All That It Takes (2022)

About the Book

Book: All That It Takes

Author: Nicole Deese

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Lit

Release date: April 1, 2022

When the ever-cautious Val Locklier finally agrees to a cross-country move with her nine-year-old son to take a job with her best friend, Molly, everything she had planned for the future unravels within the first week. After pushing aside her anxieties about renting an apartment from Molly’s twin brother, whom she barely knows, she accepts an invitation for an elite filmmaker’s mentorship. Caught between her insecurities and new possibilities, she feels completely unprepared for the challenges ahead.

Pastor Miles McKenzie returns home from abroad to discover that not only does he have an intriguing new tenant living upstairs, but he’s also been banished to a ministry on life support. Disillusioned and restless, he pursues a relationship with Val without stopping to consider the timing or asking God to direct his steps.

As Val struggles to stop hiding behind the camera and Miles wrestles with shattered expectations, they’ll find that authentic love and sacrifice must go hand in hand.

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My Thoughts

All That It Takes by Nicole Deese is a phenomenal journey story that grabbed my heart from page one and refused to let go. I know that I’ve said this before in previous reviews for other fantastic novels, but this really, truly is a story that’s going to stick with me for a long, long time. I love that this story took me a while to read. I mentioned that All That It Takes is a journey story and the slower pace plays so nicely into Val and Miles’s narratives. I liked that I needed to slow down and really invest time into these characters and all they go through. And I really love that this story is as much a spiritual journey as it is a romantic one.

About a decade ago I decided to actually sit down and read the Bible in its entirety. I had attended Catholic school from 1st to 12th grades, went to church every Sunday since birth, and declared Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior early in my life, but until about ten years ago I had never read all of the Bible. I just took my pastor’s word that what he was telling me about Jesus was true. One of the ideas that became crystal clear to me as I read and studied all of God’s Word for the first time is that God really, really cares about the most vulnerable populations — widows and orphans, and those who are too sick or physically broken to care for themselves. All throughout God’s Word are commands to protect these people groups or illustrative examples of how to do so. And it all boils down to this one concept — compassion. That is what struck me the most about All That It Takes — the call to care for the most vulnerable and under-recognized humans, the call to compassion. We must recognize that sometimes, “all it takes is one person being willing to step out in love for the betterment of another to change the trajectory of an entire life” (loc. 4528). All that it takes is choosing to see someone other than ourselves. When we do this, we allow God to work through us and, man, can He move mountains.

There’s no way I could do this book justice in a single review. All That It Takes must be personally experienced because it is a story full of depth and meaning. This is a story that will make you feel all the feels. It’s a story that will make you think, re-evaluate your heart, and remind you that all it really takes is stepping out in love.

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Bethany House Publishers, via NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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