Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance
Author: Tamara Leigh
In a recent post, I mentioned I was plowing through Tamara Leigh's books like popcorn. (I do love popcorn!) I've read 6 in the last month, so I thought I'd start my reviews with my favorite: Faking Grace.
You may have to bear with me on this because I'm going to get a bit personal.
For that reason, the review I post here may differ a bit
from the one you find on sites like Amazon. Or not. I haven't decided yet.
Quick background: Maizy Grace is a nominal Christian* who needs to find a second job to support herself. She decides to apply at a Christian magazine, and like all savvy job seekers, tries her best to "look the part." For her, that means dressing how what she thinks a Christian dresses, saying what she thinks they say, and even sporting a "Jesus is my Copilot" bumper sticker - taped on for easy removal should she not get the job.
*Nominal Christian — Christian-speak for self-identified Christian who considers themselves "spiritual", but rarely steps foot in church. Synonym: unchurched.
Grace's journey is about rediscovering her faith—through the help of a pretty great romantic hero—and accepting that no one is perfect, but that's ok.
If you've never read a Christian romance before, this is the place to start. There is no doubt that it fits into the genre, but Ms. Leigh presents a believable and incredibly charming heroine in a very compassionate way that doesn't judge her for the path she's traveled.
OK, so here's the personal aspect that probably won't make it into my Amazon review: The part of Maizy Grace's character I liked the best was her attempt to talk like a Christian. I know exactly where she's coming from. I grew up Catholic, and believe me, it's a whole different language from that which the Evangelicals speak.
I think I mentioned recently that I elicited a face palm at Bible study the first time I tried a mainstream, multi-denominational group. I'm not sure what I said, but it wasn't anything even close to "salvation through works" or "transubstantiation." Luckily, I recognize that Christians, including Bible-study leaders, have their bad days, too. (Although, I did go back to my old small group study, so perhaps my forgiveness was not complete at the time.)
Even now, the greeters at church will say something like "It's a blessed day" when they open the door, and I respond with a less-than-eloquent "yeah." Luckily, God accepts me for who I am, lame responses and all.