I have a love-hate relationship with romantic comedy.
On the one hand, I love it. What’s not to love about something that should both tug your heart strings and keep you giggling and laughing out loud?
On the other hand, it lends itself to cheese. Corniness. Clichés. I imagine it’s super tough to write because you have to both follow a pretty rigid formula/structure/pattern in order for it to work, but also infuse enough novelty that it doesn’t feel quite as formulaic as it is. As a result, I’ve read a lot that just don’t do it for me.
But here’s an author that has three that you should read. Because they’re solid works. They offer delightful quirk and wit, but complement it with authenticity and struggle that’s more commonly found in dramas or women’s fiction. (For some further clarification between romance and women’s fiction, see this article).
Kara’s first novel, Close to You, released in 2016 by Howard Books. It’s a delightful debut offering that dives into the world of Tolkien as two hurting individuals find themselves thrown together during a three-week Lord of the Rings tour in New Zealand. Not being a fan of LotR, I didn’t pick this one up back in 2016. But after I had read Isaac’s latest novel (see below), I couldn’t help myself – I had to pick this one up, too. And it was worth it. Even for one woefully unversed in Lord of the Rings, the story follows two authentic characters that I couldn’t help but feel for.
Her second offering was Can’t Help Falling. It’s a story of two lovers of C.S. Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia, in particular) and how their lives are thrown together through God’s providence. While I’ve read and watched The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I’m hardly a huge Narnia fan. (I thoroughly enjoyed that story, but still haven’t moved on to the other novels in Lewis’s series). But yet again, I didn’t find this novel any less interesting because of my lack of foreknowledge. This one succeeded in its character details, providing enough information that we could feel the struggle between both hero and heroine. And not only between them in a relational sense, but between them in a life-living sense. There were also some great moments of authentic faith vs. no faith struggle. It felt real.
Finally, in 2017 Isaac released Then There Was You. Despite being her third novel published, it was the one I actually read first – and the one that had me scrambling to read her two other releases. I wrote briefly about it here, but could have said much more. It has the wit I love to see in novels, two characters I liked, and enough emotion to keep tugging on me as the characters walk through life and struggle. Still so thankful I picked this one up.
So, in a nutshell, I recommend her works. If you’re looking for some solid writing of romantic fiction, Kara Isaac offers a great place to land.
Have you read any of hers? Or have any other romantic comedy writers you’re a fan of??