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A disgraced scholar running from her past and an entrepreneur chasing his future find themselves thrown together—and fall in love—on a Tolkien tour of New Zealand.

Allison Shire (yes, like where the Hobbits live) is a disgraced academic who is done with love. Her belief in “happily ever after” ended the day she discovered her husband was still married to a wife she knew nothing about. She finally finds a use for her English degree by guiding tours through the famous sites featured in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. By living life on the road and traveling New Zealand as a luxury tour guide, Allison manages to outrun the pain of her past she can’t face.

Jackson Gregory was on the cusp of making it big. Then suddenly his girlfriend left him—for his biggest business competitor—and took his most guarded commercial secrets with her. To make matters worse, the Iowa farm that has been in his family for generations is facing foreclosure. Determined to save his parents from financial ruin, he’ll do whatever it takes to convince his wealthy great-uncle to invest in his next scheme, which means accompanying him to the bottom of the world to spend three weeks pretending to be a die-hard Lord of the Rings fan, even though he knows nothing about the stories. The one thing that stands between him and his goal is a know-it-all tour guide who can’t stand him and pegged him as a fake the moment he walked off the plane.

When Allison leads the group through the famous sites of the Tolkien movies, she and Jackson start to see each other differently, and as they keep getting thrown together on the tour, they find themselves drawn to each other. Neither expected to fall in love again, but can they find a way beyond their regrets to take a chance on the one thing they’re not looking for?

© Jenny Siaosi

Kara Isaac is the RITA® Award-winning writer of five novels. She lives in New Zealand (yes, it’s really as beautiful as it looks in the movies!) where she spends her time chasing three small people, writing horribly bad first drafts, and wishing you could get Double Stuf Oreos in the South Pacific. Find out more at KaraIsaac.com.

"Allie and Jackson share an immediate chemistry that readers will appreciate from the start. Both have built solid emotional walls that take effort to tear down, which makes for a courtship full of humor, tears and introspection that leads them both back to God."

– RT Reviews (four stars)

“A terrific set-up…Isaac showcases a strong romantic sensibility and clever plotting.”

– Publishers Weekly

"A new voice on the romance scene, New Zealander Kara Isaac has crafted a sweet and oh-so-original debut romantic comedy that will delight contemporary romance fans, Tolkien lovers and inspy romance readers alike. Add this novel to your TBR stack … and add this author to your 'authors to watch' radar. Recommended!"

– USA Today

"[A] charming novel that blends faith, romance and Tolkien." 

– Simple Grace

"A fabulous debut. Well-written, clever, and warm-hearted this love story with the back drop of Lord of the Rings will delight romance readers everywhere. Add Isaac to your favorite's list."

– Rachel Hauck, USA Today Bestselling author of The Wedding Chapel

"Well-written and fun, Close to You made me laugh out loud and fall in love. An enchanting romantic escape into the land of Frodo and Aragorn."

– Susan May Warren, award-winning, best-selling author of The Christiansen Family Series

"I can't remember the last time I enjoyed a debut novel so much. Close to You is filled with warmth, wit, and more than a few laugh-out-loud moments! Kara Isaac has proven herself to be an exciting addition to the world of Christian romance."

– Carla Laureano, RITA ® Award-winning author of Five Days in Skye and Under Scottish Stars

"Close To You is a tasty blend ofunlikely romance, lovably flawed characters, and dialogue just snarky enough to make me want to pull up a chair and watch. Kara's unique voice and fresh premise combine to create a compelling story that lingers like your favorite dessert long after the last page."

– Betsy St. Amant, Author of All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes and Love Arrives in Pieces

"Kara Isaac is a fresh new voice in the world of inspirational contemporary romance . . . and I can't even decide what I love most about her debut novel. The setting, the romance, the wit, I love it all! I especially loved the undercurrent of hope and redeemed dreams. Definitely an author to watch and characters to love!"

– Melissa Tagg, author of From the Start and Like Never Before

“Kara Isaac is a fresh new voice in inspirational contemporary romance! Close to You is well-crafted, funny, unique, and endearing. A delight!”

– Becky Wade, author of A Love Like Ours

"The perfect combination of sweet and sass, Close To You is a charming debut that had me laughing and left me smiling. Well done Ms. Isaac!"

– Katie Ganshert, award-winning author of The Art of Losing Yourself

More books from this author: Kara Isaac