A couple weeks ago, Peter at christian-fantasy.com wrote about meeting Christian romance writer Kaye Dacus. I'd never heard of her before, so I clicked on over to her website, where I found this quote:
My heart is, as it has been for more than twenty years, focused on writing light-hearted romances. But not just any romances. I like writing characters who represent a growing segment of the population that seems to be increasingly left out in Christian circles: women in their late-twenties, thirties, and early-forties (and even older) who have never been married and who want to be loved and accepted for who they are, not pigeon-holed into a category, labeled, or, as happens most often, shoved to the side and ignored/forgotten about by their churches, coworkers, or even friends and family. I’m writing to the women who, like me, expected to be married before they turned twenty-five (-six, -seven, -eight . . .), but who may find themselves now in their mid- to late-thirties or forties and have never even had a date or meaningful relationship.As soon as I read that, I knew I needed to give her books a chance. The older I get, the less inclined I am to read romances that feature girls in their late teens to early twenties. That's just not where I am anymore, and I want to read about women who may be a little like me--because, strange though it may sound given this is fiction, their love stories give me hope that my own will come someday.
Quite by accident, I found Dacus's The Art of Romance available for review on NetGalley. Without hesitation, I sent a review request. Four days later, I've read the entire book ... and this is while I've been moving!
Caylor is an English professor who helps care for her grandmother while writing Christian romance novels on the side. Dylan moves in with his grandparents after a scandal involving the chair of his department causes him to lose his position as an instructor at a prestigious art school. As both are single, their grandmothers scheme to get them together, but each is harboring a secret that could drive the other away. (And that's all you're gonna get from me--if you want to know about their secrets, you'll just have to get the book for yourself!)
I really enjoyed The Art of Romance! While it was in some ways your predictable boy-meets-girl romance, the plot took several twists and turns I wasn't expecting. I also appreciated that both main characters had a past. Dylan especially had a lot of issues to work through, and he really grew as a character throughout the book. No, this book won't change the world, but it certainly was a lot of fun to read--and isn't that what we want during the summer? I will definitely be checking out more books by Kaye Dacus!
This is the second book in The Matchmakers series (though it functions as a stand alone title, as well): The Art of Romance and Love Remains (book one) are available now, and Turnabout's Fair Play will release in November.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a galley of this book free for review from Barbour Publishing through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."