Excited about Reading: Just the Way You Are by Jessica R. Patch

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The Cover Story~

When Pastor Gabe asks Audrey Gilbraith to use her mad florist skills to help him design a prayer garden, she’s all in, especially since it helps take her mind off the fact she’s about to lose her job and her apartment. But working closely with Gabe and not falling for him is complicated. She’s not pastor’s wife material, and she has the past to prove it.

Gabriel Brookson wants out of Audrey’s friend-zone, but when he pursues her romantically, he ruffles more than a few feathers in his congregation. How much is he willing to give up for this wonderful, quirky woman, and will Audrey accept him if he risks it all?

My Takeaway~
Have you ever been in a situation, or worse, in a relationship, where you didn’t feel like anything you did was good enough? Where no matter how much you tried to fit in or how much you attempted to be that person nothing worked? It’s no fun. And that’s Aubry. Loud and boisterous, she cracks yo-mama jokes and is chronically late to everything, including church. She’s also hiding a tremendous amount of pain and guilt from her past.

“People dressed up hurt in all sorts of ways. Dresses and heels, a grin and witty words didn’t mean it wasn’t simmering under the surface, ready to explode…”

None of that matters to Pastor Gabe, who finds Aubry refreshing and honest, and has loved her for the past two years. When he finally woos her to move past friends, certain members of his church force him to choose between staying at the church or loving Aubry.

The underlying theme shines throughout this book like a lighthouse on a foggy night. Aubry didn’t have to change for Pastor Gabe to love her anymore, just like we don’t have to change for God to love us anymore. He loves us exactly as we are, where we are, even if we have a past we’re ashamed of.

I read Hope Under Mistletoe and loved it, so I was excited to snatch up another book by Jessica R. Patch. I love how she writes grace into her stories using real-to-life characters and witty dialog without being preachy. Just the Way You Are is a quick read, a wonderful book for a lazy weekend afternoon. I’m definitely a new fan!

Disclaimer: I received this novella free by signing up for Jessica’s Patched In newsletter. I received no compensation for my fair and unbiased review.