First of all, there's a book called "Reading like a Writer" by Francine Prose that, if you haven't read yet, I highly recommend you get. One of the things I learned this year is that there are certain times when I need to learn to read like a writer, and certain times when it's okay to just read for fun.
One of the books that taught me the importance of reading like a writer is the book that I'm highlighting today. My favorite book of 2010. Drumroll....
Her Reluctant Bodyguard by Jennette Green
This book is in the inspirational genre, but it's what is now becoming known as Edgy Christian Fiction. It's Christian fiction that doesn't pull punches with the reality of love and life, sex and death, intimacy, romance, reality. But it also doesn't lose the Christian message. Because those of us who are Christians, who have been Christians for awhile, we know that life is life, no matter what religion you are. I don't suddenly stop feeling below the waist because I "get saved" or decide to commit my life to Christ. I also don't stop using my brain.
Jennette Green does an absolutely masterful job of showing a Christian woman who's a real person. Not some saccharine, preachy, goody-two-shoes. The heroine (and hero) have real struggles, and they're not afraid to address them in the narrative. They feel more like real people than any Christian novel I've ever read, and their love story is inspiring and exciting.
Not only that, but the hero is shorter than the heroine!! And it's still hot!! I adore this book. For its humor, for its complexity, for its honesty, for its depth. Jennette Green is a fantastic writer with a bright future ahead of her, and if there's one thing I hope to be able to do (besides write my own books), it's getting people to read Her Reluctant Bodyguard. Understand, of course, if you're not a Christian, that this is a book about Christian people, but it's no different than any other romance novel. The primary piece of this book that is so intriguing is the relationship between the H/H. It's a poignant, emotive story that I have recommended to hundreds of people, and every single one has come back and said, yes! I love this book, too.
So if you do read it, please come back and let me know that you read it. I want to share my love of HRB with everyone, but I most enjoy hearing when other people love it!