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Close to You

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  898 ratings  ·  263 reviews
A disgraced scholar running from her past and an entrepreneur chasing his future find themselves thrown together—and fall in love—on a Tolkien tour of New Zealand.
Allison Shire (yes, like where the Hobbits live) is a disgraced academic who is done with love. Her belief in “happily ever after” ended the day she discovered her husband was still married to a wife she knew
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published April 26th 2016 by Howard Books (first published April 1st 2016)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  898 ratings  ·  263 reviews

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R.J. Rodda
An utter delight to read. Witty, romantic and heart-felt. I even laughed out loud reading it, which is unusual for me. I loved the costumes, the Lord of the Rings references the characters and the repartee. Just fun to read as well as moving. The faith-mentions are well-woven in and gentle. I'm glad I read this.
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
This debut was super cute! Among the humor were two hurt souls finding love even though they were definitely not looking for it. And the a sweet, sweet ending.

The author writes with a great deal of humor and I found myself laughing out loud several times. For readers that are familiar with or fans of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, you will enjoy this novel even more than I could with having zero knowledge of the novels/movies. Likely, this would have been a five star

After reading this book I just want to stare off dreamily and remember all of the awesomely great parts of this story!

"Close To You" was a delightfully fun rom-com adventure. I loved every minute of it! Kara Isaac writing is quick, hilarious and heartfelt. I love how this story was centered on "Lord Of The Rings"! Whether your a fan of the books or movies or a don't really know much about them( ahem! Like me). The excitement that the characters had on the 'Lord Of The Rings Tour" tour was just
Rachel McMillan
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am going to review this one closer to its pub date!

But what a refreshing, sparkly voice, unique setting and relevant subject. I loved that it taps into the world's obsession with Tolkien and I loved that it featured a strong-willed, intelligent grad student as its lead.

Hilariously winsome.
3.5 stars

Close to You by Kara Isaac wasn't exactly what I expected. (I was thinking it was YA, when it is, in fact, about two adults.) But I still enjoyed! It was fun, quirky, and filled with details about J.R.R. Tolkien and Middle-Earth. Also included, were faith matters and some deep struggles.

A novel about a used-to-be Tolkien fan who's now a guide in a Tolkien tour, with a client who doesn't know the least bit about this author and his famous fantasy books, is a novel that cries out for me
Where can I find a Jackson Gregory because I need one now! Um yes, I would LOVE for a man to quote the Hobbit (view spoiler)

It also was set in New Zealand and had LOTR themes thought out the entire book. Um, YES PLEASE!!!!! I think I have found a new favorite book.

I was very skeptical going into this book because come on the girl is married and clearly she falls in love with the guy however there were many, many twists and turns on that entire skem of
This was so cute. I really...really enjoyed reading this one. With my husband being such a huge Lord of the Rings fan, this book just hit the perfect niche for me. It made me laugh out loud many times and I often found myself telling my hubby about the characters and plot; he was also laughing. This debut novel is a wonderfully unique romantic comedy.
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a standout contemporary novel, hilarious, touching and enjoyable right to the very last page.

Allison Shire is working for a Lord of the Rings tour company. She is perhaps the most over-qualified tour guide ever, but this is where she must stay until the courts can annul her marriage to a charmer who was only after her money and citizenship and just happened to already be married. Jackson Gregory went from entrepreneur and businessman success story to disaster when his girlfriend stole
Kathy * Bookworm Nation

This was an unexpected surprise!

Allie lives in New Zealand where she is a Tolkien tour guide. She takes enthusiastic Tolkien fans on tours of where The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were filmed. Being a fan of the movies and books I was looking forward to this fun and unique setting. If a tour like this is real, it is definitely one I'd want to go on.

Allie has loved everything Tolkien since she was a young girl. When her life come crumbling down around her, she signs on as a Tolkien tour
Amanda Geaney
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Someone needs to turn this book into a movie! Close to You was the funniest and sweetest little romance story I've read. The Tolkien geekery was totally fantastic and Kara has left me with a strong desire to visit Middle-earth (New Zealand).
Can.not.wait. has become Do.not.miss.
5+*s and <3 s

One of the most FuN Romantic Comedies I have read,
Kara has a unique ability to capture time and place of her characters, yet keep them relating to readers across the globe.
The feisty Allison Shire, English phD wielding Dr. turned Tolkien Tour Guide,
has more life twists and turns than a road trip.

Her nemesis?
Dark and brooding, Jackson, deviously planning a financial coup of his Great Uncle Louis' wealth.
All in the name of Tolkien fandom.
Angie H
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I knew I was going to love this book right from the start. This book had me literally laughing out loud. I loved the banter back and forth between Allison and Jackson, not to mention the shenanigans they got themselves into. This book was about two very broken people who picked up the pieces and grew both personally and spiritually along the way. I absolutely adored this book, and I am not even a Lord of the Rings fan, and can't wait to read another book by this author.
I'm so glad I finally took the time to read Kara Isaac's debut. I loved her two follow-ups, so I was eager to get to this one. Close to You is humorous, poignant, and a bit whimsical. I immediately warmed up to Allison, but Jackson was not so quick to get on my good side. I felt for Allison and the poor dynamics in her family and also related to Jackson's desire to make up for past failures. Yes, the romance is endearingly sweet, but their personal growth and development caught at my heart as ...more
Abigayle Claire
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Finally reviewing this one. It's by far the most chick-flicky book I've ever read. But let's be honest, sometimes that's exactly what we need.

Even though the main characters could have felt cliche, they quickly grew on me as they were so well-written. Definitely some character growth! The romance was well done, as were the Christian elements. But it was a steamier romance than I usually enjoy reading (even though it remained clean). It was one of the best jobs I'd seen of dealing with pricklier
Grace Mullins
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 rating.

If you know my taste is fiction, I don't very often venture into the contemporary set books. But this one just looked so interesting. I mean, guys, it's a romance that twists in elements of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Who knew such a thing would ever exist? Well, I'm here to say that yes, it does, and yes, I found it pretty awesome. It's like a Hallmark film meets Tolkien, giving you part romantic comedy with flutter feelings, and part Middle Earth geek feelings that warm the
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-read
Let me start off by saying that I am not a Tolkien fan...just never got into those books or movies, but you don't have to be one in order to enjoy Close to You. The characters are endearing and the hero doesn't know much of anything about Tolkien (although he's trying to pretend that he's a true fan to his great-uncle throughout the story); so if, like me, you're not a die-hard Tolkien fan, you'll be able to relate to him. :)

I liked the setting and the whole aspect of the tour. I can see how it
There's a lot that I liked about Close to You. It's set in New Zealand, on a Lord of the Rings tour, which is the kind of quirky setting that you don't see every day. The heroine is an academic whose career is hampered by personal problems, and I liked seeing how this capable, bright woman dealt with everyone else regularly underestimating her. I liked the hero's great-uncle and all his machinations.

What I was less excited about was how much the conflict of the love story relied on bad
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A delightful romantic romp through the breathtaking backdrop of New Zealand, a dream come true for any LOTR fan! Bonus, this wonderful read is full to the brim with romance and humor and Tolkien. A handsome hero, a slightly off-kilter clumsy heroine (who is simply lovely) and a charming Santa Claus-type grandfatherly figure to push them together. I couldn't wait to get to the end and I was rather annoyed when my iPad ran out of charge 3 chapters from the finish!! And now I have savored the last ...more
Gretchen Scott
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an amazing piece of art! I cannot believe this is Kara Isaac's first book. I can say that I will be reading all of her future books.

The characters were really intricately written and they had so much character and I truly enjoyed getting to know them. I loved learning about New Zealand and the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Series(although I haven't read any of them). I loved how you never suspected was what coming next and it was impossible for me to tear myself away from this book.
Lynn Spencer
In terms of a rating, I kind of hover between 3.5 stars and 4 stars on this one. On the one hand, this is one of the more original inspies I've read in ages and I loved the characters. However, it does have that dread sagging middle at times.

I've read Kara Isaac before, and I love how she creates characters that feel human and flawed. Having read a fair amount of inspie romance in my life, I can tell you that this can be hard to find. Her leads feel like real 21st century people trying to make
Rebekah Brown
Image result for love love love

I lost count of the number of times I laughed out loud while reading Close To You. I lost count of the number of times I found myself wishing I payed closer attention to The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy my husband made me watch with him. Kara's Issac's debut novel is witty, sweet, thought provoking, and downright interesting. More Kara Issac novels?...yes please!

The amount of Tolkien references Issac provided was just enough to keep any Lord of the Rings fan happy, while not highly confusing non
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this one, especially the Tolkien references.
Fiction Aficionado
Oh my goodness! I don’t know where to start. There were so many things to love about this novel. I feel like I’ve been through an emotional wringer, and yet I can’t remember laughing so much during a novel for a long time. This is a debut novel you don’t want to miss.

Allison Shire and Jackson Gregory are strong characters who are just a little (or perhaps a lot) tangled up in the aftermath of some poor decisions they have made. For almost two years now, Allie has been waiting on the High Court
This book, my dear readers, is one to have on your radar. I have two words for why: Because. Reasons. ;) No seriously though, it is completely adorable and fun and cute and any other adjective you can think of! It really is. I had been anticipating it for months prior to getting a copy and let me tell you how not-disappointed I was. I sighed, I laughed, I shook my head in exasperation, I loved every minute! And I think you will too.

Firstly, the setting. Oh the setting! Are you a fan of the Lord
Megan Besing
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On a scale from Allison to Jackson of my knowledge on all things Tolkien, I’m far closer to Jackson.

Translation: Tolkien + Megan = I know there was a ring and some big, hairy feet involved…

However, my lack of familiarity never stopped my desire to read Kara Isaac’s debut. Close to You seemed to be something different, very intriguing, and the fact that the cover was eye catching helped some too. And since I’m still smiling over the growth of the characters, I think it’s safe to say: I REALLY
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To the best of my knowledge, Close to You by Kara Isaac is the first novel from a New Zealand author contracted and published by a major US Christian publisher. That alone is worth five stars, at least from this parochial Kiwi reader. Those of you who can’t see the appeal of a romance novel set in the Land of the Long White Cloud (and the land of hobbits) should leave now and go back to … I don’t know. What do people who don’t like New Zealand or hobbits read? Do they read? Can they read?.

Rose Dee
Jul 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do you love romantic comedies? Then this is the book for you. It’s great fun. The characters are endearing, the drama perfectly timed, and the rocky road of romance, sweet. I also loved the setting. Word pictures of New Zealand made me want to visit. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings stories feature heavily in this book. I have not read the books or seen the movies – but you don’t need to in order to enjoy this book. My only criticism is that sometimes the story gets bogged down in telling. I ...more
Well written debut novel. While I am not a Tolkien fan I enjoyed the New Zealand setting which was well done. I thought the names were a little too much - Allison Shire and Jackson as the main characters! Well it took me 100 pages mind you to twig to the Jackson one!
Jan 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult
Unique setting, engaging story, totally relateable characters, and a pair of Hobbit feet--yes, I said, Hobbit feet. You don't need to be a die-hard Tolkien fan to enjoy all of the references and cosplay Close To You offers, just a fan of faith, family, and second chances.
Connilyn Cossette
I adored Close to You! Such a fun new voice in contemporary romance and a unique premise that kept me hooked, and laughing, from page one. I cannot wait to read Kara's next book!
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Christian Fiction...: August Group Buddy Read - Close to You by Kara Isaac 26 48 Aug 29, 2017 10:39AM  
Intersting Point/ Observation 1 4 Aug 22, 2017 03:08PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Aug 14, 2015 02:11PM  

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Kara Isaac lives in Wellington, New Zealand. When she's not chasing three hobbit-sized little people, she spends her time writing horribly bad first drafts and wishing you could get Double Stuf Oreos in New Zealand. She is the author of the RITA Award-winning Then There Was You, along with four other contemporary romances. She loves to connect with readers on GoodReads, Twitter, Instagram, ...more