Book Review: Before I Called You Mine

12 Aug

I picked up a book by a new-to-me author a couple of weeks ago. I was looking for something light and thought a contemporary romance would do the trick. Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese was a fabulous book, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it light (as in fluffy), nor is it just a romance. I loved it! And I have added another must-read author to my list.

Lauren Bailey may be a romantic at heart, but after a decade of matchmaking schemes gone wrong, there’s only one match she’s committed to now–the one that will make her a mother. Lauren is a dedicated first-grade teacher in Idaho, and her love for children has led her to the path of international adoption. To satisfy her adoption agency’s requirements, she gladly agreed to remain single for the foreseeable future; however, just as her long wait comes to an end, Lauren is blindsided by a complication she never saw coming: Joshua Avery.

Joshua may be a substitute teacher by day, but Lauren finds his passion for creating educational technology as fascinating as his antics in the classroom. Though she does her best to downplay the undeniable connection between them, his relentless pursuit of her heart puts her commitment to stay unattached to the test and causes her once-firm conviction to waver.

With an impossible decision looming, Lauren might very well find herself choosing between the two deepest desires of her heart . . . even if saying yes to one means letting go of the other.

Nicole Deese is a Carol Award winner and a RITA and INSPY Award finalist. When she’s not working on her next contemporary Christian romance novel, she can usually be found reading one by a window overlooking the inspiring beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She lives in small-town Idaho with her happily-ever-after hubby, two rambunctious sons, and princess daughter with the heart of a warrior. Find her online at

My Impressions:

I started Before You Call Me Mine because I wanted some light reading and thought it would fit the bill. The book had been on my TBR shelf for a while, and with its pretty cover beckoning, I thought why not? Why did I wait so long! Although you could categorize this novel as a contemporary romance, it certainly is so much more. I fell in love with main character Lauren with her heart for kids and her belief God was leading her to adoption as a single mom. The story is told in Lauren’s first person voice, and it was like she was right with me telling me all about her joys and heartbreaks, and the doubts that assail us all when we are trying to follow God’s will. It didn’t hurt that she was in love with literacy either. This novel was filled with humor — a great thing to have while dealing with the rocky road of adoption. Poignant moments had me in tears, especially the revelation that comes at the end of the book. While I said this was not just a romance, it does have one of the swooniest male characters I have read. Who couldn’t resist Deese’s nerdy and hunky hero?

Loved, loved, loved this book! In fact I passed it alone to a friend, and I can’t wait for her to read it so we can discuss. Before I Called You Mine will definitely be on my best of 2021 list.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(Thanks to Bethany House for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

2 Responses to “Book Review: Before I Called You Mine”

  1. susiesellnergmailcom August 12, 2021 at 9:10 pm #

    I read it and loved it too! I could really relate since I’m a retired teacher and adopted a daughter during my teaching career. Another excellent book by Nicole Deese that I’ve read is All That Really Matters. It evaluates what really matters in life with realistic characters, an engaging story, another hunky main male character, and a female main character who matures and develops meaningful relationships with some really needy individuals. She makes a tremendous difference in the lives of many people. From now on, I’m buying or checking out Nicole Deese’s books!

    • rbclibrary August 13, 2021 at 3:01 pm #

      Thanks for the heads up on the other book by Deese. It will go on my TBR wishlist.

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