Perfecting Kate by Tamara Leigh follows the before and after transformation of Katherine Mae Meadows, successful artist and not-so-successful fashion queen. Shaken by Premature Ovarian Failure, which costs her a fiancé unwilling to wed without the promise of biological children, Kate has slackened in her efforts to appear feminine. When she bumps into and begins dating famous makeup artist Michael Palmer, Kate struggles to balance efforts at physical self-improvement with her growing relationship with God. Add Dr. Clive Alexander, separated from God by grief but to whom Kate is deeply attracted, and her world takes a colorful turn!
Written in first person, Perfecting Kate pulls the reader into its heroine’s heart and world. Kate’s internal conversations and journal entries offer a glimpse into a three-dimensional woman facing real issues. Kate’s struggles with weight, heartache, and a tenuous self-image are issues identifiable with most women. Yet, Kate’s buoyant sense of humor keeps the novel moving at a quick, enjoyable pace.
Vying for Kate’s heart, Michael and Clive also come across to the readers as real men. Clive’s grief is deeply felt without his separation from God being over-dramatized. Michael’s constant offering of business cards to Kate—ranging from hair stylists to mole removal experts—reveals him as well-meaning, if insensitive. The relationships between characters are ones the reader will find equally charming.
The novel’s Christian message is delivered with unusual skill. Without seeming heavy-handed, Leigh allows readers to glean useful truths for themselves. Themes such as prioritizing God, speaking with honesty, focusing on internal beauty, and guarding one’s tongue, are among many with which the reader can empathize. Though a few descriptive phrases are overused, and the occasional expression may seem clichéd, Leigh’s writing is clever, stylistic, and beautiful. The novel’s narrative drive is lively and enjoyable, drawing smiles and tears alike. By the story’s end, the reader is left satisfied and wishing to continue the acquaintance.
Perfecting Kate imparts beautiful and genuine insights into the heart of the modern Christian woman. Though most women have not directly experienced Kate’s story, the reflection of a woman struggling to follow Christ and find life and love is one many have known. Tamara Leigh’s latest novel is an excellent choice for any woman seeking hope and a happy ending. – Lauren M. Peltier, Christian Book Previews.com
Kate’s Creed: Thou shalt embrace singledom and be unbelievably, inconceivably happy.
Kate Meadows is a successful San Francisco artist looking for a nice, solid Christian man. So when not one, but two handsome bachelors enter her orbit in rapid succession, her head is spinning just a bit. Michael Palmier is a hunky and famous makeup artist who actually seems to be flirting with her–rather than her physically flawless housemate, Maia. Trouble is, he keeps handing her business cards from various beauty professionals and plastic surgeons. Is he trying to stamp out every last bit of self-esteem she has?
Then there’s Dr. Clive Alexander, good-looking enough to be mistaken for Brad Pitt, who sends Kate’s pulse skittering every time he comes near. Too bad he’s only interested in her work–and doesn’t think she’s much to look at. It’s enough to send a girl running for her paint-splattered, relaxed-fit jeans and swearing off men altogether! But after undergoing a makeover from Michael’s staff, Kate can’t be oblivious to the admiring glances men throw her way. Maybe she should try contacts…consider some fancy dental work…and you know, that mole really could stand to go. The question now is, what kind of work will Kate do on herself…and who exactly is she trying to please?