Former bad girl Katie Stone can feel the weight of her reputation settle over her as she drives home for the first time in years. Feeling deeply guilty about her past mistakes, Katie wants to do the right thing for once. But the small town where she grew up is not nearly as forgiving as she’d hoped. Despite it all, she’s determined to help her parents cope with her mother’s recent illness, and Katie finds a surprise ally in the man next door.
Asher Powell never minded being the son of a small-town pastor until a recent breakup leaves him wounded by lifelong members of his church. He remembers his new neighbor as a mean-spirited high school troublemaker, but he senses that her newfound faith and desire for forgiveness are sincere.
Through an unexpected friendship, two people from different worlds find peace, hope, and a second chance they never dreamed was possible.
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: Waterfall Press
RELEASE DATE: September 13, 2016
“…that’s the hardest part about mistakes: Sometimes the consequences aren’t physical. Sometimes they simply chip away at the essence of who you are.”
I had never read a novel by Tammy L. Gray before reading My Hope Next Door. I am now trying to get my hands on every single book in her backlist, if that gives you any idea how much I loved this one! Real characters dealing with real life, some really great chemistry and some really hot kisses – right up my alley!
Katie and Asher have both made mistakes they regret, but they come from very different backgrounds and have very different reputations to overcome. The classic “bad girl” image follows Katie around town, even at home, no matter how deeply she knows she is a new person. For Asher, it’s just the opposite. He has to fight the “pastor’s son” reputation – of being held to a higher standard by the church and by the community. Both are afraid for people to really see the depth of their failures, and both are weary of the facade each has been maintaining. One of the most beautiful and touching things to me about My Hope Next Door is watching their friendship develop and deepen – long before they fall in love – into one that allows them to be flawed safely with each other.
If you were a bit of a wild child before you met Jesus and you’ve got a past you regret, you (and Katie) will find much grace in this book. If you, like me, were the “good girl” but you have a moment you regret, you (and Asher… though he is not a girl lol) will find much grace in this book. If you find it difficult to move beyond your reputation, you will find much grace in this book. And if you’ve ever been bullied or belittled by people who should have been your biggest champions, you will find much grace in this book.
You will also find some fantastically fan-requiring kisses in My Hope Next Door! And a swoonworthy hero (once he sets his mind to pursue Katie… watch out!!) and a heroine you’ll want to hug. And an antagonist you’ll want to purse whomp – on a day when you’ve returned from the library with an extra large haul – at least until you find a whole lot of grace in his story too. You’ll also find one of my favorite depictions of a pastor and pastor’s wife ever – I adore Asher’s parents!!! Wise and compassionate and fun and full of … you guessed it …GRACE.
Bottom Line: Tammy L. Gray wraps every page of My Hope Next Door in grace (You totally knew I was going to use that word, didn’t you? lol). Gray doesn’t shy away from the raw reality of brokenness but it’s written tastefully and with great care, and the spiritual elements are equally met head-on without being “in your face” or preachy. The main characters have an electric chemistry, but their romance is more of a slow burn – and the friendship that forms first is one of my favorite things about the book. But… never fear! Once the slow burn gets some heat behind it, you’ll need to break out your trusty fan for the kisses that follow! If you like Julie Lessman’s Isle of Hope series or Kristen Heitzmann’s novels, make sure you check out My Hope Next Door and Tammy L. Gray as well.
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
My Rating: 4 stars / Loved it!!
KissingBook Level: 4 / Keep those fans and fainting couches handy!
Tammy L. Gray lives in the Dallas area with her family, and they love all things Texas, even the erratic weather patterns. She writes modern Christian romance with true-to-life characters and culturally-relevant plot lines. She believes hope and healing can be found through high quality fiction that inspires and provokes change.
When not chasing after her three amazing kids, Tammy can be spotted with her head in a book. Writing has given her a platform to combine her passion with her ministry.
Other Books by Tammy L. Gray
What about you? Were you more the “wild child” or the “good girl” in your past?