Newly born-again Katie Stone has returned home to help look after her sick mother, and she’s definitely not expecting a welcome party. Her relationship with her parents has never been close, but she’s come because her dad has asked her to and he must be desperate to have done it. She’s also not looking forward to seeing the old crowd, either. In fact, she’s dreading it. And with good reason, because when she does, the ramifications are every bit as bad as she’d thought they’d be.
Asher Powell is Katie’s neighbour and he can’t help but be intrigued by her. He used to go to school with Katie and he knows what she was like back then. But she’s different now, on the inside as well as the outside, and despite his attraction to her, Asher can’t possibly let her into his heart. He’s got his own set of problems to deal with. The ripple effect from the break up with his girlfriend a few months earlier is still carrying on, made worse by the fact he’s the pastor’s son, and he hasn’t been back to church since.
What follows is a beautifully realistic story of two people falling in love despite their shortcomings. And what a bunch of shortcomings they are. Katie was into everything the world could offer before she came to Christ and she battles with seeing herself as worthy to be loved, especially when her parents don’t seem to. And despite being a Christian for practically his whole life, Asher has his issues too - one that every young man faces, Christian or not - plus his anger and disappointment at how his church let him down. How can he love Katie with all that going on?
Tammy L Gray’s writing style is fabulous. I loved how the author showed me Katie and Asher layer by layer, how they became real people right from the start. I also needed to wipe the sweat from my brow because I was in a hot and humid, Georgia U.S.A. summer, not a cool Australian springtime! That’s clever writing.
My Hope Next Door would have to be one of the most real contemporary Christian romances I’ve read this year. (I don’t think I’ve ever read one with a character like Katie’s - so new to the Christian faith with an immediate past to deal with.) My Hope Next Door gets into the raw nitty-gritty of everyday Christian life, yet gives hope and encouragement and inspiration. I’ll be looking out for more books by this author for sure.
Andrea Grigg lives on the Gold Coast, Queensland, and is a writer of two contemporary Christian romance novels, ‘A Simple Mistake’ and ‘Too Pretty’. Her Christmas novella, 'All is Bright', will be released September 27 in a boxset along with five other authors, entitled, 'An Aussie Summer Christmas'. She would love to connect with you via:
Twitter: @andreagrigg https://twitter.com/andreagrigg