Wednesday, September 6, 2017

"A Twist of Faith" by Pepper Basham

If you—like me—enjoy modern adaptations of classics, then you'll want to check out A Twist of Faith, a modern-day retelling of Pygmalion.

Maybe the language of love doesn’t have an accent, but with any other type of accent, Dr. Adelina Roseland feels confident she can correct it. Accent reduction is her specialty and she’s worked ten years in research with it to attain her dream job: Professor at the University of Virginia. But all rookies must pass through the fire, so Adelina is sent to a tiny town in a crevice of Appalachia called Wise, Virginia, to begin a new program for their satellite university there. Determined to prove herself, Adelina makes a daring wager with her arrogant supervisor, Dr. Alexander Murdock. If she can pass Appalachian cow farmer Reece Mitchell off as a Harvard grad and help him with a job interview for a corporation in Chicago, then she can present her research at the National Convention in front of her newfound colleagues and hundreds of other professionals, launching her career to further heights and moving her as far away from Appalachia as possible.

But Adelina didn’t plan for the faith and friction of single-dad Reece Mitchell or his chaotic family. Drawn into a culture she’d been trying to forget for the past fifteen years, Adelina finds the warmth of family, the hope of faith, and the joy of love melting away at the deep wounds of her past. But when Reece discovers that he’s been a mere pawn in her step up the corporate ladder, will he be able to forgive her deceit or will their miscommunication end in two broken lives.

Will some good old-fashion Appalachian grit from a meddling mother bring rescue this culturally-diverse couple before they lose their chance to build a future of their own?

With humor, romance, heartbreak, and a twist of faith, find out how this modern day bend on the delightful classic, My Fair Lady, teaches the timeless beauty of second-chances and the eternal truth of everlasting love.

When Adelina Roseland takes a job teaching in Appalachia, it's just a stop on the way to her dream job ... or so she thinks. What she doesn't count on is the Mitchell family—including handsome widower Reece—breaking down all of her preconceived notions about the mountain people.

While most of the twists and turns of A Twist of Faith will be no surprise to anyone familiar with Pygmalion or its musical adaptation My Fair Lady, in this case, the joy is in the journey. Basham has created delightful characters in Dee and Reece, characters the reader can't help but root for. And the minor characters—especially those in Reece's family—are equally delightful.

While I did struggle to keep the characters straight in the beginning—especially at Dee's first university staff meeting, where names were thrown around like crazy, and I felt like I'd dropped in partway through an established series—I quickly settled into the rhythm of the writing.

One thing I didn't particularly like was the "missionary dating" aspect of the novel. Reese is a believer; Dee isn't (or if she is, her relationship with God has faded to nothingness). Yet he doesn't even seem to struggle with that fact, nor does the rest of his family, even as he pursues a relationship with Dee. Of course, she comes to understand and embrace the grace and love found in Jesus, but what if she hadn't? (I know, this is fiction, so of course she came to saving faith—I just would have appreciated the acknowledgement that a relationship between a believer and a non believer isn't a good idea.)

Overall, though, I enjoyed A Twist of Faith, and I'm eagerly anticipating the next installment of the series, featuring Dee's arrogant supervisor Alex and Reece's sister Rainey. 3-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my review of Basham's Just the Way You Are (4 stars).

Pepper Basham is an award-winning author who writes novels inspired by her love for history and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her Penned in Time series has garnered recognition in the Inspys, Grace Awards, and the ACFW Carol Awards. Her contemporary romance novel,
A Twist of Faith, received 4-stars from Romantic Times, and most recently, her newest release, The Thorn Healer, received a Top Pick from RT with 4 ½ stars. Her newest contemporary romance, Just the Way You Are, released in April 2016. You can get to know Pepper on Facebook, or over at her group blog, The Writer’s Alley, or Instagram.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free and chose to review it. 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."

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