The Art of Romance

Local Christian Bookstore
I must have picked up this book in a bargain bin a few years ago when I was trying really hard to be a "better Christian." It's not so much that I thought avoiding "inappropriate" media was going to make me a bad person, but that immersing myself in Christian media would remind me to be a better person. So I bought a bunch of Christian novels and listened to a lot of Christian radio. I still dig Christian radio (Mandesa and Toby Mac is what's up, I'm not even kidding), but I lost interest in Christian literature really quickly. There just isn't enough variety or quality in the sub-genre to keep me interested. Though I guess like most things, it helps to know what your preferences is. I've since wheedled it down to Christian history and historic fiction (of the biblical variety: The Red Tent was especially my kind of cat nip)

This is the 2nd or 3rd book in a series focused around a group of old church biddies who are trying to pair-up their single grandchildren. Like, I can't think of anything more horrifying, to be honest. In fact it says everything you need to know on the back cover blurb:
"Misconceptions Arise when Meddling Matriarchs Connive."
The last thing in the world that I want is for old ladies from church trying to set me up with their grandsons. "Oh, you're an artist? He's an artist!" No, I studied art in college, he paints dragons with his own blood." Nope! Not the same thing old gals. Not the same thing.
Okay, that was supremely inappropriate, but you get the idea. I don't think it's cute and endearing when old women meddle in my (anyone else who's single) romantic life. The idea that a woman can't possibly be happily single and it must be taken well in hand by someone who doesn't know her very well is a really grating thought. And here's an entire series centered around it! Please spare me.
And do you want me to be honest with you? I couldn't even finish this book. Initially I was like, "Well, at least it's loads better than The Deed," but then I realized it was too frustrating for entirely different reasons. After complaining about it to my Mom too many times she told me "Life is too short to be wasted on bad books." Good enough for me.
So as we can gather, this is about two cis-gendered adults, one is a good Christian girl, the other is a Bad Boywho hasn't been to church in years, has tattoos, and used to be a secular Romance novel cover illustrator. Now he's moved back home with his grandparents after a disastrous break-up with his department head, costing him his job. As far as I'm concerned, those last two things (losing his job & breaking up) were the serious problems, but apparently all of it is supposed to be proof that he's bad off. I feel like those were tiny issues, but the way they harped on it really got under my skin. I'm not sure they were actual problems. 
And Caylor's main issue is that she's single. Inconceivable! Also that she's tall, but mostly she's single. This needs to be fixed! Honestly, the two characters actually have some chemistry, and I think the novel could have progressed easily with them getting together and mending whatever "issues" through the magic of sugary sweet true love and strawberry scented Jesus power. But the deplorable "adorable" old ladies interfering was just too much for me. There was a point when one insisted that Caylor just DATE this guy (some rando from church) already. It doesn't matter if you like each other or have nothing in common except that you're both single! And seriously, Caylor, though she was aggravated, still handled that situation with much more generosity and patience than I ever would have.
I just couldn't anymore. I couldn't. I wanted to throw this book across the room too many times for me to finish it.

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