About the Book
Everyone thinks Katriona McLeod is living the dream. Her professional career as a make up artist sees her traveling the world working with the stars and she’s got no shortage of men wanting her affection. Only problem is she’s never gotten over Caleb Murphy, the one guy she’s ever loved. When she accepts a job on the latest looking-for-love reality TV show, Falling for the Farmer, she discovers to her horror that Caleb is the leading man and she’s cast as one of his harem. But she hides a secret that means that even if she wanted a second chance with the guy who broke her heart she could never have it.
Caleb Murphy couldn’t care less about C-Class celebrity fame or reality TV and he certainly doesn’t believe it could lead him to love. The one thing he does care about is fulfilling his mother’s last wish. Kat’s presence on the show seems to offer up a solution that will make both the network and his mother happy. It might have been almost ten years since they split but he knows he can trust her with his plan. Just as long as he doesn’t fall in love all over again with the woman who will never stay.
I wish that I had endless free time so I could read and re-read every novel by Kara Isaac. I love her stories. Her characters are so unique and relatable. Isaac’s voice and sense of humor truly set her apart in the Christian Fiction market. All Made Up is superior — who knew Reality TV could be the backdrop to a story full of such depth, heartbreak, and complex themes?!
I very much enjoyed the characters, the setting, and the plot of this story. The characters are perfectly and realistically drawn. The setting is awesome — I so want to go to Australia and New Zealand. The plot is excellent. I was engaged and engrossed the entire read, and I was totally cheering on Caleb and Kat! All Made Up is a book I could not put down. My favorite aspect to this novel, however, are the timely discussions on forgiveness and God’s rule over us. Perhaps it was just me and the path God currently has on me, but these two themes resonated SO deeply for me. First is the wonderful reminder about what forgiveness is. At one point, Kat is struggling HARD with forgiving Caleb for a choice he made without consulting her first. The choice Caleb made in the past regarding his and Kat’s future is the absolute wrong choice and it caused severe ramifications for Kat — ramifications she can never come back from. I will not lie, this decision and how it affected Kat ripped my heart into shreds. I bawled on my couch! It goes without saying that forgiving Caleb would not be an easy task. But it is the words of a very wise woman that convinces Kat she must forgive no matter what. Janine, Kat’s pastor, explains that “forgiveness isn’t a one-time thing. It’s a choice we make over and over again. You don’t have to know how to forgive … you just have to want to try.” Such excellent truth. Forgiveness isn’t about words we say, it’s about our hearts being in the right place — a Jesus place — and wanting to forgive. This truth helps Kat evaluate her heart and she realizes that she does indeed need to forgive Caleb, otherwise the wound could fester and that would get her off God’s track for her.
In addition to her message on forgiveness, I very much appreciate Kara Isaac’s point about God’s rule over us. There is a moment where Caleb stresses about all the years that he and Kat were separated. He starts to consider all the possible things that could have gone wrong in her life without him being there to love and protect her. Caleb starts to spiral a little until Kat confidently tells him, “It’s not on you, Caleb. My safety. My happiness. My life. None of it is on you. It’s on God.” Oh my word, did I need this reminder. Too often, I get caught up in earthly things. I see something scary on the news and worry that it could happen to me or my daughter or my husband. Then I go into tiger-mom mode. I plan all the ways I can keep my family safe. But this just shows I don’t put my trust in God. Kat is 1000% correct. No one is in charge of our lives EXCEPT God. God is the Boss. He knew our steps before we ever took them, and He knows our complete story before it’s ever lived out. I truly appreciate this reminder, and love that it is delivered from such a strong, intelligent, God-fearing character.
All Made Up is wonderful. I highly recommend this story. I laughed, I cried, and I cheered. This is definitely a must-read novel. If you are looking for a fast-paced, highly engrossing, well-written contemporary Christian romance to escape into, All Made Up is the book for you!
I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from Amazon on September 27, 2018 in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.