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Better Than First

A Contemporary Christian Romance
Written by: Kari Trumbo
Narrated by: Emmalyn Miles
Length: 3 hrs and 22 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Nothing will distract Isla Flores from her Paralympic goals.

Her world is work and training, nothing else matters. When her coach and best friend Duncan challenges her to make a 10-item bucket list, she's forced to think about life off the track. 

The more time she spends with Duncan, the more value she sees in everyday life...and love.

Duncan Schmitz went from homelessness to his dream job as a youth pastor.

The only problem is that he's loved Isla from afar for as long as he can remember. He's taken it upon himself to remind her what life is like off the track. And maybe also remind her he's not just her coach, but the one who's cared about her the longest.

Get this sweet, heart-warming, friends-to-lovers romance by best-selling author Kari Trumbo that sounds like a Hallmark movie.

Other Contemporary Books by Kari Trumbo:

  • Whispers in Wyoming
  • Heartstruck and Heavensent
  • Temptation and Tenderness
  • Sensitive and Secure
©2018 Kari Trumbo (P)2018 Kari Trumbo

What members say

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  • 🎧 Jhommie Kem-ing
  • 2019-02-12

Better than First by Kari Trumbo

The story was so heart warming.. definitely something to melt your heart on a winter.. a perfect Christmas read. I enjoyed listening to this and fell in love with the characters as they discovered love themselves. :) ❤

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Karl hill
  • 2019-03-19

Such A Sweet Story!!

I am writing this review in March, and even though this is a book focused on Christmas you can listen to it any time of year.
Isla and Duncan are both the sweetest main characters. They have been friends for years, but they are afraid to let the other know they have deeper feelings as they don't want to mess up their friendship.
All Isla cares about is racing and Duncan is a youth pastor. Duncan tells Isla to make a list of 12 things she wants to do. He will try to make as many of them happen as he can. I won't give away anything else.
This book is perfect for those who love Hallmark, super sweet romances, friends to lovers, Christmas inspired books, etc.
I will listen to this story and over and over as it is so sweet! I will be trying other books by this author as I just loved this story.
The narration was nice as well. I felt like I was in the characters heads instead of listening to a narrator.
I received this audiobook at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Betababe
  • 2019-02-27

Poignant

Not everyone is blessed with a perfect or even a fully-functioning body, but there are no rules that say one has to give up trying to have a normal and happy life. Isla, a paraplegic from birth, has had a happy and loving family and manages to cope gracefully, if not always cheerfully, with the casual discrimination of being wheelchair bound in a walking world. In fact, she's become a racer with a goal of entering the Paralympics. But has she become so driven that she is no longer aware there can be life outside of competing? (Not, I suspect, an uncommon trait in many athletes.) She's not even really aware of Duncan, her longtime friend, companion, and racing coach. She just takes him for granted. Until he's suddenly not there. A few of the twists will make you gasp aloud as you find yourself praying along with the characters in this faith-based romance. Nicely narrated by Emmalyn Miles.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Geri Nelson
  • 2019-02-10

Finding your True North

I enjoyed this story so much. My first from this author. My first for this narrator. As a foster care worker i can relate to Duncan's story. Duncan and Isla's friendship which blossoms into something more I enjoyed in telling of the story. I was inspired by Isla's drive to compete so much and Duncan having her write that list was so touching. This book is a must listen. This story was so different from everything else I listened too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jan M
  • 2019-02-09

Sweet and Honest

Kari Trumbo impressed me with this clean christian romance that is a beautiful story. I love it when love blossoms betweens friends, and Duncan and Isla are the lucky couple. Duncan's actions showed how he truly felt, and the phrase "actions speak louder than words" came to mind listening to this book. Emmalyn Miles is a new to me narrator, and I think she did a great job conveying the emotions and feelings of this book. I requested this review copy audiobook and have voluntarily written this review. I will listen to more books by this author and narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Terri C.
  • 2019-02-07

A good Christian romance!

I listened to the audio version of this book. The story is a Christian romance story involving a woman with a disability. It brings in the paralympics as Isla competes in races in her wheelchair. Duncan is her coach and long time friend. The romance between them is definitely sweet as they are both very tentative. It is a good story with good narration.
I was given this audio book. All thoughts are my own.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Darcie
  • 2019-02-04

Sweet friends to more story

As a paraplegic, Isla faces many obstacles in life but she is usually faces them head-on. Isla is training for a spot on the Olympic team for the games and is not happy when she keeps missing 1st place. Isla’s life revolves around training for her races and her work. Her coach, and best friend, Duncan, challenges her to write a 10-item bucket list...in an attempt to help Isla accept that there’s more to life. As Duncan helps Isla go through her list, the pair grow closer...will Isla finally see Duncan as more than a friend?
Sweet story...although I sometimes wanted to shake some sense into Isla...lol. Great HEA.
I voluntarily accepted a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Gina Johnson
  • 2019-02-03

Struggles

A beautiful story of the struggles of a handicapped woman trying to prove that she is strong. While training to earn a coveted gold medal in the Paralympics and secretly in love with her best friend Duncan, a youth pastor her obsession will put a toll on their friendship and their blossoming love. I received a complimentary audio and this review is voluntary.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • PATRICIA
  • 2019-01-31

Beautiful story!

This may be a Christmas romance, but the moral of the story is throughout all time! Duncan and Isla have been best friends for years. Isla is determined to follow her dream, but Duncan poses a different plan. Let's do 12 things you want on your bucket list in the next 12 days. I loved this idea, think out of the box and not place all of your hopes in one place. All through the story, we feel their love for each other, but each is hesitant to say anything. But with a major twist, and some planning, we do have a wonderful ending to this inspirational romance. I want to say that I love Kari Trumbo's writings. She is a master at including messages in her stories that are somewhat forgotten in today's rushed world. Duncan's character is full of hope and love, helping kids who need attention is a trait that I love to see. Emmalyn Miles narrates the story beautifully and it's a listen good for any time of year!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Britt98
  • 2019-01-24

Enjoyable and Unique Christmas Story

I enjoyed this unique story about two friends who could be so much more to each other. I thought that the author did a very good job of portraying the uncertainty that both Isla and Duncan felt regarding where their relationship was heading. Each one worried that the other didn't see them as more than a friend. Isla worried that Duncan simply felt obligated to help her, yet also jealous at the thought of him with another woman. It was fun to see how Duncan worked to fulfill Isla's bucket list, while also working to slowly show her how he really felt.

The narrator had a pleasant voice, however, I sometimes struggled to follow along as she read. There was not a change in inflection for the two main characters, and not really any pausing during dialogue to indicate a change in who was speaking. However, after a few chapters, I did get used to the narration style and enjoyed the story.

I received a complimentary copy of this audio book. All opinions are my own.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful