LOVE AND THE DREAM
State of Grace Trilogy, Book 3
TAMMY L. GRAY
Contemporary Christian Fiction / Clean Romance
Pages: 368 pages
Publication Date: August 2, 2022
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The Anticipated Series Finale to the 2021 Carol Award-Winning Novel, Love and a Little White Lie
Their faith will face its toughest test yet.
Four years after getting the biggest break of his life, Cameron Lee’s music career has taken a nosedive, leaving him two options: become a sellout or give up on his lifelong dream. He reluctantly returns home for his sister’s wedding, hoping to avoid his past and find his love for music again.
Single mom Lexie Walters has suffered her fair share of tragedies and setbacks, but she has finally scraped together the money to achieve her dream of going into business with her cousin as an interior designer. When Lexie’s life is at an all-time high, she runs into her teenage crush, Cameron Lee.
Lost in the emotional turmoil of failure, Cameron is immediately drawn to Lexie and her infectious smile and optimistic spirit. Moreover, he adores her mouthy, no-holds-barred daughter. But fantasies only last so long, and soon Lexie and Cameron must face the real world, the one fraught with heartbreak, disappointment, and questions that sometimes can only be answered by a leap of faith.
“Cameron and Lexie’s chemistry is palpable, and readers will root for their happily ever after. This tender tale hits all the right notes.” —Publishers Weekly
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Achingly poignant, uncomfortably true-to-life in many parts, and subtly spiritual, Love And The Dream Come True is a truly touching read.
Music is heart and soul and pain and loss.”
I came into this book not having read the two previous stories in the series and I think that worked for me. I was able to meet the characters, especially Cameron Lee, without forming expectations or opinions that may have affected my experience of reading about them. When we meet Cameron at the beginning of the story, he is a mess. Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. He takes panic pills, hides from family and friends, and is overwhelmed with unexpressed feelings. His path to redemption, forgiveness, reconciliation with his faith and his estranged friends, and healing through love is wonderful to witness.
Don’t fear anything but chances not taken.”
In contrast to Cam’s grump, Lexie is sunshine. She’s a bit scattered but she is bright and optimistic despite taking on a huge home renovation project and dealing with the angst of her teenage daughter Morgan at the same time. Her light balances the heavy in Cam’s storyline. Not to say that she doesn’t have her dark moments, particularly when it comes to the subject of her sister Annie. But she handles those with maturity and a natural tendency to love generously.
There is no surviving hardships without faith.”
Another bright spot in the book is Morgan. Having a thirteen-year-old kid myself, I immediately took to her and related with Lexie on the intricacies of parenting her. It’s often difficult to portray children in books, but I think Ms. Gray succeeded in creating a real, multi-dimensional character in Morgan.
… life is made up of a whole bunch of should’ves … My advice is to learn. Learn from every moment and hope that as you do, the should’ves get further and further apart.”
While the story and the characters engaged me thoroughly, there was an aspect of the writing that distracted me and, in many ways, disappointed me. It’s the casual and repeated use of ableist language. Words and phrases that reference physical disabilities and words and phrases based on neurodivergence are scattered throughout the book. Perhaps unknowingly as these are everyday words. However, they’re expressed in a negative manner and oftentimes could have been substituted with more appropriate language.
… be grateful for the little things in life. That when you add them all together, they are much grander than the big things we think we need.”
This book made me cry. It also made me laugh and sigh. Huge kudos to the author for invoking strong reactions from this reader and I’m sure from many other readers as well.
Thanks to Lone Star Lit for including me in this blog tour and to Bethany House for providing me with a copy to review.
Tammy L. Gray lives in the Dallas area with her family, and they love all things Texas. Her nine modern and true-to-life contemporary romances include the 2017 RITA Award-winning My Hope Next Door. When not taxiing her three kids to various events, Tammy can be spotted crunching numbers as the financial administrator at her hometown church.
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Complete STATE OF GRACE SERIES in paperback!
(US only; ends midnight, CDT, 9/2/22.)
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