Title: Movie-made Romance
Author: A.M. Heath
Series: Christmas in Garland, book 4
Major Themes: Romantic Comedy, Christmas, Forgiveness
Synopsis: Carleigh St. John is tired of waiting for her love life to get its act together, so she distills down all the Christmas romance movies she’s seen into a playbook to help her finally find her man.
I’ve been a fan of A.M. Heath’s books for quite a while now, and every year, I look forward to her next Christmas release. This year’s release is Movie-made Romance, and I had a lot of fun reading it a couple of weeks ago. Mixing a rom-com with a more serious theme of bitterness vs. forgiveness, this was the perfect book to read in the lead-up to Christmas (in my opinion, anyway!).
Carleigh St. John is ready to forget her ex-fiancé and move on with her life. She is more than ready to get married, settle down, and get on with something besides wondering when Mr. Right will come along. Fortunately for her, she’s watched a whole slew of Christmas romance movies, and she knows what it takes for the heroine to get a guy—so all she has to do is work out which single guys she knows fit into which slots, and she should be all set. Providing she does her part and God does His, of course. Unfortunately, her ex keeps showing up just when she least wants to see him. She forgave him long ago, but knows she’d never be able to trust him again…so why does he keep appearing in her life?
Joshua Price never wanted to set foot in Garland again, especially not after his breakup with Carleigh four years ago. But when his grandfather desperately needed his help, he had no choice but to come back. Every time he runs into Carleigh, he becomes more certain of his love for her—but the task of proving to her that he isn’t the man he once was seems impossible. It’s hard enough to trust God on your own—let alone trust Him with a woman you love who can’t seem to forgive you.
Movie-made Romance was a hoot to read! The first few chapters are especially funny, and I found myself laughing so hard at times that I had to be careful when and where I read this book—some concepts can be hard to explain to someone who hasn’t read the story. In general, this book felt like a fairly typical rom-com set at Christmas time, but I did appreciate the forgiveness vs. bitterness theme that ran through the story. I could easily relate to Carleigh, and found the lessons she learned as the story went on both challenging and encouraging. This wasn’t a standout read for me, but I did enjoy it. Ms. Wanda and Joshua were my favorite characters—the former for her sassy way of going about life, and the latter for his gentleness, care, and restraint. Recommended, if you’re looking for a fast, feel-good Christmas book.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book, and this is my honest opinion of it.
WARNING: Gee is used in ch. 1 and 17; I swear is used in ch. 3 and 10 (twice); “goodness knows” is used in ch. 8; “speak of the devil” is used in ch. 18; and “oh, heavens” is used in ch. 20. There is a mention of a man cheating on his fiancé in ch. 1, and in ch. 9, someone thinks about how he used to be a womanizer. The cheating incident is referred to again in ch. 11. There is a brief discussion about how someone was born out of wedlock in ch. 10. A couple goes on a fake date in ch. 9. An unmarried couple is alone at the woman’s house and shares a meal in ch. 15. An unmarried couple touches (hugs, touches on the arm, a hand on the back, etc.) in nearly every chapter. An unmarried couple kisses in ch. 12 and 20.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults