If For Any Reason – Courtney Walsh – Tyndale House Publishers – Published 3 February 2020




Emily Ackerman has traveled the world, her constant compass and companion a book of letters her mother left for her when she died. With no father in the picture, her mom’s advice has been her only true north. But when professional failure leads Emily back to Nantucket to renovate and sell the family cottage she inherited, she wonders if her mom left advice to cover this . . . especially when her grandmother arrives to “supervise.” And especially when her heart becomes entangled with Hollis McGuire, the boy next door-turned-baseball star who’s back on the island after a career-ending injury.

As sparks fly between her and Hollis, Emily is drawn to island life, even as she uncovers shocking secrets about the tragic accident that led to her mother’s death. With her world turned upside down, Emily must choose between allowing the voices from her past to guide her future or forging her own path forward.

My thoughts

If For Any Reason is a charming summer read about second chances, connecting with your purpose in life and looking beyond the mistakes of your past. It’s a story about family and belonging. It’s easy to read with relatable characters and Courtney Walsh’s fantastic writing style. If For Any Reason is perfect fans of Christian contemporary romance.

Emily is returning to Nantucket Island. It holds good and bad memories- fun summers spent in the community theatre program and the year an accident took her mother away for ever. Now, after travelling aimlessly and an opportunity to direct her own play that ended in disaster, Emily has no choice but to return and claim the beach house her grandfather left her. She plans to do it up and sell it as quickly as possible, but she didn’t count on running into boy-next-door Hollis, who is now all grown up, or his charming daughter who inspires Emily to revive her love of theatre. As the summer warms up, Emily will have the chance to uncover the truth about her mother’s death, but it might change things forever.

I so love friends-to-lovers romance. While Emily and Hollis haven’t been friends for many, many years, they were once very close friends and shared secrets and many happy memories. But a lot has changed. Hollis has had a big career in baseball, but regrets his lifestyle choices, the distance between him and his daughter and the way his career ended. Emily has seen the world, has lived large under the guidance of her mother’s letters. But the shame she faces over her failed play and the way she burned through her finances has killed her certainly for the future. As Emily is reminded about all the things she loves and hates about life on the island, she is also presented with answers from the past and a new hope for the future.  Hollis has a chance to rekindle a relationship with his daughter and Emily seems to hold the key to unlocking his daughter’s love of the theatre. So they rebuilt their friendship and can’t deny the growing spark between them.

The complexity about Emily’s past and the letters from her mother and the flashbacks to the summer she fell pregnant with Emily bring a depth and touch of intrigue to the story. I really enjoyed these parts of the book and it’s the perfect offset to the romance, alongside Hollis’ relationship with his daughter.

If For Any Reason is a delightful novel, with a touch of mystery, plenty of joy and a big heart.

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

More information

Category: Adult fiction

Genre: Christian – contemporary.

Themes: Romance, friendship, theatre, family, secrets, parents, letters, grief.

Published: 3 February 2020 by Tyndale House Publishers

Format: Paperback, ebook. 416 pages.

ISBN: 9781496434395

Find it on Goodreads