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Lulu’s Café

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4.33  ·  Rating details ·  2,867 ratings  ·  497 reviews
When a damaged young woman is given a chance to reclaim her life in a small South Carolina town, she must reckon with the dark secrets she left behind in order to accept the love she deserves.

On the run from a violent past, Leah Allen arrived in tiny Rivertown, South Carolina, battered and broken, but ready to reinvent herself. By a stroke of fate, Leah is drawn to the Sou
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Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (first published January 12th 2014)
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Average rating 4.33  · 
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 ·  2,867 ratings  ·  497 reviews


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Neena Christianson Martin
A new life

This book made me laugh, cry, and be so thankful for the wonderful man I am married to. This is such a good book, with a plot full of drama, comedy, heartache, second chances, and sweet romance. I fell in love with the characters, the locations, and the resiliency of the human body and soul. Do yourself a favor and read this book, you will not be disappointed.
RockChick19
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written. Couldn't put this book down. It has become one of my favorites as well as the author. It made my love for the south grow. Looking forward to more! ...more
Joan
I downloaded this, not realising it was ‘Christian’ romance ( I check books before I download them and didn’t see any religious references in the genres) Had I known I would probably not have read it, but once I had started I decided to continue. I wish I hadn’t.

There was so much wrong with this novel. So many ?? WTF?? moments that I started making copious notes just to make sure that it wasn’t me at fault.

Warning: Copious spoilers ahead. (view spoiler)
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Linda Rainey
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow!! What a tear jerker

Words cannot adequately express the emotions I felt reading this powerful novel.
Gabriella is superwoman lured into a marriage by a monster suffered ten years of unspeakable abuse to finally getting away.
It tells a story of a young woman reinventing herself with the help of a loving woman by the name of Lulu and the tender mercies of our Lord.
You see the metamorphosis of Gabriella into Leah, a healthy vibrant woman.
I loved the character of Crowley who captures Leah.s heart
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Jody
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"A wonderful place to heal"

This book is awesome! I recommend this to everyone it's a wonderful place to escape to find unconditional love we all deserve.
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Susan Snodgrass
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'Some scars don't ever heal. No matter how awfully bad you want them to. They're just too deep.'

When a horrifically battered young woman by chance makes her way to a small southern town (or should we say it is a 'God incidence?'), she is taken in by Lulu, owner of Lulu's Cafe, and loved on and nurtured. Still, Leah Allen is broken and pain is her portion. Not just physical pain, of which there is definitely plenty, but emotional pain, heartrending pain so strong and deep the reader feels bruised
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Deb
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again, I find it amazing that the reviewers who gave 3 stars or less here have their profiles set to private :o ... DON'T pay any attention to them coz they are way off base and besides, the majority gave this 5 stars, too :)... This is one of the best books I've read all year & it's the first I've ever read by this talented author, but it won't be the last :) ... Amazing detailed descriptions make you feel like you are right there!...Wonderfully developed characters that keep the reader en ...more
Stefanie
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a sweet story!

I must admit, the beginning few chapters are very intense to read. Domestic violence is very very real and reading about it makes one's stomach churn. The author T. I. Lowe gave fantastic descriptions making me feel the anguish and pain of Gabriella (then turned Leah) and opening my eyes to the tragedy that is domestic violence.
The middle of the book dragged a bit. The details were fantastic throughout, but the middle wasn't filled with much action. The characters, Le
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Marleen
Remarkably enough, I will not belong to the majority of reviewers giving this book the maximum of ratings. Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot to like about the story, but in no way did I find it mind-blowing. What I liked is that the main character, Leah, in a prior life Gabby, wasn't a whiner – that was a plus point. She was a battered spouse in a previous life and needed to get away, and that’s what she did, after 10 years of living with a cruel, rich husband. It may be hard to understand, bu ...more
Tammi
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I really liked this book. I started reading it in the morning before work, went to work for 8 hours, and then finished it a little after midnight. It was a page turner and hard to put down. The beginning was quite graphic and disturbing, but that is what domestic violence is. It's a beautiful story of restoration and grace. It's a romantic love story set in the South. I laughed and cried. What a great book. ...more
Beth Erin
Full review on FaithfullyBookish.com

Some stories are all sugar, spice, and everything nice, this story is more… more reality, more authenticity, more grit, more truth, more love, and more hope. Sometimes we need to be reminded, there’s always hope, even in the midst of crushing heartbreak and pain.

Leah’s experiences are a fictional representation of the real lives of many who face these same critical issues. May her story open our eyes and hearts and motivate our hands and feet to serve these in
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Cara
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, owned
This is one of those powerful books that you read and it stays with you forever. It's a beautiful story about a difficult topic and it's done well. The characters are endearing, the setting is wonderfully written, and honestly I'm upset that the book ended! Why do great books have to end?!

This book talks about some rough topics such as spousal abuse and eating disorders. It's an honest look at some things that aren't really talked about, and how we struggle to overcome grief. The story has faith
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Jackie
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can't believe myself for keeping this (novel) sitting in my kindle! I don't even bother to read and finished it at 3AM!

I love how Leah (Gabby) overcome & surpassed everything she has gone thru... How she allowed herself to love and be loved... so overwhelmed by how T.I. Lowe made everything comes to life... even though its hard to believe that there are some people that might really gone thru what Leah has...

Surprised by how the new place & people accepted her and felt that she needed to be car
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Heidi Chiavaroli
A beautiful story of healing. I was flipping pages fast at the end. Looking forward to reading more of this author!
Susannah
Aug 14, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is everything a good book shouldn’t be: unrealistic, misogynistic, racist, bland, unoriginal (it’s basically a worse Safe Haven) poorly written, lazy, predictable all the way though. The deeply intense themes of rape and domestic violence are irresponsibly written about and lacking in authority or empathy, and any attempt to do true justice to the psychological hurt of these realities that too many face falls very flat. The thinly veiled insinuations that a woman’s worth is tied to her abil ...more
Shannon
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
t took me a while to be able to read this book. I had to be in the right frame of mind to get through the first few chapters. This story handled a subject of domestic violence and didn't gloss it over, but showed how someone can get their happily ever after by getting out. I normally don't read these type of books as they bring up some memories, but after reading this book I feel healthier for the way it was written. I do recommend that others should read this, just have a few kleenex handy and ...more
Melissa Pundsack
I read this book in almost one sitting. The story line grabbed my attention immediately. The author took a very difficult topic and told a beautiful story of survival and love. She showed us that beauty is not just skin deep. It is what is inside of us. T.I Lowe did a wonderful job with this story and I can't wait to see what he does next! Be sure to grab some tissues, you will need them near the end. A gut wrenching but beautiful story of one learning how to trust and love again.
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Dana Michael
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
T.I. Lowe is one of my favorite Christian Authors. I loved this book from the first page. I have read this book three times. Why? Well the plot is a about a young woman who is deeply broken by domestic violence. The hero and an older woman shows her there is hope and healing in Christ. The hero is so swoon worthy. He is one of my favorites of all time. Crowley! Sigh!
Tressa (Wishful Endings)
3.5 Stars

LULU'S CAFÉ is one of those stories that is just tough to read. It's brutally descriptive about abuse. What makes it worth the read is the friendship and love that comes after the heroine tries to find herself again and the faith woven through her story.

The beginning of this book was really hard to read. I would have actually liked it more fade-to-black in the beginning, with more of pieces of the picture given over a chapter or two instead of the first 50 pages. But I've always been on
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Laura Rae
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The tears flowed on this book! The aspect of domestic violence was hard to listen to but the author did a great job of telling the story. Really enjoyed Crowley, Leah, lulu and Mona!
Kriste
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A controlling abusive jerk, followed by a sweet woman and stellar guy. Much healing!
Leslie Wheeler
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I was physically abused by my first husband and it hurt my heart what she went through. The ending was perfect. The whole thing...just perfect.
Becca-Rae Weidel
This novel begins with a glimpse at what Leah's life was like with her husband Brent. She'd spent years just trying to survive from his abuse. I would warn that some of this could be a bit graphic for some readers. Her life in the beginning was horrifying.

Fast forward to her search for freedom, Leah finds herself at home in a town she was surprise to be welcomed into. I enjoyed most of the storyline, but as I saw another review mentioning, the emphasis on food, weight, and physical appearance wa
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Stacy
Jun 28, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Read Joan's review of March 4, 2017 to see what I thought of this book. Other than the fact that I knew it was a Christian book going in (being a Christian, this is not necessarily a bad thing), all the things she found fault with, I did, too, and then some.

From amateurish writing chock full of adjectives and adverbs, to completely unbelievable action and events that clearly lacked research, it just felt like a train wreck.

I really hate saying bad things about writers. I know what it is to pour
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Christina
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading Goodbyes and Second Chances, I knew I wanted to read this book too. I loved T.I. Lowe's second book, and I expected the same with Lulu's Cafe. Boy, was I surprised. This one is even better.

I don't want to give spoilers, but at one point the story was so beautifully emotionally raw that I found myself in tears. The feelings driving the story were well-written to the point that they nearly overshadowed the plot. As a big stickler for well-drawn characters, that was a HUGE bonus for m
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Kathy
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The drama… The angst… The tragedy… And the triumph! This is a great book, however, if you don't like any of the things previously mentioned, you'll hate it. I cried actual tears, at points even sobbing. I laughed out loud and grinned till it hurt. My heart broke and was overjoyed. This book touched on God's faith and Providence. It even threw in a wonderfully touching romance. Honestly, the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was because at times I had a hard time deciphering what the writer wa ...more
Di
Dec 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very unusual for me, I got halfway through this book and finally abandoned it. Usually i won't list a book on Goodreads that I did not finish. My rule is 30-50 pages. If it has not grabbed my by then, I go on to something else.

The first part, while quite disturbing, was very good. It had some pretty graphic description involving domestic violence. But, then it started to get too hokey.....unbelievable. Just plain storybook-ish.

I just cannot finish it.
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Neena Christianson Martin
This book made me laugh, cry, and be so thankful for the wonderful man I am married to. This is such a good book, with a plot full of drama, comedy, heartache, second chances, and sweet romance. I fell in love with the characters, the locations, and the resiliency of the human body and soul. Do yourself a favor and read this book, you will not be disappointed.
Rachel Wadsworth
A great read from a new author. Engaging from the start! Fell in love with the characters and how descriptive the author writes. Loved that it had depth but was also lighthearted and whimsy. Found a few typos throughout but not enough to be frustrating.
Jocelyn Ulloa
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book in one day!! loved it!! Hope there is a lot more to come this author has talent!!! A must read!!!
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T.I. Lowe is an ordinary country girl who loves to tell extraordinary stories and is the author of nearly twenty published novels including her debut, LULU’S CAFÉ, a #1 bestseller. She lives with her husband and family in coastal South Carolina. Find her at Tilowe.com or on Facebook (T.I.Lowe), Instagram (Tilowe), and Twitter (@Tilowe).
To sign up for Lowe's newsletter, go to:https://www.tilowe.com
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