Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Review + Tour GIVEAWAY: When You Look at Me by Pepper Basham

When you look at me

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for When You Look at Me by Pepper Basham, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours.


when you look at me front Title: When You Look at Me
(Pleasant Gap Romance #2)
Author: Pepper Basham
Publisher: Woven Words Publications
Release Date: October 25, 2018
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance

An unexpected mother-to-be
A romance-leery composer
And a forgotten melody from the past that holds the keys to their futures

When Julia Jenkins' great aunt dies and leaves her a Victorian mansion with decades of secrets, Julia never expects to unearth a World War 2 espionage mystery. Struggling with her own past since an assault left her pregnant, her future as a solo parent leaves her dreams uncertain. The inheritance from her great aunt gives Julia the ability to take a step back into her future, but also sends her into the discovery of a love story she’d never anticipated. As she goes through her aunt's treasured possessions, Julia uncovers some oddly written piano music with a musical code she can’t decipher on her own. Not to worry, introverted Englishman and composer, Henry Wright, is thrust on the scene by a pair of homespun matchmakers who know the ‘right’ man for Julia’s wounded heart.

Henry arrives in Pleasant Gap with the task of composing the soundtrack for his best mate’s newest film. The Jenkins’ family’s southern welcome and gregarious personalities set his reticent nature on edge, but he’s inexplicably drawn to his gentle and music-loving hostess, Julia. Uncertain how to build a friendship with the wounded woman, and rather hopeless in communicating well through words, the bond of music becomes a bridge between her uncertainty and his awkwardness.

But her broken past and his families’ expectations build a wall much greater than the cultures that separate them. As they work together to solve a musical mystery from the grave, will an unlikely romance from the past inspire their hearts to trust in a God who’s written the perfect melody for their lives?  

PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon


When You Look at Me is so good that I hardly know where to begin. Pepper Basham excels at crafting stories that entertain and touch the heart, but there’s something very special and personal for me about this one. Those who have read the previous Just the Way You Are will enjoy seeing the story of Wes and Eisley continue, but this story easily stands alone.

Set in the hauntingly beautiful Appalachians, When You Look at Me is about turning to God for strength, trusting that His plans are better than anything we could devise. It’s about the love and support of family. Well written and laced with the most delightful humor, we see the Christian life lived out by imperfect people. Some of my favorite scenes are the initial meeting between Julia and Henry, interactions at Jenkins family meals, and Henry’s mountain walks outside the town of Pleasant Gap. And the fascinating historical storyline involving Julia’s Aunt Millie, a world-renown pianist, adds depth and richness.

In Julia and Henry, Basham has created two of my all-time favorite characters. Henry comes to Pleasant Gap to compose a musical score for Wes’s production, seeking inspiration by studying Appalachian culture and music. I have always been drawn to the Appalachian Mountains, sensing the “music of the mountains” along with Henry. Julia’s reticence in the company of men and Henry’s social awkwardness make them unlikely romantic leads, yet such appealing characters. I loved how Henry’s first meal with the family, when they held hands for prayer, awakened a longing for connection in him … “This place, these people, stirred his senses – his heart – to life in a way words fell short. And when words failed to comply, music swelled to the rescue.”

That I connected with Julia and Henry on a personal level is one reason why I loved this story so much. Julia and Henry are both musicians and introverts, as am I. When Henry uses music to speak where words have proved wholly inadequate, I see myself. When Julia plays the piano to wind down or convey emotions, again, I see myself. When Henry needs to retreat to a quiet place, away from a loud, glorious Jenkins family meal, I can relate. There’s such a sweet chemistry between these two, as the “something” that each senses in the other initially slowly grows into friendship and much more.

“Sometimes God uses what we least expect
to bring us what we need the most.”
- Sophie

Those words reflect the heart of When You Look at Me. Because of Julia’s past experience, two voices were fighting for control in her life – one of fear, the other of the God who says, “Fear not” – and that’s something to which most readers can relate.

I’ve enjoyed all that I’ve read by Pepper Basham so far, especially stories with Appalachian settings, and When You Look at Me just might be my favorite. The conclusion is delightfully satisfying, but with the promise of much more to come. “Best of the Best” for me!

Highly recommended.

I received a copy of this book through JustRead Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


pepper basham

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes historical and contemporary romance novels with grace, humor, and culture clashes. She’s a Blue Ridge Mountain native and an anglophile who enjoys combining her two loves to create memorable stories of hope. Pepper is also a mom of five, a speech-language pathologist, and a lover of Jesus and chocolate. She resides in Asheville, North Carolina with her family.  

CONNECT: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

wylam blog giveaway

(1) winner will receive:
  • print copy of Just The Way You Are (Pleasant Gap Romance #1)
  • print copy of When You Look at Me (Pleasant Gap Romance #2)
  • a plaque which says: Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life.... love comes along and brings you a fairy tale
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight October 22, 2018 and lasts through 11:59pm October 29, 2018. Void where prohibited by law. US addresses only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!


  1. OH CAROLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This was such a wonderful review!! Thank you thank you, for falling in love with my two unlikely heroes :-) I'm so glad they touched your heart. I loved bringing another story to life in Pleasant Gap and these two...well, they're just...SWEET together!

  2. gorgeous review! Thank you Carole! :)

    1. Thank you, Carrie! This was such a good story and with such an emotional connection - pure pleasure to review and recommend.

  3. thanks for hosting the tour and giveaway. Can’t wait to read about Julia and Henry!

  4. This sounds like a fabulous book! I look forward to reading it!

  5. I love the quote by Sophie. The story intrigues me because I want to know how she deals with her past assault and how it will affect her feeling for her child.

    1. That was tricky to write! I wanted to be true to the hurt but also hopeful. I hope I did it justice :-)

  6. I really liked Just the Way You Are and am happy the story continues in When You Look at Me. Pepper Basham is quickly becoming a must-read author for me.

    1. YAY, Pam!!!! I hope to keep the stories coming from Pleasant Gap. I have a few in mind :-)