I love reading novels that are set in Texas, especially when the author lives in the Lone Star State and knows how real Texans live and speak. So many times, authors set their story on a Texas ranch and insert “y’all” in every sentence of dialogue, which is completely unrealistic. Kellie Coates Gilbert dispels that notion and also shows that there are sophisticated and polished ladies and gentlemen in the Lone Star State. Not every Texan wears boots and a cowboy hat or drives a big truck or lives on a ranch.
In What Matters Most, Gilbert takes us into the hill country and the state capital of Austin, where political power and agendas provide a charged atmosphere for a Cinderella story. Leta Breckenridge has faced challenges and difficult choices in her life, but she has always kept her priorities straight. When she is offered a dream job with a huge salary, it is almost too good to be true.
Nathan Emerson is a young senator with deep roots and high aspirations in politics. His family and long-time girlfriend want to see him unseat the current governor, but Nathan is unsure if this is the right time to make his move. When he meets Leta, he is intrigued by her and her current situation.
This book gives readers an inside look into the inner workings of politics, while keeping the story light enough for a romance. What Matters Most asks the characters to make difficult choices based on what is right rather than what is easy or most beneficial. The moral of the story is one that could apply to anyone in almost any situation. This novel is well-written and interesting.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. These thoughts and opinions are my own.
A Powerful Secret is Leman and Nesbit’s second installment in The Worthington Destiny series. I have not read the first book–A Perfect Ambition–but it focuses on the oldest son of a very wealthy businessman whereas this book is centered around the second son in the Worthington family. Dr. Leman also wrote The Birth Order Book many years ago, so he incorporates much of his research on the topic into this novel about a trio of siblings. I have been fascinated by birth order tendencies since I read Leman’s book and have seen many of them play out in my own children. I have never before read a novel that used a character’s birth order to define their personality in any way. This was a very interesting approach, and I thought it created more fully-developed characters.
A Powerful Secret takes us deep into Washington politics and business dealings while trying to uncover corruption and murder. The underpinnings of mystery and intrigue provide some mildly intense moments while the subtle romance keeps the story from being too masculine. I believe this novel will be enjoyed by men and women alike. This book would also appeal to teenagers who have an interest in politics or non-governmental organizations to provide aid to people in need.
I received this book for free from Revell in exchange for an honest review. These words and opinions are my own.