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A Work in Progress: A New Adult Contemporary Christian Romance Novel (The Faith Series, Book 1) by [Stallings, Staci]
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A Work in Progress: A New Adult Contemporary Christian Romance Novel (The Faith Series, Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 379 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Rebecca Avery has never been one of “them”—the popular kids, the beautiful people. With less than fashion-plate looks and an off-beat, quirky style to living life, she has been relegated to finding “alone” activities to fill her time throughout high school. Unfortunately, college hasn’t changed that. Then she meets Eric Barnett, a nice guy who seems a little quirky himself. The only problem is, he’s in love with her roommate—one of the truly beautiful people. When Rebecca finds herself falling for him, she must find a way to break out of her shell or risk losing him forever. Who will win out in this mixed up jumble of feelings and loyalties?

Eric Barnett is drifting through college. Unlike his friends, he doesn’t have a path to relentlessly pursue. In fact, he often feels like the tag-along in a life that’s unfolding without him. Then he meets Rebecca Avery’s roommate who seems like she will finally give him what he most wants—credibility with his friends. However, when the roommate proves to be less-than-into-him, can Eric see past the outward appearance to find love with Rebecca?

A new adult college romance novel, “A Work in Progress,” gives new adult meaning to the genre of Contemporary Christian Romance. So many college students see only the world’s options presented in their romance novels, “A Work in Progress” shows an alternative—good, clean romance that makes you think about life differently. This is new adult fiction that will inspire readers to reach for more than what the world says is possible!

“Staci Stallings is Christian Romance at its best!”

“No, man, I didn’t blow you off,” Eric said as he approached the desk behind Rebecca. “I had a lot of stuff to get done.”

“Like what? More studying?” spike-haired guy asked.

“Is that so hard to believe?”

“From you? Yeah.” Spike-haired guy laughed in a way that made Rebecca want to turn around and knock his head off his shoulders. How dare he make fun of Eric.

“I needed to meet with Diane,” Eric said. “She was going to help me with sign language.”

“At ten o’clock on a Saturday night?”

“It was the only time she could meet.”

Rebecca’s eyes narrowed in confusion. Saturday night?

“Well, the party was just getting started. You could’ve invited her over.”

“We studied at the Student Union it was quieter there.”

Saturday night he was playing pool—alone, Rebecca thought as she listened.

“Sign language?” spike-headed guy asked as if that was akin to cleaning cesspools.

“Yeah.”

“Well, what time did she go home?”

Clinging to every word, Rebecca pressed back against the chair, waiting to hear the answer.

“About 11:15. The place was a madhouse.”

“I thought you said it was quieter.”

“Oh, yeah. Well…”

Rebecca heard the stumble.

“It was, but then a ton of people showed up, so we decided to pack it in for the night.”

“Uh-huh,” spike-haired guy said. “And where did you go after that?”

“She went home, and I went home.” Eric’s story paused. “I know. Wonderful night, but she’s not my type anyway. She’s all interested in her studies. Glasses, books, notebooks—you know the type. Not the kind of girl I’m looking for.”

Unconsciously Rebecca pushed her glasses up as her heart dropped.

“Yeah,” spike-haired guy said. “Seems like I remember that.”

Rebecca’s attention never wavered from the seat behind her. Eric was obviously lying. Yes, he was at the Student Union, but there was no girl. Was there? Fighting with her brain to recall every last detail of the non-encounter, Rebecca examined the clock in her mind. Although she couldn’t clearly remember the time they had left, it was 11:25 when she and Holly got back to their room.

How far was it from the Student Union to her dorm? Five minutes? Ten? But even so, his line about studying the rest of the time was totally bogus. And although she knew she shouldn’t care, one thought kept working its way into her brain. Why was he lying?

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1554 KB
  • Print Length: 379 pages
  • Publisher: Spirit Light Publishing (Feb. 13 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004JN05KY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,709 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Good to have some adult christian books.
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A beautiful story!
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very good
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa03db03c) out of 5 stars 286 reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ff69570) out of 5 stars God does not see the outward appearance of man March 13 2014
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I read this book in one day, I couldn't put it down. I cried through a good portion of it, the imagery hitting a little too close to home for comfort. That is how Staci writes, characters that you can either relate to or that resemble you so much that you can't help but become engrossed in the story.

Rebecca is the invisible girl, the one who can be standing right there and you never even see. She is the type of girl who can spill hot chocolate down your front and you forget what she looks like. She believes that her only problem in life is her looks, if she was only beautiful, she would be happy, she would fit in. Through the trials of this story we learn that almost everyone has insecurities and everyone has their own demons that cut us down to size, no matter what God made us look like on the outside. This book is a great way to learn a lesson in judgment, namely to not judge people based on outward appearance, but look to the heart, that is where the true person is. This book does that in a completely non-judgmental way, which is just perfect.

As I said, this book hit me where I live. I was an invisible girl. I spent my childhood being the girl that was forgotten, that only a select few people were willing to be seen with. I used to dream about being beautiful, what it would be like to go out and have fun, or even just be included. I had to beg for dances at school, I wanted so much to be pretty, to be liked, and like Rebecca in the story, I was SURE that if I was pretty, it would magically happen. If I was pretty, they would stop teasing me, if I was pretty, they might invite me along. If I was pretty, they might like me. It took me until my Jr year in high school to learn that "fitting in" was not going to happen, and happiness had to come from somewhere other than others. I threw myself into my local youth group and enjoyed two years of peace. Then I went to college and everyone had boyfriends, I fell back into that old struggle. One day after being literally shoved off the path by some football players, who seemingly did not even notice, I gave my situation to God. My tears and my hurt were very real. I was done looking, done trying to fit in, done trying to be something I would never be, pretty. Literally a month later, the most amazing man walked into my dorm room with a friend of mine, he has had my heart ever since. He not only sees me as pretty, but beautiful. The Word says we must die to the world to live, and that is what this book is telling you through a very bitter-sweet love story that touched my heart.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ff695c4) out of 5 stars Not as Good as Most Other Books by Staci Stallings March 20 2015
By Voracious Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Rebecca Avery has always felt on the outside looking in everywhere she goes, even in her own family, and college is no different. When she bumps into Eric Barnett, she’s instantly smitten, but he’s only annoyed. Then, he starts dating her roommate, her heart begins breaking, but maybe she can still be his friend.

In college, Eric Barnett is just there. He isn’t motivated, doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life, and hasn’t even declared a major yet. All his friends have a special someone. In fact, his best friend is now dating the girl he wanted, and Eric finds himself feeling more and more alone, even when he’s with others. When he starts dating Holly, he thinks he’s finally found someone, but she keeps standing him up, and they seem to have nothing in common. Only her dorky roommate, Rebecca, seems to understand him and even make him laugh. Life always gets a little brighter when she’s around.

I liked the idea for this novel, but the execution wasn’t as good as other Staci Stallings’s works I’ve read. There were too many mundane details, mulling over sad situations, self-pity, and nothing much happening. It might have worked if the book had been pruned. I did find the characters well-developed, but they were awfully self-centered. There’s also a lot of long, drawn-out, basic sermons. I think it’s better to have short, succinct messages in a novel. The Christian readers will already understand what’s here, and the non-Christian will skip it because it’s so long and boring. There were a few wrong words used, but these could have been scanning errors. Overall, this was a disappointing book for me, because I expected better.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ff698a0) out of 5 stars Fantastic May 22 2012
By rhonda aberdeen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Have you ever read a book that you can read over and over again? A work in progress is one such book. Staci Stallings weaved an amazing story with every single word that was written. There are real lessons within these pages that make you aspire to become a better human being.

If you just want a great book to relax with, this book would do just that. If however you are also looking to be highly inspired, deeply touched, and moved to the core, A Work in Progress is one out the three books in this series that would do that. A Work in Progress shows that beauty is not just what we see on the outside. Sometimes what we think is real beauty, to some is not beauty at all, because as Staci shows, real beauty is not how you look on the outside, but it is what you have in your heart.

Eric made a statement in this book, while talking to his friend. He said, "Why should I settle for chopped beef when I can have Filet Mignon?"
What he didn't know is that what he perceived to be chopped beef (Rebecca) was really the Filet Mignon, that he actually longed for.

This is am amazing read!!!!!!!!!!!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ff69dbc) out of 5 stars Another winner! Feb. 25 2014
By Becky Dempsey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I was once again blessed with the opportunity to read a Staci Stallings book. "A Work in Progress" is listed as a "New Adult Contemporary Christian Romance Novel" which basically means college students! I have enjoyed every book I've read that Staci Stallings has written and "A Work in Progress" was no exception.

Rebecca Avery has had a crush on Eric Barnett ever since she bumped into him (literally) in the Student Union. She soon discovers she is in the same psychology class as him and looks forward to Tuesdays when she can sit in front of him and spend time with him (even if he doesn't know she exists). She has never been a "beautiful person" who has it all together and longs to fit in like they do.

Eric Barnett feels like an extra wheel whenever he hangs out with his friends since they all have a "significant other". He thinks he needs to find the perfect girl to fit in with them and feel like he belongs. Enter Holly. She seems to be the perfect girl for him, but she doesn't seem interested in him and stands him up for a date, which leaves him having to go out with her roommate.....Rebecca Avery.

As Eric and Rebecca spend time together working on a project for psychology class, they become friends. They start to realize that their worth has nothing to do with them and everything to do with God and how He sees them. Will Rebecca be satisfied with just being Eric's friend and will Eric realize that there is more to Rebecca than meets the eye?

I really related to Rebecca (right down to the name! ☺) in how she feels like an outsider and not one of the "beautiful people". I have done many of the things that Rebecca did while in college (like sitting in the hall to avoid your roommates). I had a hard time putting the book down and ended up staying up until midnight to finish it.

I really liked the faith aspect of the book and how the characters learned they needed to know God personally.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes clean romance stories.

I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ff69dd4) out of 5 stars talented author needs a better story May 7 2015
By my two cents - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I disagree with this story being labeled adult. The main characters are barely into their twenties, which means they're barely out of their teens. That's not adult, IMO. The story proves there's way too much leftover teenage angst in them in order for them to qualify as adults.

A few thoughts: I found it amazing that Eric didn't recognize Rebecca as the girl who sloshed scalding hot chocolate on him. What?? Pretty sure I'd remember someone who did that to me, particularly if she was as ugly as the author portrayed her.

I thought Jeremy's continued reaction to Rebecca was true-to-life. He in no way considered her a candidate for his crowd, and was appalled and critical when it looked like Eric was falling for her. That's exactly how the Jeremys in high school and college act and talk. What was not true-to-life was the acceptance of her by the others in the crowd: Ryan, Desiree, Ransom, Zoe and Gwen. As a rule, the beautiful people do not want the ugly people thinking that they're good enough to be included in the group.

The Bible study group was a curious thing. I guess it depends on what you've been taught, but I found the kids' praying to the Holy Spirit completely foreign. I was taught that Christians pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ.

The relationship between Eric and Rebecca was indeed a work in progress. Most of the time while reading this story I wouldn't have given them a snowball's chance of making it. Far too much assuming and second guessing on both their parts, far too little communication.

All in all, not a book I would have read if I had known how sappy it was going to be. I finished it, so obviously it held my interest, but I think it was due more to the author's writing style than the story itself.