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All in

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  70 ratings  ·  62 reviews
A woman’s empty pursuit of happiness leads to a crisis before finding redemption in the Lord in this challenging and gritty Christian novel.

Twenty-nine-year-old novelist and blackjack dealer Cami Taylor seems to have it all—but just underneath her confident exterior and newfound celebrity is a young woman in trouble. Cami’s boyfriend, Joel, wants to get married, buy a
Published August 27th 2019 by Morgan James Fiction
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  70 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
It feels a little weird to label this as 'historical fiction' because it's set in the late 90's, but as the book was published this year, that's technically what it is. Which totally makes me feel old, knowing that a time that I lived in is now considered historical.

Haha. Anyway, I really enjoyed the author's pacing and the way she wrote/told the story. I will admit that as an atheist it is hard to not feel a bit of a bias when it comes to Christian novels (not that this was obvious at first,
L.K. Simonds
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Five stars. Obviously.

Don’t worry—I’m not reviewing my own work. But this space is a great vehicle to carry the news to my GR friends that I have a novel coming out. May I repeat that? I have a novel coming out! Its available to READ NOW on NetGalley.

Back in the 90s, I was vacationing in NYC with my travel buddies. We got out the phonebook—as we always did while traveling—to see how many people with our last names were listed. In that thick Manhattan phonebook was a
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
(This review will be on my blog All the Ups and Downs soon.)
When I read the synopsis for All In by L.K. Simonds, I was definitely intrigued. There was something about it that really spoke to me.

The plot felt very realistic and was done beautifully. Cami is a 29 year old famous author that doesn't seem to let things bother her much. After breaking up with her boyfriend, things start going downhill for her fast especially when something life changing happens. Unbeknownst to Cami, God is trying
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredibly well woven story of hope, pain, emotion and redemption. Seamlessly told by the author this book was so very real, there were times I felt like a voyeur in Cami's life and the trials she faces as we get a front and center seat in her personal journey that runs from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows and back again. It's a story of surrender and a deep longing for something other than.
It is captivating, beautiful and often painful, as you watch her make her way through her
Samantha James
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The biggest message that L.K Simonds expressed throughout her novel is that of hope, inspiration, and ambition. Throughout reading this book, I continuously felt myself rooting for Cami despite her many faults because it shows how you can always find what you need and fix what you don’t like with your life. In the last few years it has been my mission to achieve my goals and get our act together so it was so easy to relate with the character. The connection was real and before I knew it there I ...more
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
All In delves into the human psyche and digs deep for the truth. A truth that is revealed by the actions of Cami and those around her.

This is not your typical Christian fiction book, so if you are opposed to nitty gritty situations in your books, then you won't want to read this one. BUT if you like to see how faith in God can change a person from the lowest depths to the highest levels, then you will want to read this novel. Cami is the kind of character that many will be able to relate to
Jenn Z at That's What She's Reading

When I first read the synopsis for this book, I was instantly "all in." I love my fiction dark, swathed in danger, and that leads readers into the exploration of all the shades of gray that life has to offer within the safe confines of the book's pages. As a Christian myself, I was excited to see this story introducing "gritty" aspects that are not typically found within the genre and how it would navigate bleaker themes while keeping its audience in mind. This is a difficult read, but one that
Kristine Hall
4.5 STARS. It is a rare occasion when I know much about a book before I read it. With ALL IN, I knew there was some controversy over the book being categorized as Christian fiction – gritty, realistic, Christian fiction. Who wouldn’t be interested in exploring that? With my interest piqued, I read the book description and just like the book’s title, I was ALL IN.

“Manhattan lays out a daily smorgasbord of humanity. Old and young, rich and poor, bourgeois and Bolshevik…all together, they form a
Tangled in Text
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tangled in Text by: Kristine Hall
I LOVED the premise that L.K. Simonds wrote her first novel about a young writer in the aftermath of her own breakout novel. It is hard to write a character like this and not be turned off with how stuck up and arrogant they are, but Cami was beautifully portrayed written right on that border of dislike that actually became a source of empathy towards her and was very realistically portrayed. My favorite part of this book was how well she was portrayed. As much as I loved Kate, Cami was just so ...more
Sydney Young
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn’t at all sure what to expect with L.K. Simonds’s novel, “All In.” The cover made me curious, was this a hustle? Why the gambling picture? If so, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it. Still, I checked out the first page and liked what I saw, so decided to give it a try. I’m glad I did.

Cami Taylor is an author who lives in New York and who is as empty and hopeless as we come. In the first few chapters, she goes to a shrink in order to forestall the inevitable breakup with her boyfriend. She
Angie Fehl
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In her debut novel, L.K. Simonds introduces us to main character Cami (Camille) Taylor, who, on the cusp of thirty in the late 90s, has found professional success over the years as a blackjack dealer and published author with one best seller already under her belt. Cami's Long Island boyfriend, Joel, is more than ready to marry her and settle into domestic bliss; his only frustration with her is the emotional wall she tends to have up, blocking them from ever reaching that deepest level of ...more
Jenn Belden
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

ALL IN does not have not your typical Christian fiction protagonist. Successful author Cami Taylor is not sweet, nor gentle. She has hard edges, smokes, drinks, and is emotionally detached. On the surface, actually, she's a pretty unlikeable character - and as this book is billed as Christian fiction, it didn't mesh with my expectations right from the start.

I was intrigued.

Author L.K. Simonds drops tidbits all around that provide insight on WHY she is so detached, jaded, and (dare Isay)

Kelly Well Read
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
3.5 Stars. I buy all the Fiction and Romance titles for the library system where I work, including Christian Fiction ("CF"). CF readers know to expect certain things from that genre: character-driven, faith based to some degree, with no profanity, graphic violence or sex contained therein. These stories are sometimes referred to as "gentle reads."

All In by L.K. Simonds is classified as Christian Fiction, but it does not fall within the expectations of the genre. As long as readers know that
H. Ringer
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cami is as independent of a character you can get. She’s a writer that observes people, imagining their lives and motives, but ultimately pushing them away to remain in her bubble. When faced with someone seeking more, a typical ‘white-picket fence’ life, she wants nothing more than to run. While she struggles to determine what she really wants in life, her own decisions and discoveries leave her even more at odds. There’s more to loneliness than being lonely. Cami struggles with this ...more
Ruthie Jones
"What's it like to want all the right things?"

ALL IN by L.K. Simonds is a literary wonderland of metafiction, symbolism, and imagery. Cami Taylor is almost 30, hails from Phoenix, lives in New York City, and is writing her second novel on the heels of her first bestseller. Cami is like everyone else on the planet. She is both ordinary and unique. She is a successful author, an only child of parents who were not young when she was born, an ex-blackjack dealer, and promiscuous. She currently loves
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Title: All In
Author: L.K. Simonds
Publisher: Morgan James Fiction
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five

"All In" by L. K. Simonds

My Rationalization:

I will say I really enjoyed this read by L. K. Simonds even though it was not meant to be a pleasant or a comfortable read. When you are dealing with 'Human Immunodeficiency Virus' nothing can be said to be great about that!

This author really gives the reader something very important to think about during the realistic read. Yes, we will find
Ariel Hess
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Lone Star Literary Life partner in exchange for my honest review. The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copies used in this review are finalized copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review. #partner #LSBBT

This book is a fast and easy read. I completed this book in one sitting. The first two chapters captured my attention and kept it through to the end.
Jul 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
When I first started this book I was not sure if I would finish reading it because it is about an author who is living life to the fullest in today’s standards, one night stands, just living life the way she wanted with no thought s of anyone but herself. Within the first 65 pages there are two sex scenes that is not explicit with describing the act itself and no body parts are mentioned but more descriptive then I like. The language wasn't that great either. God's name was mentioned several ...more
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All In reminds me of a coming-of-age story, but it’s not. As a matter of fact, the main character has already been “around the block” more times than most. However, this story is more about self-discovery in the face of adversity.

This story is labeled as Christian Fiction - and that is certainly true, particularly near the end - but it is nevertheless a story that can and will raise emotions in a reader. Although slow in the beginning, Simonds finds a nice pace around the middle of the book, and
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book rating: 4.5 stars

“Oh, no, I’ve always believed in God. It never made any sense to me the way some people think the world just happened, just pulled itself together. Things always seem to be going the other direction, you know? Falling apart.”

My initial disclaimer that I am mentioning again is that I do not read book synopses when I’m reviewing a book. It is my process where I allow the story to unfold for me with each turn of the page. All I really knew about All In is that it had a
J.L. Callison
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
All In : a novel

This was a difficult story to read, for it doesn’t read like a happy novel. It is dark and gritty in places―devoid of hope―like true life. Much like the lives of men I have worked with in rescue missions and jails.

Cami wants to run her life her own way, as a typical human being who rejects God in her life. She has no hope, no real friends, for she pushes them away, afraid to commit. It is not until she is totally without hope that she is willing to allow God any chance in her
Peyton Hammond
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
~I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review~

I did not see it coming. The "hook" was not what I was expecting but the one that was given was still amazing. I had to start with that.

I found Cami self-absorbed but I did not mind it at all. I got caught up in her fast-paced life, not knowing if the relationship you were in was what you actually wanted, meeting new family, and during her crisis. I felt those emotions right along with her. I felt a genuine
Barbara Ochoa
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was given this book to read and so I did, even though my favorite genre is murder mysteries. I have to admit, it started off a bit slow and I was getting fed up with the selfishness of the main character, and thought some elements of the tale a bit unrealistic, at least in my experience: however, once the "hook" set in (I don't want to give any details of the book so let's just call it the hook), that was all the motivation I needed to keep reading. I learned from reading this book-- a bit ...more
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I won this book through the Goodreads contest I wasn't sure what to expect since I am not a regular reader of Christian fiction; but WOW! I found the book to be intriguing and thought provoking. Cami is a strong-willed, ambitious, successful woman...a woman with a past that haunts her in many ways that she can not see until a tragedy strikes. Her journey through life is reckless, gritty and a reality of what can happen in our world. The "bad" happens to bring the "good" to her life.

Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deep breath ... ok I'm ready to give this review. This one was a tough one to review ya'll. I really had to think it through and absorb the book. So first up, let me say this book is for adults only mostly because the premise delves into the life of a person in bondage to sin that is desperate for happiness because they don't know the Lord. I think reading this book was very uncomfortable, but necessary because we have to remember none of us, none of us, is anything without the Lord. Our sin is ...more
Chautona Havig
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes We Need the Ugly to Embrace the Beautiful
When I read the synopsis for All In, I was. All in. I pictured a book pretty much like I got. The synopsis is spot-on without giving away the whole plot, either.

I didn’t like Cami at first, and I don’t think I was supposed to. However, like I was supposed to, I did feel sorry for her. I even wanted to pray for her.

Told in first-person present tense (and better than most with that style), the story keeps you engaged as you almost plead with her
Deana Dick
In the story Cami is uncaring, daring and downright sinful. She doesn’t care what people think or how she is perceived . There are several times in the book where the author goes into details about encounters with men that I found very offensive. I think she could have written it in a way that gets the point across with out going into details. Like I said I understand sin is harsh , but in a Christian Fiction book we should not be okay with taking such liberties that cross genres.

The last half
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
L.K. Simonds’ debut novel marks her as an author to watch. Her protagonist Cami Taylor feels authentic, and I became caught up in her dizzying success, heart-numbing emptiness, and devastating crisis. All In, aptly titled to compare the protagonist’s life to gambling, delivers multiple thought-provoking comparisons. My favorite was Cami’s skeptical reaction to a Catholic church’s candles: “I suppose they represent a thermodynamic theology, in which pious prayers are given a boost up to heaven on ...more
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Thank you in advance to Book Crash and the author (LK Simonds) for sending me a complimentary copy to review. A positive review was not requested nor required, and all words are my own.

As of this year, I discovered the “Christian Fiction” genre (Fiction, Romance, Suspense), so I was eager to read this novel, especially after this tag line:

Cami Taylor – former blackjack dealer, writer, and fraud

The cover also stood out for me, especially since I was raised in Las Vegas. Gambling occupies almost
Jul 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: celebrate-lit
All In is a debut novel that hits it out of the park. Prepare to be captivated and not leave the pages of the book until you’ve devoured every word.

Okay, honest time. I started this book. And then I put it down and read another. It wasn’t that it wasn’t written well. Because it is wel written. It’s a really really good book once you get past the first few chapters.

Cami is very self-absorbed. And there are some words and scenes and things within the covers of this book that I’m not on board with.
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L. K. Simonds is a Fort Worth local. She has worked as a waitress, KFC hostess, telephone marketer, assembly line worker, nanny, hospital lab technician, and air traffic controller. She’s an instrument-rated pilot and an alumna of Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas. All In is her first novel.
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