The working title for IF YOU KNEW was SOFT CORE. That ought to tell you something. 🙂 I wanted to explore the idea of making a former adult film actress into a romantic heroine. An editor with a traditional publisher told me I’d never sell readers on the idea. But I think Devonny Campbell’s story can prove her wrong.
When widow Devonny Campbell arrives in tiny Red Bud, Iowa, she is determined to make a new life for herself and the child she carries. But when her former career in adult films is uncovered, she becomes the catalyst for a nasty political campaign which creates a tornado of controversy.
High school coach and guidance counselor Luke Bradshaw knows one strong wind will collapse the house of cards he’s built to contain his demons. He’s falling hard for Devonny in spite of her past. And she might be what trips him up and exposes everything he’s kept hidden.
But Devonny and Luke aren’t the only citizens of Red Bud forced to face the judgment of their peers. As the campaign turns vicious, deeply-buried truths are revealed and lifelong relationships are shattered. Can Devonny and Luke stick together? Or will too much truth tear them apart?
There are plans for four books in this series. IF YOU DARE is in the works. It features Doug Winston (the “villain” running for mayor). I give my editor, Noah Chinn of Mossfoot Editing, credit for this idea. He wanted me to explore Doug’s efforts to redeem himself and come out a hero. The third book (working title Joy’s Story) features Devonny’s mother returning to her hometown in IF YOU STAY.
Check out my Pinterest board HERE for some of the inspiration for IF YOU KNEW.
Review 4/1/19 from Romance Novels For the Beach:
This book will really make you rethink how you look at other people, and cause you to pause before you pass judgement on others. The beauty of the moral lesson presented in this romance is that it never feels like you’re being preached to, or made to feel guilty for having those judgments. At times it’s simply our first reaction, but the true test is whether or not we can look beyond those first impressions to see the true nature of a person. It also makes us look at ourselves, and in a way admit our own faults when we try to find faults in others. This was definitely more than the simple “moving on from tragedy” romance I was expecting. We really saw a social message built in as well that I wasn’t expecting, but in the end appreciated.
From The Reading Café:
If You Knew by Barbara Meyers inspires people not to hide; to shed their skin and try again. It’s a book full of hope even when you’re at your lowest. I enjoyed the main plot. Devonny and Luke are forging a new space, fighting for their place together. I would read more by this author.
Reviewed by Carmen