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A Billion Reasons Why [NOOK Book]

Overview

There are a billion reasons Kate should marry her current boyfriend.

Will she trade them all to be madly in love?

Katie McKenna leads a perfect life. She has a fulfilling job, a cute apartment, and a wedding to plan with her soon-to-be fiancé, Dexter. She can think of a billion reasons why she should marry Dexter. He’s everything she wants in a husband.

And then in walks Luc ...

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A Billion Reasons Why

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Overview

There are a billion reasons Kate should marry her current boyfriend.

Will she trade them all to be madly in love?

Katie McKenna leads a perfect life. She has a fulfilling job, a cute apartment, and a wedding to plan with her soon-to-be fiancé, Dexter. She can think of a billion reasons why she should marry Dexter. He’s everything she wants in a husband.

And then in walks Luc DeForges, her bold, breathtaking ex-boyfriend. Only now he’s a millionaire. And he wants her to go home to New Orleans to sing for a friend’s wedding. As his date.

But Katie made up her mind about Luc eight years ago, when she fled their hometown after a very public breakup. Yet there’s still a magnetism between them she can’t deny.

Katie thought her predictable relationship with Dexter would be the bedrock of a lasing, Christian marriage. But what if there’s more? What if God’s desire for her is a heart full of life? And what if that’s what Luc has offered all along?

"Katie and Luc dance off the pages of this book, making you fall in love with them and New Orleans. Full of surprises and romance." —Carolyne Aarsen, author of The Baby Promise

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Eight years ago Katie McKenna and Luc DeForges had a very public, emotional breakup. Putting that painful incident behind her, Katie rebuilt a stable life for herself, one including Dexter, a new boyfriend who is everything Luc was not. Then Luc returns to her life. Now financially successful, he wants her to go home to New Orleans with him to sing at the wedding of a mutual friend. What should Katie do? VERDICT The characters and breezy plotline in this fun, romantic romp by the author of the "Trophy Wives Club" series will please fans of Christian chick lit authors Lori Copeland and Ginny Aiken.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401685362
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Sold by: THOMAS NELSON
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 311,155
  • File size: 609 KB

Meet the Author

Kristin Billerbeck is a Christy Award finalist and two-time winner of the ACFW Book of the Year award.Her books include A Billion Reasons Why and What a Girl Wants. Twitter: @KristinBeck Facebook: Kristin-Billerbeck

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Read an Excerpt

A Billion Reasons Why


By Kristin Billerbeck

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2011 Kristin Billerbeck
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-59554-791-0


CHAPTER 1

A Fine Romance


Katie McKenna had dreamed of this moment at least a thousand times. Luc would walk back into her life filled with remorse. He'd be wearing jeans, a worn T-shirt, and humility. He'd be dripping with humility.

That should have been her first clue that such a scenario had no bearing on reality.

"Katie," a voice said.

The sound sent a surge of adrenaline through her frame. She'd forgotten the power and the warmth of his baritone. A quick glance around her classroom assured her that she must be imagining things. Everything was in order: the posters of colorful curriculum, the daily schedule of activities printed on the whiteboard, and, of course, the children. All six of them were mentally disabled, most of them on the severe side of the autism spectrum, but three had added handicaps that required sturdy, head-stabilizing wheelchairs. The bulk of the chairs overwhelmed the room and blocked much of the happy yellow walls and part of the large rainbow mural the kids had helped to paint. The room, with its cluttered order, comforted her and reminded her of all she'd accomplished. There was no need to think about the past. That was a waste of time and energy.

Her eyes stopped on her aides, Carrie and Selena. The two women, so boisterous in personality, were usually animated. But at the moment they stood huddled in the corner behind Austin's wheelchair.

Carrie, the heavyset one in the Ed Hardy T-shirt, motioned at her.

"What?" Katie pulled at her white shirt with the delicate pink flowers embroidered along the hem and surveyed the stains. "I know, I'm a mess. But did you see how wonderfully the kids did on their art projects? It was worth it. Never thought of the oil on the dough staining. Next time I'll wear an apron."

Selena and Carrie looked as though there was something more they wanted.

"Maddie, you're a born artist." Katie smiled at the little girl sitting behind a mound of colorful clay. Then to the aides: "What is the matter with you two?"

Selena, a slight Latina woman, shook her head and pointed toward the door.

Katie rotated toward the front of the classroom and caught her breath. Luc, so tall and gorgeous, completely out of place in his fine European suit and a wristwatch probably worth more than her annual salary, stood in the doorway. He wore a fedora, his trademark since college, but hardly one he needed to stand out in a crowd.

As she stared across the space between them, suddenly the classroom she took such pride in appeared shabby and soiled. When she inhaled, it reeked of sour milk and baby food. Her muddled brain searched for words.

"Luc?" She blinked several times, as if his film-star good looks might evaporate into the annals of her mind. "What are you doing here?"

"Didn't you get my brother's wedding invitation?" he asked coolly, as if they'd only seen each other yesterday.

"I did. I sent my regrets."

"That's what I'm doing here. You can't miss Ryan's wedding. I thought the problem might be money."

She watched as his blue eyes came to rest on her stained shirt. Instinctively she crossed her arms in front of her.

"I came to invite you to go back with me next week, on my plane."

"Ah." She nodded and waited for something intelligible to come out of her mouth. "It's not money."

"Come home with me, Katie." He reached out his arms, and she moved to the countertop and shuffled some papers together.

If he touches me, I don't stand a chance. She knew Luc well enough to know if he'd made the trip to her classroom, he didn't intend to leave without what he came for.

"I'm afraid that's not possible." She stacked the same papers again.

"Give me one reason."

She faced him. "I could give you a billion reasons."

Luc's chiseled features didn't wear humility well. The cross-shaped scar beneath his cheekbone added to his severity. If he weren't so dreaded handsome, he'd make a good spy in a Bond movie. His looks belied his soft Uptown New Orleans upbringing, the kind filled with celebrations and warm family events with backyard tennis and long days in the swimming pool.

He pushed through the swiveled half door that separated them and strode toward her.

"That gate is there for a reason. The classroom is for teachers and students only."

Luc opened his hand and beckoned to her, and despite herself, she took it. Her heart pounded in her throat, and its roar was so thunderous it blocked her thoughts. He pulled her into a clutch, then pushed her away with all the grace of Astaire. "Will you dance with me?" he asked.

He began to hum a Cole Porter tune clumsily in her ear, and instinctively she followed his lead until everything around them disappeared and they were alone in their personal ballroom. For a moment she dropped her head back and giggled from her stomach; a laugh so genuine and pure, it seemed completely foreign—as if it came from a place within that was no longer a part of her. Then the dance halted suddenly, and his cheek was against hers. She took in the roughness of his face, and the thought flitted through her mind that she could die a happy woman in those arms.

The sound of applause woke her from her reverie.

"You two are amazing!" Carrie said.

The children all murmured their approval, some with screams of delight and others with loud banging.

Luc's hand clutched her own in the small space between them, and she laughed again.

"Not me," Luc said. "I have the grace of a bull. It's Katie. She's like Ginger Rogers. She makes anybody she dances with look good." He appealed to the two aides. "Which is why I'm here. She must go to my brother's wedding with me."

"I didn't even know you danced, Katie," Selena said. "Why don't you ever come dancing with us on Friday nights?"

"What? Katie dances like a dream. She and my brother were partners onstage in college. They were like a mist, the way they moved together. It's like her feet don't touch the ground."

"That was a long time ago." She pulled away from him and showed him her shirt. "I'm a mess. I hope I didn't ruin your suit."

"It would be worth it," Luc growled.

"Katie, where'd you learn to dance like that?" Carrie asked.

"Too many old movies, I suppose." She shrugged.

"You could be on Dancing with the Stars with moves like that."

"Except I'm not a star or a dancer, but other than that, I guess—" She giggled again. It kept bubbling out of her, and for one blissful moment she remembered what it felt like to be the old Katie McKenna. Not the current version, staid schoolmarm and church soloist in Northern California, but the Katie people in New Orleans knew, the one who danced and sang.

Luc interrupted her thoughts. "She's being modest. She learned those moves from Ginger and Fred themselves, just by watching them over and over again. This was before YouTube, so she was dedicated."

Katie shrugged. "I was a weird kid. Only child, you know?" But inside she swelled with pride that Luc remembered her devotion to a craft so woefully out-of-date and useless. "Anyway, I don't have much use for swing dancing or forties torch songs now. Luc, meet Carrie and Selena. Carrie and Selena, Luc."

"I don't have any 'use' for salsa dancing," Selena said. "I do it because it's part of who I am."

"Tell her she has to come with me, ladies. My brother is having a 1940s-themed wedding in New Orleans. He'd be crushed if Katie didn't come, and I'll look like a hopeless clod without her to dance with."

Katie watched the two aides. She saw the way Luc's powerful presence intoxicated them. Were they really naive enough to believe that Luc DeForges could ever appear like a clod, in any circumstance or setting? Luc, with his skilled charm and roguish good looks, made one believe whatever he wanted one to believe. The two women were putty in his hands.

"Katie, you have to go to this wedding!" Selena stepped toward her. "I can't believe you can dance like that and never told us. You'd let this opportunity slip by? For what?" She looked around the room and frowned. "This place?"

The cacophony of pounding and low groans rose audibly, as if in agreement.

"This may be just a classroom to you, but to me, it's the hope and future of these kids. I used to dance. I used to sing. It paid my way through college. Now I'm a teacher."

"You can't be a teacher and a dancer?" Selena pressed. "It's like walking and chewing gum. You can do both. The question is, why don't you?"

"Maybe I should bring more music and dancing into the classroom. Look how the kids are joining in the noise of our voices, not bothered by it. I have to think about ways we could make the most of this."

But she hadn't succeeded in changing the subject; everyone's attention stayed focused on her.

"You should dance for the kids, Katie. You possess all the grace of an artist's muse. Who knows how you might encourage them?"

Katie laughed. "That's laying it on a bit thick, Luc, even for you. I do believe if there was a snake in that basket over there, it would be rising to the charmer's voice at this very minute."

Luc's very presence brought her into another time. Maybe it was the fedora or the classic cut of his suit, but it ran deeper than how he looked. He possessed a sense of virility and take-no-prisoners attitude that couldn't be further from his blue-blood upbringing. He made her, in a word, feel safe ... but there was nothing safe about Luc and there never had been. She straightened and walked over to her open folder to check her schedule for the day.

Tapping a pencil on the binder, she focused on getting the day back on track. The students were involved in free playtime at the moment. While they were all situated in a circle, they played individually, their own favorite tasks in front of them.

"Carrie, would you get Austin and Maddie ready for lunch?"

"I'll do it," Selena said. "And, Katie ... you really should go to the wedding."

"I can't go to the wedding because it's right in the middle of summer school."

"You could get a substitute," Carrie said. "What would you be gone for, a week at most? Jenna could probably fill in. She took the summer off this year."

"Thanks for the suggestions, ladies," Katie said through clenched teeth. "But I've already told the groom I can't attend the wedding for professional reasons."

The women laughed. "I'm sorry, what reasons?" Carrie asked, raising a bedpan to imply that anyone could do Katie's job.

It was no use. The two women were thoroughly under Luc's spell, and who could blame them?

"Maybe we should talk privately," Luc said. He clasped her wrist and led her to the glass doors at the front of the classroom. "It's beautiful out here. The way you're nestled in the hills, you'd never know there's a city nearby."

She nodded. "That's Crystal Springs Reservoir on the other side of the freeway. It's protected property, the drinking water for this entire area, so it's stayed pristine."

"I'm not going back to New Orleans without you," he said.

Apparently the small talk had ended.

"My mother would have a fit if I brought one of the women I'd take to a Hollywood event to a family wedding."

Katie felt a twinge of jealousy, then a stab of anger for her own weakness. Of course he dated beautiful women. He was a billionaire. A billionaire who looked like Luc DeForges! Granted, he was actually a multimillionaire, but it had been a long-standing joke between the two of them. Did it matter, once you made your first ten million, how much came after that? He may as well be called a gazillionaire. His finances were too foreign for her to contemplate.

"And who you date is my problem, how?"

"If my date tries to swing dance and kicks one of my mother's friends in the teeth, I'll be disinherited."

"So what, would that make you the fifth richest man in the United States, instead of the fourth?"

"Katie, how many times do I have to explain to you I'm nowhere near those kinds of numbers?" He grinned. "Yet." He touched his finger to her nose lightly. "My fate is much worse than losing status if you don't come. My mother might set me up to ensure I have a proper date. A chorus line of Southern belles. And I guarantee you at least one will have the proverbial glass slipper and think her idea is so utterly unique, I'll succumb to the fantasy."

"Wow! What a terrible life you must lead." She pulled a Keds slide from her foot and emptied sand out of her shoe. A few grains landed on Luc's shiny black loafer. "To think, with courtship skills like that, that any woman wouldn't be swept off her feet—it's unfathomable." She patted his arm. "I wish you luck, Luc. I'm sure your mother will have some very nice choices for you, so go enjoy yourself. Perk up, there're billions more to be made when you get back."

"Sarcasm doesn't suit you, Katie."

He was right, but she didn't trust herself around him. She'd taken leave of her senses too many times in that weakened state. Since moving to California, she'd made it her goal to live life logically and for the Lord. She hadn't fallen victim to her emotions since leaving New Orleans, and she'd invested too much to give into them now.

"I'm sorry," she said. "I only meant that I'm sure there are other nice girls willing to go home and pretend for your mother. I've already done that, only you forgot to tell me we were pretending. Remember?"

He flinched. "Below the belt."

A pencil fell from behind her ear, and she stooped to pick it up, careful not to meet his glance as she rose. "I'm sorry, but I'm busy here. Maybe we could catch up another time? I'd like that and won't be so sidetracked." She looked across the room toward Austin, an angelic but severely autistic child in a wheelchair. He pounded against his tray. "The kids are getting hungry. It's lunchtime." She pointed to the schedule.

Luc scooped a hand under her chin and forced her to look at him. "Where else am I going to find a gorgeous redhead who knows who Glenn Miller is?"

"Don't, Luc. Don't charm me. It's beneath you. Buy one of your bubble-headed blondes a box of dye and send her to iTunes to do research. Problem solved."

He didn't let go. "Ryan wants you to sing at the wedding, Katie. He sent me personally to make sure you'd be there and sing 'Someone to Watch Over Me.' I'm not a man who quits because something's difficult."

"Anyone worth her salt on Bourbon Street can sing that. Excuse me—"

"Katie-bug."

"Luc, I asked you kindly. Don't. I'm not one of your sophisticated girls who knows how to play games. I'm not going to the wedding. That part of my life is over."

"That part of your life? What about that part of you? Where is she?"

She ignored his question. "I cannot be the only woman you know capable of being your date. You're not familiar with anyone else who isn't an actress-slash-waitress?" She cupped his hand in her own and allowed herself to experience the surge of energy. "I have to go." She dropped his hands and pushed back through the half door. "I'm sure you have a meeting to get to. Am I right?"

"It's true," he admitted. "I had business in San Francisco today, a merger. We bought a small chain of health food stores to expand the brand. But I was planning the trip to see you anyway and ask you personally."

"Uh-huh."

"We'll be doing specialty outlets in smaller locations where real estate prices are too high for a full grocery outlet. Having the natural concept already in these locations makes my job that much easier."

"To take over the free world with organics, you mean?"

That made him smile, and she warmed at the sparkle in his eye. When Luc was in his element, there was nothing like it. His excitement was contagious and spread like a classroom virus, infecting those around him with a false sense of security. She inhaled deeply and reminded herself that the man sold inspiration by the pound. His power over her was universal. It did not make her special.

"Name your price," he said. "I'm here to end this rift between us, whatever it is, and I'll do the time. Tell me what it is you want."

"There is no price, Luc. I don't want anything from you. I'm not going to Ryan's wedding. My life is here."

"Day and night ... night and day," he crooned and then his voice was beside her ear. "One last swing dance at my brother's wedding. One last song and I'll leave you alone. I promise."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from A Billion Reasons Why by Kristin Billerbeck. Copyright © 2011 Kristin Billerbeck. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 51 )
Rating Distribution

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(19)

4 Star

(21)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not An Ideal Christian Genre Book

    A Billions Reasons Why is about Katie McKenna, a schoolteacher in North California. Originally from New Orleans, she made the move to NC after being publicly humiliated by her then-boyfriend, Luc DeForges. Eight years has passed since the incident and she is now engaged to Dexter Hastings, a stable and committed Christian. One day, Luc shows up at the door of her classroom and convinces her to go back to her hometown to sing at his brother's wedding. But, multi-millionaire Luc has other plans in mind than just bringing her back to sing at the wedding. This book is under the Christian fiction romance category but if it wasn't for scattered mentions of a church and pastor, I thought that it didn't deserve to be in the Christian category. In a couple of chapters, there was a brief mention of an immoral incident that happened in the early years of Katie's and Luc's relationship. However, there was no mention of sorriness for what had happened and the remorse shown was only for the public humiliation. This book will definitely make an interesting read for chick lit fans, but for those who are looking for a completely wholesome Christian book, this won't be ideal.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2011

    A Nice piece of Chick Lit perfect for an afternoon on the couch!

    I believe that the best way to judge a book is by three parameters.

    1. The length of time it took to read the book.

    2. The ability to put the book down and stop reading.

    3. The number of emotions the book brought forth.

    I'm happy to say that "A Billion Reasons Why" met all of those requirements.

    I received this book Monday afternoon. It is currently midnight on Tuesday (well I guess technically Wednesday). I finished this book by 12pm this afternoon. Less than 24hours after receiving it. It was that good.

    I was drawn to this book the moment I read it's description. I am a true romantic. A believer in the Cinderella story. A seeker for that one passionate relationship that defines all future relationships. This book fit the bill

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2014

    Amazing!!!

    If you love charm, southern romantic charm, then this is the book for you. It is full of classical refereces from Hepburn to 40's swing... give this a try and you will not regret it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Fun, Light-Hearted, Sweet Romance Story!

    A Billion Reasons Why has hands-down become a favorite book of mine!

    Prior to reading this, I was not familiar with Kristin Billerbeck. I am so glad to have been introduced to a new author... I've now read several more of her books, and they're funny, light-hearted, and all around great reads!

    In A Billion Reasons Why, you'll enjoy the sweet romance story of 2 people meant for each other all along... although there's a glitch ~ one of them is engaged to someone else! Get ready for some fun twists and turns!

    This book had me hooked, and it was hard to put down. I highly recommend it!

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  • Posted July 16, 2011

    Not Bad!

    'A Billion Reasons Why' is a traditional romance novel, with a Christian slant, written by Kristin Billerbeck and published by Thomas Nelson. The back cover reads: "Katie McKenna leads a perfect life. She has a fulfilling job, a cute apartment, and a wedding to plan with her soon-to-be fiancé, Dexter. She can think of a billion reasons why she should marry Dexter. He's everything she wants in a husband. And then in walks Luc DeForges, her bold, breathtaking ex-boyfriend. Only now he's a millionaire. And he wants her to go home to New Orleans to sing for her childhood friend's wedding. As his date." I thought this book was alright. It wasn't anything spectacular, but it wasn't bad. It was nice to read, what I would call, an old school romance. It was however quite predictable, I think most people will have guessed the ending by the end of the first chapter. This book is a nice one to read if you want a light easy going read, and is a good option for those that want a more sedate romance novel, as opposed to the more "bodice-ripping" variety.

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  • Posted May 20, 2011

    An Enchanting Story

    A vey fun and sweet story. Extremely well written. I felt that i was instantly transported to another world of swing dance, fedoras, and beautiful, elegant dresses. I love that world now. Katie was hurt by Luc a long time ago and it taught her a lesson she would always remember: be practical and dont feel anything. Now shes a special needs teacher practically engaged to the world's most boring and predictable man. Thus, she has every reason to marry him. He couldnt possibly cause her to hurt like Luc did. But then Luc begins to force his way back into her world, manipulating her to go home to New Orleans with him fir hos brother's wedding. She agrees so that she can get her ring from her mother and she and Dexter can make tge engagement official. She'd visit her mom, see a few old friends, sing at the wedding, and head home - and hopefully no one would remember her very public humuliation all those years ago. That was the plan. But when do things ever go as planned?

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  • Posted May 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Could Be a Movie Already?

    He's a handsome billionaire. She's not impressed.
    Katie McKenna has never loved any man but one: billionaire Luc DeForges. He was her first love. But there are a billion reasons why she's engaged instead to Dexter Hastings, a solid and stable man who wants the same things she does: marriage and a family but all of the things that she wants without the deep-seeded pain and fear of being abandoned that Luc brings.
    Dexter and she have worked an arrangement that's akin to faith without action, love without deeds -- a dead faith. Going home to New Orleans to sing for her childhood friend's wedding, Katie must search her heart to find out if any of her reasons for being with Dexter are stronger than love. Only when Katie steps fully into faith and jumps off the cliff of life into the arms of Luc does she understand the fullness of God's grace.

    I'll be honest here, I really tried to get into this book and I read the first 50 pages of every book to see if I can get into it. I had trouble from page 1. The story line is not to my liking. The plot is okay but it seems to follow every movie that has been made in the early 90's. Maybe that's why I couldn't really get into this book, I've seen all the movie's and have already figured out the ending. It was an okay book but not one for my "Keep" pile.

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  • Posted March 13, 2011

    Just so-so

    I love Kristin Billerbeck and have read as many of her novels as I can get my hands on. This one, however, was quite different from her others. It was slow moving in parts, and just seemed super unrealistic. It's about a woman who is really undecisive about her future, including whom to marry. She is also a lover of the 1940's and the way she and Luc (the main character) talk, it's as if they should be in a different era. I think if she made this book into a 1940's period book, it would have been better. Also, there was not as much mention of God as in her previous books, which was disappointing. At times, the plot was very hard to follow, and repetitive. It's still an ok read, but disappointing compared to her other novels.

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  • Posted March 12, 2011

    Amazing story!

    For starters, I absolutely loved this book. Not only did it incorporate romance, but it also included a strong willed girl, willing to follow her instincts. The only thing that bothered me about this book was that it ended to soon. I wish that there was a sequel I could read. I loved Luc and knew I would fall in love with him the second her was introduced into the story. The chemistry between him and Katie was explosive. The story line was a little clique. I hated Dexter as a character just because he was the one in the way of Katie and Luc. This book is a romance fanatics dream. I would recommend it to anyone willing to dive into such a tale.

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  • Posted March 4, 2011

    A Feel Good Read

    Ladies, are you ready to curl up with a romance? A Billion Reasons Why by Kristin Billerback is the book for you. This is the author's first novel for adults in four years and will leave you with a smile and a sigh after you close the book.

    Katie McKenna had everything she ever wanted: a beautiful apartment, a job she loves, and Dexter, who she hoped would slip a ring on her finger .soon. But Luc DeForges, an ex-boyfriend isn't quite out of her mind, life or heart.

    During their separation, Luc has become a millionaire in the organic whole food market. When he comes to California to see Katie, his purpose is to take her back to New Orleans to sing at his brother's wedding. Because of their past, Katie does not fully trust Luc.

    But what if Luc has changed? What if he has matured, wants to right the wrong of their past and move on.together? Dexter is safe, dependable, punctual, and will surely propose as soon as she gets her grandmother's ring from her mom. Right? What would you do? What should Katie do? This story of forgiveness and love may have you identifying with the main characters and cause you to realize that yes, people can and will change once Christ enters their life. Oh, before you read to far in this book, grab a few kleenex.

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  • Posted February 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Billion Reasons Why

    Katie and Luc loved each other many years earlier, and their lives have crossed paths again. Katie is a special ed teacher, and engaged to her friend Dexter. When Luc appears on the scene, they both realize that they have unresolved issues to deal with. Fedora ... this is what immediately comes to mind when I think of this book. Luc is a multi-millionaire and he always wears a fedora, no matter what the occasion. I don't think many men could carry off this look, and it added a lot to the mystique of his character. Katie is a bit quirky with her fascination of everything from the 1940's. She loves the clothes, the music, and she loves to sing and dance. When Luc begs her to sing at a family wedding, she simply can't refuse him. Especially when he promises her the clothes she can only dream of. Unexpected twists and turns in the romance department had me reading non-stop from cover to cover. I was surprised by the unexpected ending, but was totally happy with the final outcome. Overall, a very enjoyable read.

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  • Posted February 25, 2011

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    Romance

    Sometimes I like to read a nice story with a happy ending. If that's what you're looking for, this Christian fiction romance set in New Orleans is for you. It's just a clean story of unrequited love getting a second chance.

    You must suspend your disbelief to accept that Kate and Luc truly love each other, yet remain apart for eight years. Somehow they manage to connect again. However, even with the contrived ending, many fans of romance novels with enjoy this one.

    Reading group guide included.

    Thank you to Audra Jennings at B&B Media Group and Thomas Nelson for my copy.

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  • Posted February 24, 2011

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    From staid to carefree

    An excellent modern story of how a totally humiliating and hurtful experience can change an exuberant girl into a staid, supressed, and careful woman. This light chick lit romance was engaging from the first page to the last. Although I could understand and sympathize with Katie's angst over the sudden appearance of her old beau, I did want to ring her friend Eileen's neck by the middle of the book. The author used her descriptive talents to bring modern New Orleans front and center blending the old with the new easily for the reader, I felt like I was right there watching the unfolding of the story. Careful Katie certainly used selective bible quotes to talk herself into becoming the staid careful woman but she seems to have forgotten The Songs of Solomon completely. I enjoyed the secondary characters especially Katie's mother immensely. Well written with defined characters this book is perfect for a someone who enjoys chick lit with substance.

    I received this book from the publisher for the FIRST Wild Card book blog tour. I was not required to post a favourable review.

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  • Posted February 21, 2011

    Easy Read

    Katie McKenna is a special education teacher who has given up on her past as a singer in New Orleans. Giving up that past means that she's decided to marry a man from her church in an effort to erase the memories of a passionate relationship gone bad back home. But when her ex shows up and invites her to sing at his brother's wedding, Katie finds that she is confronted with a choice between the passion of old and the stability of the present.

    There is plenty of romance in the story, particularly for anyone who enjoys the movies and music of the 1940s. I thought the references to the old classics were sweet, and they made the story much more entertaining. The writing style is very good, with plenty of imagery to help the reader become more involved in the story. And you can't beat New Orleans for the setting of a novel.

    The major thing that didn't quite work for me was the characterization. There seemed to be so many inconsistencies in several of the main characters. Is Dexter passionless and predictable, or is he a sweet guy who sends roses every week? Does Eileen like Dexter or not? Does Eileen like Luc or not? And Katie's mother seems to flip flop so much you'd think she was a beach sandal. Issues like these made the story less enjoyable for me

    I will say, however, that the main characters were fun to read, particularly Luc.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who likes simple romances with interesting plots and settings. It's an easy, fun read.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Goodreads First Read book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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  • Posted February 21, 2011

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    fun, easy to read book

    I have finished reading a new book from author Kristin Billerbeck called A Billion Reasons Why.

    Katie McKenna loves her job as a special needs teacher in California. She plans to be engaged soon to her boyfriend, Dexter. However, her ex-boyfriend, Luc DeForges, suddenly comes back into her life. He wants Katie to go home with him to New Orleans to sing at his younger brother's wedding. Katie agrees to sing at the wedding but does not want to become involved with Luc again. Eight years before they had gone through a public, humiliating breakup. She wants to sing in the wedding and go back to California to her teaching and predictable, stable Dexter. She has a billion reasons why she should fall for Luc again.

    This was a fun, easy-to-read book. I didn't really think the beginning was realistic in that the ex-boyfriend just shows up unannounced in Katie's classroom one day in the middle of class. But as the book went, it fit with Luc's character. I found it to be a good read and fairly predictable.

    Thank you to the B & B Media Group for providing this book for my honest review.

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  • Posted February 21, 2011

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    cute story

    There are a billion reasons that Kathie McKenna can think of why she should not even be talking to Luc DeForges. A billion reasons why she should turn down his invitation to come home to New Orleans to sing at his brother's wedding. The number one reason being that Luc DeForges humiliated her and turned down her offer of love and marriage the last time she was home in New Orleans. Yes a billion reasons why, and the biggest reason being Luc could still get to her.

    Dexter was another reason why. He was nearly her fiance, they just needed the ring, her nana left to her so he could propose. Dexter was safe, solid and good husband material. At least Katie had convinced herself of that. So why was she even considering a trip to New Orleans with Luc? Sure there was the promise of getting her ring from her mam, but this was something so personal, Katie had to prove to herself she was over Luc DeForges!

    Prepared to not like her new stepfather, Katie is surprised when he turns out to be a great guy, and she is happy to see her mam settled into a new life, now Katie has to fast her fears and visit her father's store, which Luc now owns, and to visit the site where he died. Then she was put closure on this thing with Luc. Katie had it all figured out, but her plans go awry, when people start showing up in New Orleans that she was not expecting. Mainly Dexter, the same man she was going to marry after this was all over. It is plain to see that Dexter does not fit into New Orleans, nor does he fit into her family, the chaos is more than he can handle. Will their love survive this trip?

    A fast paced book, I read it front to back and enjoyed every bit of it. Kristin Billerbeck has written an awesome story that catches the very essence of New Orleans. A great story you will not want to miss! A reading group guide, and a short interview with the author are included. 299 pages $14.99 US 4 stars.


    This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.

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  • Posted February 19, 2011

    delightfully charming read!

    Katie McKenna has finally moved on from Luc DeForges. Leaving New Orleans to start over in California, she finds the fresh start she needed. It's now eight years later and Luc re-enters her life, threatening to disrupt all of her carefully made plans. His brother is getting married and Luc wants Katie to go with him. Katie tells him no, wanting to leave her past alone. Yet Luc is persistent. He promises to buy the things her special needs classroom is lacking and she agrees. Going back home, Katie is reminded of so many things, including her feelings for Luc. She had thought she was over him - ready to marry her boyfriend once he proposes - and it's when her boyfriend shows up in New Orleans that Katie must make a choice.


    I really enjoyed this book! There were a few things that didn't quite mesh with the rest of the story but it didn't detract from my overall opinion. I loved Luc and Katie together and how they interacted. I loved that Luc was trying to prove to Katie he hadn't changed - all the money had done nothing to alter him. I couldn't help but smile at the constant mention of his fedora and the fact that he only started wearing one after meeting Katie. The gesture struck me as sweet for some reason. Katie's mom was one of my favorite characters. Her outspoken personality and accent made for some laugh-aloud moments. I read the book in two days because I had to know what happened next!

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  • Posted February 15, 2011

    Kristin is back!

    With a Billion Reasons Why, Kristin Billerbeck is back with a light romance that is a fun, quick read. Katie and Luc have a history that has kept them apart but also serves as a magnet attracting them to each other. Instead, Katie is ready to marry a man she met at her church. He's safe and predictable...but is that enough? This book didn't have the zany feel of her Ashley Stockingdale series, but reminded me of the Spa Girls series. It was a fun read, with interesting characters that kept me engaged. A great spring break read especially for those who love romance.

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  • Posted February 10, 2011

    A fun romance, especially if you love the 40s!

    He's a handsome billionaire. She's not impressed. Those two short lines made me want to pick up this book, and I'm glad that I did. Billerbeck's flair for dramedy continues to resonate in her newest release, "A Billion Reasons Why". I admit that I did skim some, but I genuinely enjoyed the book. I appreciate that Billerbeck highlighted the 1940s - I love Fred and Ginger, and I rarely read much about them. Because of my love of those movies, I found it easy to understand Katie's motivations (and I might suggest that you watch one of them before you read this, just to get in the mood). This book was a fun romp through New Orleans. Her characters capture your attention and tell you just enough to make you want to read the next chapter, and the next, and the next. *I received this book for free as part of the Thomas Nelson BookSneeze program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions are my own.

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  • Posted February 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is a fun lighthearted contemporary romantic romp

    When Katie McKenna was younger her boyfriend Luc DeForges was dynamic living life to the fullest; they even broke up in a public fiery split. However though she at times misses what was then, Katie knows this is now. Thus a mature Katie is seeing steady Dexter Hastings and expects they will marry sharing a secure family lifestyle.

    Katie is taken aback when her former lover Luc the billionaire arrives to ask her to do him a favor. He wants her to sing at his brother, Ryan's wedding in their hometown New Orleans that she fled after their relationship died. Thinking this is the way to truly move passed her past, Katie agrees.

    This is a fun lighthearted contemporary romantic romp starring a nice young woman pulled in two different directions by a pair of opposite males. The story line is character driven by the life in Katie's men as the daredevil hunk and the levelheaded stud compete (in her mind). Fans will wonder who will Katie choose and whether Ryan and his Olivia will marry while dealing with Luc wanting to turn the wedding into the event of the century and the stereotypical caricatures of Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard as the Mothers-in-Law.

    Harriet Klausner

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