About the Book
Book: Love and a Little White Lie
Author: Tammy L. Gray
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Inspirational
Release Date: August 4, 2020
January Sanders grew up believing karma was more reliable than an imaginary higher power, but after suffering her worst heartbreak in 29 years, she’s open to just about anything, including taking a temporary position at her aunt’s church. Keeping her lack of faith a secret, January is determined to use her photographic memory to help Grace Community’s overworked staff, all while scraping herself off rock bottom.
What she doesn’t count on is meeting the church’s handsome and charming guitarist, who not only is a strong believer, but has also dedicated his life to Christian music. It’s a match set for disaster, and yet January has no ability to stay away, even if it means pretending to have faith in a God she doesn’t believe in.
Only this time, keeping secrets isn’t as easy as she thought it would be. Especially when she’s constantly running into her aunt’s landscape architect, who seems to know everything about her past and present sins and makes no apologies about pushing her to deal with feelings she’d rather keep buried.
Torn between two worlds incapable of coexisting, can January find the healing that’s eluded her or will her resistance to the truth ruin any chance of happiness?
Love and a Little White Lie by Tammy L. Gray is a story that will stick with me for quite a while. This is the first book that I’ve read by Ms. Gray, but it most definitely will not be the last. I really love Gray’s writing style and the way she creates very realistic characters. What I found so unique about this story is the protagonist, January. Her agnostic voice is one of the most real voices I’ve read in Christian Fiction. She could easily be one of the many agnostic people I know in my own life. Her thinking about life and her contradictions and her selfishness are spot on. And the dichotomy between Cameron (the super good, raised Christian his whole life, seriously sheltered man) and Dillon (the Christian who has just walked through some serious fire and is now angry and questioning God in a Job-like manner) is outstanding. These two men represent facets of Christianity that many authors have illustrated before, but the way Gray juxtaposes them in her novel really makes a Christian reader stop and think about her own faith and the genuineness of that declared faith. I have to say, Love and a Little White Lie really blew me away!
January Sanders drove me crazy. She is the most self-focused character I think I’ve ever read. Everything she does, she does for herself. She is not bothered with lies if they get her to where she wants to go or who she wants to be or how much money she wants to make. It does not really bother her that she lies about being a Christian when she goes for a job interview at her aunt’s church because she just needs a job. As she works within the church, her idea of Christian people shifts a smidge, but she constantly refuses to believe in an invisible entity in the sky. She is going to do good for others because she is a good person and it will make her life easier. When she sets her sights on Cameron, the super cute guitarist in the church band, she tells herself that she will respect his Christian boundaries, but she totally doesn’t. In fact, this is what drove me the most insane. She literally tells Cameron that she respects him and his Christian beliefs, but the second she feels a certain way and wants him to feel a certain way, she throws respect out the door and allows him a physical/sensual opportunity she knows he should not take. And, if that isn’t enough, the way she treats Dillon is quite awful. He is her punching bag, and punch she does — often. In many ways, January is NOT the good person she thinks she is.
By the 3/4 mark, I was ready to tell January off and put the book down. Not because the story isn’t good — oh my goodness, this story is super engaging. The pages flew by. No, I wanted to put the book down because January’s self-focus and selfishness became overwhelming. Every time she “helps” someone, I was annoyed because I knew she was doing it for herself. Every time she hangs out with Cameron it’s because she wants something from him. Every time she uses Dillon as a punching bag it’s so she can feel better. Then she has the audacity to tell the people around her that what they believe in is nothing more than fakery. Argh! But, I kept with the book hoping for an excellent come-to-Jesus moment. It’s a pretty darn good moment! And, what is the most awesome, January’s come-to-Jesus moment helped me understand God’s grace and forgiveness better. Once she understands things better and the puzzle pieces fit into place, January becomes one of the best characters in this book. I found I could let everything she did and said earlier go … just like that. Kind of like how God does for us. I know that the Bible tells us that love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8), but I also believe that humility covers a multitude of sins, too. January’s humility after her eyes are truly opened to God is my favorite aspect to this novel. Cause isn’t that how it really goes? We are so selfish and so sure in our SELVES until we find God. Then we see ourselves the way God sees us and we are humbled and then we are grateful that love does cover all those sins we committed. Ms. Gray did an absolutely fabulous job of crafting January’s insanely realistic character. January’s journey to God is illustrated superbly in this novel, and made me look within my own self quite a few times!
Love and a Little White Lie is an excellent story that I highly recommend. I know I wrote A LOT in this review, but trust me, I barely cracked the surface. This book is gritty, realistic, and deep. It forces the reader to contemplate and evaluate themselves. It’s gripping and thoughtful and romantic. Love and a Little White Lie is one outstanding story.
I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Bethany House Publishers, via NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.