Review: That’s (Not Exactly) Amore by Tracey Bateman

This week, the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is introducing That’s (Not Exactly) Amore from FaithWords (August 14, 2008) by Tracey Bateman

Tracey Bateman published her first novel in 2000, including two more books in the Drama Queen Series, Catch A Rising Star (#1) and You Had Me At Goodbye (#2)

She learned to write by writing, and improved by listening to critique partners and editors. She has sold over 30 books in six years. She became a member of American Christian Fiction Writers in the early months of its inception in 2000 and served as president for a year.

Tracey loves Sci-fi, Lifetime movies, and Days of Our Lives (this is out of a 21 year habit of watching, rather than enjoyment of current storylines.

She has been married to her husband Rusty for 18 years, has four kids, and lives in Lebanon, Missouri.

ABOUT THE BOOK (from the jacket)

When Laini Sullivan lands a job designing Nick Pantalone’s coffee shop, there are two problems: one, Nick’s nephew Joe hates all of her ideas and two, Laini has to admit he’s right–she’s a disaster at design. Still, she can’t risk losing the job. To compromise, Joe brings in help on the project, while Laini continues to bake the goodies that keep his customers lining up.
Their relationship is moving along, so when new guy Officer Mark Hall implies that Joe’s family is tied to the mob, Laini doesn’t want to believe it. But things spin out of control when she meets the family, including “the uncles,” who seem to confirm Mark’s suspicions. To make things worse, Nana Pantalone makes it clear Laini isn’t the kind of girl she has in mind for her grandson. Laini’s not sure if she should give Joe the benefit of the doubt or just set her sites on Mark and fuhgetaboutit.

Read the first chapter of That’s (Not Exactly) Amore

Andrea’s Take:

Wasn’t going to do this one, but the publicist sent me a book anyway, and I somehow got sucked into reading it, so why not?

If you’re looking for a positive example of first person, present tense, a creature I’ve often suspected to be mythical, you need look no further. Normally, present tense comes off as stiff, formal, and pretentious. But Bateman’s novel pulls off quite the opposite feel, rendering the tense barely noticeable to even “Editoress in Chief,” as my husband has started making fun of me (in that loving way that only husbands can).

Of course, Laini’s decision making sometimes comes a tad close to “what not to do” but lucky for her, she has Mom on hand to point out she’s dangerously close to seeing two guys at once. Of course, here, we advocate holding off on romantic relationships until you’re looking to get married, but at Laini’s age, she’s definitely playing for keeps.

This is a fairly light read, good for long road trips, not so much if you’re looking for deep theological treatise in disguise, but light reads can have more to them than meets the eye. If you’re single and don’t want to be, you’ll love this.