Friday, March 30, 2012

What Have I Done for Me Lately?

What Have I Done for Me Lately?
By Isabel Sharpe

This book is a Harlequin Blaze title and is described on the cover as Chick-lit, Blaze-style! Of course, I am still unsure about what Chick-lit is and I can't even believe I read this to begin with. But what a good book under all that hype!

What Have I Done for Me Lately is the love story between Jenny Hartmann and Ryan Masterson. In college, Ryan and Jenny had a fling but Ryan disappeared when she told him she loved him. Back then, he was the quintessential bad guy on a motorcycle and she was the shy girl next door.

They have both grown up.

Ryan is now a prosperous financial investor for a major investment firm in Manhattan. He is ready to settle down and his neighbor across the hall catches his eye. She seems perfect. What he doesn't realize is that Christine has orchestrated her whole life in order to catch his attention.

Jenny, after being betrayed by a former fiance, has written a bestseller for women called “What Have I Done For Me Lately?” She came to the realization that many women, including herself, had allowed their lives to be dictated by men so that they could catch and keep them. In the process, they have lost who they are. So, she proposes that women do things for themselves rather than for their men.

Both Jenny and Christine are after Ryan. However, Jenny remains true to who she is while Christine is constantly trying to hide her redneck past and her insecurities. Ryan and Jenny begin a physical relationship and Ryan begins to see that it is Jenny not Christine that he wants to settle down with. If only Jenny were a bit less flamboyant around his clients. Jenny wants to be with Ryan but refuses to compromise who she is. Meanwhile, the building superintendent, Fred, becomes Christine's friend and confidant. If only he was younger and better looking, Christine thinks.

You may be able to see where this is going, but I love the idea of being true to oneself and learning how to compromise in a relationship. It is a fine line and all four characters have to learn in the hard way, although Fred is the most mature in this sense.

Here is what this book had to do with my faith. How do I remain myself and still follow Jesus? Can I be who I am and live according to God's ways? When does doing something for myself morph from a healthy attitude to outright selfishness? Do I compromise too much when it comes to being a disciple? Am I trying to be someone who I am not in front of other Christians as well as nonbelievers? Who am I really under all this hype?

I recommend this book for those of you who enjoy a fun but thoughtful romance. Warning: because it is Blaze it does get rather explicit in those romantic moments.

Happy reading!


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