After our summer vacation to Texas, I was happy to follow up with a novel set in Texas.
Revell provided me a complimentary copy of “What Matters Most” by Kellie Coates Gilbert for my review. The book is part of the Texas Gold collection of novels. I have not read any of the other novels in this series, but this was a stand-alone book so I didn’t miss out on any background story.
In this book, Leta is struggling with her finances after being forced to drop out of college and work several jobs to provide professional memory care for her mother, who suffers from dementia. She strikes up a friendship with a state senator, Nathan, who is a rising political star. And she receives a high-paying job offer that seems too good to be true. Soon enough, she finds that the work crosses the line, as she is assigned to a political opposition organization targeting Nathan.
The storyline in this novel provides plenty of conflict to drive the plot forward, from circumstances that intervene between characters to internal struggles with right and wrong.
Leta is torn between her personal ethics and her job. Being in public service, Nathan is torn between the expectations of his family and constituents while navigating his own path in politics. The plot moves along at a pleasant pace as the characters grapple with these issues.
Since we’re in an election year and politics are at their peak all around us, I didn’t love the political nature of the novel. However, it was good and refreshing to read about a politician trying to do things the right way for the right reasons. (Too bad it was just fiction!) On a technical note, the political aspects did appear to be well researched.
The romance aspect between the characters developed slowly and had a Cinderella quality to it. The down-on-her-luck heroine meets a rich, handsome ruler who is intrigued by her, to the dismay of the other ladies who want to snag him as a husband.
Throughout the novel, I found that the struggles and heartbreak of dealing with dementia brought the biggest emotional impact. Above all else in the story, Leta fought to care for her mom and honor the Christian values her mom had instilled in her.
Thank you to Revell for providing a free copy of “What Matters Most”
by Kellie Coates Gilbert to facilitate my honest review. All opinions are my own.
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