Formula for a Perfect Life
Published by CAH LLC
Publication Date March 30, 2020
Genres: Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Georgia Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 18-24
Written for: Adults
Two practical strangers. One fateful night. Two pink lines.
College senior and obsessive romantic Kayla Cummings’ dreams of a storybook life are spun off course by an unplanned pregnancy after a one-night stand with her secret crush. Devastated, Kayla turns to her roommates and best friends for advice. No matter what she decides, no matter how deeply embarrassed, she has to tell the father.
Ben Strickland’s future is written in stone—as long as he gets a decent score on the Law School Admission Test. Feeling pressure from all sides, Ben struggles to juggle his upcoming finals, another shot at the LSAT, and his needy girlfriend Darcy. When the girl he spent a memorable night with weeks ago shows up at his doorstep pregnant, his already chaotic life spins out of control.
With the clock ticking, decisions to make, and a boatload of people to disappoint, Ben and Kayla embark on a journey neither anticipated—a journey where falling in love might be the biggest surprise of all. But when old hurts and buried secrets pose a greater threat to their future than impending parenthood, will Ben and Kayla go their separate ways or forge a new path to happy ever after?
I would like to thank Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
How do you take a difficult subject, make it palatable, and then ensure your readers enjoy it? I mean, really! Did you read the synopsis? How much more contemptible could a guy be than to cheat on his girlfriend and get the “other” girl pregnant? Yet, with compassion and enough light-hearted moments to keep it out of the mire, author Christy Hayes created an enjoyable, moral-filled story in Formula for a Perfect Life.
Kayla was a Christian who knew better. Yet the night she spent with her long-time crush – the night he sought her out – her hormones took over her rational thought. Frightened and feeling alone, she was devastated when she found out that things were worse than she thought. Ben had a girlfriend! And didn’t exactly take Kayla’s news well.
Despite what you might think, I ended up liking Ben right away. Not because he was handsome or charismatic but because he seemed so lost. Sure, he slept with his girlfriend and didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. Sure, he didn’t even love her. Yet seeing into his heart, I felt compassionate toward him and hoped he learned his lessons and made the right choices.
Ben’s dysfunctional family was interesting – to say the least. The secret pain and guilt Ben carried had him seeking atonement by following the path his parents wanted him to.
I’ve read other stories about unplanned pregnancies before, so this was not a new theme. Yet I don’t recall seeing so clearly the struggles of what to do about it as I did here. While only Ben and Kayla’s thoughts were expressed, I could even understand why her parents reacted as they did and their suggestions. (Ben’s dad – yeah, I didn’t get him at all other than the grief he was wrapping himself up in like armor – but I did say he was dysfunctional, right?)
I was glad to see it made clear to Kayla, Ben, and those around them the consequences of making bad choices, even the result of being a bad example. They turned to God for help and were sorry for their sin. As in Maybe it’s You, however, the Christian message is subtle and not the predominant theme of the story.
While there were some raw, uncomfortable moments and some crude language used in a couple of places, it was momentary. I would have preferred they weren’t there and yet won’t stop reading this series because of them – they were mild. I found this to be less edgy than Maybe it’s You (which I was glad about!)
Formula for a Perfect Life stands alone though Kayla is one of Reagan’s dorm mates from Maybe it’s You, and picks up where it left off. If you enjoy new adult fiction and don’t mind reading of grittier moments, I recommend reading them in order.