All Made Up – Kara Isaac – Bellbird Press – Published 28 September 2018
Everyone thinks Katriona McLeod is living the dream. Her professional career as a make up artist sees her traveling the world working with the stars and she’s got no shortage of men wanting her affection. Only problem is she’s never gotten over Caleb Murphy, the one guy she’s ever loved. When she accepts a job on the latest looking-for-love reality TV show, Falling for the Farmer, she discovers to her horror that Caleb is the leading man and she’s cast as one of his harem. But she hides a secret that means that even if she wanted a second chance with the guy who broke her heart she could never have it.
Caleb Murphy couldn’t care less about C-Class celebrity fame or reality TV and he certainly doesn’t believe it could lead him to love. The one thing he does care about is fulfilling his mother’s last wish. Kat’s presence on the show seems to offer up a solution that will make both the network and his mother happy. It might have been almost ten years since they split but he knows he can trust her with his plan. Just as long as he doesn’t fall in love all over again with the woman who will never stay.
I wasn’t sure about reading this book. On one hand I absolutely love Kara Isaac’s books and writing style, so I knew I was sure to love this book. But on the other hand the premise was centred around a finding love reality tv show. No shame to people who like those shows but they are really not my thing. So, with a little trepidation I started All Made Up. And I’m so glad I did. I was captured from the very first page. I have loved Kat since she first appeared in Isaac’s debut Close To You. Strong and determined, Kat is simply lots of fun to be around. But in All Made Up we finally learn that there is so much more to her, so much more to her story, so much heartache. I loved this chance to get to know her and for her to finally get a chance to tell her story and, hopefully, get a happy ending. And that reality TV setting? Well, when your two main characters are reluctant participants, a lot of fun is made at the expense of the other contestants and the drama of the show itself, and there is an endless reel of mishaps and hilarity, the show and the situation it puts Kat and Caleb in is just another facet of All Made Up that is so fantastic and loveable.
Kat has a great life as a successful make up artist. Finally paying off a debt to her friend is the only reason she is working on the set of Falling For The Farmer. And she figures that debt is well and truly covered when she is asked to sub in when some contestants get sick. The last thing she expects when walking onto the over-decorated set is falling into the arms of the man who broke her heart ten years ago. Caleb Murphy is on the show as a way to fulfil a promise to his mother, but if it offers him a second chance with the love of his life, then he is all for it. It just might prove hard to convince Kat to stay, especially when they have so much history they have yet to work through.
All Made Up is equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking. As Caleb and Kat make their way through disastrous group dates and navigate hiding their history from the cameras that constantly surround them, they have to wade through some incredibly tough emotions from their past. Once again Kara Isaac provides readers with incredibly layered and complex characters. Flawed, emotional and relatable, Kat and Caleb are ultimately totally loveable and I was rooting for them the entire time.
Be prepared to be put through the emotional wringer, but it is so worth it. Added bonus was the familiar setting of rural Queensland, which Isaac brings to life alongside her characters. I loved All Made Up and can add it to the list with Kara Isaac’s other titles as delightful, realistic and honest contemporary Christian romance.
Genre: Christian contemporary.
Themes: Romance, reality television, farmers, faith, friendship, relationships, faith, Australia.
Published: 28 September 2018 by Bellbird Press.
Format: Paperback, ebook. 376 pages.
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