About the Book
Book: Love You, Truly
Author: Susan L. Tuttle
Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
Release Date: December 15, 2019
Blake Carlton, the camera-shy son of Hollywood’s Darling, dodges the invasive limelight and scripted relationships that so often accompany fame. But when his mother’s popularity declines and she falls into a depression, he offers himself up as the next bachelor on a reality show, hoping to reignite interest in her career while creating a way for them to finally connect.
After her fiancé dumps her for her best friend, aspiring photographer Harlow Tucker is done with romance—until her beloved, disabled sister requests her aid to start a nonprofit. Harlow agrees to do whatever is needed to raise funds, even reluctantly costarring on a dating show with a notorious womanizer who distrusts anyone behind a lens.
As Blake and Harlow navigate the superficiality of a reality show, their preconceived notions of love are challenged. Deciding to trust each other feels like the ultimate risk, but taking that chance could lead to a love truly picture-perfect, worth both of their hearts.
Love You, Truly by Susan L. Tuttle is one of the BEST contemporary Christian romances I have ever read. I devoured this book in just under 24 hours as I could not put this marvelous story down. I love that the plotline seamlessly weaves my two favorite tropes: the “two worlds collide” trope and the insta-hate trope. As soon as I got through chapter 1, I knew Blake and Harlow were going to be characters I would want to root for the entire time. I also very much enjoyed the many settings. Love You, Truly is a novel I could escape into as I got to visit Michigan, California, Budapest, and Austria. Of the places I got to “visit,” Austria was my favorite! I loved researching the touristy places Blake and Harlow saw. It sort of felt like I was there with them. While I heartily enjoyed the plot, setting, and characters, what I really appreciated are the timely themes. I must admit that there were a few moments Ms. Tuttle had me in tears because her themes resonated deeply in my heart.
There’s so much to talk about with this story it’s really difficult to pick just one focus, but the message that really struck me is Tuttle’s illustration of control. In very unique ways, both Blake and Harlow are control freaks. For Blake — a man constantly in Hollywood’s limelight — his form of control is to build up walls and never allow the types of relationships that require one’s heart to be involved. Blake refuses to be vulnerable because vulnerability can lead to disappointment, pain, and heartbreak. Instead, Blake becomes superficial, and in this, he can control his environment and heart. Harlow, like Blake, does not want pain, rejection, or heartache either, so her go-to self-preservation is to control literally EVERYTHING — her weight, her eating, her sister, her job, her sister’s foundation, etc. The girl won’t eat popcorn with butter or allow cream in her coffee. And she always says no to chocolate. This is how controlling Harlow is, she never says “YES” to anything. This strong need to control everything in their lives leaves both Blake and Harlow exhausted, sad, and lonely. And, over time, both realize that this need to control boils down to one fact — they don’t trust God.
Boy, did this message smack me up-side the head! In this, I saw a lot of myself in both Blake and Harlow. When bad happens, when chaos occurs, my knee-jerk reaction is to clean and fret and work harder. I feel like if I can just create order in one part of my life I can gain control over all parts of my life. But, like Blake and Harlow, I just end up ragged, lonely, and sad. By the end of this novel, God was flooding my brain and heart with trust verses. Proverbs 3:5 repeated itself in my brain a couple of times — “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Watching Blake and Harlow attempt to be their own god and control every facet of their lives was a great reminder for me to check myself, and then go to God to ask for forgiveness for all the ways I try to lean on my own understanding.
Love You, Truly is more than I could ever put into words. I know this review doesn’t do it justice, which is why I highly recommend you purchase a copy today so you can experience all the amazingness that is Love You, Truly. If my review hasn’t convinced you to purchase your own copy, then the breathtaking kisses alone should be enough reason to buy this book now! LOL!
I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the author via JustRead Publicity. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.