Book Review: Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh, author of Paper Hearts & Sweethaven series

"Maybe what she's looking for is right in front of her - 
if only she'd just look up.." (back cover)

Title:  Just Look Up
Series: Harbor Pointe, Book 1
Author: Courtney Walsh
Publisher:  Tyndale House Publishers
Audio Release Date:  July 4, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Inspirational Fiction

After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home--a quaint tourist town full of memories she'd just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work--something her eclectic family doesn't understand.

Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren't ideal.

Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can't find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he's found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all along--if only she'd just look up.

My dears, if you've never read any of Courtney Walsh's books, you're missing out on some great stories with soul and messages that hits home. Her latest, Just Look Up presents to readers a message of simply looking up from what you're so focused on, and see the beauty and life around you.  It's perfect for today's tendencies to fixate on our phones and tablets, or even careers and little details and miss the big picture that's always around us. Life is on the move, you don't want to miss what matters. Plus, the romance is quite lovely for all us romantics out there.

"Just think about it. But remember the greatest benefit of the whole project is the countless hours you'd get to spend with me.." (163)

Cocky, confident and knows exactly what he wants, Ryan Brooks is one worthy hero in my book. I really had fun getting to know him and the fun banters between Lane and him.

"He smiled, then leaned down and kissed her . . . she got lost in it . . . she loved kissing him. Why hadn't she realized it sooner.." (310)

Talk about swoon worthy kissable kisses! Now I took out a lot of the good parts since I don't want to ruin your initial experience with it, but the romance is smokingly sweet, hot AND what readers will appreciate, clean.

". . . yes, she was always amazing . . . she just didn't know it for herself.." (260)

The characters were fun to get to know, along with their back stories. Development for our main characters truly allowed readers to get to know them, and be able to immerse in their emotions. The supporting characters all gave a great performance. You'll like the ones to like and dislike the ones that are meant to be disliked. From Lane's hurt to her tendency to push herself gave us a character that we can relate on many fronts. Sometimes it's just about not knowing who we really are or what we really want. I love how the author gave us someone that is just as flawed as we are, and be able to learn from. Not necessarily as a mirror but understanding how insecurities can hinder and anger disengage.

". . . you've got something really great - you just don't realize it. . . I don't want you to throw away everything good with the bad.." (268)

There are so many themes and messages in Just Look Up, by the end of the book, my copy was filled with little page flags, marking all the lovely quotes you see here and more. (If I'd share more, I might have infringe on some copyright issues??)

". . . nobody gives you a guarantee that it's going to be easy. Giving up would be easy. Leaving would be easy. Sticking it out - that's a lot harder.." (302)
"You never know what you're missing when you're focused on that phone all day.." (87)

Even with the different messages, Just Look Up runs like a well oiled machine, giving us readers a wonderful story of heart.  If you had to choose one thing to take away from Courtney Walsh's Just Look Up, it's to 'just look up' and enjoy what's around. Maybe it's time for us to do just that.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.
Please note, all quotes are taken from ARC (essentially an uncorrected proof). Please do not share quote or if do, please make note that it is taken from an ARC. 

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.




Courtney Walsh is the author of Paper Hearts and the Sweethaven series. Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, was a New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller and a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category. In addition, she has written two craft books and several full-length musicals. Courtney lives with her husband and three children in Illinois, where she is also an artist, theater director, and playwright. 

CONNECT WITH COURTNEY:  website,  facebook,  twitter,  blog




  1. Love your review! I want to read this book so much. I've added it to my Amazon wish list and my Want to Read list on Goodreads.

  2. Awesome review, Annie! You have encouraged me to make sure that I read Courtney's books! I've added this one to my Goodreads shelf.

  3. This sounds so good. On my wish list.

  4. I totally agree - so many quotable quotes, and so many ways to interpret the title. This is the first book I've read by Courtney Walsh, but I'll certainly be watching out for her others.

    1. Right?! It really is awesome. I need to reread her other ones to see which is my favorite! They're all so good!


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