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She wrote the book—literally—on finding the right mate. But does she really understand what love's about?
Five hours before her Nantucket beach wedding—and on the eve of her big book launch—celebrity marriage counselor Kate Lawrence has everything in place.
Everything, that is, but the groom. She might not have a career, either, when her nationwide audience finds out their marriage guru has been left at the altar.
Enter Lucas Wright, who offers to stand in for the missing husband-to-be and marry her. Kate's desperate enough to agree—although she’s sure this Mr. Wright is completely wrong for her. But can they pull it off? And why would Lucas want to marry her in the first place?
Could it be that “Dr. Kate” doesn't know the first thing about love?
About the Author
Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 25 books, including A December Bride and The Convenient Groom, which have been adapted into original Hallmark Channel movies. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader's Choice Award, The Carol Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. When Denise isn't orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking green tea, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are rapidly approaching an empty nest. To learn more about Denise, visit her website DeniseHunterBooks.com; Facebook: AuthorDeniseHunter; Twitter: @DeniseAHunter; Instagram: deniseahunter.
Read an Excerpt
The Convenient Groom
By Denise Hunter
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2008 Denise Hunter
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe red light on Kate Lawrence's cell phone blinked a staccato warning. But before she could retrieve the message, her maid of honor, Anna Doherty, waved her pale arms from the beach, stealing her attention.
Anna's smooth voice sounded in her headset. "Kate, can you come here? We've got a few glitches."
"Be right there." Kate tucked her clipboard in the crook of her elbow, took the steps down Jetty Pavilion's porch, and crossed the heel-sinking sand of the Nantucket shoreline. In six hours, thirty-four guests would be seated there in the rows of white chairs, watching Kate pledge her life to Bryan Montgomery under a beautiful hand-carved gazebo.
Where was the gazebo anyway? She checked her watch, then glanced toward the Pavilion, where workers scurried in white uniforms. No sign of Lucas.
She approached Anna, who wore worry lines as naturally as she wore her Anne Klein pantsuit. Anna was the best receptionist Kate could ask for. Her capable presence reassured the troubled couples she ushered through Kate's office.
Right now, Anna's long brown hair whipped across her face like a flag gone awry, and she batted it from her eyes with her freckled hand. "Soiree's just called. Their delivery truck is in for service, and the flowers will be a little late. Half an hour at the most."
Kate jotted the note on her schedule. "That's okay." She'd factored in cushion time.
"Murray's called, and the tuxes haven't been picked up except for your dad's."
Bryan and his best man had been due at Murray's at nine thirty. An hour ago. "I'll check on that. What else?"
Anna's frown lines deepened, and her eyes blinked against the wind. "The carriage driver is sick, but they're trying to find a replacement. The Weatherbys called and asked if they could attend last minute—they were supposed to go out of town, but their plans changed."
Kate nodded. "Fine, fine. Call and tell her they're welcome. I'll notify the caterer."
"Your publicist—Pam?—has been trying to reach you. Did you check your cell? She said she got voice mail. Anyway, your book copies did arrive this morning. She dropped this off." Anna pulled a hardback book from under her clipboard. "Ta-da!"
"My book!" Kate stared at the cover, where the title, Finding Mr. Right-for-You, floated above a cartoon couple. The man was on his knee, proposing. Below them, a colorful box housed the bold letters of Kate's name. She ran her fingers over the glossy book jacket, feeling the raised bumps of the letters, savoring the moment.
"Pam wants a quick photo shoot before the guests arrive. You holding the book, that kind of thing. You should probably call her."
Kate jotted the note. While it was on her mind, she reached down and turned on her cell.
"Ready for more great news?" Anna asked. Her blue eyes glittered like diamonds. The news had to be good.
"The New York Times is sending a reporter and a photographer. They want to do a feature story on your wedding and your book."
Fresh air caught and held in Kate's lungs. Rosewood Press was probably turning cartwheels. "That's fabulous. They'll want an interview." She scanned her schedule, looking for an open slot. After the reception? She hated to do it, but Bryan would understand. The New York Times. It would give Kate's initial sales the boost it needed. Maybe enough to make the bestseller list.
"Here's the number." Anna handed her a yellow Post-It. "That tabloid guy has been hanging around all morning, trying to figure out who the groom is. I told him he'd find out in six hours like everyone else. The rest of the media is scheduled to arrive an hour before the wedding, and Pam's having an area set up over there for them." Anna gestured behind the rows of chairs to a square blocked off with white ribbon.
"Good. I want them to be as inconspicuous as possible. This is my wedding, and a girl only gets married once, after all."
"One would hope." Anna said. "Is there anything else I can do?"
Kate gave her a sideways hug, as close to an embrace as she'd ever given her assistant, her fingers pressing into Anna's fleshy shoulder. "You're a godsend. I don't know what I'd do without you."
"Oh! I know what I forgot to tell you. The gazebo. It should have been here by now. I tried to call Lucas, but I got the machine, and I don't have his cell number."
"His shop's closed today, and he doesn't have a cell." The man didn't wear a watch, much less carry a phone. She should've known better than to put something this crucial in his hands. Kate checked her watch. "I'll run over and check on it."
* * *
The drive to town was quick and effortless, but Kate's mind swam with a hundred details. She jotted reminders on her clipboard when she stopped for pedestrians, occasionally admiring the cover of her book.
She couldn't believe what a wonderful day it was. She had a book coming out, she was about to walk down the aisle, and the weather couldn't be more perfect. Thank you, God, for the beautiful day, for the man I'm about to marry, for the book deal. Eveything was in perfect order.
She called Pam for a quick recap about the New York Times reporter, and by the time she hung up, she was pulling into a parallel slot on Main Street, in front of Lucas's storefront.
The sign above the picture window read "Cottage House Furniture." On the second floor of the Shaker building, the wooden shingle for her own business dangled from a metal pole: "Kate Lawrence, Marriage Counseling Services." She needed to remind Lucas to remove it; otherwise he'd leave it hanging for another year or until someone else rented the space.
Kate exited her car and slid her key into the rusty lock of the shop's door. Once inside, she passed the stairs leading to her office and walked through the darkened maze of furniture to the back, where she hoped to find Lucas. She bumped an end table with her shin. Ow! That would leave a mark.
The high-pitched buzz of a power tool pierced the darkness, a good sign. "Lucas?" She rapped loudly on the metal door with her knuckles. The noise stopped.
She opened the door. Lucas Wright looked up from his spot on the cement floor at the base of the gazebo, his too-long hair hanging over one eye. He looked her over, then turned back to the spindle and ran his thick hand over it as if testing the curves.
"Aren't you supposed to be at the beach?" he asked.
Kate crossed her arms. "I could ask you the same thing."
He stood, agile for his size, and backed away from the gazebo. Sawdust from the floor clung to his faded jeans and black T-shirt. "I was just finishing."
"You were supposed to be there an hour ago. The gazebo needs to be put in place before the sound system, and the florist has to decorate it, and there are people waiting to do their jobs."
He faced her, looking into her in that way of his that made her feel like he could see clean through her. "Today's the big day, huh?" Putting his tool on his workhorse, he dusted off his hands, moving in slow motion as though he'd decided tonight wouldn't arrive until next week.
Kate checked her watch. "Do you think you can get this down to the beach sometime today?"
Walking around the piece, he studied it, hands on his hips, head cocked. "You like it?"
For the first time since the week before, Kate looked at the gazebo—the white lattice top, the hand-carved spindles, the gentle arch of the entry. At the top of the arch, a piece of wood curved gracefully, etched with clusters of daisies. The gazebo's simple lines were characteristic of Lucas's work, but she'd never known him to use such exquisite detail. The piece had an elegance that surpassed her expectations. He did beautiful work; she'd give him that.
"I do. I love the etching." She sighed. Just when he irritated the snot out of her, he did something like this, caught her off guard. She always felt like she was tripping down the stairs when she was with him.
Focus! "It needs to find its way to the beach. Pronto."
"Yes ma'am." His salute was unhurried.
Before she could offer a retort, her cell phone pealed and buzzed simultaneously, and she pulled it from her capri pocket.
"Bryan." Turning away from Lucas and toward the door, she eyed a crude desk with a metal folding chair that bore countless rusty scratches. "Good morning." A smile crept into her voice. It was their wedding day. The day they'd planned for nearly two years. "Did you sleep well?" She hadn't. She'd rumpled the sheets until nearly two o'clock, but that was to be expected.
The silence on the other end, however, was not. "Bryan?" Had she lost the signal?
"Um, Kate, did you get my message?"
There'd been a blinking red light this morning. She'd assumed it was Pam's voice mail and hadn't checked. Suddenly, she wished she had.
"No. What's wrong?"
"Are you sitting down?"
"No, I'm not sitting down. Just tell me." An ugly dread snaked down her spine and settled there, coiled and waiting.
"I'm on my way back to Boston," he said. "I left a message this morning. You must've had your phone off."
Kate's stomach stirred. She stared at the wall in front of her—a pegboard with a zillion holes, metal prongs poking from it, tools and cords everywhere. "What happened?" Some emergency, maybe?
What emergency could trump our wedding?
"I can't marry you, Kate."
The words dropped, each one crumbling under its own weight. The stirring in her stomach intensified. "That's not funny, Bryan." It was a terrible joke. He'd never been good with jokes. His punch lines left you leaning forward, waiting for the rest.
"I'm in love with someone else."
Pain. A huge wooden spoon, tossing the contents of her stomach. Her legs wobbled, trembling on the wedge heels of her sandals, and she clutched the cold metal of the folding chair. "What?" Was that her voice, weak and thready? Someone had vacuumed all the moisture from her mouth, sucked the air from her lungs.
"I'm so sorry," Bryan was saying. "I know this is awful. You don't deserve this, but I can't marry you. It happened slowly, and I didn't realize what was going on until recently. I tried to put it out of my mind, but I just can't. And I can't marry you knowing how I feel. I'm so sorry, Kate."
"What?" It was the only word her mind could form at the moment.
"I know there's no excuse. I should have told you before now, but I thought it would go away. I thought I was just having cold feet or something, but it's more than that."
"We've been together for two years, Bryan."
It was a stupid thing to say, but it was all she could think of. Memories played across the screen of her mind in fast-forward. The day they'd met in line at Starbucks in downtown Boston when Kate had gone there for a conference. Their first date at the Colonial Theatre. The long-distance courting and weekend visits. The e-mails, the phone calls, the engagement, the book. It all whizzed by, coming to a screeching halt here, at this moment. Here, in Lucas's dusty workshop. Here, in front of the special gazebo they were to be married in.
"I've already called my family and told them. I know there's a lot to do, and I'll help any way you want me to. And then there's your book ... I'm so sorry."
Sorry. You're sorry? She pictured the precise rows of white chairs, the tent being erected as they spoke, the celebrity preacher, the photographers.
The New York Times.
She closed her burning eyes. Everything would have to be cancelled.
At that thought, humiliation arrived on the scene, sinking in past the pain of betrayal. The weight of it pushed at her shoulders, and she grabbed the hair at her nape. Think, Kate! This is no time to lose it.
"Stop, Bryan. Just stop and think about what you're doing. Maybe you're letting your issues with your parents' divorce affect your decisions. This kind of fear is perfectly natural before a wedding, and maybe—"
"No, it's not that—"
"How do you know?" She forced reason into her tone. Used her soothing voice—the one she used when things got heated between one of her couples. "We love each other. We're perfect for each other. You've said it a hundred times."
"There's something missing, Kate."
She wobbled again and steadied herself with a hand on the chair. "Something missing"? What was that supposed to mean?
As her mind grappled with that seemingly unanswerable question, she felt a hand at her back, leading her into the chair. She was sitting, her head as fuzzy as a cotton-candy machine, her emerald-cut engagement ring blurring before her eyes.
"What do you mean there's something missing? The only thing missing is the groom. For our wedding that starts in five hours. Five hours, Bryan." Now she felt the hysteria building and took a full breath, nearly choking on the way the oxygen stretched her lungs.
"I'll help in any way I can."
"You can help by showing up for our wedding!"
Her mind ran through the list of people she'd have to call. Her dad, the guests, her publisher. She thought of the money Rosewood Press had spent on this elaborate beach wedding. They'd flown in friends and family from all over the country, paid for the photographer, flowers, caterer, the wedding attire. Kate had only wanted a simple wedding, but with the release of the book, the marketing department had other ideas. "An elegant wedding and a surprise groom just as the book releases. We can ask Reverend James McFadden to perform the ceremony! Think of the publicity, Kate!"
A knot started in her throat and burned its way to her heart.
"I'll always care about you," Bryan said.
The words fell, as empty as a discarded soda bottle on a deserted beach.
The adrenaline coursing through her veins drained suddenly, leaving her once again weak and shaky. She couldn't talk to him anymore. She wasn't going to break down on the phone, wasn't going to beg him to come back. It wouldn't accomplish a thing anyway. She'd heard this tone of Bryan's voice before. He was a man who knew what he wanted. And what he didn't want.
And he didn't want Kate. She suddenly knew that fact as surely as she knew tomorrow would be more impossible to face than today.
She cleared her throat. "I have to go."
"Kate, tell me what I can do. My family will pitch in too. I want to help fix things."
She wanted to tell him there was no fixing this. There was no fixing her heart or the impending collision of her life and her career. Instead, numb, she closed the phone, staring straight ahead at the holes on the pegboard until they blended together in a blurry haze.
He was leaving her. The man she loved was walking away. This wasn't supposed to be happening. Not to her. She'd been so careful, and for what? A hollow spot opened up in her stomach, wide and gaping.
Instead of the headlines reading "Marriage Expert Finds Her Mr. Right," they would read "Marriage Expert Jilted at the Altar."
Kate had never considered herself prideful, but the thought of facing the next twenty-four hours made cyanide seem reasonable. How can this be happening, God? To me, of all people? She'd written a book on the subject of finding the right mate and had managed to find the wrong one instead. By tomorrow the whole world would know.
Chapter TwoLucas watched Kate snap her phone shut. Maybe he should've left when he heard the gravity in her voice, but he couldn't. Like a pedestrian gawking at a car accident, he'd watched Kate receive the news. When he realized what Bryan was saying, he'd wanted to hunt the man down and pummel him until he felt the same pain as Kate. Instead he'd ushered Kate to the chair, wishing he could pull her into his arms and tell her it was going to be okay.
But that was the last thing she wanted.
Now she faced the wall, unmoving. Her glossy black hair hung straight, almost to her wilted shoulders. He'd never seen her so motionless. She was always on the go, steady as a clock; he'd been mesmerized by that the first time they'd met. Now, her stillness seemed unnatural.
He took a step toward her. "Kate?"
She must have forgotten about him, because she jumped slightly, then ran her hand across her face before turning partway. Her hair, always tucked behind her ears, had come loose. Her eyes only made it to his knees.
Excerpted from The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter Copyright © 2008 by Denise Hunter. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A Convenient Groom is just the kind of book I like to read when I need to relax. I love a sweet love story with a Prince Charming-like hero, and Lucas and Kate's story fits the bill. Hunter does a terrific job of showing how opposites do attract, and how no matter how we try to control life, we are not the ones in control. Kate learned that lesson, and it was a great reminder for me, too. I recommend picking up A Convenient Groom if you're in the mood for a well-told, fun story that's heavy on the romance. You won't be disappointed.
Denise Hunter is my new favorite author for this summer! I love the chemistry and the characters
I laughed, I cried... no really this was a great story, good characters, suspenseful moments of will she or won't she. I was really surprised by the is book. Highly recommend if you enjoy a good clean romance story.
It was a very sweet story. One of those that is similar to 'What Happens in Vegas' in storyline. I read it in one sitting. Well written!
I read this book within two days. It was gripping. Gloriously and profoundly in touch with romantic feelings, scorn feelings, and just plain hurtful feelings. It was simple and well written. I want to say 'classic', like a bride's wedding dress almost...'classic white'. The story made me cry, laugh, and even gasp in parts. I think all women and most men, even, have experienced most of the feelings that are exposed in this book. Ladies - you'll love it. Men - I doubt you'd read something like this, but if you buy this for you're special someone you'll be graced with a warming smile and after she reads the book..probably a few hundred kisses or so. I may be only eighteen, but as an inspired reader and poetry and short story writter take my word for it: BUY THIS BOOK!!! It's worth it.
A neighbor gave me this delightful read, so it was my first one by this author, but it won't be my last. Kate finds herself jilted at the altar and her entire career depends on her wedding. Lucas Wright becomes the stand-in groom. Kate's written a book about how to find Mr. Right, and it releases on the same day of her wedding. Ironically, she weds Mr. Wright who is so totally opposite and does everything she advises against in her book of advice, but she's broken-hearted and backed into a corner. When he offers her a way out of the mess her life has become, she accepts. She thinks he's marrying her so she'll help him with his mom and dad's marriage in return, but she's in for quite a surprise. When her ex, Bryan, wants back in the picture after realizing he's made a huge mistake, what will Kate do? Will she choose Bryan, the one who left her stranded at the altar and forgive him, or will she choose Luca, the one her knowledge and common sense says is all wrong for her even if she did marry Mr. Wright, To add to the turmoil, his family lives right next door and there's a big, hairy dog she has to contend with. Sure, Lucas warned her he had a dog, but she expected a small one, especially when she saw the size of his small place. His mother doesn't like her. Lucas knows why and finally shares the reason with her. Then, a leggy redhead enters the picture, and Kate is forced to deal with feelings that crop up and ask why she should even care. To top it all off, he enjoys sailing, and she gets seasick. What else could possibly go wrong? She did marry Mr. Wright, after all.
Another week. Another stab at Christian fiction. And, yet, another success at finding a great author with a great message and a great story. Enter Denise Hunter and The Convenient Groom. Maybe I have been all wrong about the quality of Christian fiction that is out there - primarily Christian love stories. Another home-run here folks. First, the downside. Predictability. There's really no way for me to put a spoiler in here because you are pretty sure, from the onset, of where the author is going with this one. Kate Lawrence, a famous author and counselor on love and finding the right mate finds herself moments away from her wedding with no groom to stand alongside her. Can the heroine survive this jilt? And even more important, what will the press have to say about her book and its release and her career when the authority on love is loveless? Lucas Wright offers her an out - he'll stand in as the groom. And what follows, is, a fairly predictable love story. But even though I basically knew where the book was going to go from early on, I found myself quite captivated in this fast moving piece of romance. And I think you will too. Even better is that Hunter manages to present a work that brings you closer to the Lord without sounding corny or forced. Can Kate find love? And more importantly, can she learn how to follow God's leading and not her own? You won't be disappointed with this easy, light-hearted, and spiritually uplifting read! *In exchange for my honest review of this book, the publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through BookSneeze®
I am a huge Denise Hunter fan and I so don't know how I missed THE CONVENIENT GROOM when it first came out. I became aware of it's existence when it was made into a Hallmark movie and I promoted that on my blog, letting all those lucky people who had Hallmark channel on TV know -- I don't have TV. Ugh. Color me green. So knowing the book is always better than the movie (if the book came first) I went looking for it. And yes, I did buy it, but I didn't buy it from Amazon so it will not say I'm a verified buyer. Again, ugh. THE CONVENIENT GROOM was just as amazing as I knew it would be. Lucas was literally a dear, and so swoon-worthy, Kate was shattered, didn't know which way was up and was grasping at a life-saver to save everything -- her reputation, her career, her sanity. Dr. Kate had a lot of intelligent advice, but she didn't know what true love was -- she found her perfect mate and emotions weren't involved. That was my thought when she was stunned by her reactions to Lucas. You know, sometimes you know something in your head, but your heart has different ideas, She had a lot to learn. The book did end with some lingering questions, but it was sweet, swoon-worthy, and sigh -- a sad moment when I closed the cover. Now I found the movie is available for sale -- and I'll get to see it after all. Yay. If you missed this book, grab it now. THE CONVENIENT GROOM. Other books in the series are Surrender Bay, THE CONVENIENT GROOM, Seaside Letters and Driftwood Lane
Jilted at the Altar, Then What? Nantucket Love Story: The Convenient Groom (second in the series) by Denise Hunter is a fun, light-hearted romance. Despite the fact that this author has written 40+ books, this is the first book of hers that I've read but it won't be the last. This novel was made into a Hallmark movie for TV. Kate Lawrence is a totally all-together author/counsellor who has her life all planned out — has had ever since middle school when she found such satisfaction in helping others with their problems that she maps out her life goals which included getting a psych degree from Cornell and writing a best seller. Well, the book is being published the same day as her wedding to "Mr. Right-for-Her", Bryan Montgomery, and while she's tracking down the gazebo that is late arriving at the wedding site, she gets a call from her fiancé that leaves her jilted. Since the name of the groom had been kept a secret from all but a very few people involved, the carpenter creating the gazebo, Lucas Wright, steps up and offers to take Bryan's place. Kate agrees to a 1-year temporary arrangement and things seem to go off without a hitch. Problems set in when Bryan decides he's made a mistake and breaks up with the girl he left Kate for. Of course, the fact that Lucas is in love with her complicates things even further. Can opposites be compatible? Could Kate, the relationship expert, be wrong about her parents' marriage? Will her readers come back when they learn the truth about her temporary marriage? Is she trusting in God or trying to take charge of her own life? There's lots of misdirection and miscommunication in this delightful romance set on idyllic Nantucket Island.
The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter is a fabulous read. Ms Hunter has delivered a well written book with amazing, lovable characters. Lucas and Kate's story is a clean story, a great choice for those that don't care to read sexy bits. There's plenty of drama, humor to keep the reader's attention. I enjoyed The Convenient Groom and look forward to reading more from Denise Hunter in the future. I won a copy of this book from Goodreads.
Hard to put down. Encourages prayer - about everything.
The Convenient Groom is the second book in Denise Hunter’s Nantucket Love Story series, coming after Surrender Bay. I am a HUGE fan of Denise’s and have loved everything of hers that I have read, the most recent being The Goodbye Bride, so I was sooooooo excited when I found out that the Hallmark Channel was making one of her novels into a movie! Since I hadn’t read the book in question (this one), I immediately made it my goal to pick it up from the library so I could read it before I watched the movie. Let me just say, I am so, so glad I decided to do that!!! This book was by far one of my favorite books Denise has written, and I couldn’t help but absolutely melting over Lucas and everything related to his side of his relationship with Kate. While I really enjoyed reading about Kate and did love her story and her character, I know if I met her on the street she definitely wouldn’t be my favorite person. She writes way too many lists, and likes order way too much—in an OCD kind of way—for me to think I would choose her as I friend. However, that helped to make this the absolute perfect story, so I’ll forgive her for her quirkiness. And for some of her completely wrong ideas on what love is really all about. She may make a living off of counseling people about love and marriage and how to find the right mate, but I don’t think she’s fully qualified to advise people about something she hasn’t fully experienced in her own life, and even then, no one really knows nearly as much about love as they would like to think they do. I’m not knocking Kate, she really is a very smart woman who is just trying to help people with their love lives, but I just think if she had looked more at God’s example of perfect love, she would’ve had so much better advice. Lucas Wright was by far my favorite character in this book. I had already pretty much pegged what I thought his real reason for marrying Kate was before I had even opened this book—and I was right—but it was still nice to actually see everything relating to his true reason and his eventual admission, to himself of course, in the first few chapters. Even though Kate is just a little bit obsessive and has to be sometimes hard to live with (I do love her I promise I just realize how much of a pain she must be!), Lucas is constantly the perfect gentleman and always takes the BEST care of Kate, clearly taking those marriage vows seriously even though Kate insists it’s simply a business arrangement. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Lucas immediately, and I know you will too, because he is by far one of the sweetest men you will ever meet (even if it’s just in the pages of a book). All in all, I really loved this book, and am so, so excited to see the movie! I know it won’t be absolutely perfect and completely and utterly in line with the book, but it still will be good to see, so I’m glad it’s currently waiting for me on my DVR. I can’t imagine giving this novel anything less than all five bookshelves, as it was absolutely fantastic, and it definitely has a place on my all-time favorites list. I know I’ll want to read this again—honestly I could now if I didn’t have other things to read—and I highly recommend it is a wonderfully enjoyable story! (This review is from my blog, spreadinghisgrace.blogspot.com)
Love Denise Hunter's work
If I was asked to describe 'Convenient Groom' by Denise Hunter in three words, I'd say it's 'sweet', 'innocent' and 'romantic'. Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter is a well written romance and I couldn't help but feel warm all over while reading this story. The author wasted no time in introducing conflict at the beginning of this story, and I love how Christian elements were embedded in this story. The author brought up a lot of issue in this story. One of it is that expressing oneself to the one you love, following God's plans, blessing in disguise and opening yourself up to wondrous possibilities by being brave. Convenient Groom is inspiring, easy to read sweet romance and wonderfully written. Highly recommended for romance lovers. It's a keeper. At least to me it is. I enjoyed this book very much.
A romance story always ends the same way, but doesn't really have to go through a trite course. I haven't really read enough romance to say I've seen them all, so I guess that's one reason why I ended up enjoying this book despite its predictability. Enjoyed it, but not exactly 'fell in-love' with it. Somehow, I knew they were bound to end up being together, but felt the reading experience wouldn't be complete without fussing over the nitty-gritty details. As it was, I could hardly put this title down. It's not exactly an edge-of-the-seat page turner. There were actually instances when I felt I was only flipping the pages in hopes of finishing the book right away and catch up on my reading goals. There weren't much interesting things happening midway, but the climax did well in keeping me interested enough to keep going, if only to prove what I already knew. It did have the potential of sending romantic chills down any girl's spine-what public proposal of love wouldn't anyway-while instilling a few useful individual and family values along the way. Having a view of both the hero and heroine's stream of self-doubts and uncertainties may have become annoying in the long run, but the author made good in justifying each with an ingrained fear from a past hurt and/or the character's personal values and principles. One line that I particularly liked was the heroine's own advice to her brother-in-law, which she later incorporated into her own decision: "It's fear that makes an act courageous." I've read this line once before, and it ended up being my favorite then as well. Fear needn't ever stall us from going after what we are truly passionate about, especially when God is carefully laying down the path towards the very thing we have been running away from forever. I think the most important value one can learn from this book is to develop a strong faith and learn to relinquish control to God's own plans once in a while. This is only the second romance novel I have read that's incorporated with some biblical and spiritual values. I could hardly remember what that last book was all about, but I think this one has given me enough timely lessons to keep it lodged in my memories for quite a long time. I got an advance copy of this book to review from Booksneeze.