to more read by her. Courtney Walsh is a solid author. I don’t always love her books, but I have yet t Age Appropriate For: 18 and up. This story is about two different people dealing with the aftermath of a pregnancy out of wedlock and raising those children. Best for Ages: 18 and up I have to start by saying that the narrator for this book, Hannah Cabell, added so much to the enjoyment of this story. Her narration was so good, I would give her five stars almost on her own. I would love to listen to more read by her. Courtney Walsh is a solid author. I don’t always love her books, but I have yet to read one that I hated. She has a skill, writes realistic stories, and her faith shines through. This book has been my favorite by her so far. As both a reader and an author, I was amazed at how she mixed three different threads of the story (Emily’s, her mother’s, and the letters from her mother to her) so well. It wasn’t simply switching back and forth, it was pieced together like a patchwork quilt, a very well done, beautiful quilt. This book shows some serious skills. Now, the story was full of flawed people struggling, trying to do what is right, and failing sometimes. Hollis has a daughter from a one-night stand and Emily’s own mother hadn’t been married. We get to discover more about her mother’s story as the book progresses. Honestly, I felt Walsh did a fantastic job covering a very sticky issue. She didn’t sugarcoat it. People made big mistakes and life is messy. The faith element in this one I felt was handled well. It felt very natural and I like how it influenced the characters in the end. There were a couple of points I wish it had been a little more a part of the conversation, but again, it fits the characters so well it was hard to complain. Speaking of the characters, I just adored all of them. They felt real, lifelike, and I loved each of them. Emily was my favorite. I could go on about this story, but I think I will leave it at that and say that I highly recommend this book for adults who like realistic situations, unique storytelling, and lovable characters.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Originally posted on Inkwell Inspirations Courtney Walsh takes readers on a breathtaking journey to the beautiful island of Nantucket in her latest contemporary romance novel, If for Any Reason. After inheriting her late grandfather’s house, Emily Ackerman returns to Nantucket for the first time in eighteen years and reconnects with her childhood friend, now former professional baseball player, Hollis McGuire. Emily’s time on the island unexpectedly leads to answers about her mother’s death years Originally posted on Inkwell Inspirations Courtney Walsh takes readers on a breathtaking journey to the beautiful island of Nantucket in her latest contemporary romance novel, If for Any Reason. After inheriting her late grandfather’s house, Emily Ackerman returns to Nantucket for the first time in eighteen years and reconnects with her childhood friend, now former professional baseball player, Hollis McGuire. Emily’s time on the island unexpectedly leads to answers about her mother’s death years before as she embarks on a journey that will change her life forever. Courtney Walsh’s passion for theatre definitely shines through in this novel as former Broadway performer Emily Ackerman finds herself in charge of the Nantucket children’s theatre production. Readers who share in the author’s love for theatre will delight in those aspects of the storyline. One of my favorite parts of If for Any Reason is Emily’s late mother Isabelle’s story. Throughout several chapters of the novel, readers are taken back to the years between 1989 to 2001 to Isabelle’s teenage and younger adult years. The letters that Isabelle wrote to her young daughter are touching and filled with the love and wisdom that only a mother can give. If for Any Reason is highly recommended for readers of contemporary romance, especially readers who have a passion for theatre. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kate Vocke (bookapotamus)

    If for any reason, you want to be transported to sunny, idyllic Nantucket beaches - then read this book.⁣ ⁣ If for any reason, a long-ago accident with mysterious circumstances piques your interest - I recommend this one.⁣ ⁣ If for any reason, you love a juicy family drama with realistic, relatable flawed characters - this one’s for you.⁣ ⁣ If for any reason, second chances, forgiveness and a Hallmark-esque story warms your heart - dig into this book.⁣ ⁣ So many reasons!⁣

  12. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    4.5 stars (No Spoilers!) This book took me longer to read than any novel ever should. Why? I totally savored every second and every minute of every day on Nantucket Island—with its small town charm, cozy beach cottages, cobblestone streets, seashells, and pounding surf—and quite frankly I didn't care to leave. Oh, and don't let me forget to add a certain heart-throbbing ex-baseball player to the mix! Hollis McGuire is everything good book heroes are made of...sensitive, kind, attentive, and havin 4.5 stars (No Spoilers!) This book took me longer to read than any novel ever should. Why? I totally savored every second and every minute of every day on Nantucket Island—with its small town charm, cozy beach cottages, cobblestone streets, seashells, and pounding surf—and quite frankly I didn't care to leave. Oh, and don't let me forget to add a certain heart-throbbing ex-baseball player to the mix! Hollis McGuire is everything good book heroes are made of...sensitive, kind, attentive, and having nice biceps and striking good looks didn't hurt a bit either! ;) But, and it's a big BUT, Emily Ackerman and I didn't connect very well. And she certainly gave Hollis a run for his money! I absolutely loved the dual timeline which takes us back in time to Isabelle's romance, Emily's adorable mom. Filled with angst a'plenty, searing kisses, and family secrets...be sure not to miss out on this amazing summer read!

  13. 4 out of 5

    MJSH

    This review is for extended preview of Courtney Walsh's If For Any Reason. I received a copy of this extended preview from Tyndale House Publishers via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own. Courtney Walsh has a way of drawing you completely in to her setting, characters, and plot. From page one, you will feel like you are traveling to Nantucket with Emily as she relives her summers spent on the island and tries to f This review is for extended preview of Courtney Walsh's If For Any Reason. I received a copy of this extended preview from Tyndale House Publishers via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own. Courtney Walsh has a way of drawing you completely in to her setting, characters, and plot. From page one, you will feel like you are traveling to Nantucket with Emily as she relives her summers spent on the island and tries to forge a new life renovating her grandfather's cottage. She embarks on this journey bogged down by sense of failure from her failed theater production but encouraged by her deceased mother's book of letters and fond memories of her Nantucket days. There is a sense of mystery and intrigue as Emily's mother's story slowly unfolds parallel to Emily's. Hollis, a retired baseball player, is a somber, practical, protective hero who is trying to find his way to his preteen daughter during the summer days on Nantucket. Hollis and Emily's friendship goes way back and their reconnection is sweet. There is a lot of heartbreak even in the beginning chapters of this book but there is also a glimpse of hope and healing on the horizon. Courtney Walsh does an amazing job, as always, creating her characters that you want to read more about them with each turn of the page. If you enjoy heart-tugging contemporary romance, you will want to read this one. Fans of Courtney Walsh will fall head over heels again and newbies to her writing will find a new favorite author.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Robin Lee Hatcher

    Warm and inviting, If for Any Reason is a delightful read. I fell in love with the characters and with my time in Nantucket. Don’t miss this one. P.S. I absolutely loved the letters from mother to daughter. They melted my heart.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    This one is a super sweet and emotional read! Ms. Walsh is so good at that combination. It's been a little while since I read one of her stories, so this was like renewing an old friendship. :) One of the highlights for me was the details on the theatre. Knowing that Ms. Walsh has a great deal of personal experience in that area, her wealth of knowledge and the joy it brings her shown through her descriptions. I connected with that part of Emily's life, even though I have zero experience and know This one is a super sweet and emotional read! Ms. Walsh is so good at that combination. It's been a little while since I read one of her stories, so this was like renewing an old friendship. :) One of the highlights for me was the details on the theatre. Knowing that Ms. Walsh has a great deal of personal experience in that area, her wealth of knowledge and the joy it brings her shown through her descriptions. I connected with that part of Emily's life, even though I have zero experience and know nothing about it myself. I love when that happens in a story. Another of my favorite things was Hollis' family. They are so loving and caring for each other! And since Emily is in desperate need of such in her life, I loved seeing how they swept her up into being part of them and made her comfortable. Plus they helped provide a safe place for Hollis to figure out his relationship with his daughter. They truly are one of my favorite fictional families now. They're not perfect, none of the characters are, but the flaws only endear them further. The romance bits were adorable, of course. (Which was only to be expected! This is a Courtney Walsh novel after all.) I appreciated that they were friends first, a good friends-to-lovers romance is one of my favorite tropes and Ms. Walsh handles the transition really well. Because goodness the chemistry between these two! Yet both Emily and Hollis have a lot of growing to do, so I especially appreciated the slow way the romance heated up, giving both time to process through all the stuff they needed to. Overall, I really enjoyed the emotions I connected with while reading. The grief, the uncertainty, the fear, the familial love, and most of all the hope that threaded everything together from beginning to end. Several moments brought smiles, while others made me turn the next page as quick as I could to find out how a character would respond. Beautifully written, Ms. Walsh continues to solidify her spot on my list of awesome writers! **I received a complimentary copy via Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Madison

    If For Any Reason is a charming summer read about second chances, connecting with your purpose in life and looking beyond the mistakes of your past. It’s a story about family and belonging. It’s easy to read with relatable characters and Courtney Walsh’s fantastic writing style. If For Any Reason is perfect fans of Christian contemporary romance. Emily is returning to Nantucket Island. It holds good and bad memories- fun summers spent in the community theatre program and the year an accident took If For Any Reason is a charming summer read about second chances, connecting with your purpose in life and looking beyond the mistakes of your past. It’s a story about family and belonging. It’s easy to read with relatable characters and Courtney Walsh’s fantastic writing style. If For Any Reason is perfect fans of Christian contemporary romance. Emily is returning to Nantucket Island. It holds good and bad memories- fun summers spent in the community theatre program and the year an accident took her mother away for ever. Now, after travelling aimlessly and an opportunity to direct her own play that ended in disaster, Emily has no choice but to return and claim the beach house her grandfather left her. She plans to do it up and sell it as quickly as possible, but she didn’t count on running into boy-next-door Hollis, who is now all grown up, or his charming daughter who inspires Emily to revive her love of theatre. As the summer warms up, Emily will have the chance to uncover the truth about her mother’s death, but it might change things forever. I so love friends-to-lovers romance. While Emily and Hollis haven’t been friends for many, many years, they were once very close friends and shared secrets and many happy memories. But a lot has changed. Hollis has had a big career in baseball, but regrets his lifestyle choices, the distance between him and his daughter and the way his career ended. Emily has seen the world, has lived large under the guidance of her mother’s letters. But the shame she faces over her failed play and the way she burned through her finances has killed her certainly for the future. As Emily is reminded about all the things she loves and hates about life on the island, she is also presented with answers from the past and a new hope for the future. Hollis has a chance to rekindle a relationship with his daughter and Emily seems to hold the key to unlocking his daughter’s love of the theatre. So they rebuilt their friendship and can’t deny the growing spark between them. The complexity about Emily’s past and the letters from her mother and the flashbacks to the summer she fell pregnant with Emily bring a depth and touch of intrigue to the story. I really enjoyed these parts of the book and it’s the perfect offset to the romance, alongside Hollis’ relationship with his daughter. If For Any Reason is a delightful novel, with a touch of mystery, plenty of joy and a big heart. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Absolutely phenomenal! Review to come! Dear reader friend, I'm writing this to you not even 24 hours after finishing IF FOR ANY REASON and I have so many thoughts about it. Mainly I'm wondering why this beautiful story had to end and how could Courtney Walsh write something so perfectly? This is a story about secrets and the past and fear and faith and family and home. It was a moving story of hurt and hope and love. It wasn't easy to read in some places because it really hit home for me. But in th Absolutely phenomenal! Review to come! Dear reader friend, I'm writing this to you not even 24 hours after finishing IF FOR ANY REASON and I have so many thoughts about it. Mainly I'm wondering why this beautiful story had to end and how could Courtney Walsh write something so perfectly? This is a story about secrets and the past and fear and faith and family and home. It was a moving story of hurt and hope and love. It wasn't easy to read in some places because it really hit home for me. But in the end of all that difficulty, this story was worth every tear shed while reading it. I don't think I've ever read a book that hit as close to home as this one. I don't think I've ever read a book with a message that needs to be communicated more than this one. Life is hard and full of fear and it's so, so easy to run from that fear and protect ourselves from the pain. But when we walk through that pain and fear, there is beauty like never before on the other side. The pain in life is worth it because of the beauty on the other side. That is one of the many things IF FOR ANY REASON taught me. This book will forever have a place in my heart ❤️ And, readers, if for any reason you come across this book and get a chance to read it, please do so! I have a feeling you won't regret it. Love, Kathryn

  18. 4 out of 5

    Laurie DelaCruz

    This would have been 5 stars, except there was a lingering feeling throughout the book that there were too many parallels between the two main characters. But besides that, this was a well-written book that dealt with some heavy issues.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Inspirationalfictionreader

    If for Any Reason by Courtney Walsh tells the story of both Isabelle and her daughter Emily. Both stories take you on an emotional and sometimes tragic journey, but leave you with a feeling of hope and the possibility of second chances. I really liked the time-slip aspect of this story. It was a great way to know Isabelle’s story without just telling us about it. I also enjoyed the epistolary parts of this story. They showed Isabelle’s own thoughts and became somewhat of a guide for her daughter, If for Any Reason by Courtney Walsh tells the story of both Isabelle and her daughter Emily. Both stories take you on an emotional and sometimes tragic journey, but leave you with a feeling of hope and the possibility of second chances. I really liked the time-slip aspect of this story. It was a great way to know Isabelle’s story without just telling us about it. I also enjoyed the epistolary parts of this story. They showed Isabelle’s own thoughts and became somewhat of a guide for her daughter, Emily. One of my favorite parts of this story was when one of the character’s showed true and complete forgiveness when he wasn’t asked to ~ if only we could all be like that! I did have a few issues though. Life can sometimes get hard, especially when we do and say careless things, but that doesn’t give us the right to just run away from our responsibilities. Without going into details, there were things that the characters said and did that were clearly wrong. While they may have felt bad, there was no repentance and the faith message was not clear enough to explain that these actions were sins against God. I really struggled with this. While I did have a few issues with this book, I do seem to be in the minority. So, if you’re looking for a story with more mature topics and life situations that shows what true forgiveness can look like, this may be the story for you. I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jaycee Weaver

    Goodness. What a rich story, full of complexities. I’m hesitant to get too detailed in my review because I really don’t want to leave any inadvertent spoilers! The primary story with Hollis and Emily was exactly what I’ve come to expect from Courtney Walsh—complicated pasts, misguided life choices, regrets, and a sweet love story with a hero who stands faithful and true. Then there’s the slight time slip with Isabelle and JD’s teenage history, which—wow. I love JD. I keep reading reviews gushing Goodness. What a rich story, full of complexities. I’m hesitant to get too detailed in my review because I really don’t want to leave any inadvertent spoilers! The primary story with Hollis and Emily was exactly what I’ve come to expect from Courtney Walsh—complicated pasts, misguided life choices, regrets, and a sweet love story with a hero who stands faithful and true. Then there’s the slight time slip with Isabelle and JD’s teenage history, which—wow. I love JD. I keep reading reviews gushing on Hollis, but I just have to give JD some recognition. Yes, he and Isabelle made a poor choice that had far-reaching consequences. But every time, every step of the way, he wanted to do what was right and simply love Isabelle with all that he had. Sacrifice is what love really is, and Ms. Walsh knows how to write heroes who do this well. Some have criticized the faith threads through the story as somehow lacking. I’d like to remind readers that faith is an imperfect, individual journey that never looks the same for any two people. Hollis is stronger and further along in his, but is still growing into the man of God he has the potential to become. Emily’s struggle is poignant and realistic and flawed, but there is so much hope there, and we can be confident that she has a lot of life left to get it worked out. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    The Flipped Page (Susan K)

    Romance, clean; mild faith elements More of a 4.5 for me as a reader. Emily story her past present and we get a glimpse at her new future, is a sweet, introspective, romantic lovely read. Her past with her mother, grandparents and the bits of her father that she knows, collide in the present when secrets start coming to light. Second chances for many people. Hollis' worries with regard to his daughter, his want for Emily, lovely, hurting, wondering, and romantic as the tender, soft spoken, and ki Romance, clean; mild faith elements More of a 4.5 for me as a reader. Emily story her past present and we get a glimpse at her new future, is a sweet, introspective, romantic lovely read. Her past with her mother, grandparents and the bits of her father that she knows, collide in the present when secrets start coming to light. Second chances for many people. Hollis' worries with regard to his daughter, his want for Emily, lovely, hurting, wondering, and romantic as the tender, soft spoken, and kind man is trying to figure out his present after bumbling his past as he navigated his career as a professional baseball player. His parents' tender, romantic and family center marriage is an example to both Hollis and Emily. Strong characters, beautifully peaceful setting, and moving backstories for both MC made this a strong read for me. As a house is renovated, and a play is scheduled, they both find bits of themselves, fix the present, and create a lovely future for themselves. Time is the best gift of all, and the words expressed by the heart so lovely to see as they heal the bitter wounds of Emily and Hollis' pasts and weave their hearts together. Lovely, cathartic, reflective, beautifully romantic read, and gorgeous setting on Nantucket. I think this is one of my favorite books I have ever read of C.W. Truly a masterfully created story that will resonate in your heart for a long time after reading it. I know I will re-read this to savor this story and gather bits I missed on my first voracious read through. Hard to put down, and definitely wanting more of this story. It was hard to stop turning the pages. I received an ARC from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. My opinions are my own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    " . . .sometimes you have to lose everything in order to figure out what's really important. Not an easy lesson to learn. Especially because I hadn't put any time into the things that mattered. . . . " The things that mattered, the hard things, the real things. Emily Ackerman has returned to her grandparents' summer home feeling like she has managed to lose everything that she once dreamed about accomplishing; traveling, performing, staging, producing . . . all that remains is a lonely, dilapidat " . . .sometimes you have to lose everything in order to figure out what's really important. Not an easy lesson to learn. Especially because I hadn't put any time into the things that mattered. . . . " The things that mattered, the hard things, the real things. Emily Ackerman has returned to her grandparents' summer home feeling like she has managed to lose everything that she once dreamed about accomplishing; traveling, performing, staging, producing . . . all that remains is a lonely, dilapidated cottage on the island of Nantucket. A place which once held her best memories, and tragically; her worst. Tucking a book of letters written by her deceased mother back into her purse, Emily is determined to rennovate and evacuate; never imagining that the boy next door would re-appear. Hollis McGuire, a retired baseball star; all grown up, and with a pre-teen daughter in tow. My, my, so he has secrets, too. It's almost impossible to encapsulate the depth of this story; the author has created living, breathing characters who have an immediate, palpable connection; they share page space with family members who have made irrevocable mistakes . . . . but deserve grace, their pasts hiding secrets that deserve to see the light of day. It's all there, wrapped up beautifully within a young woman's dream of belonging, when in fact she already does.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    The letters between Emily and her late mother provided a fresh twist on a tried-and-true plot device. Allowing readers to experience Isabelle and JD's story through the letters and also in a few well-placed scenes throughout the novel added a richer layer to If for Any Reason. Emily's reliance on the letter as both a link to her mom and a compass for her life choices made for interesting reading. Real life is messy and the struggles and setbacks humans often encounter are carefully examined in th The letters between Emily and her late mother provided a fresh twist on a tried-and-true plot device. Allowing readers to experience Isabelle and JD's story through the letters and also in a few well-placed scenes throughout the novel added a richer layer to If for Any Reason. Emily's reliance on the letter as both a link to her mom and a compass for her life choices made for interesting reading. Real life is messy and the struggles and setbacks humans often encounter are carefully examined in this novel. Second chances after personal and professional failures, acknowledging deception, asking forgiveness, and overcoming fear are consistent themes. Walsh does an excellent job of creating a story line that resonates with readers. I feel readers will relate to the characters' faith journeys as well. My favorite aspect of If for Any Reason is the hero, Hollis. Super swoon worthy! Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. The pace in the first half was a bit slow for my liking. Hollis kept me reading though and I'm so glad because the second half is fantastic.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kriste

    a sweet story

  25. 5 out of 5

    Suzie Waltner

    Courtney Walsh transports readers to Nantucket while giving them all the pain, heartache, growth, and lessons we expect from her in If For Any Reason. With a book of letters from her mother for guidance, Emily returns to Nantucket. A place where heartache and happy memories collide. She is a broken character with a trail of shattered dreams and disappointments behind her—some of her own making and others brought on by life. Hollis is attempting to make his own amends for his past mistakes, especia Courtney Walsh transports readers to Nantucket while giving them all the pain, heartache, growth, and lessons we expect from her in If For Any Reason. With a book of letters from her mother for guidance, Emily returns to Nantucket. A place where heartache and happy memories collide. She is a broken character with a trail of shattered dreams and disappointments behind her—some of her own making and others brought on by life. Hollis is attempting to make his own amends for his past mistakes, especially where his daughter is concerned. As he and Emily form a friendship, they challenge each other and, of course, there’s some romance in there too. Walsh digs into her theatre experience and some of those scenes with the children who join the production are the most heart-felt. But expect emotions to run the gamut throughout this wonderful story. Disclosure statement: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Abbi

    “If For Any Reason”, I loved this title and the way it played into the story. When I first heard it, it sounded a bit strange but I didn’t think much about it. Then as the story of this book started to unfold it made complete sense and I loved it. Courtney Walsh knows how to put her characters through the hard things in life and she writes in such a beautiful way that their pain, struggles, and emotions become yours. I always connect with her characters in a way that I don’t often do and it’s hon “If For Any Reason”, I loved this title and the way it played into the story. When I first heard it, it sounded a bit strange but I didn’t think much about it. Then as the story of this book started to unfold it made complete sense and I loved it. Courtney Walsh knows how to put her characters through the hard things in life and she writes in such a beautiful way that their pain, struggles, and emotions become yours. I always connect with her characters in a way that I don’t often do and it’s honestly beautiful. This was definitely the case with Emily and Hollis. Emily was such a broken character, she had lost so much and built so many walls and my heart honestly broke for her. But I loved watching her journey to healing and finding where she belonged. And Hollis, while it was his own choices that led him to where he was he’s deep remorse and dedication to being better was enough to endear him to me. I also loved the quiet way he broke down Emily’s walls and showed her unconditional love. I really enjoyed the way their relationship played out and how real they were able to be with each other. Jolie was a sweet kid and the author did a great job of writing an authentic preteen who was still likable! I also loved Hollis’s family! The setting of this story was beautiful and the escape to Nantucket was exactly what I needed on these dreary winter days! If you like fiction with a lot of heart, tender romance, and emotions that reach deep then I cannot recommend this book enough! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    100 Pages per Hour

    Walsh is one of my favorite authors and this book is no exception. I adored this book and have read my ARC twice already! Emily's mantra throughout this book is "I can do hard things." I know that might seem cliche to some but it really is truth and it resonated with me through the whole book. Often as I read a book I fall more in love with one character than any other - but in this book I really connected with a lot of the characters. I loved the setting of Nantucket and really loved all the thea Walsh is one of my favorite authors and this book is no exception. I adored this book and have read my ARC twice already! Emily's mantra throughout this book is "I can do hard things." I know that might seem cliche to some but it really is truth and it resonated with me through the whole book. Often as I read a book I fall more in love with one character than any other - but in this book I really connected with a lot of the characters. I loved the setting of Nantucket and really loved all the theatre parts in the story. Walsh's own personal experience and love for theatre was evident in this book and only made it better. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves theatre because while it isn't the main event it is vital to the story. I love how realistically flawed the characters are. Each of the main characters is dealing with one or more difficulties in life. The moments of spiritual insight in the book are beautiful and the unconditional love examples that imitate God's love for us between the characters was amazing. Books are an escape but sometime they also teach us and this one is perfect for learning to forgive and move on with life and love. The romance in this book was fantastic. So many great kisses and numerous deep and heartfelt conversations. I felt tingles more than once! I received an advanced copy of this book through the publisher. This is my honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chautona Havig

    Sometimes “It’s Better” Is the Greatest Understatement Ever Each book I’ve read by Courtney Walsh has been better than the last—in my experience, anyway. I feel like a hypocrite saying that, because I really feel each book should be viewed on its own merit. But I can’t deny that each book really did improve on the last. Sigh. But that’s such an insane understatement when it came to If for Any Reason. To be fair, I think a significant part of why has to do with the fact that I would call this “Roman Sometimes “It’s Better” Is the Greatest Understatement Ever Each book I’ve read by Courtney Walsh has been better than the last—in my experience, anyway. I feel like a hypocrite saying that, because I really feel each book should be viewed on its own merit. But I can’t deny that each book really did improve on the last. Sigh. But that’s such an insane understatement when it came to If for Any Reason. To be fair, I think a significant part of why has to do with the fact that I would call this “Romantic Women’s Fiction” rather than straight-up romance. It is also solidly redemptive fiction, which I LOVE as well. What did Walsh do so well this time? So many things. Let’s start with characters. I’m a sucker for messed-up characters, and Courtney Walsh has written an entire cast of really flawed, need-a-come-to-Jesus-moment characters. From Emily to Hollis, Isabelle to JD, the grandparents to even Jolie’s mother, these folks are messed up on so many levels. Christians act like Christians… and don’t. The unsaved act unsaved… and sometimes they act more “Christlike” than the saved. It’s authentic. Real. Familiar. Heartbreaking. Even the redemptive story woven through each character doesn’t have a neatly tied bow at the end of If for Any Reason. And thank you, Courtney Walsh for that. It’s what makes the story feel so believable and what gives it so much hope. How often do we think we’re never going to “arrive” because on the screen or the page, the “good guy” ends up one spit-wash away from perfect? Walsh doesn’t do that. Spit-washes are just going to make mud in the tears of her still-broken but healing characters. The plots—yes, plural. In this time-split novel, we have several plots and times playing out as we learn what brought everything to where it is today even as we live through the today. She uses the epistolary device in such a beautiful and unique way. I love how she did that. Capital L-O-V-E. Love. But more than anything, I love the faith in If for Any Reason Walsh didn’t beat us over the head with it. Each character embraced or repelled the Lord in ways that fit his or her own character perfectly. If I have any criticism of this book, it would be that there was one tiny nuance that would have been beautiful to show and she didn’t. That said, I don’t know if you could do that without making it preachy. Look, this book doesn’t have sermons. Conversations about the Lord are kept to a minimum. Prayers are gritty, transparent things from a hurting soul. It’s not neat and clean by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, If for Any Reason is one of those books that I’ll be chewing over for days. I’ll probably reread it. Soon. SO glad that when offered an excerpt to review, I chose to just buy the whole thing and read it all. I’d never have been satisfied with just an excerpt.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Baker (A Baker's Perspective)

    I honestly can’t say which part of this book I liked the best. The letters from Emily’s mom, Emily’s story, or her mother’s story. It all flowed together perfectly and beautifully, as Walsh is able to do with all her stories. **Sigh** I’m just sorry that it’s over. I miss Hollis, Emily and JoJo already! Let’s start with the letters. First of all, what an inspiration. I’ve been writing letters to my daughter periodically in a journal since she was born, but more of a what’s going on in life letter I honestly can’t say which part of this book I liked the best. The letters from Emily’s mom, Emily’s story, or her mother’s story. It all flowed together perfectly and beautifully, as Walsh is able to do with all her stories. **Sigh** I’m just sorry that it’s over. I miss Hollis, Emily and JoJo already! Let’s start with the letters. First of all, what an inspiration. I’ve been writing letters to my daughter periodically in a journal since she was born, but more of a what’s going on in life letter. This? Well this has given me a little inspiration to make it so much more than that. Although I wish I had it 17 years ago, I’ll make the best of it. I could see Courtney’s heart in these letters – at least I believe I could. I love it when authors do stuff like this – it’s kind of like getting a sneak peak at their thoughts. I have to say that while I enjoyed the relationship between Emily and Hollis, it was really the budding relationship between Hollis and JoJo that spoke to my heart. Probably because I have experience with an absent parent, and could see it from JoJo’s perspective. But Hollis brought this whole other point that I never really thought about before. Every side has two stories, and I loved the way Walsh brought that to life. If For Any Reason is a sweet romance story that offers so much more. Highly recommend reading the latest novel from Courtney Walsh! I received a complimentary copy of this book and was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    'So much for believing God was really going to be there for her this time.' After suffering a huge professional failure and going broke, Emily Ackerman comes back to the little Nantucket island she lived on as a child. Her grandfather has died and left her their cottage and she plans on renovating it and selling it. She discovers that her childhood friend, Hollis McGuire, is staying next door with his family. With his 12 year old daughter. Hollis's baseball career has ended and he's trying to con 'So much for believing God was really going to be there for her this time.' After suffering a huge professional failure and going broke, Emily Ackerman comes back to the little Nantucket island she lived on as a child. Her grandfather has died and left her their cottage and she plans on renovating it and selling it. She discovers that her childhood friend, Hollis McGuire, is staying next door with his family. With his 12 year old daughter. Hollis's baseball career has ended and he's trying to connect with his daughter but not being very successful at it. Soon Emily discovers shocking secrets about her mother's fatal car accident 18 years ago but nobody will talk to her. Her world has just taken a nose dive and she keeps reading the series of letters her mother wrote to her when she was small. Can she get past all this and build a life for herself and stop running? Courtney Walsh knows how to engage her readers' hearts. Always has. I was rooting for Emily all through the book. And Hollis's daughter Jolie is so precious. And Walsh made me want to visit Nantucket so much! Walsh takes us on a journey of love, heartbreak, faith and new beginnings. Recommended. *My thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions here are entirely my own.

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