Title: Leap of Faith
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BfYR
Publication date: September 3rd 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Can true love be built on lies? A teen on the run seeks relief and redemption in this gripping, romantic read.
Leah Kurtz has finally found a place to call home, a town where she and baby Addy can live in peace, far from the drug-infested place she grew up. Chris is one of the best parts of her new life, the only person who’s ever made her feel safe. And now that she’s found him, there’s no way she can tell the truth:
Her real name is Faith, not Leah. She’s seventeen, not nineteen. And the baby isn’t hers—Faith kidnapped her.
Faith’s history catches up with her when a cop starts asking questions and Chris’s aunt spots her picture in the newspaper. She knows it’s time to run again, but if Faith leaves, she’ll lose Chris. If Chris is in love with a lie, though, did Faith ever really have him in the first place?
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Halfway to 356 Maple, a black pickup truck pulls into the driveway. Music blares from the open windows. Chris’s hair blows around in the breeze.
My heart jumps to life.
How have I become so hooked on a guy I met yesterday? But watching him park his truck and hop out, I know how. Nobody’s ever done half as much for me, and he doesn’t even know me. He’s a good person, and I haven’t known many of those.
On his way to the front door, he stops when he spots us. “Hey!” His smile’s genuine, and fills his whole face. He jogs across the yard to meet us.
After seeing his room, I half-expect him to be wearing a superhero t-shirt, but there’s none today, just a plain white t-shirt covered in dirt. He’s filthy. “All moved in?” he asks.
“Yeah.” I watch his tall frame moving toward me, his jeans shifting with each stride, his shirt hugging his chest. I stop the stroller as he reaches us. “I love the paint color and the privacy wall. Thanks.”
He bends down, leaning his head in the stroller. His fingers wrap around Addy’s arm. “You’re welcome. Listen, I’m really sorry about what happened. My dad can be…I don’t know what’s wrong with him sometimes. Do you need help moving anything in?”
I ignore the jab in the pit of my stomach at the mention of Chris’s dad. “No, we’re good. We don’t have much, so it wasn’t difficult.”
He unbuckles Addy and lifts her out of the stroller. “Is it okay if I carry her in?”
I cringe at the dirt on his shirt, but he’s already got her pressed against his chest. “Sure.” I can always give her a bath.
She turns her head toward his neck and snuggles into a ball. Somehow she feels what I do with him.
Is kidnapping ever justified?
I was approached by a woman who had a very similar situation in her family, so the question I never expected to be asked and never even considered when writing Leap Of Faith was asked: Is it ever okay to kidnap a child from an abusive or neglectful parent?
Approaching the topic from a fictional standpoint as I had, I felt that Faith was justified in her actions, but it was illegal, so I can’t in good conscious say it’s a measure that should be taken in a real-life situation. On the other hand, a child should never be left with an abusive or neglectful caregiver. There are steps to take, authorities to involve—it might take a while and be frustrating to wait for a resolution, but kidnapping can’t actually be an option, can it?
Jamie Blair spent most of her teen years choreographing moves for her dance team routines, kissing boys on the couch after her mom went to bed, and pondering the mood enhancement qualities of Lemon Heads when consumed with Diet Coke. Writing under Kelli Maine, she’s the USA Today bestselling author of Taken. Leap of Faith is her debut New Adult novel.