Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Perfecting Kate by Tamara Leigh

Kate Meadows is a girl we all know... maybe we even see a little of her in the mirror!
She is sweet and doesn't believe it, pretty and can't really see it, she wants to be God's girl but she keeps breaking all her well intended promises.

Kate vows to be unbelievably happy as a 33 year old artist, but she isn't. She is single, with no good men on her horizon as far as she can tell, and she wants to be married!
She knows she can only marry a Christian, so she desperately tries to find hints of Christianity in the "eligible" men around her. Even when she includes the tiniest bits of evidence, there aren't that many decent men in her circles, so sometimes she breaks her rule and dates them anyway... Of course, after the last bad relationship Kate has sworn off men altogether.

And then she meets two men: Michael, a makeup artist, and Clive, a reconstructive surgeon.
Michael wants to use Kate in a "Mismatched Girlfriends" magazine feature. When he called her "perfect" he meant she was perfect for the "ugly+makeover=beautiful" rigamarole. Hint: He thinks she is ugly. Well, no, not ugly, just impossibly unattractive. Of course, with a little of his wares and five or twenty visits to the various professionals whose business cards he is constantly handing her, she might become "beautiful."

Clive, meanwhile, wants Kate to paint the children's mural for the hospital's burn unit. He'll tolerate her Christian symbolism woven through the painting, but he wants it kept subtle.
And he'll tolerate her outspoken Christianity, but he wants her to keep it real.
And Kate just wants someone who will understand her and love her anyway.
Michael seems like he will be that man... all he asks from her is that she take his good advice and get herself fixed up a little. It *is* good advice, isn't it?
But Clive is forcing her to look deeper into her faith even as he refuses to open up and talk about his... and Clive doesn't want her to change the very color of her eyes like Michael advised!

What is a girl to do? Well, if you are Kate Meadows you end up learning a whole lot about God and yourself...

Following Kate through this book to her renewed spiritual awakening was a journey worth taking.
Kate Meadow's story would be an excellent opener for a discussion about relationships and their boundaries are well as body image and our common attempts to have perfect faith.

Now, *SPOLIER ALERT.* I want to say a few words about Clive...
Clive, being the man, had an advantage over Kate because he was naturally the initiator in the relationship, and at times he seemed to be foisting his emotions and desires on her, or at least leading the way into dangerous, forbidden territory. The scene when Kate had to explain that she wanted this to stop before it got out of hand was sad and accurate, because it highlights a common dilemma: Desire without marriage leading to a dance on the edge of sin.
Let me loosely paraphrase Albert Mohler's excellent recent sermon on this "Passion with no holy means of expression, i.e marriage, leads to frustration." We are seeing this on the increase as singles stay single longer, and Kate and Clive exemplify this. The have passion that would be a beautiful thing within their marriage, but is just tinder and sparks out of it. I applaud you, Tamara for leading us into a serious discussion of this issue through a story that we can all relate to.

Tamara Leigh came to Christ, celebrated the birth of her first child, and published her first novel all in one year. Since then, she has kept writing and sharing her stories with us. {I look forward to the chance to review more of her books!}

When not in the middle of being a wife, mother, and cookbook fiend, Tamara continues to write. Recently, she returned to the historical romance genre with the release of Dreamspell, a medieval time travel romance. With The Unveiling: Book One in her new Age of Faith series, she once more invites readers to join her in the world of the middle ages.
Tamara lives near Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and sons, a Doberman that bares its teeth not only to threaten the UPS man but to smile, and a Shih Tzu with a Napoleon complex and something of an eating disorder.

                                                You can visit her website: Tamara Leigh, The Kitchen Novelist

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