Former bad girl Katie Stone can feel the weight of her reputation settle over her as she drives home for the first time in years. Feeling deeply guilty about her past mistakes, Katie wants to do the right thing for once. But the small town where she grew up is not nearly as forgiving as she’d hoped. Despite it all, she’s determined to help her parents cope with her mother’s recent illness, and Katie finds a surprise ally in the man next door.
Asher Powell never minded being the son of a small-town pastor until a recent breakup leaves him wounded by lifelong members of his church. He remembers his new neighbor as a mean-spirited high school troublemaker, but he senses that her newfound faith and desire for forgiveness are sincere.
Through an unexpected friendship, two people from different worlds find peace, hope, and a second chance they never dreamed was possible.
Tammy L. Gray is hands down one of my absolute favorite contemporary romance novelists because she manages to deal with the times and write solid storylines.
What I liked about this book:
I loved the premise of Katie coming back home, learning how to walk out her faith, and still being forced to confront the past. She is placed in some tight positions, but she managed to make me like her more each time.There were secrets in this book (which I usually really can’t stand), except they were handled so well.
I also loved that Asher Powell, who is essentially the guy who has been saved since he was little, was going through a crisis of his own. It worked in the sense that he wasn’t too perfect for Katie. He was flawed, but those flaws only served to make him a stronger hero. I liked that he’s a nerdy, has a great relationship with his parents…and kind. Kate and Asher still have their problems, but they work through them. Together.
Spiritually, the book deals with several topics, but forgiveness is the main issue. It’s interwoven so nicely, it doesn’t feel like it’s done with a heavy-hand. There was also this sub-theme of no one can fix you but Jesus. So often secular romance novels act like one person can make another person whole and “fix’ them. Two broken people do not make a whole person.
Romantic scale: 9
Overall, I loved this book. The main characters faced problems, but nothing was drawn out. At no times did I feel like the author was creating drama for the sake of drama.