Because I Said So

by Karin Kallmaker

Kesa Sapiro had to grow up fast. With her parents gone and a little sister to protect, Kesa has spent over a decade of her life trying to keep a roof over their heads. She’s learned the hard way that love is a luxury and that the price is way too high. When her sister Josie announces she wants to marry a boy she’s known for less than a month, Kesa immediately forbids it.

Shannon Dealan is floored when her son-by-choice says he wants to get married to a girl he’s just met. Shannon has real reason to scrutinize any strangers who come into Paz’s life. She’s not about to let him do anything stupid—and that includes believing in love at first sight. She knows too well there’s no such thing.

Hoping to soften the objections of their jaded, overbearing elders, Josie and Paz arrange for them to meet and discuss the future like civilized adults…but absolutely nothing goes as planned.

Genre Romance
Length 252 pages
Publication Date July 18, 2019
Publisher Bella Books
ISBN 9781642470734A
Editor LJ Hill
Cover Designer Medora MacDougall


GCLS Goldie Awards
Because I Said So — Winner, Contemporary Romance: Short Novels.


"You can ask my mom on this: give me an absolute and I will argue about it. That contrary quirk in my nature is probably why I also never met a trope I didn’t want to subvert. Because I Said So probably took root in my imagination because of Frozen. Remember when Elsa tells her sister that she can’t marry a man she just met?

Knowing me, the automatic, "Oh, yes she can," probably met up with "What if Elsa falls in love at first sight in Frozen 2?" It’s so easy to tell someone else the rules when you think they’ll never apply to you. And so Kesa, her little sister Josie, Shannon and her son-by-choice Paz began simmering in the back of my head.

Kesa and Shannon are used to looking out for the young people in their lives—the world is dangerous, love leads to heartbreak, bills have to be paid! They both have good reasons to have pulled back from risks in life, and they both spend far too much time in their heads. Imagining life is safer and easier than living it.

What I love most about Because I Said So is that I think it tells a story of real women playing and resisting the hands they’ve been dealt, and winning the ultimate jackpot. Two women living in today’s precarious and imperfect world will always find a way through all the tropes and expectations to each other. That’s an absolute I’ll never challenge."

—Karin Kallmaker


The Lesbian Review
Readers looking for a layered romance full of complicated feelings and a perfect ending will want to pick up this one. It might just be my favourite book from Kallmaker and it’s one I’ll come back to again.

Bugs Cheeky - What a refreshing story of romance with layers of unexpected discoveries throughout the book! Not only that, but the characters, including one of the MCs, Kesa, was of mixed race and culture, different socioeconomic background and circumstances, effectively giving the whole romance perspective a fresh new spin, altogether. As if that weren't refreshing enough, the definition of "family" and "parent" was something quite outside-the-box. Kallmaker, being the brilliant tale-spinner that she is, jumped right into describing, portraying, presenting and contrasting all the nuances of cultural, lingual, socio-economic living that entailed with such fervour that I saw them as another supporting character in this biracial romance.

"Because I Said So," was an incredibly fun read with some extra helpings of angst, internal and external, to elevate it to a true romance drama. Plus, I utterly enjoyed Kallmaker's mischievous play with irony when it came to the implications of the "love at first sight" experience! Sneaky!

I recommend it to fans who enjoy a richly portrayed, well-written, well-researched tale of romance with a slightly different, eccentric, exotic and an all-around fun, flavour to it! I, for one, had a blast with it!

Betty H. - Because I Said So by Karin Kallmaker is a beautiful, though angst-filled love story. As a veteran author with some thirty books to her name, Karin is obviously skilled in writing great stories, and this book is a great example of her work.

This is a character/relationship driven novel, you will not find a lot of action or adventure here. For this kind of story, you really need well-defined characters, and Ms. Kallmaker has provided exactly that. These characters have depth. There is also a great deal of chemistry, especially between Kesa and Shannon. Their attraction crackles with electricity from their first meeting to the last page. Josie and Paz present as first loves with all the youthful enthusiasm you expect from this age, including the flashes of immaturity young adults sometime display. The characters make this story, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading their tale. If you enjoy a good romance with great characters and a fair bit of angst in the story, then this book is for you.

Jasmine G. - Somehow this was the first book I read by the legendary Karin Kallmaker. I have a huge backlist to go through!

Designer Kesa has worked hard all her adult life after her parents left their family in financial ruin, creating a business from the ground up while raising her little sister. Her sister, Josie, has fallen in love with a young man, Paz, from her college and has announced their decision to get married after only a few short weeks of dating. Kesa hasn't worked this hard for her little sister to throw it all away, so she sets out to meet with Paz's guardian, Shannon, to settle the matter as adults. But their meeting, and fate, has other plans in store for both families.

I really enjoyed this book—I thought it was really unique! It's amazing to read such a fresh story, interesting jobs that don't pop up much in lesfic, a double love story (Paz and Josie are super cute), and a wild trajectory for Kesa and Shannon's love story. Perhaps it was a little unrealistic, but I loved it. True love will always find a way! I loved all the little glimpses of secondary characters; they brought such flair and warmth to the story. I'm guessing they're cameos from other books, so I'm excited to go explore their stories. Stellar writing and amazing dialogue made this little world come to life. I enjoyed every minute of it.

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