What Matters Most by Kellie Coates Gilbert REVIEW

Love and Politics Collide in This Emotion-Packed Fourth Texas Gold Novel Kellie Coates Gilbert strikes gold once again in the latest book in the Texas Gold Collection. Readers will be drawn into the story through Gilbert’s deeply emotional writing that highlights the complexities of human relationships. Out of her desire to care for her mother who is suffering from dementia, Leta Breckenridge drops out of college. Her next step means leaving her comfort zone. After learning that a delinquent account may force her mother into a less desirable facility, Leta takes a leap and lands a high-paying job at an Austin public relations firm. But her dream job soon turns into a nightmare when she learns that the firm she is working for is a front for a political opposition organization—and that the research she has been collecting will be used against Nathan Emerson, the handsome senator she’s swiftly falling in love with. Nathan is a rising political star being pressured to run a bid to unseat the current governor of Texas. He’s already in a relationship with a woman much better suited to be a politician’s wife, but he’s never met anyone like Leta. Could this feisty woman hold the key to his heart—and his future?


As I began reading the first few chapters of this book I thought I had guessed what the twists and turns would be. I figured Nathan might have to choose love or power and that it would be a nail biting poll turnout that would be a close finish. I was so far off from the directions the author ended up taking us. The universal messages throughout this story was that “if you do the right thing, everything turns out in the end” and “Do good and let God do the rest”. The story mentions God sporadically throughout to get the point across that the two main characters held faith in a higher purpose and multiple times humbled themselves to give Him their struggles. I really enjoyed who humble the characters were; they both had goals and worked hard towards them while not taking light of what they had. Leta and Senator Nate both had a past that weighed them down, which is what drew them together. I loved that the story was focused on the election making it unique to most in the romance genre and there was not a single kiss shared till more than 80% through the story. The romance was clean, but the politics made up for that being profusely dirty! The author really had fun with the gubernatorial race proceedings and all the dirty secrets that were discovered. I learned quite a bit about election processes both how one is run clean and another dirty. The Ladd Agency made up for the majority of the shocking twists in this book. I thought it was going to go a completely different direction, but it played out perfectly taking me in another. My favorite part of this book though is the setting. I got married in the ballroom at the Driskill Hotel in Austin, so I loved how beautifully they described the history and character of the place. I love when authors incorporate real places and even more when I’ve been to them because it feels like you share an experience with the characters. They took you to the Reunion Tower in Dallas, Banger’s Sausage House in Austin, and many more little places in downtown Austin. I’d highly recommend this book for all Christian fiction readers because it was light and entertaining and held a God centered core. Romance readers will love that it contains a more believable butterflies in your stomach, puppy dog eyed falling in love compared to some of the more graphic lust filled books that you only wish might happen in real life. Those who love government books, this one is definitely a fun twist with a little love thrown in, but not an overpowering mushy type than takes away from the story of the race. I’d rate What Matters Most five out of five stars.