As a somewhat sheepish occasional reader of Christian romance novels, I have been wishing for years that there was a Catholic equivalent. So when Catholic author Amanda Hamm asked if I would like to read her latest novel (for free, in exchange for my honest review) I was super excited.
That said, being used to the Protestant take on the genre, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot–a light read, something to wile away an afternoon with a hint of Catholicism thrown in. I am delighted to tell you that They See a Family is so much more than that.
This is a sweet story that starts tragically, when the main character, Kay Donovan, learns that her sister and brother-in-law have died in a car crash while out for a rare evening alone, leaving Kay to care for two babies under the age of two. Trapped in her apartment with her nephews and without their car seats, Kay immediately calls her friend William to help.
William is adorably awkward and has had a crush on Kay for awhile. He instantly steps in and becomes an intrinsic part of Kay’s life as she leans on him for help with her new role. Their friendship deepens and Kay starts to think of William as father/husband material. But neither knows the other’s true feelings and misunderstandings abound. Can they solve these problems to become a real family?
Well, of course they can because this is a romance and has to have a happy ending! But that doesn’t render the emotional resonance along the way any less real and rewarding. I especially appreciate the many little homely details that are included starting with the problem of the car seats at the very beginning. I also love the glimpses into William’s and Kay’s minds. With their confusion and insecurities they seem very realistic, as well as likable.
As for the faith aspect, it’s more understated than in the Protestant romances I have read. William and Kay are Catholic and talk about attending Mass together. Eventually they seek the advice of a priest about their relationship. They have a chaste courtship and their attempts to discuss sex are embarrassing for both of them. I loved the subtle pro-life touch of William having a mentally disabled brother who is included in the story without making a big point about it.
They See a Family is available for pre-order on Amazon. I’m so happy to have been introduced to Amanda Hamm’s work and am looking forward to reading more.