Saturday, 16 June 2018

Review: When You Knew by Jamie Beck

WHEN YOU KNEW by Jamie Beck
Montlake Romance
On sale June 26, 2018
Paperback ISBN: 978-1503902503 | $9.99 US | 380 pages | Ebook ASIN: B077GSHCH9 | $4.99 US

Lake Sandy, Oregon, is a town made for second chances. It’s the perfect place for the Cabot siblings to take stock of their lives and take a chance on finding—or fixing—love, even after heartbreak. Jamie Beck’s emotional, gripping, yet ultimately uplifting series confronts the realities of modern families and marriage, and explores the sacrifices it can take to sustain them. From loss, betrayal, and broken dreams come heartwarming stories of new beginnings and deeper bonds.

Gentry Cabot’s rebellious life comes to a screeching halt when a one-night stand leads to a sobering new reality: motherhood. Exhausted and overwhelmed, the former wild child struggles to raise an infant on her own. After a lifetime of feeling like the odd Cabot out, Gentry knows that what her son needs most is family. For his sake, she plans to rebuild bridges with them, but first she needs a little help on the home front. Humanitarian worker Ian Crawford has devoted his life to service. Forced to temporarily return stateside, he’s eager to head back to Haiti to expand the nonprofit he just founded in his late father’s honor. He can’t do that without money, so when Gentry offers a hefty paycheck for a short-term gig as a live-in nanny, he can’t afford to say no. Ian expects to deal with a barrage of privileged problems. What he doesn’t expect is how quickly being a makeshift father transforms him. Despite his growing attachment to Gentry and her child, Ian still has his dreams, and Gentry wants a full-time dad for her son. When the baby’s father reenters the picture, will Gentry and Ian embrace the family they’ve formed or end up worlds apart?

Praise for Jamie Beck’s Cabot Series “Beck leads the reader on a multilayered and tightly plotted journey that’s sure to tug at the heartstrings." —Publishers Weekly on Before I Knew
"If you like contemporary romance that involves believable problems and family relationships with all their confusing, sometimes contradictory emotions as well as the promise of happiness for the central couple, I think you will enjoy All We Knew as much as I did." —The Romance Dish About

There was a huge pull for me to read Gentry Cabot's story after I read All We Knew. I'm always drawn to characters who don't naturally conform to how people expect them to act and behave. However, underneath her rebellious nature is a young woman looking for what most of us want in life; a happy settled and loving family life.

One night in Portland is all it takes to change Gentry's life as she knows it forever. A son born to a man she knows only as 'Smith' is all the information she knows about her baby's father. Still, life goes on; albeit with pressure from her family to bring up her child as they think fit. When her tiny tot is unwell, an unlikely hero walks into her life and agrees to help her out for a short time, only the arrangement impacts them both far more than either would have predicted.

EMT and humanitarian worker Ian Crawford only flew back from Haiti to remove his belongings from his ex-girlfriend's home. When he gets a call from a friend of his mom's, he's happy to help out. With the additional opportunity to earn some money; to buy his flight ticket back to continue his aid work. It's a lucky and mutually beneficial arrangement. Only, his time spent looking after baby Colt and getting to know his mom makes him review his life choices when he's confronted about the reasons for doing what he does.

As different as chalk and cheese, Gentry and Ian are an unlikely couple, but they are well matched and thrive together. Both have difficult issues to deal with yet somehow manage to help one another to come to terms with their past by offering contrasting viewpoints even when the outcome could be detrimental to the one giving advice. They are far from perfect, but who are? Seeing Gentry take control of her life and looking at the bigger picture with regards to her son's upbringing; I applaud her decision to track down the father of her baby against the advice of her own mother. The Gentry we see at the end is unlike the woman who unintentionally hurt her brother and sister-in-law. She's matured as her family all realise how their intertwined pasts have had a negative impact not only on Gentry but themselves too.

As always, Ms Beck offers a truly inspiring and well-written novel with heartfelt emotions. Any mum will totally understand and empathise with Gentry as she stubbornly tries to juggle the responsibility of caring for her newborn. It's cringe-worthy, funny and an honest reading. The reader is instantly enveloped within the narrative as the protagonists from contrasting worlds meet. Gentry and Ian are supported by equally realistic and relatable secondary characters. Those who have read the other novels in the series will be reunited with those they have met previously. However, this novel can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend reading these too.

A wonderful finale to the Cabot Trilogy.

***arc generously received courtesy of Montlake Romance via NetGalley***

About the Author National bestselling author Jamie Beck’s realistic and heartwarming stories have sold more than one million copies. She’s a 2017 Booksellers’ Best Award finalist, and critics at Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist have respectively called her work “smart,” “uplifting,” and “entertaining.” In addition to writing, she enjoys dancing around the kitchen while cooking, and hitting the slopes in Vermont and Utah. Above all, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family. Fans can learn more about her on her website: , which includes a fun “Extras” page with photos, videos, and playlists. She also loves interacting with everyone at .