What Matters Most

Fiction - Southern
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 05/31/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

American author, Helen Bea Kirk pens her suspense, romance, family drama novels from her home in Texas. Although a city girl, her northern small town roots and spiritual philosophy frequently provide the canvas for her story art. Helen Bea enjoys taking various classes, cooking, hanging out with her family and her old yellow lab. Currently she serves as secretary for a non profit organization that helps to heal heart-worm positive dogs and find them good homes.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite

Meagan is a young widow who has lost her family, her treasured keepsakes and all she holds dear. When Meagan finds herself financially forced to live with a not too loveable aunt, helping her run a B&B, she turns to crime to steal back all of her precious items that someone has stolen from her. King Pullman is the owner of the pawn shop that has her grandmother’s pearls and, hopefully, her brooch and other family heirlooms.

Meagan decides the only way to get them back is to steal them and so she goes to the pawnshop in disguise to rob it. King somehow sees through her and feels something because when the police arrive, he does not turn her in, but lets her leave with the pearls. Their paths cross again when she applies for a job as maid to help care for his mother at the Alpaca ranch he owns. Meagan continues trying to get back her prized belongings. King is fascinated by her and tries to help her when he can.

What Matters Most is a great summer read while sitting by the pool. It is a quick, light read, packed with emotion, family, secrets and a plot that grabbed me on page one and never let go until the very special ending paragraph. I really enjoyed reading What Matters Most and found Helen Bea Kirk to be an author that knows how to create real characters, with real problems and real life situations to solve them. The behind the scenes feelings of the budding friendship between King and Meagan make this a very special story. I highly recommend What Matters Most for its romance, suspense and well written plot.

Jack Magnus

What Matters Most is a contemporary Southern fiction novel written by Helen Bea Kirk. When Meagan Morris entered King’s Pawn, she was on a mission -- to try to reclaim those mementos which were all she had left of her family and her deceased husband. Someone had robbed her of everything that mattered to her: the jewelry her mother and other relatives had passed on to her; the guitar her uncle had given her; the red speed bag Paxton had inscribed when he gave it to her as a present. Methodically, she tracked down each stolen item through Drakeslist and then robbed the seller at gunpoint, figuring either they belonged to the gang who robbed her or were complicit in passing her stuff along.

King’s Pawn was different from the other pawn shops where she hunted for her family’s jewelry. The bearded man behind the counter evoked memories of her Uncle Abe, and both he and his big German Shepherd dog were watching her with suspicion. She couldn’t blame them. Dressed in Paxton’s military gear, with sunglasses, knit cap and false teeth disguising her appearance, it was clearly obvious that something was wrong. When she held him up for the pearl necklace she had been looking at, he managed to trigger off the store alarm, but when the police arrived, King just couldn’t find it in himself to turn her over to the authorities. Meagan was stunned as he put that pearl necklace in a shopping bag and added a jewelry case. In the turmoil, she had left behind the photograph showing the items that had been stolen from her. King put it in his shirt pocket to study later on. There was a mystery behind all this that he was determined to solve.

Helen Bea Kirk’s contemporary Southern fiction novel, What Matters Most, is an engaging and beautifully written story that had me smiling as I read it. King Pullman and Meagan Morris are marvelous main characters whose worlds, which initially seem so far apart, somehow come together as Meagan works to regather the mementos that are all she has left of her family. I particularly enjoyed the unconventionality of these two characters: Meagan is strong and competent, and her marriage, which hints at being decidedly less than optimal and on the abusive side, has left her in no doubt about her abilities to stand up for herself. King, while the image of the handsome and virile landowner, seems almost passive as he waits for her to make the first move and marvels when he finds her hidden under his bed, getting a secret frisson of excitement knowing she’ll see him as he walks toward the shower undressed. Kirk’s supporting cast is equally memorable, and her plot moves very well indeed. What Matters Most is very highly recommended.

Susan Sewell

A young woman strives to recover items which were stolen from her and, in the process of retrieving them, recovers more than what she has lost in the touching romance novel, What Matters Most by Helen Bea Kirk. Down through the years, Meagan has lost a lot. Her parents died when she was young, her close family members followed not long after, and her husband of ten years was killed while deployed in Afghanistan, leaving her alone with their belongings and her memories. However, when thieves came in and robbed Meagan of all the physical objects that remained of her loved ones, it was too much. Determined to restore all her belongings, Meagan turns to a life of crime. Searching for the stolen items until she finds their location, Meagan then takes them back at gunpoint. When Meagan is apprehended by the owner of a pawnshop while robbing him, her life takes an unexpected turn. King, the enigmatic proprietor, willingly hands her the article she came to retrieve and doesn't press charges when the police arrive; Meagan manages to escape unscathed. Bewildered, but still not giving up on pursuing her family heritage, Meagan continues on her felonious path. However, soon Meagan must consider more than just herself and decide whether King is an ally or a foe.

What Matters Most by Helen Bea Kirk is a many-faceted down-to-earth romance novel. It is a lovely tale of personal loss, moral courage and the redemption of love. This delightful story has characters to whom readers can easily understand and relate. The plot is intricately woven with intriguing subplots which keep the reader absorbed in the story line from the first page until the last. As you delve into the story, you can't help but get caught up in the drama and root for King and Meagan, despite the fact they are walking the fine line of vigilantes. It is an outstanding novel with southern overtones that contains suspense, drama, and romance which will charm those who love a riveting love interest adventure. Although it is a delightful book, there are aspects and suggestions of a sensual nature causing this story to be more suitable for mature readers.