Monday, January 19, 2009

Tea & Read: Stand-In Groom

Title: Stand-In Groom
Author: Kaye Dacus
Rating: Two Cups of Tea

I seem to be on a wedding theme lately. This is the second book I've read in a month about someone getting married (see Tea & Read: The Convenient Groom). This book helped me discover something about myself. I love southern charm. I don't know when I fell in love with it, but this book proved that I may be a secret southern belle.

This book throws you into a very unique worlds where two people from very different cultures fall in love. Most books go with the normal "good girl, bad boy" pairing, but Kaye uses something far more unique, British man and Southern girl.

The story is great and pulls you along. The only reason I didn't give it the highest rating is not really the author's fault. There is this phenomenon in Christian fiction that characters have to have a major crisis of faith. It normally requires pointless scenes of someone praying or reading a scripture that relates to their problem. And God always manages to put a scripture in their mind to help them (which isn't always my experience. Sometimes it seems like God ignores me because I already know the answer). Unfortunately, it comes across forced and a little unbelievable. I find myself wishing the plot would move past all these Jesus moments and get back to the story. Yes, I'm strange but it's how I feel.

I personally think that this is the fault of Christian publishing industry, who require the main character to have a major faith struggle. Not only that, the majority of Christian fiction readers are Christian and I feel that issues of faith don't have to be pounded in because we already know them. I know I should forgive and trust God. I would love to see more stories without the whole "someone gets a spiritual revelation in the last 30 pages" thing. It would be great to see faith more seamlessly integrated into the story. But I'm biased. When I read, I want a good story. I don't need a fiction book to strengthen my faith. I have the bible for that.

So if you don't have a pet-peeve about novels where someone has to overcome a crisis of faith, then this is a great book. It's sweet, engaging and a great hormonal read (you know, when your hormones are acting crazy and you crave chocolate.) Stand-in Groom is a great investment for your Christian fiction shelf.

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