What Matters Most

What Matters MostAuthor: Kellie Coates Gilbert

Series: Texas Gold #4

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: July 5, 2016

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A new story, a new city, same great writing!

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Baker Publishing Group for an honest and fair review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Leta Breckenridge is looking for a break in life. After three years of undergraduate work at the University of Texas, she was forced to drop out to help care for her mom who developed an early case of dementia.  Always one to do careful research, Leta found a good assisted living facility for her mom close by to their Austin home.  Now she works two jobs at Central Market and Hole in the Wall bar just to make ends meet to keep her mom in the facility and barely scrapes by anything else.  She has recently had some accidental encounters with a local state senator who also happens to be a founding member for an institute dedicated to aging mental illnesses.  He’s cute, but he has a serious girlfriend that he has been seeing for several years, so she knows he is out of his league.  Then one day, Leta sees an ad for a job in the paper for a public relations firm.  She applies, is interviewed, and gets the job with a nice salary even without a college degree.  But the longer she works there, she finds out that this is really a political dirt digging corporation and their crosshairs are on her senator friend.

Senator Nathan Emerson is getting pressure to run for governor. His mother has set up a political action committee to get his grassroots campaign going, but Nathan still hasn’t made up his mind.  Then he meets Leta Breckenridge and is actually able to open up to her and be himself instead of his image.  He quickly realizes that Texas needs a change and he needs to run for governor to help people like Leta.  But as he realizes that he is getting feelings for Leta, he knows that that a relationship with her will drop him in the polls and could hurt her life.  When he finds out she has been working for the opposition, would she really betray his trust?  Was it all an act?

hank you to Kellie Coates Gilbert for another great story. The Texas Gold Series have been some phenomenal reads and this is no exception.  The characters she writes always take a life of their own and soon you find yourself emphasizing with them.  But what really gets you is the settings she creates.  Gilbert researches her settings very well to do a great job of taking you to where the story actually is.  And I have a confession to make.  One of my favorite things about her books are the settings.  Especially Austin.  I’m very familiar with Austin as I also live in Texas and have had the opportunity to frequent it.  So when she says that Leta turned onto Burnet just south of 45th, I know exactly where she is.  And I love to see what restaurants are going to appear in the book.  Glad to know the Roaring Fork made an appearance (and the food is so good)!

However, Gilbert takes a bit of a different approach than the last two books. Previously, the main female characters were very career driven with college degrees; however, What Matters Most introduces a young woman who wasn’t able to complete college and has to help her mother with an illness.  In any of the books, it is very easy to relate to the main character, but I think this one is special.  She really needs help and support in different areas than the other characters.  I’m going to be interested in the next book to see what changes.

Instead of a parting thought, I have a parting plea for the author. Please write a future Texas Gold novel based in Lubbock, which is my current city.  I would like to how this west Texas town get some press.  And I would love to help you out on any research needs you may have.

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