Imagine my surprise when I woke up on Sunday to messages and comments from friends and family like ... "Great review" ... "Congratulations!"
I had no idea what they were referring to as I didn't know anything was being written or going into our local paper, The Oklahoman. So I quickly got my iPhone and looked up their online paper, newsok.com and found this story:
“Coming Home” by Kimberly McKay
(CreateSpace, 340 pages, available at Amazon.com)
I liked getting to know the spunky but broken Anne LaSal in Oklahoma author Kimberly McKay’s “Finding Kylie” and “Facing Redemption,” so it was a treat to get more of her story in “Coming Home.”
Anne is the best friend of main character Chastity in the two earlier books written by this budding writer. McKay, who at one time worked for The Oklahoman, does a great job of setting up the suspense — will it be romance or sparks? — when Anne agrees to be on the popular “Broadcast Affair” network show without learning who the show’s bachelor is for the season.
In “Facing Redemption,” readers learn that Anne is coming fresh off a nasty breakup and breaking free from a sad past when she agrees to be on the show. Realizing she has nothing to lose, she’s maybe even ready for a bit of fun and adventure. She finds that and so much more on this journey of self-discovery.
Anne’s growing up as a military brat helps prepare her for the drama of being on a dating reality television show along the lines of “The Bachelor,” where numerous girls compete for the affection of one man. The dilemma she faces is whether to believe Chad Chambers is truly a nice guy she could actually fall for or just a really skilled actor.
Readers might be tempted to settle into “Coming Home” as a typical romance novel, but McKay throws in enough curves to keep the reader furiously turning pages to reach the finale.
Mckay does a good job of making her characters real and relatable. They know loss. They have to rely on their faith. They want to love, but they’re full of all of the emotions anyone is subject to when opening up to this most vulnerable of feelings — fear, insecurity, uncertainty and hope.
“Coming Home” is a fast read with main characters that pique the reader’s interest and draw compassion. Side characters add just the right amount of trouble.
McKay uses a deft hand in weaving elements of faith into the story. The characters face a realistic struggle between romantic interest and purity, but there’s no unabashed evangelism. Anne’s talk with her new friend Kamryn gives readers a great analogy of the difference between a true relationship with God and empty religion.