Back Synopsis: Preacher’s kid and prodigal Harriet Bisset returned to her church and her family in Franklin, Tennessee, seven years ago. Once the proud owner of two tattoos and a nose ring, Harri is now addicted to Jelly Bellys in lieu of hangovers and Bible verses in lieu of foul language. The good news is that she has everything under control: a part-time position as director of women’s ministry, a church family that adores her, a rent-free home in a senior mobile home park, and the possibility of owning the café where she waitresses. Nothing could tempt Harri to return to her old ways. Nothing but a 1298 cc, liquid-cooled, sixteen-valve, in-line four-cylinder motorcycle—and the church consultant riding it. Reformed rebel Maddox McCray’s arrival at First Grace spells C-H-A-N-G-E for the dying church. And it just might mean change for Harri when Maddox sets out to convince her that even Christians are allowed to have fun.
Review: Inspirational or Christian Chick Lit received quite a bit of attention when it first surfaced. I was really excited to read it, as I love chick lit and can most strongly identify with a character of faith. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the Inspirational Chick Lit out there is simply not that good. There are a few stand out examples, most notably Penny Culliford and Susan May Warren’s contributions, but overwhelmingly these books end up being afraid to take risks that make sense and at the worst come across as preachy.
Having said that, I had high hopes for this book. I heard quite a bit of buzz about it and mostly good reviews. I really love both the cover and the title. I am sorry to say that I ended up disappointed.
To be fair, some of my objections to this book lay in a fundamental disagreement of what God wants for His church. But since the book revolved around a church attempting to change in order to gain congregants, and the hero was a church consultant, it was impossible to ignore. A few times I wanted to scream because I felt they were handling things and understanding things all wrong. And since accepting the changes and coming around to a new viewpoint was a major part of the journey for Harriet, I felt frustrated and unsatisfied by the ending.
I finished the book, and I did find some redeeming parts to it. Overall, however, I felt this book suffered from the two problems that plague Christian chick lit…preachiness and lack of humor. I would have liked to see a bit more character development and growth for the hero as well.
I’m sorry to post the first negative review at the Nook. I do still plan to give Tamara Leigh’s other books a chance (I have at least one other one in my TBR pile) as long as they don’t revolve around church growth strategy! Overall, I’m giving this book six out of ten stars.
Disagree? Tell me why in comments!
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