Book Review, Contemporary, LGBQT, Romance, Series

If You Knew (Red Bud, Iowa Book 1) by Barbara Meyers


In a town filled with lies, is there room for one more? 

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? 


Red Bud, Iowa had a kind of sturdy innocence about it, Devonny decided. A solid place where families had probably been neighbors with each other for decades. If a movie director scouted locations for “wholesome town in America’s Heartland,” he’d start filming right here.

I chose this book for the location (Iowa is my crib), and also for the theme (pregnant widow, former “porn” star meets drug addict), but let me make it clear.  This book is so much more than that.  It’s about a love story about two people overcoming the odds and forming a new path with their lives. It’s also about hope and finding the goodness in everyone despite what you’ve heard or believe.

Devonny is an amazing character. She’s strong, confident, and stands up for what’s right. She also believes in forgiveness and helping others. Luke is equally impressive in his relentless pursuit of a pregnant woman with a sketchy past.  There were also strong supporting characters such as Loretta, Devonny’s next door neighbor and Cherry, Devonny’s fiesty friend from California.

This is a fantastic book with plenty of secrets and back stories, and the “porn” stuff is not as bad as it sounds. It’s more about making a movie from a steamy romance novel (think Fifty Shades of Gray, but softer).

I will definitely pick up another book by this author.  Recommend highly!


If You Knew

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Barbara MeyersA few of my favorite things: My family and my dear, dear friends.

My addictions/vices: Books; wine…white zin or pinot grigio; coffee…an every morning must have; popcorn

What I do when I’m not writing: I read or I might be working at the local Starbucks, hanging out with the above-referenced friends and family; bicycling around my neighborhood; taking a nap.

I’m originally from Southwest Missouri, but I grew up in a bunch of tiny towns in Illinois and Idaho before I arrived in Florida where I currently reside. Want to know more about me? Read my blogs which you can access through my web site.

Follow Barbara on her website, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and Goodreads.