Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tamara Leigh's Perfecting Kate ~ Reviewed

Perfecting Kate
By Tamara Leigh
Published by Multnomah
ISBN 1-59052-927-8

Kate’s Creed: Thou shalt embrace singledom and be unbelievably, inconceivably happy.

Yeah, right.

Kate Meadows is a successful San Francisco artist looking for a nice, solid Christian man. So when not one, but two handsome bachelors enter her orbit in rapid succession, her head is spinning just a bit. Michael Palmier is a hunky and famous makeup artist who actually seems to be flirting with her—rather than her physically flawless housemate, Maia. Trouble is, he keeps handing her business cards from various beauty professionals and plastic surgeons. Is he trying to stamp out every last bit of self-esteem she has?

Then there’s Dr. Clive Alexander, good-looking enough to be mistaken for Brad Pitt, who sends Kate’s pulse skittering every time he comes near. Too bad he’s only interested in her work…and doesn’t think she’s much to look at. It’s enough to send a girl running for her paint-splattered, relaxed-fit jeans and swearing off men altogether! But after undergoing a makeover from Michael’s staff, Kate can’t be oblivious to the admiring glances men throw her way. Maybe she should try contacts…consider some fancy dental work…and you know, that mole really could stand to go. The question now is, what kind of work will Kate do on herself…and who exactly is she trying to please?

I easily slid into Kate's corner from the first sentence of the prologue. Her needy, yet quirky personality is fresh and delightful; she's a real diamond in a world of cubic zirconium. And just when I thought I had things figured out Leigh penned another twist in the plot, and I was back to guessing.

This is chick lit at its finest—a story for both young and old. On the back side of never-you-mind, I could still relate to Kate's struggles with self esteem, and I felt her pain over her physical afflictions. And while the novel deals with some deep issues, they're delivered with humor.

Devoid of predictable romantic plotting, I alternately cheered for Michael and Clive—although I did want to slap Michael a couple of times. And then there's Maia. She was enough to test anyone's Christianity.

Kate's faith journey parallels our own: two steps forward, one step back. Leigh presents an honest portrayal of a new Christian growing in her walk with the Lord. Kate fails daily, as do we all. Yet she perseveres, often leaving me smiling at her predicaments.

A thoroughly rewarding and marvelous read—the kind of book you sigh over when you turn the last page, Perfecting Kate receives this reviewer's high recommendation.

Reviewed by Ane Mulligan

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