Note: This ARC was provided Southern Belle Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
She was beautiful, funny, and caring. She was also slightly neurotic and at the same time carefree and chaotic. If I had to define her in two words it would be beautiful mess, but I embraced her flaws. In fact, to me they made her even more attractive. She wasn't perfect, and she didn't try to be someone or something she wasn't. She was just Faith. She wore her heart on her sleeve and wasn't afraid to tell you like it was, and over the past month or so, in a weird way--she had become my beautiful mess.
Prior to her most recent release, I had only read one of Beth Rinyu's books, Easy Silence, and if you read my review for it or if you've read the book yourself, you'll know that it was a hauntingly beautiful story about one's first love becoming their forever love. So, I was more than pleasantly surprised with Keepin' the Faith, which was a fantastic romantic comedy with lots of heart, a bit of heat, and a healthy dose of humor. There's also a smattering of drama to keep you on your toes, but nothing in this story felt out of place. It flowed with such ease that I didn't my e-reader down the entire time I read this novel, and by the time I finally finished, the silly grin on my face said it all.
Becoming a mother at twenty may have altered Faith DiNatale's plans, but now, her whole world revolves around her five-year-old daughter Joelle. Between cleaning houses and hosting sex toy parties, Faith does whatever she has to in order to provide for herself and Joey. She can't really rely on Joey's father, who seems to have made a career out of being a student. When she lands a job at GS Software Development, she's surprised because she knows how unqualified she is to be the CEO's administrative assistant. Faith may not be perfect, but she intends to do the best job possible. Now, if only her boss, Gabe Samuels, wasn't such a gorgeous source of daily distractions...
He's thirty and his life if all about his company, but Gabe wouldn't have it any other way. His ex-fiancée accused of him of never having time for her or having the same devotion to her as he did his work, but Gabe is successful for a reason and while his personal life isn't all that great, his okay with his professional life being rather stellar. When fate--and maybe a bit of meddling from his grandmother Sylvia--throws single mom Faith his way, Gabe surprises himself and everyone else who knows him by giving her the job as his administrative assistant. He's different when he's with her, but being friends with your employee is one thing; fantasizing about her is one definite complication.
Faith and Gabe are opposites in more ways than one, and you would never think two such different people could ever connect, and that's the thing I loved about this story. There's this inexplicable connection made from the very beginning but it's more than the usual lust and it certainly isn't love. And yet, it takes a while before any lines are actually crossed. We get to experience their relationship evolve in many ways, going from boss and assistant to friends and then to friends with some hot benefits. We also see both Faith and Gabe grow as individuals, no longer the people they were before they met, but unsure as to how to go about merging who they were to who they are.
The story itself was a mixed bag. We had a Catholic single mother who always seemed to fall short of her mother's expectations of her and a Jewish workaholic who had no desire to settle down or ever have children. Faith has issues with her overbearing family and best friend as well as her relationship with her daughter's father. On the other hand, Gabe has experienced betrayal from his ex-fiancée and a former friend, has a matchmaking grandmother, and spends more time at work than anywhere else. They shouldn't work, yet they do, and its those differences that balance them out, and the complexities make them more interesting and absolutely entertaining.
The best thing about this book has to be its cast of characters. From Gabe and Faith to Sylvia and Joey, it was difficult to not fall in love with this quirky group. There are twists--some you see coming, others you possibly won't--but whether you realize them ahead of time or don't, you're totally invested in the story and in the characters. This was a story about not just taking leaps of faith but of Gabe learning how to leap with Faith. It's a story about one's last love being their true love, and it's about family and how beautiful things can come from perceived messes. Keepin' the Faith is, without a doubt, one of the most stellar releases for 2016. Five-plus stars. ♥
Release Date: 11 November 2016
Date Read: 11 November 2016
Learn more about Beth Rinyu.
Purchase Keepin' the Faith on Amazon.