With a big anniversary party in the works for his ex-wife’s parents, Ryan has just one weekend to play Abby’s husband . . . and win back the woman of his dreams.
Ryan McKinley has tried to move on from his ex-wife, Abby. He’s sulked, he’s gotten angry, and ultimately he bought her dream house. Big mistake. Living alone in the massive two-story has only made him miss her more. When her parents call him out of the blue about their anniversary party in Summer Harbor, Maine, Ryan believes God has dropped a golden opportunity straight in his lap.
Abby McKinley never exactly told her parents about the divorce. A strained relationship with her dad has culminated in a distant relationship with her parents, but she’s finally succumbed to her mom’s pressure to make the drive for their 35th-anniversary party.
Then Ryan shows up on her doorstep, looking as handsome as ever. When he insists he’s going to Summer Harbor, with or without her, Abby knows she can’t say no. Her parents still think they’re married and now Ryan knows it too. It’s just a one-week road trip with the man who broke her heart. What could possibly go wrong?
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
Married 'til Monday
A Chapel Springs Romance
By Denise Hunter
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2015 Denise Hunter
All rights reserved.
The antique ring had been sitting forlornly on Ryan McKinley's kitchen counter for five months. It was an ordinary tale of lost and found, but the customary happy ending stretched just out of his reach.
He left the room, more to escape the ring than anything, and stopped by the grandfather clock on his way to the stairs. He turned the key in the slot and wound the weight to the top, thinking of Abby again. It had been her job, winding the clock. Keeping the thing going was almost a compulsion with her.
Not with him. The hands of the clock had been poised precisely at twelve past seven for almost a week. He set the pendulum in motion and shut the antique door, twisting the key as the familiar ticking filled the big, empty house. He needed to go for his run. Stretch his legs and let the thumping of his feet on the pavement beat the thoughts of her out of his head.
He couldn't get his mind off her lately. The clock, the ring ... the house. He'd already called himself a million kinds of fool. Buying his ex-wife's dream house had been a mistake, just as PJ had warned.
A knock sounded at the door, and he sighed in relief at the distraction.
PJ's wide smile greeted him as he swung the door open. Speaking of his sister. "Is it a good time?"
His eyes fell to the covered dish in her hands. "It's always a good time for food."
PJ breezed past on her way to the kitchen. "It's not meat and potatoes, sorry. Cole doesn't like crepes, so you're my guinea pig."
"It's a chore, but somebody has to do it."
In the kitchen PJ lifted the lid, and the sweet smell of chocolate drifted his way. Since dinner had come in a Stouffer's box, Ryan's stomach growled in appreciation.
PJ had started the Wishing House Grille in Chapel Springs right after culinary school. It had come complete with a free house and the man of her dreams. His baby sister had always led a charmed life.
He grabbed two forks from the dishwasher and handed one to PJ.
She eyed it skeptically. "Clean?"
He gave her a sour look as he dug into the dessert. The warm confection practically melted on his tongue. "Mmmm. Not bad."
PJ took a dainty bite. "Just enough hazelnut, I think. Maybe a little more vanilla?"
"I give it a 9.5. The details are yours to figure out."
As they finished the crepes PJ caught him up on the family, which from her perspective consisted mostly of their siblings' love lives. The love bug had bitten hard in the McKinley tribe the last few years. First Madison, then Jade, and now PJ. Two of them were married, with PJ not far behind, he suspected. And he, the oldest, still batching it. Or rather, batching it again.
When they'd had their fill of crepes, they placed their forks in the farm sink.
"I better run. Need to get to Hanover before the store closes."
PJ grabbed her purse while Ryan put the lid on the leftovers.
"Oooh, pretty." She extended her arm, waggling her fingers.
His gaze fell to PJ's finger, where Abby's ring lay glistening.
"Who's this beauty for?" she asked. "Are you holding out on me?"
Ryan shoved the Tupperware lid down hard, making it click with a loud snap. "Take it off."
"Geez, okay." She pulled the ring, grimacing as it stuck there through a few more twists and pulls.
"Seriously?" he said.
"Don't worry, I'll get it." She turned on the water and soaped up her hand. "It looks old."
"It is old. It was Abby's grandma's."
PJ gave another tug, and the ring came off. She rinsed it, along with her hands.
Ryan eyed the drain. "Careful!"
"I'm not an idiot."
When she finished, Ryan snatched the ring from her.
"What are you doing with it?" she asked.
He put it back by his cell charger. "I found it when I moved."
Abby had been so distraught the week she'd noticed it missing.
They'd turned the house on Orchard upside down looking for it. She'd never been close to her parents, but her grandmother had meant everything to her. Her passing had been hard on Abby.
It was the closest she'd come to crying in the years Ryan had known her.
"Are you going to give it back?"
"I don't know."
"You have to. It was her grandmother's. Just stick it in the mail. I think I can get her address if you need it."
"I can't stick an heirloom in the mail."
"So you're going to take it to her?"
"I don't know, PJ. Why do you think it's been sitting there for five months?"
"Soor-ry." PJ hitched her purse on her shoulder and left the kitchen.
Ryan followed, rubbing his forehead with his index finger.
The dang ring had been stressing him out. He'd been praying about it, but he couldn't seem to find any peace. He really should just stick it in the mail and forget about it. One less piece of Abby in his life.
At the door he gave PJ an apologetic smile. "Sorry I snapped."
"It's okay. Let me know if you need the address—or if you just need to talk."
The phone rang, and PJ looked over his shoulder. "You kept your landline?"
"Better get it then."
They said good-bye, and he crossed the living room. He knew the landline was redundant, a needless cost. But it was the only way Abby would know to reach him if she wanted to.
But then he seemed to have a heavy dose of stupid when it came to Abby.
He grabbed the phone from the cradle, but he didn't recognize the number on the screen. "Hello?"
The pause nearly prompted a repeat.
"Ryan? Hello, de-ah. It's Lillian. I didn't expect to catch you home."
The familiar Maine accent of Abby's mom stunned him. Why was she calling? "Lillian. What a surprise."
A terrible feeling swelled inside. What if something had happened to Abby? Before he could ask, she spoke again.
"How are you? We haven't spoken in so long."
"I'm fine. You know Chapel Springs. Nothing much changes around here. How are you and Bud?"
He pressed his finger between his brows. He'd hardly spoken to Lillian when he and Abby had been married. How bizarre that she'd call now, over three years after their divorce.
"Oh, we're just fine. You know, getting ready for the party. I don't suppose Abby's there."
He frowned. "Ah, no ..."
"I didn't think so. But I've been trying to reach her on her cell, and you know Abby. She hardly answers the thing. Maybe it's best that I reached you anyway."
This was all too weird. Surely the woman wasn't suffering from dementia. She had to be still in her fifties.
"Well, Abby told me you can't come to the anniversary party, of course, but I was so hoping you'd change your mind. Work will always be there, and it's been years since the two of you visited."
His brain stalled. His mouth worked.
"I don't like the idea of Abby driving all that way alone." She lowered her voice. "And you know her relationship with her dad is ... difficult. I'd feel so much better if she had your support."
"My support ..."
"I know we haven't been close, but I'd really like to change that. I miss my only child. And maybe the time away would be good for you both. A little vacation."
He scratched his head. "I'm, ah ... I'm a little confused, Lillian."
He heard a muffled conversation, as if she'd covered the mouthpiece. A moment later she was back.
"Bud wants to talk to you, de-ah. Here he is."
"So I hear you can't take a few days away from your busy schedule to celebrate our anniversary."
Ryan had forgotten how Bud could deliver a teasing remark with just enough raw edge to make you squirm.
"Congratulations, Bud. Sounds like you have a nice party planned."
"Well, it would be if I could get my son-in-law to drive our daughter over. Lillian has her heart set on it."
Son-in-law? Why did they both—it was as if—he knew Abby wasn't close to them. Was it possible she hadn't told them about the divorce? None of this made sense.
"Cat got your tongue, son?"
"No, sir. When was Abby planning to arrive? I, ah, don't have the schedule handy."
Bud repeated the question to Lillian while Ryan's mind turned.
Maybe this was the opportunity he'd prayed for. His chance to see Abby again. To return the ring.
Yeah, McKinley. That's all you really want.
"Day before the party." Bud was back on the line. "Next week, the twenty-fourth. Now are you gonna bring her home or what?" Lillian scolded him in the background, then she was back on.
"We would so love to have you both."
Next week. His mind spun. His coaching staff could get along without him for a few days. The thought of seeing Abby again made his heart pound in his chest. Dried up his throat. Made some part of him he hadn't realized was dead and buried come alive again.
He pictured her in his mind's eye. Not the way she'd looked when he'd met her, when he'd courted her. But the way she'd looked after. When she'd come to love him. The planes of her face softened, her green eyes no longer wary and distant, but open. Hopeful. Her red curls wild around her creamy-skinned face, her cute freckles peeking out on her nose.
"Ryan, are you there?"
"Yeah." everything was coming up Abby lately. Maybe God was trying to tell him something. He felt that urging in his spirit.
Is that You, God? Is this what You want?
His heart settled as peace washed over him. everything seemed to be pointing the same direction. The ring, the phone call ...
Maybe he was just crazy, but he was going to do it.
"All right," he said, squeezing the phone tight. "I'll be there."CHAPTER 2
It was past eight, the sun just sinking below the Indianapolis skyline, when Abby McKinley pushed through the heavy glass doors of Wainwright Investigative Services. She was more tired than she wanted to admit, and it was only Monday.
As she entered the office the air-conditioning hit her, a relief after sitting in her hot car with nothing but a stiff, hot breeze and her camera for company.
Her boss sat behind his desk, frowning at his computer screen, his salt-and-pepper hair ruffled as if he'd just run his fingers through it.
She walked straight to Frank's cluttered desk and dropped the Owens file next to an empty bag of Doritos.
"Already?" he asked.
She shrugged, taking a seat at her own desk and opening her e-mail while Frank flipped through the file. "Nice pics. So it wasn't the pool boy?"
"Too obvious. It was an old boyfriend. Reunited on Facebook and hooked up two months ago."
"You're a genius."
It wasn't that hard. A little surveillance, a little garbology, a little IT on the home computer. People left a trail whether they wanted to or not.
"I have a VIP case for you," he said. "Right up your alley.
Wife suspects affair. High-profile, gated community. I need my best girl on it."
"I'm your only girl. What's the TAT?"
"Next weekend. I know that's quick but—What?"
Abby was shaking her head. Normally she could turn a case so quickly, but ... "I'm leaving on Wednesday, remember? Road trip."
"Take a plane. I'll pay for it. Heck, I'll fly you first-class for what this lady's paying."
It wasn't the money that stopped her from flying. And she hated saying no when she was so close to that promotion. Lewis was going to ride this for all it was worth. But she'd had this trip on the schedule for weeks, and she didn't want to disappoint her mom.
"Sorry, but I can't. You'll have to put Lewis on it."
It really blew, handing the case over to her competition. She closed her e-mails and stood to leave.
Frank grimaced, running his hand over his thick mustache. She could've sworn Dorito crumbs went flying. "Abby, I need you on this one."
She grabbed her purse off the floor. "except I won't be here."
"Flight plus a bonus. My final offer."
"Believe me, I wish I could, Frank."
"You really want Lewis to take this?" The subtext was clear. How badly do you want the agency in St. Paul?
"I can't get out of this. I'm sorry." She opened the door. "See you in the morning, Frank."
"You're killing me, kid," he called just before the door swung shut behind her.
The drive home was quick and painless. She pulled into her assigned carport and walked up her sidewalk. Boo's face peeked out the curtains, her tiny paws on the low windowsill, the pink bow crooked on top of her head. Inside the building Abby drew in the savory smells of oregano and garlic. Someone was having a nice supper.
She collected her mail, then unlocked her door. The Yorkie danced around her feet. "Hey, little Boo. Mommy's home." Abby picked up the dog and accepted the kisses from her squirmy friend, smiling at her exuberance. "Sorry I'm late, little girl. Let's go potty."
Abby kissed the dog between her large pointy ears, then leashed her and took her outside. "Go potty, Boo."
Feeling guilty, she walked the dog around the apartment complex until the daylight was gone, then went back inside, thinking about the insurance fraud case she almost had wrapped up. As she heated up a slice of yesterday's pizza, her mind drifted to the upcoming weekend, the party, her parents.
She'd dug her wedding set from her jewelry box last night. She hadn't looked at the rings since the day she took them off, and seeing them had dredged up all the feelings. How gutted and raw and ruined she'd felt that day. It had taken so long to stop hurting. even now the thought of Ryan opened a hollow spot deep in her chest.
Stop it, Abby.
She didn't know what was wrong with her lately. Thoughts of Ryan were so close to the surface. This weekend was going to be even worse, with everyone asking about him. With those rings encircling her finger again. Bad enough she'd had to keep the last name.
You wouldn't have had to if you'd told them the truth.
She'd tried. She really had. But imagining her dad's reaction had always stopped her. He'd expected the marriage to fail. Had expected her to fail. She couldn't stand the thought of proving him right.
Besides, it wasn't as if she and her parents even had a real relationship. A Christmas card, a voicemail a few times a year. Her mom had put him on the phone when she'd called to talk Abby into coming. He'd harassed her about Ryan, questioning her, that suspicious tone in his voice.
If there could be anything worse than admitting her divorce to her dad, it would be admitting she'd been lying about it for three years. Lying to her dad carried a heavy penalty.
He can't hurt you anymore, Abby.
She shouldn't have let them talk her into this weekend. Now Lewis was going to have a chance to shine. She was jeopardizing her shot at her own agency. But she couldn't cancel now. Her mom was counting on seeing her, and Lillian Gifford had suffered enough disappointment over the years.
It would be the first time Abby had gone home since college.
Summer Harbor, Maine, didn't hold the same nostalgic feelings for her that most people's hometowns did. She couldn't deny the beauty of the rugged coastline or the bustling wharf with its handful of charming shops. But most of her memories centered around her unstable household, which only evoked feelings of fear and uncertainty.
She shoved it all from her mind. She wouldn't think about any of it until she had to.
After eating dinner she settled on the sofa, catching a mystery that was just getting started. Boo curled in her lap, quietly snoring, her little body rising and falling with each breath.
Twenty minutes later she was about to give up on the show when a knock sounded at her door. Boo was upright in an instant, diving off the sofa and charging toward the door with her sharp little yaps.
Probably Mrs. McCauley from next door. The mail carrier was always mixing up their mail. Maybe Abby would invite her in for tea. She could use the company. The distraction. And the woman always seemed lonesome despite her husband and the teenaged granddaughter who'd come to live with them a year ago.
"Shhhh. It's okay, Boo."
The dog barely glanced at Abby, her brown eyes trained on the door, her yaps coming closer together.
Abby reached for the handle and pulled the door, a smile on her lips.
Her heart stuttered. Her breath filled her lungs and stuck there, unable to find release. Her smile fell away.
His face was as familiar as her own. She knew every curve.
every angle. every golden fleck in his chocolate brown eyes.
Three years had done nothing to erase these details.
"Hello, Abby," Ryan said.
Excerpted from Married 'til Monday by Denise Hunter. Copyright © 2015 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
I have been wanting to know Ryan’s full story since book one of this Chapel Springs Romance series, and the author certainly did not disappoint me! In fact, I have really enjoyed this entire series. Dancing with Fireflies, book two, was previously my favorite of the books…but now I can wholeheartedly say that Married ’til Monday has taken its place in my heart as my favorite of the four stories. If you haven’t read the other books in the series, you can still enjoy Married ’til Monday as a stand alone. I would definitely recommend the entire series, though, because it is just such a good one. This book is, to me, so much more than just a romance. There is such hurt and heartbreak living inside these two characters. I absolutely LOVED the way the author did the flashbacks in this story. The reader gets multiple peeks back in time. Glimpses from Abby’s childhood, Ryan and Abby’s first time to meet, the beginning of their romance, the beginning of their marriage, and even the difficult dissolution of that same marriage. So many of the memories are wonderful, but just as many are completely crushing to read about. This book delves into some very serious issues and does so in a way that is tactful, yet truthful. The current thread of the story is just as enjoyable as the flashbacks. Denise Hunter simply writes awesome tension into her books. The attraction, the anger, the frustration…it is palpable throughout the story and makes it seem so real. She also controls the story at the same time. As you can imagine, these two characters were once madly in love. As they begin to experience feelings toward each other again, and struggle with their attraction to each other, the author never lets things go to far. Married ’til Monday is not only my favorite book in the series…it has definitely made it onto my list of all-time favorite books. I highly recommend it to fans of contemporary romance. My thanks to BookLook Bloggers for the complimentary copy of this book that I received in exchange for my honest review.
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”, and oh how this applies, and yet did it? Abby McKinley has never told her parents of her divorce, and they still think she is married to Ryan. When Abby’s parents invite Ryan to their anniversary, without Abby’s knowledge, they end up both going to the party. Ryan hitches a ride with Abby, just to make it look good. Yeah, right! They pretend to be married, and Abby puts her ring back on, and what a show they put on. Now we go really deep into why they are no longer together, and some sad and terrible revelations come out. Abuse, verbal, physical, can’t even imagine. Will these two be able to heal, will they finally be able to put their broken lives back together, or will they finally accept that they are not to be? This is a sweet broken love story, and kept me turning the pages, and hoping for the best. I was wondering how people could treat someone they are supposed to love as horribly as they did. An enjoyable read that might open your eyes. I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review.
So comes the final instalment of the wonderful summer reading experience which has been the Chapel Springs Collection. Book four now turns to the only son of the McKinley seniors, Ryan whose marriage was alluded to in previous volumes as having ended acrimoniously. Ryan however never stopped caring for or loving Abby - even ending up purchasing the dream house she loved even after their divorce. Then when he discovers by accident that after three years, she still hasn’t informed her parents the stage is set for a chance to reconcile and try again. Abby couldn’t bring herself to tell her parents the awful truth about her marriage and how it had ended over three years ago. So now faced with her parent’s wedding anniversary - she needs to have her ex-husband standing in for her supposed real husband. A tense road trip ensures and the even more hilarious moments as the couple try desperately to pull off wedded bliss and fool her folks into thinking all is well. Although what Abby doesn’t realise is that Ryan isn’t trying to pretend as much as she is. This is a lovely final instalment reminding us all that there is always room for second chances and never to say never. A fantastic finale and fitting conclusion to a summer reading set which left all the right feelings. Great value when bought as a boxed set too.
What a great story. Denise Hunter consistently writes fantastic contemporary romance with engaging plot lines. Married 'til Monday particularly caught my interest. Ryan is still in love with his ex-wife. His family are sure he needs to let it go, but when the opportunity presents itself to pretend to be Abby's husband for one last weekend he can't help but leap at the chance. Let the wooing begin. But of course, nothing goes as planned. Will a road trip and a series of missteps, hard truths, car break downs, longing looks and fleeting touches give Ryan and Abby the second chance Ryan so desperately wants? Well, you'll just have to read it, won't you. And it's well worth the read. Try swoon-worthy romance (Ryan is very charming) and that feeling where you kick your legs in glee and can't stop smiling. Abby has been hurt in life, first by her family and then through her and Ryan's divorce. As the story progresses the reader is gradually given insights into Abby's childhood. We also get to see fragments of Abby and Ryan's past, which is expertly interwoven with them reuniting. I've loved the Chapel Springs series, the now familiar and welcoming town setting, the loveable mix of characters and of course the McKinley family. Each story, this one included, can be read as a standalone, but you still get the continuation of each of the characters from the subsequent book. Readers of the previous book will especially enjoy the continuation of PJ and Cole's story. Now out of single McKinley siblings I'm guessing we have reached the end of the Chapel Springs series, but no matter what Denise Hunter writes next, more of Chapel Springs (no complaints here) or something else, it will go straight on my to-read list. Fiction. Contemporary. Romance. Christian. The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Denise Hunter in her new book “Married ’til Monday” Book Four in the Chapel Springs Romance series published by Thomas Nelson takes us into the life of Ryan McKinley. From the back cover: With a big anniversary party in the works for his ex-wife’s parents, Ryan has just one weekend to play Abby’s husband . . . and win back the woman of his dreams. Ryan McKinley has tried to move on from his ex-wife, Abby. He’s sulked, he’s gotten angry, and ultimately he bought her dream house. Big mistake. Living alone in the massive two-story has only made him miss her more. When her parents call him out of the blue about their anniversary party in Summer Harbor, Maine, Ryan believes God has dropped a golden opportunity straight in his lap. Abby McKinley never exactly told her parents about the divorce. A strained relationship with her dad has culminated in a distant relationship with her parents, but she’s finally succumbed to her mom’s pressure to make the drive for their 35th-anniversary party. Then Ryan shows up on her doorstep, looking as handsome as ever. When he insists he’s going to Summer Harbor, with or without her, Abby knows she can’t say no. Her parents still think they’re married and now Ryan knows it too. It’s just a one-week road trip with the man who broke her heart. What could possibly go wrong? I like the McKinley family and this time the focus is on Ryan. Ryan is still madly in love with Abby even though she divorced him. Truth is Abby is still in love with Ryan. Now they are going to share the car ride to her parent’s home. During this weekend we are going to learn just what caused the divorce and we are going to learn that there are hurts that run deep and the only one that can heal us of those hurts is God, Himself. No matter where you try to run you just cannot escape from God. Yes, this story is a hard story at times but there are also times when this is a sweet, lovable story between Ryan and Abby. “Married ’til Monday” is a sweet romance that has the best characters of Ryan and Abby in it. I’m sorry that our visits with the McKinley family are ending however I do look forward to the next series from this authors talented pen. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
What a great read and it is clean! This is a heartwarming love story and the author pulls the reader in so much the reader can identify the fictional characters as being real. Be ready to laugh and cry along the way. Ryan and Abby were in loved but Abby carried more baggage than she even knew. Ryan had a loving family which were not totally accepting Abby to be a part of it. To Ryan's despair they divorced. It was a chance phone call after their 3-year divorce that informed Ryan his ex-in-laws had no idea they had divorced and gave him a plan to win Abby back. Ryan surprised Abby by inviting himself to accompany her to her parent's anniversary party. It was at this time that Ryan got a glimpse of what Abby's life had been as a child. While at the anniversary party a powerful storm blew in and it gave Ryan an extra day to win Abby back. On their return trip back car trouble forced them to stay in a rundown fish shanty. It was the perfect opportunity for Ryan to move on his plan. But, unfortunately not quite long enough and things blew up putting Abby on the defensive and all gains made that weekend were lost.
Denise Hunter writes emotional romances. Married 'til Monday perfectly fits that model. In Married 'til Monday the reader gets pulled into Ryan McKinley's broken marriage -- he didn't want it to end...in fact he's bought his ex-wife's dream home in some delusional attempt to live the dream. Abby is getting ready to move far away in what she thinks is her dream job. But then she has to go home. And Ryan has to come with her. Because her parents don't know they are divorced. And so the framework for the romance is established. Ryan and Abby are both broken, and healing between them isn't possible until each takes steps toward personal healing. I wanted to cheer for and encourage the characters, especially Abby, as they must choose which paths to take. It is a story of choice and pain that so many can relate to...yet ultimately it is a story of restoration of what has been horribly broken. Of the healing of a soul that has never been truly loved and doesn't know how to respond to love. It is a story of healing and hope in a hopeless situation. And because it's a Denise Hunter book, it's also got the perfect kiss.
Denise Hunter is such a talented writer and I have enjoyed her Chapel Springs Romance series. Married ‘til Monday, the fourth book in the series, provides a window into the lives of Ryan and Abby McKinley. A college romance that turned into a whirlwind marriage and ended in divorce. The couple divorced over three years ago and Ryan finds himself still in love with her. He wants to win her back and her parents have provided the perfect opportunity. Abby’s parents call Ryan to talk to him about their upcoming 35th-anniversary party. Abby told them that he is too busy to attend but they plead with him to come. Ryan soon discovers that they do not know about the divorce. He devises a plan that he think will win Abby back. Abby is not happy about traveling with Ryan and spending the weekend with him. However, she has decided that traveling with him is better than telling her parents the truth. Abby has a secret past that she has never shared with Ryan or anyone else. She does not realize how her past has affected her future. However, Ryan is finally able to bring things into the light that Abby has hidden in the dark. Abby finally realizes that she needs healing but will it be too late? I loved this book! It was a great story about hurt, healing and the power of free will. The story illustrates how we cannot control what circumstances we face in this life but we can control our response. We can either blame God or run to Him when we are hurting. Many times we may run from God during trials in our lives but soon realize that we need to run to Him for healing. * Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Wow. Just Wow. Married til Monday is nothing like I’d anticipated. I’d expected a light and fun weekend read. Instead, I read a book that pulled at my heart and helped me to dig deeper into my past in order to heal. There is so much hurt, truth, and love in Married til Monday you won’t want to put it down. As a matter of fact, as I was prepping this post I realized that I’d purchased the rest of the books in this series & I’ve had to re-order my reading list to fit them in, SOON! More… Genre: Christian Romance / Women’s Fiction Pages: 320 Grade: A Ages: 16+ Steam: None really Setting: Indiana Series: Chapel Springs #4
Married till Monday is part of the Chapel Springs Hill series with the McKinley family. The book can be read alone but if you have been reading the series you know Ryan is still struggling with the divorce from his wife, Abby. Ryan finds out that Abby never told her parents about the divorce which opens the opportunity for him to attend their anniversary party with her. Ryan has the opportunity to get close to her in the long drive there and as they play husband and wife for the weekend as they stay with her parents. Abby has a strained relationship with her dad and as the relationship continues to be strained, Ryan learns more about Abby and what makes her tick. Although Abby may frustrate you at times when she turns away from Ryan’s herculean efforts to win her back, you will understand her better as her story is revealed. I loved that Abby was a private investigator and very good at it. Hunter creates some very human scenes between Ryan and Abby both in the present and as they recollect on how they could have handled the past better. On a side note when they are at the anniversary party you will meet Beau and if you want to learn more about his story you will have to wait till the fall of 2015 for Falling Like Snowflakes. You can see my full review at More Than a Review dot com where I rate the level of sex, violence, language and drug/alcohol use in books.
It's been a while since I've read a book by Denise Hunter. I forgot this author has a knack for tugging at my heart strings. Married 'til Monday is an emotional roller coaster from beginning to end and I loved every minute of it! The story was well laid out. At times it was serious and other times I was laughing at Ryan and Abby's antics. The plot was engaging and I was laughing, crying, angry, and sometimes frustrated right along with the characters. I loved this book from start to finish. Period. I can relate so well to Abby. Growing up in a dysfunctional household has a long lasting effect on a person if it's not recognized and dealt with. It can affect everything and color everything in your life without you even realizing it. Abby's attitude, determination, and fear resonated deeply with me. Ryan, oh Ryan. I loved him from the first page of the book. He is handsome, kind, determined, and confident. He's also humble and flawed, and he recognizes those traits. His pursuit of Abby is endearing. He takes everything in stride, even when it's hard for him to swallow. Their relationship attracted me from start to finish. I loved every minute of their bickering, playful banter, and sweet, tender moments. This book focuses a lot on marriage, the "ins" and "outs" if you will, of what a married couple endures. The spiritual, sexual, and emotional. The good, the bad, and the ugly. These two characters went through it all. The message of the book, beside it's focus on marriage, is about relying on God to see you through rather than running away and getting angry. When we allow anger to fester, or we don't deal with issues as they arise, we become bitter and contention and strife invades our relationship with God and everyone else. Recognizing, letting go, and letting God is something each character had to deal with, especially Abby. This book also touches on some tough subjects like abuse, miscarriage, and divorce. Overall, I loved this book. I think it's my favorite of the series (although I haven't read the first one yet). I can't wait to read more by this phenomenal author. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the BookLook blogging program in exchange for my honest review.*
Abby and Ryan have been divorced for 3 years in this last book in the Chapel Springs series. Ryan has never stopped loving Abby and wonders what happened in their marriage. Abby, too, wonders why things went south the way they did. Abby's parents call Ryan, inviting him and Abby to their 35th anniversary celebrations. Seems Abby hasn't informed them about the divorce. Ryan has never stopped thinking about Abby, even going so far as to buy their dream house for himself. He views this trip as an opportunity from God to maybe win Abby back. It's a very long drive and they'll have time to discuss things. Abby wants nothing to do with this and reluctantly agrees to let Ryan hitch a ride with her. Things go south from there and Abby once again experiences great hurt at her parents' house. There was a reason she hasn't been home in years. Just when things begin to look up, Abby shuts down and goes back to her own home, accepting a promotion that will take her clear to Minnesota, 9 hours away from Ryan. But God isn't through with Abby, even though she's walked away from Him. God always is working for our own good and Abby needs to realize this. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Denise Hunter is great at family series books. I look forward to the next one she begins later this year. Set in Maine.
I don't usually read books that are full of religion. I found I really liked this story. It is about the people talking to God and hope for the best. Poor Abby. She is a loner and it took a bit to get herself comfortable with Ryan. She is pregnact. They are married and then she loses the baby. Their marriage falls apart as each one blames the other. Abby also has a Major Spoiler with her through the story. Ryan still loves her but he scares her away and his talking to her doesn't work. He has a feeling that he knows Abby's spoiler. It was hard to see them keep trying to get back together. I liked the people in this story. It was a good read. I would hope you want to read this book too. Enjoy reading this book! I have this book for an honest review for NetGalley.