World Series of Romance: Just a Little Faith by Amy J. Norris

Just a Little Faith by Amy J. Norris

  • Title(s): Just a Little Faith
  • Author: Amy J. Norris
  • Series: N/A
  • Genre(s): Contemporary, Inspirational
  • Publisher: Astraea Press, May 2012
  • Source: Amazon ($2.99 ebook)
  • Length: 237 pages
  • Trope(s):  Celebrity & Commoner, Halo Heroine, Magical Bible Verse, You’re Not Worthy Enough For My Love Until You’re As Godly As Me
  • Quick blurb: Jaded ballplayer Sebastian finds personal and spiritual renewal when he meets Paxson, a shy but intriguing non-profit organizer.
  • Quick review: Promising first half, blah/blech/oh-NO second half.
  • Grade: C

Once again, I get the squee bucket ready, and then…. Never mind. *~*SIGH*~*

The completely believable set-up, likeable characters, and low-key spiritual themes carried me through the first half. I came >thatclose< to giving this a B- because it’s definitely memorable, and I loved the meet-cute and early relationship-building.

Maybe she was boring him to tears? Was this his standard behavior? If so, his looks must be what attracted others to him, because as far as Pax could tell, his conversation skills were clearly lacking.

Sebastian turns out to be a good beta hero, and Pax even has some fun with her internal prayers:

“And also, give me the strength not to kill Sebastian when this is over. I don’t think the team would appreciate him not being there this season.”

But then the tragedy and the angst and the drama went into overdrive, and the “oh no, please please please don’t go there” moments became more frequent. The tone of the story completely changed from an intimate character study to a generic sermonizing soap opera.

It was a precarious path she was treading down. How do I show Seb Your love for him without entangling myself into a web of emotions I might never escape?

Somehow showing Seb the distinction between going to church for her, and going with the intent of worshipping God could be difficult.

QUESTION: How will she know when this transformation takes place? Will God send her a text message?

More than that, she needed to decide if waiting on Seb to change was worth the turmoil raging in her heart.

[emphasis mine]

When the heroine started polishing that holier-than-thou halo, I almost quit reading, but I managed to make it to the end. Unfortunately, that wasn’t a good thing, because I hate the “Magical Bible Verse” trope, and this was a particularly cringe-worthy example in the form of a page-long speech by the newly-FULLY-repentant hero, who is FINALLY God-ified enough for Her Holiness the Heroine.

I’m finding that the “You’re Not Worthy Enough For My Love Until You’re As Godly As Me” trope — which I detest even more than the Magical Bible Verse — is much more prevalent in contemporary inspirationals than historicals, which makes me very reluctant to try new inspie authors.

I read inspirationals because I love stories of faith and doubt and trust and redemption. But those elements need to happen on both sides of the h/h relationship to make it worth reading about in the pages of a novel.

[NOTE: I gave a little extra credit for that lovely cover.]

2 thoughts on “World Series of Romance: Just a Little Faith by Amy J. Norris

  1. I read a Jill Marie Landis inspirational once that had an atheist heroine who *gasp!* remains doubtful by the end of the story. It shows her accepting and feeling a little spirituality, but most of it is in relation to the hero (who’s a preacher), and never once does she have a “come to Jesus” or overtly Christian epiphany. Instead, it’s all subtly represented in how she opens herself up to the joy of life and lets herself be happy again. I appreciated that (even though the book was too slow and the hero too Perfectly Perfect for me to enjoy fully).

    That being said, it sounds like I would *hate* the You’re Not Good Enough Until You’re As Godly As Me trope. And I speak as someone whose parents were different religions when they married. One of my favourite stories is how my dad started going to mass with my mother, and when he started asking the priest about converting, my mother actually got really angry and started third-degreeing him. She made it very clear that she would have none of this bullshit, that she knew and didn’t care that he wasn’t Catholic, and that he shouldn’t convert just for her, that it has to be because of real belief, etc. My dad then asked the priest if he had any questions, and Father replied, “I think your wife went through most of them already.” LOL.

    Honestly, people should want to convert (as my father eventually did) because THEY find a connection with God, not because they’re in love with a religious person. And if that religious person is holding it over their head, that’s just hypocritical.

  2. Kelly says:

    Story about your parents made me giggle 🙂 My big thing with that trope is who gets to decide when the unworthy person is worthy enough? Is there a “fill to this line with Bible verses” measurement line, or does an angel ring a bell or something? I had the same problem with a Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense too.

    But OH. MAN. The inspie I just finished at 5 o’clock this morning. Holy. SOMETHING. It’s going on my best reads of the year list. Maybe other lists too.

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