Never the Bride: A Novel

( 30 )

Overview

“What girl can’t identify with Never the Bride? This is a fabulously funny novel with deep truths embedded in its pages.” –Kristin Billerbeck, author of What a Girl Wants

“I admire writers who employ words to paint touchable pictures, likable characters, introducing us to instant friends who lead us to unexpected endings. That’s why I love ...

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Never the Bride: A Novel

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Overview

“What girl can’t identify with Never the Bride? This is a fabulously funny novel with deep truths embedded in its pages.” –Kristin Billerbeck, author of What a Girl Wants

“I admire writers who employ words to paint touchable pictures, likable characters, introducing us to instant friends who lead us to unexpected endings. That’s why I love Never The Bride.” –SQuire Rushnell, author of the When GOD Winks books


Eleven Bridesmaid Dresses Don’t Lie

Since she was just a little girl, Jessie Stone dreamed up hundreds of marriage proposals, doodled the romantic ideas in her journal with her treasured purple pen, and fantasized about wedding dresses and falling in love.  She’s been a bridesmaid nearly a dozen times, waved numerous couples off to sunny honeymoons, and shopped in more department stores for half-price fondue pots than she cares to remember.
 
But shopping for one key component of these countless proposals hasn't been quite as productive–a future husband. The man she thought she would marry cheated on her.  The crush she has on her best friend Blake is at very best…well, crushing.  And speed dating has only churned out memorable horror stories.

So when God shows up one day, in the flesh, and becomes a walking, talking part of her life, Jessie is skeptical. What will it take to convince her that the Almighty has a better plan than one she’s already cooked up in her journals?  Can she turn over her pen and trust someone else to craft a love story beyond her wildest dreams?


Cheryl McKay
is the screenwriter for the award-winning film The Ultimate Gift. She also wrote an episode of Gigi: God’s Little Princess, based on the book by Sheila Walsh, and Taylor’s Wall, a drama about high-school violence. She’s been writing since the tender age of five when she penned her first play. Cheryl is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, and currently lives in Los Angeles.

Rene Gutteridge is a critically acclaimed comedy writer and novelist. She is the author of fifteen novels including the Boo series, My Life as a Doormat, the Occupational Hazards series, and the novelization of the motion picture The Ultimate Gift. She lives in Oklahoma with her family.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“What girl can’t identify with Never the Bride? This is a fabulously funny novel with deep truths embedded in its pages.” –Kristin Billerbeck, author of What a Girl Wants

“I admire writers who employ words to paint touchable pictures, likable characters, introducing us to instant friends who lead us to unexpected endings. That’s why I love Never The Bride.” –SQuire Rushnell, author of the When GOD Winks books

Library Journal

Jessie Stone has wanted to be a bride all her life, but regardless of how many times she has been an attendant, she has never gotten to the altar. Can Jessie learn that there is something more important in life than having a wedding? When God shows up in the flesh, she may just discover what is most vital. By a prolific CF author (the "Boo" series) and a screenwriter.


—Tamara Butler
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307444981
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/2/2009
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 783,243
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Rene Gutteridge has published thirteen novels including Ghost Writer, My Life as a Doormat, the Boo Series, the Occupational Hazards Series, and the Storm Series. Together, McKay and Gutteridge are the authors of The Ultimate Gift, a novelization based on the feature film and popular book by the same title.

Cheryl McKay wrote the screenplay for the award-winning film, The Ultimate Gift, starring James Garner, Abigail Breslin and Brian Dennehy. She co-authored Frank Peretti's Wild & Wacky Totally True Bible stories series, and the DVD for Sheila Walsh 's Gigi: God's Little Princess.

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Read an Excerpt

You don't know me yet, so there is no reason you should care that I’m stuck on a highway with a blow out. But maybe we can relate to each other. Maybe you can understand that when I say, “Everything goes my way,” I’m being sarcastic. Not that I’musually dependent on such a primitive form of communication. I’m actually not very cynical at all. I’m more of a glass-half-full-of-vitamin-infused-water person. Sometimes I even believe that if I dream something, or at least journal it, it will happen. But today, at eight forty-five in the morning, as the sun bakes me like a cod against the blacktop of the Pacific CoastHighway, I’m feeling a bit sarcastic.

It’s February but hotter than normal, which means a long, hot California summer is ahead—the kind that seems to bring out the beauty in blondes and the sweat glands in brunettes. I am a brunette. Not at all troubled by it. I don’t even have my hair highlighted. I own my brunetteness and always have, even when Sun-In was all the rage. And it can’t be overstated that chlorine doesn’t turn my medium chestnut hair green. Actually, it’s the copper, not the chlorine, that turns hair green—but that’s a useless trivia fact I try to save for speed dating.

I’m squatting next to my flat tire, examining the small rip. Holding my hair back and offmy neck with one hand, I stand and look up and down the road, hoping to appear mildly distressed. Inside, I’ll admit it, I’mfeeling moderately hysterical.My boss flips out when I’m late. It wouldn’t matter if my appendix burst, he doesn’t want to hear excuses. I wish he were the kind of guy who would just turn red in the face and yell, like Clark Kent’s newspaper boss. But no. He likes to lecture as if he’s an intellectual, except he’s weird and redundant and cliché, so it’s painful and boring.

A few cars zoom by, and I suddenly realize this could be my moment. Part of me says not to be ridiculous, because this kind of thing happens only on shows with a zip code or county name in the title. But still, you can’t help wondering, hoping, that maybe this is the moment when your life will change.When you meet your soul mate.

Like I said, I enjoy my glass/life half full.

Even as an optimist, I see no harm in being a little aggressive to achieve my goals. So with my free hand, I do a little wave, throw a little smile, and attempt to lock eyes with people going fifty miles an hour. And then I see him.

He’s in a red convertible, the top down, the black sunglasses shiny and tight against his tan skin.He’s wearing pink silk the way only aman with a good,measured amount of confidence can. At least that’s the way I see it from where I’m standing.

As he gets closer, his head turns and he notices me. I do a little wave, flirtatious with a slight hint of unintentional taxi hailing. I decide to smile widely, because he is going fast and I might look blurry. He smiles back.My hand falls to my side. I step back, lean against my car and try to make my conservative business suit seem flattering.There’s nothing I can do about my upper lip sweating except hope my sweatproof department store makeup is holding up its end of the bargain better than my blowout-proof tire did.

He seems to be slowing down.

Live in the moment, I instruct myself. Don’t think about what I should say or what I could say. Just let it roll, Jessie, let it roll. Don’t over think it.

This thought repeats itself when the convertible zooms by. I think he actually accelerated.

So. My makeup is failing, along with whatever charm I thought I had. I just can’t imagine what kind of guy wouldn’t stop and help a woman. Maybe I’d have more hits if I were elderly.

I do what I have to do.What I know how to do. I change my own stupid tire. Yes, I can, and have been able to since I was eighteen. I can also change my own oil but don’t because then I appear capable of taking care of myself. And I’m really not. Practically, yes, I can take care of myself. I make decent money. I drive myself home from root canals. I open cans without a can opener. I’m able to survive for three days in the forest without food or water, and I never lost sleep over Y2K.

But I’mt alking about something different. I’m talking about being taken care of in an emotional way. Maybe it’s a genetic problem. I don’t know. Somehow I became a hopeless romantic. A friend tried the exorcism-equivalent of purging me of this demon when she made me watch TheWar of the Roses two times in a row, all under the guise of a girls’ night, complete with popcorn and fuzzy slippers.

That didn’t cure me.

I want to be married. I hate being alone.

I lift the blown-out tire and throw it in my trunk, slamming it closed.My skin looks like condensation off a plastic cup. I can’t believe nobody has stopped. Not even a creepy guy. I stand there trying to breathe, trying to get a hold of my anger. I’m going to be late, I’m going to be sweaty, and I’m on the side of a highway alone.

“You need some help?”

I whirl around because I realize that I’ve just been hoping that even a creepy guy would stop, and since my world works in a way that only my negative thoughts seem to come to pass, you can see why the glass-half-full is so important.

The morning sun blinds me and all I see is a silhouette.The voice is deep, kind of mature.

“Well, I did need some help,” I say, fully aware that acting cute is not going to undo the sweat rings that have actually burst through three layers of fabric, so I don’t bother. I dramatically gesture tomy car and try a smile. “But as you can see, I don’t now.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yes. But thank you very much,” I say, for stopping after I’m completely finished. I trudge back to my car and start the air conditioner. Glancing back in my rearview mirror, I study the silhouette. He sort of has the same shape as the guy in my dream last night. My night- mare. It was actually a dream after my nightmare, where you feel awake but you’re not. It wasn’t the nocturnal version of Chainsaw Massacre, but it did involve taffeta.

He doesn’t wave. He doesn’t move. He just stands there, exactly like the guy in my dream. It’s very déjà vu–like and I lock my doors.

I put my blinker on, pull onto the highway, and leave him behind, driving below the speed limit on my flimsy spare tire all the way to work.

I work at Coston Real Estate.We’re squeezed between a wireless store and a Pizza Hut.We stand out a little because of our two huge dark wood doors, ten feet tall and adorned with silver handles. I push open one of the doors and walk in.Mine is the front desk. It’s tall, almost BerlinWall-like. People have to peer over it to see me,
and I look very small on the other side.When I’msitting, I can barely see over the top of it.

I walk toward the break room, past nine square cubicles, all tan and otherwise colorless. Even the carpet is tan.On my left are the real offices with walls.

Nicole, inside her cubicle, sees me. “What happened to you?”

We’ve been good friends ever since I started working here, ten years ago. She’s African American, two years younger than I am. She has that kind of expression I wish I could wear. Her eyebrows slant upward toward each other, like a bridge that’s opening to let a boat through. It’s part “you’re weird” and part “I’m worried.” She has sass and I love it. She’s working her way up to senior agent and is one of Mr. Coston’s favorites, but I don’t hold that against her.

I don’t answer because I’m busy staring at her new eight-by-ten framed family picture. It’s very Picture People: white background, casual body language, all four wearing identical polos and jeans. I love that kind of husband, who will wear matching clothes with his family. They’re so adorable.

“Jessie, seriously girl, you okay? You’ve got black smeared across your forehead.”

I tear my eyes away from the photo. “Blow out on the highway.”

The eyebrow bridge is lowered, and she chuckles. “Honey, you look like you changed your own tire.”

I put my forehead against the edge of her cube wall. “I did.”

“Oh.Wow. I wish I knew how to change a tire.”

“No, you don’t. Trust me.”

She reaches under her desk and pulls out a neatly wrapped gift. “For you.”

I smile. I love gifts. I drop my things and tear it open even though I already know what it is. “Nicole, it’s beautiful!” It’s a leather bound journal with gold, embossed lettering and heavy, lined paper inside. “What’s the occasion?”

“It’s February. I know how much this month…Well, it tends to be a long month for you, that’s all.” She points to the spine of it. “It sort of remindsme of the one I brought you back from Italy four years ago. Remember?”

“Yes, it does.”

“So, my friend, happy February.May this month bring you—”

“Love.” From my bag, I pull out a folder and slap it on her desk.

“What is this?” She says it like a mom who has just been handed a disappointing report card.

“Just look.”

Carefully, like something might jump out and insult her, she opens the folder. She picks up three glossy photos of several potential loves of my life.

“They’re hot, aren’t they?” I ask.

“Too hot,” she says.

“There’s no such thing as too hot.”

“Suspiciously too hot, like an air brush might be involved.”

I grab the photos from her and turn them around for her to see. With my finger, I underline each of their names: CuteBootsieBoo, SuaveOneYouWant, OneOfAKindMan.

“Jessie CuteBootsieBoo.Mmm. Doesn’t have a good ring to it.”

“It’s their instant message names, Nicole.”

“Yes. And that makes it better?”

I sigh. “You have got to get into the twenty-first century, you know. This is the best way to meet a guy.”

“You can tell a lot about a man by what he names himself.” She looks up at me and shakes her head. “Seriously. You set up a date with one of these and they’ll show up with a beer gut, a walker, or a rap sheet.”

“None of them rap.”

Nicole stands, grabs my arm with one hand and my stuff with the other, and whisks me to my desk. She nearly pushes me into my chair and drops everything in front of me.

“Chill out,” I say as she walks away. “This service guarantees background checks. But if you happen to end up needing a restraining order, they’ll pay for it.”

Nicole gasps and whirls around.

“I’m kidding.” But I have her attention now. I lean back in my chair, looking at the ceiling as my hands feel the leather on my new journal. “This’ll be the year, Nicole.”

“You say that every year. Especially in February, which is why I got you the—”

I snap forward. “But I’ve never taken control like this before. Three online match sites, one dating service.They find what you want or your money back.”

Nicole walks back towardme and leans over the counter. “I didn’t realize QVC sold dates. If you order in the next ten minutes, do you get two for the price of one, plus an eight-pieceTupperware set?” She reaches for my chocolate bowl.

I scowl at her, but lift the bowl up so she can reach it. “What do you know about it? You got married right out of college.”

“Don’t remind me.” She carefully unwraps her candy and takes a mini-bite.

“You never even had to try.” I grab a piece of dark chocolate out of my candy bowl and get the whole thing in my mouth before she takes another bite.

Nicole shrugs and leans against the counter. “Sometimes you just gotta leave these things up to fate.” She goes back to nibbling on her chocolate.

I swirl my hands in the air. “Fate, God, the universe. They’ve all been asleep on the job of setting up a love story for me.” I stand up. “No. I am going to make this happen myself.”

Nicole doesn’t look up from her candy. “Do you even know what it means to be married? To be chained to another person for the rest of your life? To pick up socks and wash underwear and care for a grown man like he’s just popped out of infancy? Huh?”

I glare at her even though she’s got eyes only for her candy. “It’s got to be better than being alone. Or being a bridesmaid eleven times.”

She bites her lip, and finally glances at me. “But you know how…you kind of need everything to be a certain way.”

I nudge my stapler so it isn’t perfectly perpendicular to my sticky notes, just to show her I’mable to handle disorder. I try not to stare at it because now it’s really bugging me. “Are you saying I’m a control freak?”

“With OCD tendencies. You can’t expect everything to be exactly how you want it if you want to live through a marriage.” I stand and start walking slowly toward the back bathroom. “I know what compromise means.”

Nicole follows. “Then why do you get mad when I have to check with my husband before we go out?That’s what marriage is. You can’t even poop without someone else knowing.”

I glance at her to see if she’s serious. She is. Part of me wants to tell her about my dream last night. I always tell her about my dreams. But she’s really pooping on my parade today.We get to her desk and she sits down. I walk on.

I have these dreams. I’m talking nocturnal, not journal. Yeah, I dream in my journal. I admit it. I’ve written in one since I was fourteen, when I found a strange delight every time I drew a heart with a boy’s name attached in squiggly letters.

But back to my nightmare. It started with me in a wedding dress. That’s not the nightmare.That part was actually cool because I was in a dress I designed in my journal when I was twenty-two. The wedding march was playing. I love the wedding march. Nothing can replace it. I cringe every time I hear a country song or bagpipes or something.My wedding, it’s got to be traditional.

I was making my way down the aisle, rhythmically elegant, one foot in front of the other. My shoulders were thrown back, my chin lifted, andmy bouquet held right at my waist. I once saw a bride carry her bouquet all the way down the aisle holding it at her chest. I shudder just talking about it.

The train fluttered behind me, like it’s weightless ormaybe there’s an ocean breeze not too far away. It was long, bright white, and caused people to nod their approval.

I smiled.

Then the wedding march stopped, halting like a scratched record. I looked up to find another bride in my place, wearing my dress, standing next to my guy. I couldn’t see what he looked like; he was facing the pastor. But the bride, she looked back at me with menacing eyes, overdone with teal eye shadow and fake lashes.

I screamed. I couldn’t help it. I closedmy eyes and screamed again.

When I opened them, I could hardly believe what I was looking at. A church full of people, looking at her. And what was I doing? Standing next to her in a bridesmaid dress.

Gasping, I looked down. Hot pink!With dyed-to-match shoes! I glanced next to me and covered my mouth. It was me again, standing next to me, in green. Dyed footwear.

And there I was again, standing next to my lime self, this time in canary yellow. On and on it goes. I counted ten of me before I woke up, gasping for air, clutching myself to make sure I was wearing cotton pajamas.

“Thank God,” I said, but as I looked up, I saw a man in my room.

He was backlit against my window, like the moon was shining in on him, but I don’t think the moon was out. A scream started forming in my throat, but I recognized that he was not in a stance that indicated he was going to stab me to death.There was no knife.Nothing but an easy, casual lean against my window sill. Truly, no less scary.

The scream arrived as I clamored for my lamp. I yanked the string three or four times before it turned on, but when it did, the man was gone.

I realize I am standing in the middle of the hallway near Nicole’s desk. She is gabbing on the phone, but looking at me funny. I go to the coat closet next to the bathroom. I always, always keep a spare change of clothes at work, just in case I have to do something like change my tire. Or someone else’s. It’s happened.

I take out my least favorite suit, which is why I keep it here. It’s lilac with a boxy neckline that makes me feel like I should be a nanny. I head toward the bathroom.

“Stone, get me the ad copy for the new Hope Ranch listings.”

This is my boss,Mr. Coston, dragging me back to reality.He pops his head out the door as I pass by but yells at me like I’m down the hall. I don’t think he even remembers my first name.

“Already on your desk, sir,” I say.

He’s in his sixties, with a loud but raspy voice and shiny silver hair that tops a permanent look of disappointment. “What happened to you?”

“Blown tire.” I hold up my suit. “I was just going to change.”

“Fine. Then get me a latte. Lighten up on the sugar, will you?”

“Right,” I mumble as he disappears. “Lighten up on life, will you?”

I’m the office equivalent of a bat boy. I’m the coffee girl. It’s this one thing that sort of drives me crazy about my job. I do a lot of important things, but when I have to run get coffee, I feel like I’m falling down the rungs of the occupational ladder. It makes me wonder. If I had a job I could get passionate about, would I be so desperate for a husband? I could drown myself in work rather than my dreams.

Well, either way, I’m drowning, and that’s never good.

After I change and decide I really, really dislike the color lilac, I grab my purse and head for the neighborhood Starbucks. It’s five blocks away and I like that. It gives me time to walk and think on such things as to why Mr. Coston has been married for thirty-four years, the exact number of years I haven’t been married. He doesn’t mention his wife much and doesn’t even have a picture of her in his office. He doesn’t wear a wedding band and when he does take a vacation, it’s with his buddies to golf resorts.

It just seems like the world could better balance itself out, that’s all.

I’m nearly to Starbucks. People are leaving with their white and green cups of bliss. The putrid smell of coffee will soon replace the putrid smell of old rainwater evaporating underneath the sun. I’m not a coffee fan. I’m high strung. The feeling everyone wants by drinking coffee I have naturally, just like my chestnut hair.

I’m about to open the door, and then I see him, in all his glory.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

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(16)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A MUST READ

    "Never The Bride" is a very inspirational story of a woman who learns that when she patiently waits for God to write her love story, she will be assured that he is the right man for her. We can all learn to depend on God for any area of our lives where we are impatiently waiting for an answer. This is a MUST read about surrender - I could hardly put it down. Thouroughly enjoyed!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Hysterically funny, page turning read!

    Jessica Stone is my kinda gal. She has a razor sharp wit and oozes with confidence, consistantly snapping back with a verbal reparte` that had me laughing out loud - a difficult feat to accomplish for a long time book reader and sci-fi fan such as myself. I can only hope and pray the authors write a sequel, because I know I want to see more of Jessica!

    I had a hard time putting this book down, and it's now making its way through the ladies of my family. There's a lesson being taught here - Let go, and let God.

    I loved McKay and Gutteridge's "The Ultimate Gift", which is a classic in my library now, beside which "Never the Bride" will be placed. I look forward to their next brilliantly inspired work!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    fans will enjoy this humorous frolic of God in the modern world

    For eternity (at least that is how it has felt to Jessie Stone), she has written, edited, and rewritten her perfect marriage proposal. However, not even her worst proposal has occurred as no one has asked Jessie to marry them. One day, God visits the realtor and asks for her permission to rewrite the marriage proposal; she agrees.-------------

    Jessie concludes God wants her to quit as a realtor and assist men in writing the right customized proposal. She is shocked when her new venture is a radical success as male customers and a few daring females become her clients. She believes she is doing God's will, but has misconstrued the message as God wants to help guide her to love.----------

    NEVER THE BRIDE uses a unique take on a modern day mortal chatting with "Almighty" God as Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge has the Lord serve as a matchmaker providing divine guidance. Whimsical as the heroine fails to heed what God is telling her (instead she assumes he is a lousy matchmaker); she argues with the Lord as if God is her BFF. Amusing yet poignant though some fundamentalists might inanely claim blasphemous, fans will enjoy this humorous frolic of God in the modern world.--------------

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Jessie Stone has been trying to write her own love story (and fa

    Jessie Stone has been trying to write her own love story (and failing) for a long time. So when God shows up and challenges her to let Him take a turn at it, will she hand over her pen to the original Author? I was perfectly content with what I thought was a fun, chicklitish read about a spunky heroine who can't find her prince charming. But then God showed up as a walking talking character, (and a cute one at that!) and this story became so much more than just another contemporary romance. Imaginative, thought-provoking, and a little hysterical.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2012

    Nice surprise

    Easy read. Very pleasant story line. We all know a couple of girls like the main character!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 8, 2011

    A satisfying read

    I don't have it in me to write an essay, so I'll just cut to the chase: I really enjoyed this book in its entirety. It was a fun read, a quick read, and somehow it still managed to be a thought-provoking read for me as well. There are certainly some awkward moments in McCay's storytelling, such as when the manner of Jessie's parents' death is revealed, and sometimes in the way God talks to her, and it's truthfully somewhat predictable (and ultimately a novel whose plot might be forgettable) but generally speaking, this was an enjoyable novel and probably something I would have bought at the store if I were in the mood for a good read. I actually feel like I was able to take away a great deal from this book because of where I am in my adult life. I am a firm believer that I'm not married yet for a reason, and I don't want to be the kind of person who rushes into a marriage simply to be married, but it doesn't mean the pang isn't there when I see my married friends. So for me, this was a great reminder that I need to stop searching (even if my "searching" isn't as extreme or as desperate as Jessie's) and allow God to write my love story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2011

    One woman's quest for the ultimate proposal and happily ever after

    As the story begins, we are introduced to Jessie Stone, who is stuck on a highway with a blow-out. As we get to know Jessie, we learn that she is a romantic, that has had trouble finding Mr. Right and living her own happily ever after. One of her best friends is a guy that she has a huge crush on. She keeps hoping one day that he will see that they are right for one another. She tries speed dating and online dating services, but always finds herself alone. Then, God shows up one day, in the flesh, and asks her to give up her pen and journals and let Him write her love story. It takes a lot of faith, but she agrees to allow Him to write her a love story. As the story evolves, she is full of doubts and frequently questions and challenges Him.

    One of the things that Jessie does a lot of is dream up wedding proposals. She even starts a business and a blog based on love and dreaming up amazing wedding proposals. This part of her totally reminds me of a friend - my friend has even said before that she could open a business and help guys have the perfect proposal. Of course, my friend, unlike Jessie, has a man in her life - one who she was regularly dropping hints on the makings of a great proposal. I'm happy to say that they are recently engaged, but can you imagine asking someone that dreams up proposals to marry you? I think it would be a challenge. Of course, Jessie will tell you "it's all about heart."

    I can't tell you how the story ends, but I can tell you that I really enjoyed reading the book. It was a cute story and I imagine that when the movie is out (at least, when it makes it to DVD) I will probably watch it.

    I also am interested in reading their novelization of the movie, <i>The Ultimate Gift</i>. It is a movie that I watch every holiday season. McKay and Gutteridge worked together on it as well.

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  • Posted July 22, 2011

    Never the Bride

    I received this book almost 2 weeks ago. I started it right when I received the book in the mail. I can not seem to get into this book. I might come back to it and read it, but I can't waist an other week until I finally get into it. I do have some books that do take me time to get into. Sometime I start them put them down read a book or two then come back to it starting over, and I just fall in love. But as of right now I am going to put it down and move on. I am a little sad too, since I 100% Loved the Ultimate Gift that they wrote.

    Thank you to blogging for books for allowing me to receive this book.

    I gave this book 3 starts since I can not say it was a bad book not a good one.

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  • Posted July 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Never Miss..Never the Bride

    I know you don't know me, but I'll admit it -I'm a drama queen. Hopefully, I am not a drama queen in the negative sort of connotation that this label elicits, but in the very fact that I'm in charge of the drama program at my church. Why do I tell you this? It's because of the advice that my pastor always gives me- he says, "Please pick the comedy skits, because you get to people's hearts through the back door with them, not hitting them over the head with the heavy stuff, it just sort of gently comes to them through their own laughter." And so I comply with his requests- you will find this concept brilliantly executed with Cheryl McKay's and Rene Gutteridge's novel Never the Bride. There is no hitting you over the head, but lots of laughter and great insight if you pay attention.

    We meet Jessie Stone broken down on the side of Pacific Coast Highway with a flat tire bemoaning the fact that there is no guy in her life to take care of these frustrations for her. Yes, the title of the book "Never the Bride" sums up her attitude on life in spades. After failed online dating services, failed speed dating, and just plain old failed relationships, Jessie Stone is at the end of her "forever single" rope. And then enters a tall, dark and handsome man with gorgeous blue eyes. Hmmm the answer to her dreams (?) - Oh yeah, but maybe not as she thought. It's God Almighty in the flesh trying to get Jessie to see things His way, that He might have a few ideas on how to handle her love life. Does she listen to Him? Well, sort of, with a few detours of her own.

    This story is told with a wonderful sense of humor, a brilliant fresh writing voice and is a plain, absolute joy to read. As this was written as a screenplay first (Cheryl McKay) and adapted to a novelization later (Rene Gutteridge), it is easy to see how it would make a great movie, but trust me it works as a great novel as well. The scenes are very easy to visualize, especially the scenes where God shows up in various times and places and completely un-nerves our heroine Jessie Stone. His timing is always off according to Jessie and right on time according to God. He manages to get her completely outside of her comfort zone with regards to her ideas on her profession, her beliefs with regards to Him, as well as, of course, her love life. But isn't God like that- His ways are always better than ours, if we will just listen.

    So from this drama queen to you I say "Bravo" on "Never the Bride" and I will be rushing to the Movie theaters if this is made into a movie. It was darling, winsome, and full of great spiritual messages. I can think of quite a few friends to recommend this book to and I truly hope to see Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge team up again- they are a formidable force. 5 stars.

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  • Posted July 13, 2011

    Never the Bride

    Never the Bride is a novel full of humor about Jessie Stone who has never been the bride, but always the Bridesmaid. This book reminded me some what of 27 Dresses with the exception that when Jessie had failed relationships time and time again she finally allowed God to write her love story, it was better than she could ever expect. The interesting part about this book is that God shows up in human flesh, which can make this story a bit confusing to the reader at times, but overall I think this book has a good message about allowing God to be the author of one's life.

    This wasn't a favor book of mine and I probably would not buy this book, but rent it from the library. I would give this book three stars.



    This book was given to me from Multnomah Water Brook Publishing company for my honest review. They did not compensate me for this book and this is my honest review.

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  • Posted May 18, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A romantic comedy of heavenly proportions!

    McKay and Gutteridge have written a fun, funny, and often unpredictable romantic comedy that's heavier on the comedy than the romance. I say that because some readers might presume a whirlwind romantic drama, which this is not. The title and cover design, while appropriate for its likely target demographic, is probably off-putting to most male readers despite the story containing universal appeal and plenty of quirk reminiscent of TV scribe David E. Kelley's better writing. Almost anyone can relate to the sibling relations, battles of wills and wits, and particularly the longing for fulfillment we all experience in protagonist Jessie Stone. The road through this adult coming of age story is whimsical humor, but the reward at journey's end is a spiritual uplift grander than I anticipated. So guys, don't let the pink title on the cover dissuade you from enjoying this book in front of the ladies; it's well worth the read!

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  • Posted April 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Cute Book but...

    Overall the book was okay. I like storylines that put God right in the middle of someone's life as an actual person... as long as it's written well. This wasn't. The ending revealed a very confusing plot that didn't make a whole lot of sense and the ending itself was, in my opinion, sloppy. I liked the main character and felt like I could relate to her but the ending really kind of ruined the whole story for me.
    If you like kooky romances, then this would be an okay book but I wouldn't recommend it to the serious reader.

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  • Posted September 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fun and yet it has many important points (like letting God lead your love life)

    This book was one of the most pleasant surprises I've had in awhile. I would call it chick lit with depth. Just Saturday I posted reviews of some of my favorite non-fiction authors, Eric and Leslie Ludy, and their book "When God Writes Your Love Story" was one of them. This book is such a compliment to the concepts the Ludys talk about. I loved watching the way it might play out if you actually gave God the pen to your life and let Him write your love story. Only in a very humorous fashion. Not only is the story wonderful and funny, but it will make you think. I have been recommending it to my single friends already because I think it will really impact their lives. But I will be recommending it to all my married friends as well just because it is one of the most entertaining and moving books I've read.

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  • Posted July 15, 2009

    Always the Bridesmaid, Never the Bride

    A tough lesson - waiting on God.
    Written in present tense, this engaging and entertaining novel takes readers through the clever thoughts and antics of Jessie. Get to know her - and yourself - while you think about and wait on the best God has for you!
    Anyone who enjoys a light-hearted, fun, and funny read will want this book.

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  • Posted June 19, 2009

    Pitch perfect chick lit is filled with humor and faith

    Never the Bride by Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge is a charming novel of romance and faith. Jessie Stone has always lived by the rules; her friends can set their watches by her punctuality, and she's almost OCD in her need for order and control. She's lived all of her 34 years waiting for Mr. Right to sweep her off her feet, filling 109 journals with dreams of the perfect marriage proposal and wedding. Speed dating and online match services aren't working, but when God literally steps in and offers to help, Jessie isn't sure if she's willing to trust Him enough to do it to her standards! This book reminded me of all the reasons I love to read! It was funny and sweet and charming and had a strong message of faith. God's appearance in Jessie's life is beautiful and heart-breaking. Her friends and family think that she needs to be committed when they catch her talking to herself, and when she tries to tell them the truth, they ask her why is she so special that God would choose to step into her life. Their reactions are perfectly rendered, and oh so true of how I think people really would react to Jessie's story. God asks Jessie if she's willing to let Him write her life story, and there's a lesson in her story for readers. Her date with God brought tears to my eyes, as did their confrontation on the beach. The entire book was pitch perfect, just flawless. I laughed, I cried, I learned a lesson about my Savior. It doesn't get any better than that.

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  • Posted June 18, 2009

    Wonderfully clever and funny!

    I just finished this book last night and now I absolutely can't wait to see the movie. To see some of these scenes played out on screen is going to be hilarious!

    What a great message too! Even though I'm happily married with children, it had a great message for me too. I think we all have some area of our lives where we are waiting on God to do something, and this was a great reminder to me that I need to wait patiently for God's best instead of rushing out and doing what I think is a great idea. I think we would all benefit to give our "purple pens" to God and let Him write our life (or love) stories for us. Imagine the unnecessary pain we could avoid if we allowed Him to take control!

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  • Posted June 5, 2009

    What a gem!

    Engrossing as they are entertaining, McKay and Gutteridge hit it out of the park with this delightful romantic romp, striking at the heart of a woman's deepest desire: to be known and loved for herself. Side-splittingly funny and devastatingly raw in turns, as Jessie aches for relationship at a soul level, Never the Bride mirrors the white-knuckled power struggle common to all who would dare to entrust the dearly coveted purple pens of their lives to Divine Authorship. Having devoured McKay's inspired screenplay first, followed by this fabulously faithful novel, I can hardly wait for the movie!

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    Posted June 29, 2011

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    Posted February 24, 2011

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    Posted April 27, 2011

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