A Hollywood bad boy. A pastor’s daughter.
What could possibly go wrong?
When Hollywood’s resident heartthrob and bad boy, Ben Prescott, jumps into a limo at the airport, the last thing he expects is to meet the daughter of a local church’s pastor and her brother. But that’s exactly what he gets as he struggles to ditch the flashing cameras and intrusive questions of the paparazzi by getting into the wrong car.
All Lily Shaw needed was a ride from the airport, not a ride in her brother’s limo. But when he picks her up in his limo as a joke and none other than Ben Prescott gets in right behind her, Lily’s life turns upside down.
What follows is the story two totally opposite people who find each other when they need it most.
I really enjoyed this book because each character was allowed to be flawed. As Christians, we’re told to be set apart, to not look like everyone else in the way that we live. Sometimes in Christian Fiction, this can come off as preachy, cheesy, or even just unrealistic. I think that Michelle Keener does a really good job showing real people who often fail to look set apart but who try to be like Jesus in their daily lives anyway. There is a sense of God’s hand in the characters’ lives.
It was interesting to read from both Ben and Lily’s perspectives. Lily grew up in the church with parents who were very active in ministry. She lost her mother but still found solace in a place her mother served. As for Ben, he grew up going to a church that failed him. This, unfortunately, happens to a lot of people. They get hurt or left behind, learning a lesson that the church does not care for them, that God doesn’t care for them.
I loved watching Ben learn that churches and families full of love and faith actually exist. He wanted to be around the Shaws because of their hearts for God. He bonded with Lily’s brother and her father, offering his time to serve the church just so he could be around them more. And because of that, he found himself pushing back against the image he was selling for Hollywood. His agent wanted him to keep his bad boy image, but he couldn’t be at the church and do so.
As Lily gets to know Ben, she learns what it really looks like to be in the world but not of the world. Her attraction to the movie star grows the longer he hangs out at her church, but she’s scared to really put herself out there because his world is so much bigger than her own. She wants to trust that God has placed Ben in her life for a reason, but she can’t see what the reason is.
It’s only when Hollywood catches wind of their relationship that they are forced to contend with their feelings. Gossip sites slander Lily, and Ben’s ex-girlfriend tries everything she can to get Ben back. Meanwhile, Ben’s agent tries to take things into her own hands.
Now they both have to decide what’s important in life. Should they embrace the spotlight shoved on them or should they go their separate ways? What does God want for them both?
This book to me is about family, friendships, love, and redemption. It’s perfect for your summer reading list.
I am so thankful to have this early copy of Mission Hollywood by Michelle Keener as a part of her exciting launch party before the book’s release on July 16th. I highly recommend you pre-order your copy so you can fall in love with these two crazy kids like I did. Click here to purchase a copy!
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