She only remembers loving him. But he can’t forget the way she left.
Lucy Lovett can’t remember the last seven months of her life. She doesn’t remember leaving her fiancé Zac Callahan weeks before their wedding or moving to Portland, Maine. And she sure doesn’t remember getting engaged to another man. All she remembers is loving Zac more than life itself.
Zac was just beginning to get his life back on track after Lucy left him with no explanation. And now she’s back—vulnerable, homeless, and still in love with him. Has he been given a second chance with the only woman who stirs his passion and haunts his dreams?
Lucy knows she must unlock those missing months and discover why she threw everything away. And Zac knows that if he follows his heart he’ll win back the love of his life—but if Lucy’s memory returns, his would-be bride might say goodbye forever.
About the Author
Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than twenty-five 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. You can learn more about Denise through her website DeniseHunterBooks.com or by visiting her Facebook page, AuthorDeniseHunter.
Read an Excerpt
The Goodbye Bride
A Summer Harbor Novel
By Denise Hunter
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2016 Denise Hunter
All rights reserved.
Lucy Lovett had barely opened her eyes when she took notice of the pain hammering at the back of her head. She groaned, her fingers finding the tender spot, a lump that pushed up through her thick brown hair.
She closed her eyes again as other details registered. Her cheek, pressed to a cold, hard surface. A girdle-like squeeze in her middle. Pinched toes.
The squeak of shoes sounded somewhere in the distance, then a thud. Cool air whooshed over her.
Someone gasped. "Oh no! Miss? Miss, you okay? Oh mercy."
Lucy opened her eyes, rolling over, the lump connecting with the hard surface. "Ow."
Her gaze drifted over the water-stained ceiling tiles, then fell to the chubby cherub-like face of a middle-aged brunette.
"How many fingers?" the woman said.
Three thick fingers blocked Lucy's vision.
"Whatever happened?" she asked.
"Oh dear, you don't remember?"
Lucy's gaze bounced around the room. Gray stalls, a speckled floor, two porcelain sinks, their rusty guts exposed from her vantage point. Her eyes lit on a yellow folded sign on the floor nearby. Caution! Slippery When Wet, it warned above a stick figure doing the slippety-do.
Didn't she? She must've. Why else would she be lying prone on the floor — wet, she realized now, as the dampness registered — with a lump on her head? She winced as her hand found the bump again.
"Can you get up? Oh, have you hit your head? Maybe we should call 911."
"No!" Just the thought of the hospital had her sitting up. "See, I'm just ..." Her eyes dropped to her lap and took in the frothy white skirt. She followed the delicate beading up the bodice to her bare shoulders. Her thoughts raced, searching for answers, but all she found were scrambled puzzle pieces.
"Well, who are you here with? I'll let them know what happened."
"I — I'm alone." Wasn't she? Why couldn't she remember?
"Let's call somebody then. Your groom perhaps? I'll get some ice for that head, then we'll call. He must be worried silly."
The woman bustled out the door while Lucy tried to assimilate the facts floating through her ringing head. It couldn't be her wedding day. That just made no sense whatsoever. It was over a month away. Maybe this was just her fitting. But why didn't she remember a single thing? Why didn't she remember getting into the gown or coming here or falling?
Think, Lucy. Think.
Her last memory was of cleaning up the restaurant with Zac the night before. He'd walked her to her apartment afterward, the cool fall wind ruffling his longish black hair. He'd slipped his coat over her shoulders, and they'd talked all the way to her door. There, under a puddle of light, she'd looked up into his handsome face, into his stormy gray eyes, and felt a pinch of fear. That niggling worry that something would go horribly wrong and she'd lose the one person she needed more than air.
A shuffling of feet sounded outside the door, pulling her back to the present. She was fine. She just needed to get up and find Zac. He'd help her make sense of all this.
Lucy pulled her knees in and braced herself against the subway-tiled wall. As she got to her feet, her eyes fell on the white satin heels pinching her toes. Heels she'd admired a few weeks ago on Nordstrom.com. Kate Spade sling-back peep-toes with tiny demure bows. Shoes that were far out of her budget. She hadn't ordered them. She'd settled on a cute (if not darling) pair of pumps from a Summer Harbor boutique.
She looked down at the shoes. And yet, there they were.
The door burst open, and Cherub reappeared with a baggie of ice. She helped Lucy to her feet, and Lucy set the ice against the lump. A jackhammer was going in her head, and she blinked against the pain.
"Let's get you to a chair, honey. I think you should get an X-ray or something. You seem a little muddled."
"I'm fine. But I need to call my fiancé."
"Of course you do. My cell's about dead, but the manager will let you use her phone. I think she's worried about a lawsuit."
The bathroom door opened to a bustling diner that looked straight out of the 1950s with red stools and a black-and-white tiled floor. Lucy didn't recognize the place. A savory smell hung in the air, making her stomach churn.
She looked out the big picture window. The sun sparkled off the ocean in the distance, but the shops across the way were unfamiliar. Some corner of Summer Harbor she hadn't set eyes on? Though the little town only had so many corners, and she thought she'd seen them all.
Cherub retrieved a phone from the frowning lady behind the counter and handed it to her.
"You call that fiancé of yours. I'll be right back." She disappeared into the ladies' room.
"There was a sign," the woman said, glaring. "Soon as you walked in the door. You couldn't miss it."
Lucy nodded, making her head pound harder. Her breaths were quick and shallow. She was sitting in a room full of people, but she couldn't remember ever feeling so alone. Well, except the one time. But that was so very long ago. Way before Zac.
He's only a phone call away.
Lucy punched his cell number into the handset, trying to ignore the frowning manager and the prying eyes. She supposed it wasn't every day a person saw a bride in a diner.
Zac must be fretting about her, she thought as the phone rang. She did hope he wasn't waiting at the chapel. She glanced at the clock on the diner wall. No, it was too early for that. The wedding didn't start until five thirty.
My wedding day. What happened to the past month?
She pushed the questions away. Needing Zac more than ever, she dialed the Roadhouse.
* * *
Zac Callahan lined up the shot, drew back the stick, and struck the cue ball. It rolled forward, spinning across the green felt, and kissed the solid blue ball, which shot off at an angle and sank into the corner pocket.
The bystanders erupted in cheers. Wagers always had a way of upping involvement.
"Of all the luck," Beau said.
Zac straightened to his full six-four height. "Luck's got nothing to do with it, big brother."
"Yeah, whatever." Beau surveyed the table, his near-black eyes narrowing in a frown.
Zac had left him nothing. With the rest of his evening on the line, he wasn't leaving it up to chance. Marci, one of his servers, had called in sick, and the crowd was picking up. He was going to need the extra hands.
"I can't wait to see you in that apron," Zac said.
"Not happening." Beau's dark hair hung forward as he took a shot and missed.
His new fiancée, Eden, consoled him with a pat on the arm and mouthed to Zac, I'm so there.
"Zac, you're wanted on the phone!" his hostess called on her way past the poolroom.
He set down the cue stick and pointed at Beau. "No cheating."
Beau gave a Who, me? face as Zac headed toward the counter. The restaurant was already half full because of the Red Sox game on TV. The crowd gave a hearty shout as the tying run crossed home plate.
Zac paused a moment to watch, then continued on his way. He patted Sheriff Colton's shoulder as he passed and avoided the booth where Morgan LeBlanc sat with a friend. He'd had a couple dates with Morgan, and they were going out again soon. He tried to work up some excitement about that and failed.
He slipped behind the counter and snapped up the handset. "Zac speaking."
"Zac! Oh, thank heavens."
Adrenaline flushed through his body, tingles zinging across his skin. His shoulders went rigid. He hadn't heard her voice in seven months. That sweet Southern drawl that used to give him palpitations. Now it made his heart stop in its tracks.
"Something awful's just happened. I — I fell, and I don't rightly know where I am. Can you come for me?"
He rubbed his forehead, his thoughts spinning. "What?"
"I don't want to be late, and I'm already just sopping wet, and my hair — "
"Late for what?"
"That is not funny, Zac Callahan." She sounded near tears. "My head's cranking, and I — I need you to come fetch me."
"Lucy, you're not making any sense. Why are you even calling me?"
There was a long pause. "Are you kidding me?"
He remembered that day seven months ago, returning from his weekend trip. The unanswered calls, the unanswered knock at her door. Being worried, calling her landlord only to find her apartment empty and Lucy gone.
His fingers tightened on the handset. "Call somebody else. You're not my problem anymore."
She gave a little gasp. "Why are you being so hateful?" The last words wobbled.
Why was he —? He pulled the phone from his ear, scowled at it, and put it back in place. "You're the one who left, Lucy. If you need a ride, call a cab." He started to hang up.
"Wait, Zac! Please. Oh my gosh, you can't do this to me. I hit my head and there's a great big lump and my head is pounding and I need help. I need you."
His gut clenched hard. How many times in the recent months had he longed to hear those words from her lips? She sounded so ... confused. So lost. And it wasn't like she had any family left.
And you're a great big sucker, Callahan.
"Please. I don't know where I am or what's going on. You have to help me."
He leaned back against the bar. "Lucy. You need to go to the hospital. You must have a con — "
"I can't go to the hospital!"
Zac dragged his palm over his scruffy jaw, remembering Lucy's phobia. He'd never be able to talk her into an ER visit over the phone. Even when she'd torn a tendon in her ankle, she'd refused to go. An EMT friend of his had treated her in his apartment upstairs.
If she really had a head injury, it could be bad. She could even have bleeding on the brain or something.
He sighed hard, knowing he sounded put out and not caring. He really was a sucker. "Where are you?"
"I — I don't know. Hold on. Don't hang up."
A shuffling noise sounded in the phone. He strained to hear over the clamor of voices and clanging of silverware.
On Lucy's end a woman rattled out a street address.
"Wait," Lucy said, her voice muffled. "Summer Harbor?"
"No, honey. Portland."
"Portland ...?" Lucy asked. "Portland, Oregon?"
"What? No. Maine. Portland, Maine."
Ah, for the love of — Zac poked his fingers into his eye sockets. "Lucy." More shuffling. "Lucy."
"I'm right here. Zac, I'm in —"
"I heard." He gave a quiet growl. He shouldn't even be thinking about doing this. She was gone from his life. He was finally over her.
Sure you are. That's why you're going to rush to her rescue.
He'd always been so weak where Lucy was concerned. She'd had him in the palm of her hand since the day she'd walked into the Roadhouse. Right up until she stomped all over his heart with her fancy pointy-toed heels.
"This better not be some trick, Lucy."
"Why would I even do that?" Her voice was a mixture of outrage and hurt.
He huffed. Like he'd ever been able to figure her out.
"Please, Zac. I'm truly desperate."
His resolve crumbled at the sound of tears in her voice. Aw, dang it. He'd never be able to live with himself if something happened to her. He ran his palm over his face as resolve settled over him.
"Sit tight. I'll be there in a few hours."CHAPTER 2
Lucy stared out at the bustling harbor. Her backside was numb from the wooden bench she'd been sitting on since her call to Zac. After she'd hung up she'd been eager to escape the glowering manager, curious patrons, and nauseating smells coming from the kitchen. She'd hiked up her skirts and crossed the street, relieved to find an out-of-the-way bench where she could ruminate in private.
She'd had hours to think, or so it seemed, and she'd reached a disturbing conclusion. She'd definitely lost a month of her life. There was no getting around it. She wasn't sure why she was in Portland or why Zac was in Summer Harbor, but she had to face it — her brain wasn't operating at optimum capacity.
She felt mildly dizzy, and her vision was slightly blurred no matter how hard she tried to blink it away. The sunlight glinting off the water felt like knife blades jabbing her in the eyes. She closed them against the pain and focused on breathing.
While the headache and dizziness were disorienting, the anxiety roiling in her gut was even worse. What was wrong with her? Were the memories of the past month gone forever? Did she have a serious injury? How long would this befuddled state last? What if it never went away?
She watched a lobster boat coming in off the water, the men quitting for the day. What time was it? What was taking Zac so long?
What if he didn't come?
Ridiculous. Of course he'd come. He loved her.
She thought back to their phone call. The sound of his voice, his Mainer accent, had been so reassuring, the dropped r's as familiar as the sound of waves rolling ashore. Lobstah. Satahday. Chowdah.
She frowned, the memory of the call digging in deeper. The conversation was fuzzy. He'd seemed out of sorts, but she couldn't remember exactly what he'd said.
What if she had a brain injury? She was going to have to go to the hospital, she just knew it. Anxiety swelled inside. She was suddenly eight years old and sitting alone by her mother's hospital bed. A machine beeped quietly, keeping track of her heartbeats.
Until it stopped altogether.
Lucy's heart pounded at the memory, making her headache worse. The hospital felt like death. Smelled like death. But she would have to go.
You won't die, Lucy. What is the matter with you?
She didn't have the time or mental capacity to answer that question. And why could she remember something that happened sixteen years ago when she couldn't remember putting on her wedding gown only hours ago?
She turned at the deep timbre of Zac's voice. Her heart soared at the sight of his familiar face. His strong, masculine features, the sharp turn of his jaw. She knew every curve and angle by heart. She frowned at the sight of his short beard. His black hair was longer than she remembered too, a thick curl falling over his forehead.
Shaking the confusion, she jumped up and took a step toward him, eager for the safety of his arms. But the world tilted, and she stumbled sideways on the walkway.
Zac sped to her side, catching her by the elbows. "What are you doing?"
She winced at the gruffness in his voice. Her grip tightened on his forearms. She blinked away the dizziness and stared into his gray eyes, wishing she could see more clearly. He felt stiff and sounded cold. Not at all like her Zac.
"Zac ... I'm so glad to see you. Will you take me home? Please?"
"Just sit down for now." He eased her back until she hit the bench, letting go as soon as she was seated.
She looked down at the dress, clutching the frothy material. Their wedding day was ruined. Completely ruined. After all that work.
Sudden tears clogged her throat, filled her eyes. "You weren't supposed to see me yet."
Not until she came down the aisle. There was supposed to be awestruck wonder on his face. It was a bride's right, for gosh sakes. She'd wanted the altar lights on just to be sure she caught a glimpse of his expression.
She frowned at the thought. The chapel was in Summer Harbor, and she was in Portland. It was all so confusing. She rubbed her temple. "I'm afraid I'm a bit befuddled."
"Where'd you hit your head?"
"In the ladies' room." She gestured over her shoulder. "At the diner. The floor was wet, and I guess I just ... slipped."
"I mean where on your head?"
"Oh. Here." She took his hand and placed it gently on the lump.
He pressed his lips together. "You've got a good-sized lump going. Were you knocked unconscious?"
"I — I don't know. I think so. Maybe?" She couldn't even remember that!
He withdrew his hand, and she immediately missed the comfort of his fingers. Why wasn't he touching her? Holding her? She needed comfort, daggonit!
"Lucy ... you were unconscious, you're dizzy, and you've got some time gaps. You need to get looked at."
She looked at him pleadingly, tears welling up in her eyes. "No ..."
"I'll go with you. There's no choice. We need to see what's going on."
Where was his warm voice? His tender touch?
"What about the wedding? We need to call people. I can't believe this is happening." Her breaths were coming hard and shallow, like her lungs couldn't keep up.
Excerpted from The Goodbye Bride by Denise Hunter. Copyright © 2016 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
The Goodbye Bride is written so well that you just want to keep on reading. Such a page turner! I would recommed this book to anyone who likes christian romance and any kind of romance. Couldn't put it down, you go Denise!
No real storyline to grasp my attention. After the firdt few chapters it got boring. Had potential but it characters lacked.
While I liked the first Summer Harbor book better, The Goodbye Bride is still a sweet read and one that I fell into with ease. Lucy Lovett's memories are gone, and the way that it happened is a mystery to her. However, the bigger mystery is why she was marrying another man, one who is not Zac Callahan, the love of her life. Adding to this puzzle is the fact that Lucy apparently left Zac, even as they made concrete plans for their future. While I did find it a bit silly that she ended up staying with him for most of the story, the interactions between Lucy and Zac are sweet and the tension between the two of them is off the charts. Sometimes the focus on the physical got a bit old, however, it was also probably realistic because they had already been a serious couple previously. Being a Southern girl myself, I also appreciated that aspect of Lucy's character. I've really enjoyed getting to know the Callahan brothers, as well as visiting the town of Summer Harbor. This is only the second novel I've read by Denise Hunter, and I'm glad I've finally read her books. I am looking forward to reading Riley Callahan's story in Just a Kiss. If it's anything like the first two books, there is sure to be a special twist that sparks my interest and keeps me flipping those pages. I received a complimentary copy of this book. This review is my honest opinion.
Wow, this is one emotion-packed book! I really felt for both Lucy and Zac and the difficult situation they find themselves in. Zac's struggle to be there for Lucy despite his hurt and anger shows his character and strength. Lucy is hurt by his distance, and doesn't understand how she ended up rejecting him when she loves him so much. Zac's family is a bit protective of him even though they like Lucy, although she finds an ally in Beau's new wife Eden. There's a lot of heartache that Zac and Lucy work out, and the hope for reconciliation is strong as well as their chemistry together. There is a bit of suspense wondering when Lucy will regain her memory and find the answers to her secrets. I enjoyed the flashbacks to the early days of their relationship and seeing how they fell in love. Highly recommend to fans of clean contemporary romance! (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
Emily and Zac had two different memories about their current situation. Zac is repulsed and hurt by Emily and isn't expecting to ever hear from her again since she fled and chose not to marry him. He was a bit shocked when finding out that what happened from that time forward could surpass his wildest imagination. Emily misses Zac so much and falling and hurting herself yet not remembering how she got there puzzles her. She knows Zac will make everything right again. She wasn't expecting him to be so cold and distant with her. She can't understand why he isn't happy they can go ahead and get married as she can heal as time goes on. What she doesn't know is the wedding dress she has on wasn't because of a wedding she was planning with Zac. This book has many turns and shows that life is sometimes about choices that are made in hasty times and based on emotions. We can really create chaos until something stops and shakes our world up and shows us to stop and go about things in a different way. A way that makes Emily appreciate the suffering of her concussion and memory loss but shameful for her previous actions. Take a ride into this wild life that weaves Zac and Emily's life together once again and learn from their lessons how to take control of one's life. It is a good story that is still has morals and clarity of all the character's thoughts and environments! What a great read to enjoy and remind others of. Thanks to the author for writing such a good book.
The Goodbye Bride, A Summer Harbor Novel**** by Denise Hunter I enjoyed reading Zac Callahan and Lucy Lovett's story and the descriptions of Maine had me right there with them. Loved the “ayuh” typical of Main, reminded me of Murder She Wrote. I really liked Zac, he loves Lucy even though she took off just before their wedding seven months ago. When she calls in a panic, he drops everything and goes to her rescue knowing his heart could be broken all over again. Now he tries to guard his heart from further heartache. I felt bad for Lucy, not just that she has amnesia but the things from her past that have left her wounded and feeling abandoned. Wounds that have impacted her life since she was a little girl. Admire her courage as she struggles with her love for Zac, trying to get her memory back and possibly some answers to many questions. Really liked the back-stories, giving the reader information that shed light on current situations. I was glad to see Eden befriend Lucy, giving her support and advice. Likewise, Zac's brother, Beau, was full of advice for Zac and supported him even if he wasn't sure about Lucy being back—he is protective of his brother. Zac's aunt, Miss Trudy was feisty and outspoken but I found her to have a good heart and adorable. Then there is Brad, he was someone who had an agenda for his gain and I hoped his motives would be learned before he could do something that would further wound Lucy. We see the characters struggle with fear and overcome it, learn to trust again, let go of the past and forgive—others and themselves, second chances, heartbreak, tears and joy, betrayal, romance and love, and a strong faith for a heartwarming story. ~I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild, this is my honest review~
With endearing characters and an engaging plot, I really enjoyed this charming romance! Lucy’s and Zac’s emotions were deftly portrayed, and their heartwarming journey was such fun to read. This was my first visit to Summer Harbor, and I’m already eager to return. The Goodbye Bride is a delightful tale and a recommended read for fans of contemporary romance! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
She remembers loving, and being engaged to, him. He remembers her leaving him. Lucy Lovett cannot remember the last seven months of her life. She can’t remember leaving Zac before their wedding day or moving away. She also does not remember becoming engaged to another man. Zac Callahan is just beginning to get his life back when he receives an unexpected phone call. A phone call that will change his world forever. Perhaps now he can find out why Lucy left him. Then again, maybe it is best not to know. Every Denise Hunter book I have read I have liked, and this one is no exception. I love her way of words, her characters, how this story unfolds. The Goodbye Bride had intrigue, mystery, humor, etc…. Definitely a keeper. *I received this book free from Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review. What I have expressed are entirely my own thoughts*
The Goodbye Bride: A Summer Harbor Novel that should be made into a MOVIE! :) I loved this book by Denise Hunter! It focuses on key characters Lucy Lovett and Zac Callahan. The story begins in the middle, seven and half months after Lucy left Zac just days before they were supposed to be married. She wakes up in a diner bathroom, sprawled out on the floor, wearing her wedding dress and wincing from a big bump on her head. Dazed and confused, she cannot recall where she is or why she’s there. All she remembers is her fiancé, Zac. Ladies from the diner rush to her aid and when she finally gets near a phone, she calls the only person she remembers but the problem is, he doesn’t remember her as fondly as she wished. When Lucy left Zac, she shattered his heart and destroyed his hope by not leaving any explanation for her departure nor a promise to return. He moved on with his life (or so he thought) but his resolve to forget about his almost bride, starts to weaken when he hears her voice over the phone and realizes that she needs him more than ever. So he does what any man who loves a woman would do—he drops everything, hops in his car and travels hundreds of miles to be by her side. Oh, but the story doesn’t stop there nor does the story evolve easily. There are plot twists, surprises, ups and downs, tumultuous times, memorable moments, sweet treats and an epilogue that will take your breath away. The author does a wonderful job of sugar coating the mystery and not revealing the details until the exactly right time. The characterization is deep and multilayered. The characters live and breathe on the page. The setting of Summer Harbor feels quaint, cozy and romantic. “The Goodbye Bride” is the perfect title for the story and the book cover? Simply breathtaking! I wholeheartedly believe that this book deserves five stars and I am now a loyal fan of its author, Denise Hunter! Would love to see this book on the Hallmark Channel too! Fiction Guild sent a complimentary copy of "The Goodbye Bride" to WriterHeart in exchange for an honest review.
The Goodbye Bride? More like Hello Drama, Mysteries and Romance. The Goodbye Bride was a phenomenal novel by Denise Hunter that I could not put down! Lucy Lovett wakes up in a diner bathroom in a wedding dress, engaged to a man she does not know, and unable to remember the last seven months of her life. Zac Callahan is the fiancé Lucy left behind those seven months ago. It’s something Lucy does not remember and Zac cannot forget. When Lucy asks for Zac’s help in piecing together her past, Zac is put in a difficult position. Following his heart could mean disaster all over again. I loved this book. From the very first page a wonderful tale was woven together. Ms Hunter kept my focus the entire length of the story. I loved the characters and their personalities. They seemed so real to me. I loved the setting and the plot as well. I look forward to reading the rest of the series and the rest of Ms Hunter’s books. I received this book from the Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion which I’ve provided here. https://wordynerdyblog.wordpress.com/tawnys-two-cents/the-goodbye-bride-by-denise-hunter/
After being totally captivated by Denise Hunter’s first Summer harbour novel, Falling Like Snowflakes, I was fortunate enough to be able to immediately start on The Goodbye Bride - book 2. This was even better, if that’s possible, the book 1. The best stories have a dashing selfless hero and a normally strong woman whom circumstances have created a damsel in distress. Such is the story of Zac and Lucy. Zac has put Lucy behind him but then comes a distressed call from her saying she’s in trouble, has a head injury and doesn’t really know what’s happened or what to do. This after she had dumped him and run to the city. It sets up a fantastic tale of reconciliation and reunion with some swoon-worthy moments to savour. Brilliant winter warmer down here in the southern hemisphere.
When I first picked this book up, I had the same thought some of you probably did: I really hope this isn’t a book about a flight female who can’t make up her mind! BOY, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Can you imagine losing 7 months of your life *just like that*! Denise Hunter captures your attention from the very beginning and creates a compelling story. I enjoyed being back in Summer Harbor with Beau, Eden, and Aunt Trudy. I really enjoyed getting to know Zac more, as well. I was immediately drawn to his vulnerability where Lucy is concerned and his quiet strength of character. Lucy’s concussion and memory loss make her an extremely vulnerable character. I was worried that because of her fear of her memory never returning, she would be whiney and that would make me not like her. I was pleasantly surprised! Lucy, though her fear and vulnerability were a big part of her story, was a strong and feisty woman! I loved how the author brought them together and gave us glimpses of their pasts, which made me appreciate their present. The message of the story is simple, yet strong. God never promised our lives would be easy. Both Zac and Lucy have to work through their troubles to embrace their second chance. As Eden points out to Lucy, ”Life will always have troubles. It’s what shapes and molds us and makes us into the people He wants us to be.” I could also relate to Lucy’s struggle with her past. It’s hard to let go of something that hurt you so deeply. She didn’t realize how it was affecting her until God brought it to light. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story of second chances at love, letting go of the past, and embracing the troubles God brings us as he shapes us into what He wants us to be. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the BookLook blogging program in exchange for my honest review.*
When I first started reading The Goodbye Bride I thought, oh no, another flighty bride who does not know what she wants. Here we go again! But I was so wrong! My first impression was to dislike Lucy Lovett but she had lots of head stuff going on. It's funny how things that happen to us or are said to us as children in many cases follow and affect us on into adulthood. Lucy, running from an apparent wedding in a wedding dress, slips, falls, hits her head and has amnesia that causes her to lose seven months of her life. All she can think to do is call Zac Callahan to come and pick her up. Zac, however, has spent seven months trying to forget Lucy after she runs out on him weeks before their wedding. This is such a great story with lots of emotions running throughout. How do you move on with your life and let go of the past, no matter how painful it might be? Lucy has to learn this as well as try to get back her memory of the lost seven months. It's also a story of God's love and how he can help you get through your fears. I'm looking forward to Riley's story too that's coming out in September, 2016! I received this book from The Fiction Guild for my honest opinion, which I have given.
I am so happy to have discovered this new-to-me author. I loved her writing style from the start and fell in love with this couple and their story. What a fun and fresh contemporary romance! It was intriguing, funny, and downright adorable. I instantly connected with Lucy and her predicament and was hooked through the entire book to see if her memory would return. My heart went out to her and Zac both. I’ve never read a premise quite like this and it was so refreshing and entertaining. They’re both adorable, real people who are cute as can be. Yet, they have built walls around their hearts and fear trusting those they love. It’s a sweet and very romantic journey watching these two soul mates find healing and their happily ever after. I found myself wishing I could visit Summer Harbor myself. It sounded like such a fun little town and I enjoyed meeting the other townfolk friends and family as well. I will definitely be picking up more of this author’s books. I hope you will give them a read too! This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to Thomas Nelson & Zondervan’s Fiction Guild for my copy.
Denise Hunter writes such heart felt novels. I've never read one of her books that did not suck me right into the story and bring the characters to life. If there is a series, you can bet you will know the characters quite well before the end of the first book. In this case, by the time I had finished reading Beau's story, not only was I looking forward to Zac's story, but Riley's too. And now that I've finished reading Zac's, the wait for Riley's is even harder. Zac was living with heartache in the first book, Falling Like Snowflakes. He's lost the love of his life and he's got to watch his brother Beau find his. Of course that makes it even harder to deal with the fact that his dear Lucy ran out on him weeks before the wedding. Now here he is running his restaurant, the Roadhouse, missing his brother Riley who's joined the marines, and being happy that Beau finally found another girl to love besides Riley's Paige. He's shocked when he receives a phone call from Lucy. She's in need of his help. Her leaving really hurt, so there's no way he would want to help, but somehow he finds himself unable to say no and off he runs to rescue Lucy. The next several months are quite the adventure for them. First finding out that Lucy has amnesia and can't remember the last seven months of her life. She thinks she's still marrying Zac. Way to throw a wrench in the cogs of life. I loved how Hunter wove the past into the story. How Zac and Lucy met was probably my favorite part of the story. It showed a playful side of all three brothers. And Zac's fun little nickname for Lucy was fun, though her nickname for him wasn't that unusual. The amnesia situation made for quite a few interesting moments. As a reader I felt Zac's frustration at not being able to figure out what happened because Lucy couldn't remember to satisfy his curiosity. I also felt Lucy's reluctance to regain her memory because she didn't like where it all led to, her being unengaged from Zac. I can't wait for the final Summer Haven novel. Denise Hunter continues to be a favorite author and I've enjoyed reading all her books over the years. She gets better and better with each book. "He never had my heart, so I knew he couldn't break it." I received an ebook copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
4.6 out of 5 Zac Callahan is just starting to get his life back together when he gets a phone call from his ex-fiancé, Lucy Lovett. She has had an accident, and can’t remember the last seven months of her life. That includes leaving Zac just weeks before their wedding. Lucy doesn’t remember leaving Zac or moving to Maine. She certainly doesn’t remember why she’s wearing a wedding dress when she wakes on the floor of a diner bathroom. Scared and alone, Lucy pleads with Zac to bring her to the last home she remembers, Summer Harbor. Zac’s home. Despite his better judgement, Zac brings her back and does his best to fight the feelings that come rushing back. Could it be a second chance? Or will whatever made her run in the first place make her leave again if her memory returns? The Goodbye Bride is actually the second book in the Summer Harbor series, but it can be read on its own. And it is a really good read. I won’t lie, there are some cliché romance novel aspects to this book (we’re told Lucy and Zac’s eye colors at least twenty times as they stare into each other’s eyes throughout the novel), but the story itself is great. The characters have some depth to them, and I personally fell head over heels for Zac. If you’re looking for a light, entertaining, slightly emotionally novel with a hint of Christian faith, this is a great one. I’ll eventually check out the others in the series. I received a copy of this book from BookLook in exchange for an honest review.
First thoughts: Happy sigh! I adored this book, but I absolutely cannot wait for the next in the series. After reading the synopsis, I wondered how in the world things could possibly work out for Lucy and Zac. I enjoyed every bit of the story as the past was gradually unraveled. As with all of Denise Hunter's stories, the romance was top notch and will make you swoon. From the Back Cover: She only remembers loving him. But he can’t forget the way she left. Following a concussion, Lucy Lovett can’t remember the last seven months of her life. She doesn’t remember leaving her fiancé Zac Callahan weeks before their wedding or moving to Portland, Maine. And she sure doesn’t remember getting engaged to another man. All she remembers is loving Zac more than life itself. It’s taken Zac months to move on after Lucy left him with no explanation. He’s thrown himself into his family’s farm and his restaurant business in Summer Harbor. Now Lucy’s back, vulnerable, homeless, and still in love with him. She needs his help putting the pieces together, but letting her back into his life is a risk—and the stakes are high. If he follows his heart he’ll win back the love of his life. But if her memory returns he’ll lose her all over again. Characters: Zac is such a great character. He's an honorable guy who's still in love with Lucy, but wary since she broke his heart. Not many guys would go out of their way to help her in that situation, but he does. Lucy earns sympathy as she going through a difficult time, not able to remember the past seven months. She's got some tough things she went through in the past as well, which shape who she is today. Recommendation: If you like a lot of kisses in your books, then this is the story for you! While things got a little bit heated at times, it didn't cross the lines. I'd highly recommend this book. While it can stand alone, I'd suggest reading Falling Like Snowflakes first, just because the series is so good. Rating: 5/5 stars I received a free copy of this book from the Thomas Nelson Fiction Guild in exchange for an honest review.
What would you do if you woke up one day and the last seven months of your life were gone? This is the situation Lucy Lovett faced. The Goodbye Bride by Denise Hunter is the second book in her Summer Harbor series, although it can stand alone. It is a clean christian romance novel with no sex or foul language. Lucy Lovett has faced her share of hard times. From watching her mom die of a rare brain tumor to her dad walking out of her life and leaving her with a neighbor. She knows nothing comes easy and she has stood on her own two feet quite well. That is until she meets Zac Callahan and falls head over heels in love. Zac Callahan owns and runs the local Roadhouse. It's a type of sports bar and grill located on the beach. It's here that he first meets Lucy Lovett. He knows he's a goner when he hears her southern accent and the way she's endearingly clumsy. They both fall deeply and quickly in love. Two people couldn't be more right for each other. As the wedding approaches, Zac needs to get away for the weekend. When he comes home he finds his whole world upside down, Lucy is gone! Nowhere to be found, Zac finally has to face the fact she has run from him and their love. Imagine his surprise seven months later when Lucy calls out of the blue. She seems to have no recollection of their break up. As a matter of fact, she seems to think its their wedding day! He knows she's in trouble, he can hear it by the tone of her voice. After a quiet internal war with himself, he decides to go help her. If nothing else, maybe he can talk her into going to the hospital. He still loves Lucy but he refuses to let her get close again. He's convinced once she regains her memory she will not want him anymore. The Goodbye Bride is a beautiful love story of love conquers all and perfect love drives out fear. Lucy is driven by her fear of abandonment, convinced she isn't good enough or deserving enough for anyone, much less a man like Zac Callahan. Zac is a good man, an honorable man but even he has his limits. His heart was crushed when Lucy just ran off so he's a little reluctant to get too involved, even if she has amnesia. In the end he does the right thing and sticks by Lucy and tries to help her put the pieces of her life back together. I really enjoyed this book. It was a great read full of twists and turns. I also liked that it wasn't heavy on sexual content or innuendos as some romance books are known for. For me this is a swoon worthy book that I would love to see made into a movie.
I loved this story! I really enjoy Denise Hunter’s books and The Goodbye Bride was no exception. The plot for this book was a great one to begin with, but the author did such an amazing job of carrying it off with little details that really brought the emotions of the characters to life for me. Lucy Lovett was such a complex character and I felt such sadness for her. From the confusion and hurt she felt at waking up, to her new reality that didn’t include a relationship with the man she loved, to the flashbacks of her painful childhood, Lucy became a character near and dear to my heart. I don’t cry easily during novels, but the flashbacks to Lucy’s father brought tears to my eyes and an ache to my heart. Zac was an amazing leading man. I loved that even though Lucy had wounded him horribly, he stepped up to help her. Time and again, he proved to Lucy that he was a good man. Watching his struggle and his determination to remain strong against the pull of his love for Lucy was powerful! I thoroughly loved this book from start to finish and I am very excited to read the next book in this series! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The Goodbye Bride was soooo good. I did not want to put the book down. I read it within two days. If you've been following the series you knew that Zac’s fiance had left him before the wedding. This is their story; and oh what a story. Denise did an excellent job of creating a story and emotions that are believable and at times heartbreaking. The premise of the story is that Lucy has lost her memory and does not know why she left Zac before the wedding or why she might be engaged to someone else 7 months later. It was fascinating to reconcile her memories were from seven months prior and his from present day. Denise created some very cute scenes between them and some smoking hot chemistry. I was thrilled that Eden from Falling Like Snowflakes played a major role as Lucy’s friend. I am anxiously awaiting Riley’s story. Denise has me on the edge of my seat, concerned that something will happen to him before he comes home and talks to Paige. 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.
Lucy Lovett has amnesia! She can't remember the last seven months of her life. She comes to in a wedding dress and assumes it's her wedding day with Zac. She calls him to come get it. Zac is floored with Lucy calls because she left him days before their wedding months ago. But he is still in love with her and goes to help her. Will she get her memory back? Will they rekindle their former relationship? Or will she go back to Brad her other fiance. Interesting read.
This is the second book in the Summer Harbor series. It tells the story of Lucy Lovett and Zac Callahan. Seven months ago Lucy disappeared from Zac’s life right before their wedding without a word, leaving Zac devastated. Suddenly, Lucy reappears in Zac’s life, in need of his help, without a memory of the last seven months. And so starts this latest novel by Denise Hunter. I really enjoyed Lucy and Zac’s story and their journey back to each other. I found the characters engaging and relatable. Even though it is the second book in the series, it is a stand alone story. But the 3 Callahan brothers’ stories are interwoven throughout the 3 books, so I do think reading the entire series makes for a more complete and enriching story. This was a sweet, swoon-worthy read full of tender moments and poignant lessons. It was also neat how she and Colleen Coble “borrowed” characters from each other’s novels to include in their own. I enjoy Denise’s writing and am eagerly anticipating Riley, the youngest Callahan’s story in the Fall. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This book has such an interesting premise. Lucy can't remember leaving Zac and still loves him as if she were going to marry him while Zac has begun healing from her leaving him. It is definitely not your typical romance novel. Hunter did a great job with the plot of this novel. She didn't give away too much too soon, yet gave readers just enough to keep us wanting more. It was definitely novel writing at its finest! I'm not sure that I found Zac and Lucy the most compelling characters that I have ever read, but the plot more than makes up for anything lacking in them, for me. I thought the whole question of Lucy's amnesia interesting and the mystery of how and why she lost her memory intriguing. Hunter deals with the power of generational strongholds perfectly. I also thought the slightly sinister addition of Lucy's new fiance to be a perfect addition to the story. It added a bit of tension to the story, without too many superfluous characters. This is the first novel I've read by Hunter, but it surely won't be the last! If you love romance novels with a hint of mystery, this is the book for you. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Fiction Guild in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.