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From the Ground Up

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4.25  ·  Rating details ·  206 ratings  ·  66 reviews
I fell in love with Tess when I was a teenager.
Being in love has never been the problem.

Time together, on the other hand, is.
Life has caught up with us and we've lost focus on each other.

Date night is a laughable concept. And sex? Well, it's been months.
Months.

It's time to take matters into my own hands and kidnap my wife for a week alone.

The only problem? How do I
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Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  206 ratings  ·  66 reviews


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AJ
5 stars!

OMG, this book! I loved it so much! A stunning romance that is as unique as it is beautiful and realistic, it’s a truly special story and one of those books that you just want to curl up inside of and never leave.

“When I was seventeen I fell in love. And I never fell out. I was lucky.”
“No, Barret. I was the lucky one. Still am.”

Barrett and Tess were high school sweethearts who fell in love at 17. Now in their 40s, they have been married for 22 years, have four children and two
...more
Alison Bailey
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From The Ground Up is the type of book you want curl up on the sofa and snuggle under a blanket with. It's rich, multi-layered, and soooo satisfying.

The story is about Barrett and Tess, a married couple who have been together since they were teens. We meet them when they are in their early forties, with four kids, two careers, and one hectic life. We see two people who are not only in love with each other, but are committed to each other 100%, warts and all. Two people who while on the road to
...more
AC Book Blog
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So after reading the blurb I was very interested because I realized this situation probably happened to us at some point in life. You were young and in love, you got married, had kids, life goes on, and Bam! before you know it you can’t remember the last time you went on a date alone with you husband. There is definitely an element of realism in this story that hit close to home. I was intrigued by the storyline and I am glad I had a chance to read this. I have to say this book is honest and ...more
Stephanie Rose
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing debut by a new author.

Jennifer Van Wyk wrote about a topic that is rarely spoken about but relates to everyone. What do you do when a good marriage goes off the rails? Barrett and Tess are so real and relatable that you can't help getting sucked all the way in. They were still so much in love, but couldn't figure out how to get everyday life from getting in the way. The way Barrett woos his wife back...swoon. Every woman is going to glare at her husband and ask why isn't he like
...more
Debbie
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book because it was so true to life! We all fall in love and young love is amazing. Then we get married, have jobs, have kids, a house to care for - just life in general. We're still in love, but we lose touch a bit. We drift. We get involved in too much. Our relationship gets pushed to the back burner.

Tess and Barrett are no different. They have drifted. They both know it. They want to get it back, but neither really knows how. They both have doubts.

We follow them through their
...more
Romance Readers Retreat
I am pleasantly surprised to learn that this is the debut book for this author as it is a lovey piece of writing and shows great promise of what we can expect from Jennifer Van Wyk in the future. This book is the one people always ask for the one about the regular people living lives we can identify with juggling jobs, careers, kids, you know the list of a married couples lives, and yet the author brings a bunch of emotions to the story of a couple searching to find THEM again in the middle of ...more
David Maher
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I've been familiar with the name Jennifer Van Wyk for some time now. If you're like me and read the acknowledgements section of books, or even the names mentioned on title pages and dedications, you might have seen it too. Up till now those credits have mostly been for editing, but seeing as how she's written her debut novel, I decided to give it a look.

I'm glad I did.

Unlike so many though, From The Ground Up is not a tale of a couple falling in love, nor is it even a second chance romance where
...more
Alison Maxwell
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to read an early copy of this book and I honestly cannot believe this is a debut book. Barrett and Tess' story will suck you in from the very first page. I loved every minute of it.
Stories in Review
This was a great read. It wasn't a fast read, but it was still good.
Becca
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars - Jennifer Van Wyk delivers all the feels with her debut novel, From the Ground Up! Sweeping me up in Tess and Barrett’s love story from the very first page, this sweet, real-life romance quickly stole my heart. High school sweethearts Tess and Barrett are all grown up and the stress of work, married life, and raising children has taken its toll on their relationship. With a lifetime of love to fight for, this couple was ready to do the work and it was this unpretentious storyline and ...more
Yessi Smith
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Jennifer Van Wyk delivers a unique and refreshing story about a couple who could very well be any of us. Or our friends, neighbors, siblings or parents. They’re real, they’re raw, they’re beautiful.

Barrett and Tess have been together since they were teenagers. With four children and the craziness of daily life, they somehow lose each other. It’s something that happens to all (or most) married couples at some point in their relationship. We become so absorbed in the different roles we play that
...more
Tabitha Willbanks
*ARC Provided for Honest Review*

Let me start off by saying if I could give this book 10 stars I would! What an amazing debut by a new author!
Jennifer takes us on a journey of two soulmates whom have lost their way in the hustle and bustle of every day life. Barrett and Tess are high school sweethearts, who have been married for twenty two years, and have four kids together, one being a precocious six year old little girl, who has the absolute worst timing ever. Barrett and Tess are still very
...more
Michelle Grad
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tess and Barrett...I swear if they had different names and one less kid, this book would be about MY life! I think this is what kept me so connected to the story the entire time I was reading it. I also have to say I am amazed that this is a first time author?! I read a lot of books and am pretty picky. The fact that I was instantly connected to this story and identified with these characters shows just how good the writing is, right down to the dialogue. There is nothing worse than awkward ...more
Susan
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Refreshing. That is the best word I can come up with to describe this book by Jennifer Van Wyk. It was so refreshing to read a book that was real. That was raw. That was gritty. That realistically described what happens in a marriage. Marriage is hard. Life happens, and you lose sight in the day-to-day reality.

Love isn't always the problem, and it certainly wasn't the problem for Barrett and Tess. After twenty yeas of marriage, raising 4 children- from college-age all the way to elementary age,
...more
Kristen Pettyjohn McCombs
I got an early chance to read "From The Ground Up" by Jennifer VanWyk. I was hooked from the beginning. This couple is ... well they're my marriage or your marriage. Life and marriage is not always roses and fairy tales but that doesn't mean it's not great! Sometimes you just need a reminder of what's important and how you began! Great book. Can't wait for Jennifer's future books.
Sue Dayoub
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A love built From The Ground Up!

What a great story and for those of us married along time Barrett and Tess's story holds true. Barrett and Tess have been together more then 25 years though still in love the magic has gone stale, kids and jobs will do this. This is their story of how they both realized they're heading to a bad place and how the turn it around!
Linda
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
GET READY TO FALL IN LOVE ALL OVER AGAIN!!!

Marriage, kids, responsibilities and life...oh my. Jennifer VanWyk's debut novel, From the Ground Up, does not disappoint. This is the perfect title for this book!!! Once you start reading the story, you'll understand why. This book could have been written about any married couple with a family, trying to cope with life and finding time for one other. Follow Tess and Barrett as they struggle to reconnect and rediscover the love they once had. Marriage
...more
Charlene
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What happens when you marry your high school sweetheart, have kids, careers, and very busy lives? What happens when you spend more time being parents rather than a married couple? After more than 20 years of marriage Barrett and Tess are still madly in love, but feel disconnected and need to get back to being the couple they once were. This story is a great change of pace from the usual storylines. It's so real and so relatable. At times, I felt this book was about my life...right from the ...more
Hazel James
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The market is full of various types of romance novels, but From the Ground Up was such a refreshing change of pace. Yes, I love a good billionaire or sports story, but Tess and Barrett could be me and my husband. We celebrate 15 years of marriage this year, and it's not always been easy. It was so wonderful to relate to characters who have experienced the same challenges and emotions. Simply put, From the Ground Up made me feel like I wasn't alone. That my marriage was normal. That just because ...more
FunUndertheCovers
What happens when you marry your high school sweetheart, have kids, careers, and very busy lives? What happens when you spend more time being parents rather than a married couple? After more than 20 years of marriage Barrett and Tess are still madly in love, but feel disconnected and need to get back to being the couple they once were. This story is a great change of pace from the usual storylines. It's so real and so relatable. At times, I felt this book was about my life...right from the ...more
Melanie
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book! I'm looking forward to reading A Better Place!
Diane (Books and Tequila Blog)
From The Ground Up is a beautiful story of life and love after a romance book’s traditional HEA. Tess and Barrett fell in love long ago and have been married and built a wonderful life together for more than twenty years.

“Life is ugly and messy, and marriages are hard. If it were easy all the time, no one would appreciate the wonderful times. It’s in the messy that we appreciate the pristine.”

The stresses of work, home and family seem to be making the couple more and more distant. They need to
...more
Clare
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ARC from the author,
This is Jennifer's debut book and OMG what a book this was, Barrett and Tess have be together for a very long time, and life has gotten in the way,which has made them feel disconnected from each other, This story is about how they got first together and where they are now in there lives and how there both lost and fighting to back what they had. I love how Jennifer brought there story to life and made me feel like i was there, I really enjoyed each and every part of this
...more
Krissy loves to read
Home is where I felt when reading this story. I don't think I've ever felt more relatable with a story and characters! I felt so many of these emotions and thought the very same things. It's nice to see that even fictious characters go through every day life the way we do.
Barrett and Tess have loved each other from the moment they laid eyes on eachother. Now many years later being married, having children and the every day chaos of life they feel like things are a little off. How after so many
...more
Kirsten Bass
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5
A beautiful story of life and love
A marriage that has hit a rough patch after 20+ years together work on rebuilding their love for each other and themselves .
This was as real as it gets. I could relate to Tess and Barrett. The marriage, the kids, work and losing
yourself to the mundane things day in and day out. Forgetting to appreciate the little things.
A refreshing, beautiful read- Loved it
Lakisha Hinnant
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a beautifully written story. It's very seldom that I read a story about older couples, but this one was just too good to put down. I love how they didn't just focus on the parent's story, but had the kids incorporated in the story as well, with it all intertwining. I think I'm gonna read James' story now. I hope he ends up with Christine.
Gloria
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the Ground Up

This is story is about high school lovers that eventually get married and have a family. It's their journey dealing with what eveey married couple goes through. I have never read Jennifer Van Wyk and am so happy that this was my first one. It's beautiful written and emotional. Can't wait for to for what's to come.
2OCC Reviews
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jessica
I loved the sound of this book! There aren't many books that deal with already married couples who lose the spark so when I read the description of this book I jumped on it.

Being that they are married, we see a side of them that isn't really shown in romance novels. Yes this couple are in a rut, but you see and feel their love! Barrett is an amazing husband and father. He's a hard worker and snarky, but in a great way. Tess is a typical mom, she loves her kids no matter what and I loved that.
...more
Kaitlyn
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First I just have to say, I'm an Ohio girl through and through and for obvious reasons I don't even like reading the word Michigan. That being said, if I got to meet this amazing family and friends with them I'd move there in a heartbeat! And that's saying something. Ok, I'm done being goofy now!

Tess and Barrett were amazing in A Better Place, yes I read them out of order and of course had to go back and see where it all started. This family, this amazing family! I love them more than I did
...more
Natasha Mahadeo
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book in one day.....

This author is new to me and I can't wait to read her next book. This book was so damn perfect and beautiful. You can't help falling inlove with all the characters.. This book is reality and shows exactly how we forget what is important and how we tend to take. Things for granted. Loved this story and I hope you do to......
Enjoy!!!!!!!
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“Tess. I love you so much. You’re so beautiful, you take my breath away. I can’t believe you’re still mine after this many years, and I swear – on my life, I swear – I will never let you forget that again. Not for a single second. Not for a single moment in your life will you not feel the love I have for you, will you now know that I adore you with everything that I have. I want your heart, your mind…your soul. I want everything you can give me.” 1 likes
“Tess, I’m not going to promise you the moon and the stars, but I am going to promise you that I won’t forget to dance with you under them anymore.” 1 likes
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