A musician and a priest walk into a grocery store—singer Faith Leary thinks this is a better opening for an off-color joke than a recipe for romance, until she finds herself ogling Father Michael in the checkout line the day before Thanksgiving.
When Father Michael first steps in to bail Faith out of her financial jam, Faith thinks she’s being picked up at the grocery store. Right up until she catches sight of the black shirt and tab collar. Since not much in her life is going her way lately, it doesn’t come as much of a shock when Michael turns up at her mother’s Thanksgiving dinner. What does come as a surprise is the attraction that springs up between them. If only he weren’t a priest, he would be perfect for her.
Faith’s sister finds Father Michael attractive, too, and she’s making no bones about it. Scenes from the Thorn Birds flitting through her head, it comes as a relief to Faith to find out Michael is not exactly what he seems. It’s good news until she realizes her sister is a far better match for him than her screw-up self could ever be. But if that’s true, why does Michael insist on seeing only the good in Faith, no matter how often she falls short of her too perfect sister?
Guest Post by Amy Lamont
Faith and Michael
I’m so thankful to Ali’s Books blog for hosting me on my tour for Joyfully Yours.
Faith and Michael are the hero and heroine of my sweet holiday story. They’ve been living in my head for quite a while, but I held off on writing about them because I wasn’t sure how readers would feel about a hero who is a priest.
Believe me, I was as surprised at everyone else when Michael turned out to be THE ONE for Faith. She’d been kicking around my head, singing her songs, living in her funky Brooklyn apartment, and working her odd jobs. I knew I wanted to write a story about her and her quirky family. And I knew it needed to be a romance, but the right hero just never showed up.
Then one day I thought, who is the last person on earth I could imagine with Faith? And seconds later, Father Michael popped into my head. And I had the same moment Faith had—this is not the Thorn Birds! But Michael settled in and insisted he was the perfect man for Faith.
It soon became clear that Michael was not exactly who Faith (and I!) first thought. Turns out he was free to flirt and date. Faith’s attraction was not taboo, but rather sweet, and once you get to know Michael, totally understandable!
Hope you enjoy meeting Faith and Michael!
Amy, thank YOU for sharing – the guest post, the deleted scene, and ultimately the book! I really enjoyed it, and look forward to reading more from you!! Oh, and I really like the little peak at Michael’s thoughts!!
When I first started writing Joyfully Yours, I didn’t realize quite how badly my heroine, Faith, wanted to be the one to tell this story. So there were a few scenes where Michael got to put in his two cents that didn’t make it to the finished book. I thought I’d share one of these deleted scenes with you, though, so you can see just why Faith fell so hard for Michael:
Michael’s gaze roamed the framed family photos lining the mantle of the brick fireplace without really seeing them as he waited for his hostess to return to the living room. He’d taken some flack from his mother when he told her he wouldn’t be at her Thanksgiving table this year. And he didn’t have a good explanation for accepting this invitation. Mrs. Leary had attended a few services at his church, but hadn’t made the decision to join the congregation yet. But when she extended the invitation, something pushed him to say yes. What was he thinking?
Voices came from the doorway and he turned, but not before he caught sight of something out of the corner of his eye. He turned back and his eyes narrowed on a small black-framed photo on the edge of the mantle. He snatched it up.
It was a high school photo. He stared at the young woman with her dark hair tucked under a graduation cap and he pulled in a quick breath. He placed it back in its spot before examining the other photos more closely.
Sure enough, there she was. He raised a hand and rubbed the spot over heart. In photo after photo, the woman he met in the grocery store yesterday stared back at him.
He turned to find Mrs. Leary standing in the doorway.
“I apologize for leaving you for so long.” She gestured to the hallway behind her. “Two of my children just got here and I needed to check on the turkey.”
He moved towards her, anticipation weaving its way through his body at the thought of seeing the woman again. He tipped his lips and raised a hand to the collar of the blue button down he’d put on this morning.
Her voice reached him just as he cleared the doorway.
He turned the corner and he stopped breathing. If he thought she was cute at the grocery store, bundled up for the winter weather, standing there in a little black dress she was breathtaking.
Even with her arms sticking up in the air, each hand clutching a can of cranberries. His gaze met hers and a slow grin spread across his face.
He suddenly found himself really looking forward to dinner.
My ****4 STAR**** Review
Faith Leary is funny and witty. I liked her from the start – especially when she found herself in a check-out line the day before Thanksgiving wondering how fast she was going to go to hell for checking out a priest. Her common misconceptions about priests were hilarious. She actually wondered about his use of a cell phone?!?
The story as a whole was comical. Even the general holiday rudeness from the public was funny. Then there’s Faith’s gay brother, Frank, that is just hysterical himself. It just gets funnier when Faith finds her priest, Father Michael, in her mother’s living room on Thanksgiving.
Faith’s mother and sister were a bit hard to handle at first. I seriously questioned why Faith would even want to go home for the holidays. But then, she was acting more Christian than she thought herself to be by extending so much grace to her family.
Cons – There was one time that the wording was confusing, and I couldn’t make out what was being said, but it was only once and didn’t take away from the story. I also didn’t get the fact that there were no conversations about God taking place between Faith and Michael. While it was nice that he doesn’t come off as preachy, I just would have expected at least one conversation on where Faith stood with God.
Pros- While there were no conversations about God, Michael constantly “showed” God, and I really liked that. I even personally felt checked at one point. I liked that the story showed the heart of Michael as a Christian and as a man. I especially liked that he saw beyond Faith’s exterior to who she really was. It was a cute and clean romance. It was also a very quick and easy read for a lazy Sunday afternoon! I look forward to reading more from Amy!!
*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.*
One $25 Amazon giftcard plus gift bag that includes some book swag and some other holiday goodies.
About the Author ~ Amy Lamont
Amy Lamont writes contemporary and New Adult romance about quirky heroines and hunky heroes. Over the years she’s had some jobs she loved (working as a program coordinator for a non-profit animal rescue), some jobs she liked (freelance writing), and some jobs she hated (her experience as a waitress has turned her into the excellent tipper she is today). But nothing gives her greater joy than writing romances that pack an emotional punch and come with a guaranteed happily ever after.
Amy lives in New England with her husband, twin daughters, and two rescue mutts. She loves chatting with readers. To get in touch, visit her at http://www.amylamont.com.