Book Review — All That It Takes

11 Apr

I read Before I Called You Mine last year, and with that book Nicole Deese made my must-read list. So I jumped at the chance to read All That It Takes. It’s a contemporary romance. It’s women’s fiction at its finest. It’s a book with heart and soul. It’s a highly recommended read!

When the ever-cautious Val Locklier moves cross-country with her son for a secure job, everything she’d planned unravels within the first week. After Val reluctantly agrees to rent an apartment from her best friend’s brother, an unexpected chance at an elite filmmakers’ mentorship ignites fresh hope for a dream career. But as Val’s community begins to expand, so do her insecurities, especially those heightened by her growing attraction to a certain friendly landlord. 

Pastor Miles McKenzie returns home from a short-term mission trip to discover that not only does he have an intriguing new tenant living upstairs, he’s also been reassigned to a local ministry on life support. Disillusioned and restless, he distracts himself by throwing his energy into a host of new projects–not the least of which is pursuing Val–without stopping to consider the future. 

As Val struggles to stop hiding behind the camera and Miles wrestles with shattered expectations, they’ll find that authentic love and sacrifice must go hand in hand.

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:

After reading Before I Called You Mine, I knew that any novel written by Nicole Deese should be on my must-read list. All That It Takes just solidified this talented author’s place on that list. It is contemporary romance with heart and soul. Not just romance, this book also can be labeled great women’s fiction as it checks the boxes for deep themes and issues that will speak to women. I know it spoke to me. The story revolves around Val, her 10 year old son Tucker, and her landlord/best friend’s brother, Miles. The two have instant attraction, but they are both in places where romance should be secondary. I loved how Deese made their first priority getting right with God’s purposes in their lives. Miles is a confident guy who trusts his own plans. Val is a careful woman, who struggles with vulnerability and doubts. Together they are great, but only when they put God first. Secondary characters added a lot to this book — I fell in love with them too. The desire to be known is a strong theme and the many characters and situations in the book illustrated it well. I laughed a little. I cried a little (ok maybe a lot šŸ˜‰ ). And I loved this book a lot.

I picked up All That It Takes not knowing that it is a sequel of sorts to All That Really Matters. I was not lost and didn’t feel like I was missing anything. I do know that All That Really Matters is now on my TBR list. A great book that kept me thinking and wishing I could talk about it with someone, All That It Takes would make a great book club selection. It is definitely highly recommended.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

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

2 Responses to “Book Review — All That It Takes”

  1. Gretchen April 11, 2022 at 9:23 pm #

    This author is new to me. I appreciate books with heart and soul and characters that think before they act. Sounds like I need to look for this one!

  2. Cindy Davis April 12, 2022 at 10:20 am #

    I think I will be reading this one within a week…I forget how many I have in front of it, but I am looking forward to it!

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