Lila is the manager of a book store that is located in a building that was bought by developer Grayson. All the legal notifications regarding the necessity to relocate the store were sent to her parents since their names are the listed as the owners. Throughout the book, there was a lot of misdirected anger at Grayson from Lila who she decided was foreclosing on her parents’ (mostly her father) legacy. If anything, it was her mother’s fault. But I won’t even get into that.
First of all, my impression of this books has a lot to do with my stance on Christian or religious contemporary fiction. It is my personal opinion that when romance novel authors try to make them “Christian” they should at least say somewhere in the blurb about the book. Reading a romance novel and having “God” references liberally throughout makes it a Christian contemporary. Not knowing that from the beginning because makes me feel as if I’m being preached to. I am not saying that I have anything against books with a religious slant, but at least I can set my expectations based on that.
Lila is trying to be a “good” Christian and has made a vow that she would not indulge in premarital coitus. But that was before there were lighting sparks between her and Grayson. So now she’s relapsing but she’s so conflicted the whole time. It got kind of annoying to me because the story had a Debbie-downer feel every time Lila focused on her guilt. And that took some of the fun out the reading the back and forth banter between them. I knew that they would end up in bed and the next day she was going to be regretting her lack of self-control.
To top it off, Lila has the thought that maybe she shouldn’t get with Grayson because he’s not a Christian. Then he agrees to go to church with her just because if that is what she likes, he will go along with it. I really don’t like that. I don’t think anyone should convert or change religion or become more religious because of girl or boyfriend. The person is just going through the motions and it may or may not last. I don’t know if in the long run Grayson would become a Christian, but there needs to be more of a basis than “I’m doing it for my girlfriend”.
Another point with which I take issue is Lila’s hot and cold attitude with Grayson. She seemed almost to the point of bi-polar to me. One minute she is flirting, ready to jump his bones, and the next minute she is telling him to get out of her house and she is not speaking to him. He had a lot of patience to deal with her. I would have told her “Crazy girl, get your store off my premises before I have forcibly vacated and get out of my life. Period.”
In closing, in The Book Of Love (Baby Its Cold Out) I liked the male character Grayson but the female Lila was super annoying. Some readers might find it humorous.
And to the author, let me know what to expect. If you are going to use the character’s religious relationship as part of the storyline, give readers a heads up and note Christian contemporary genre.