Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Review: Faking Grace by Tamara Leigh

About the Book: All she wants is a job. All she needs is religion. How hard can it be?

Maizy Grace Stewart dreams of a career as an investigative journalist, but her last job ended in disaster when her compassion cost her employer a juicy headline. A part-time gig at a Nashville newspaper might be her big break.

A second job at Steeple Side Christian Resources could help pay the bills, but Steeple Side only hires committed Christians. Maizy is sure she can fake it with her Five-Step Program to Authentic Christian Faith–a plan of action that includes changing her first name to Grace, buying Jesus-themed accessories, and learning “Christian Speak.” If only Jack Prentiss, Steeple Side’s managing editor and two-day-stubbled, blue-jean-wearing British hottie wasn’t determined to prove her a fraud.

When Maizy’s boss at the newspaper decides that she should investigate–and expose–any skeletons in Steeple Side’s closet, she must decide whether to deliver the dirt and secure her career or lean on her newfound faith, change the direction of her life, and pray that her Steeple Side colleagues–and Jack–will show her grace.

My Review: I'm almost hesitant to write this review. Earlier this year, I read Splitting Harriet by Tamara Leigh and did not give it a very good review. I chalked it up to the subject matter being in conflict with my personal beliefs and tried my hardest to go into Faking Grace with an open mind. While there were certainly aspects of this book that were cute, overall, it just didn't really do anything for me.

First of all, this is a very Christian book. I doubt anyone that's not a Christian (or even of the evangelical Christian mindset) would enjoy it or even understand the humor. (and while I understood the humor, I didn't laugh out loud once) I review a lot of Christian fiction and some books have broader appeal than others. This isn't one of them.

It was also a little slow going and I found it very easy to put down. Additionally, some plot twists seemed a bit contrived to me.

I do give Tamara props for tackling the difficult subject of grace, especially in a Chrisitan company. How many of us hear stories out of Christian companies and the falling outs they have? So it was interesting in that regard.

Also, I'm noticing a new trend in having Brit heroes. And I'm all for that! Send them my way! :)

If you have enjoyed Tamara Leigh's previous books, you might enjoy this one as well. If you want to try Christian chick lit, though, I recommend Susan May Warren's Josey series, Penny Culliford's Theodora series, or Camy Tang's Sushi series as better places to start.


Shana @ Literarily said...

Interesting review, Amy.

I appreciate your recommendations. I have a tough time with Christian fiction in general, but Camy Tang's Sushi series has always appealed to me for some reason.

Ruth said...

Amy, thanks for your review! This is the kind of review I hate to write as a reviewer, but find invaluable as a reader.

M. said...

I am a little taken aback at the concept of a hero trying to "expose" someone else's faith as a "fraud", and set about uncovering their skeletons. It seems presumptuous (shouldn't that be a matter between the person and their Creator?) and prying. Perhaps I've misunderstood, but from the description the hero sounds judgmental and gossip-driven rather than spiritually oriented.

S. Krishna said...

Christian fiction doesn't really appeal to me because I don't feel like it speaks to a non-Christian audience. If you come any that do, let me know!

Amy said...

Hi M!

Great point, and sort of part of the reason I just can't get these books. She does deal with judgementalism being a problem of his, and I think that blurb is slightly misleading, but overall...yeah. I agree. :)

Amy said...

Oh, and one more thing...I even wondered if hiring only Christians is legal?????

S.Krishna--I plan to write a post in the near future on this very topic. :)

Brittanie said...

I loved this book. I am sorry you did not like it. I laughed many times. I hate writing these type of reviews too. Thankfully I have had to only write a few. :)

Amy said...

Hi Brit,

I saw that you liked it. I don't know if it's Tamara's tone or what, but her books and I don't mesh. :)
I rarely write negative reviews either...I guess I'm easy to please!

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