Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Convenient Groom

From Goodreads:

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. Can they pull it off? And why would Lucas marry her in the first place? With her life spinning out of control, Kate wonders what good her carefully laid plans are if they only lead to chaos. Could it be that "Dr. Kate" doesn't know the first thing about love? When she seeks God's will instead of her won, Kate finally discovers true and lasting love.

My Take:

One of my very favorite verses  is:

"The Lord your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over over you with singing." 
Zephaniah 3:17

The author was inspired by it when she was writing this book. I would love to say that great minds think alike, but Denise Hunter is in a class all her own. This is not your ordinary Christian romance novel. It's not your ordinary romance novel either. She doesn't preach or even overtly talk about God most of the time. Still, the message is there if you look for it.

This is one of the most touching love stories I've read in a long time. It's a re-release with a beautiful new cover. It's a chance for those of you who haven't read it to get in on something special - and I'm going to be offering you an extra chance as well. :o) Before we get there, let's talk about the story a little more.

Marriages of convenience aren't commonplace today. A lot of couples choose not to marry so a contemporary romance with that theme is a little different right from the beginning. Then you start to notice the people involved and the roles they play. Kate is the relationship expert - but she's stood up on her wedding day because her groom claims to be in love with someone else. Lucas offers to help because he doesn't want Kate hurt and he hopes that he might be able to win her over in time. 

As you watch their relationship, you see Kate accept help in the crisis and yet want to stubbornly cling to her independence - as if giving in to his love (let along returning it) would somehow make her weak. He persists - refusing to give up on her. Sometimes while reading I wanted to reach in and shake her. I couldn't believe she was missing how wonderful he was and all the good he was trying to do for her. 
Then you take two giant steps back. Isn't that how we all are with God? We only call out or accept His help in crisis moments and then we want Him to back off and let us take charge again. In the meantime, he just keeps loving us and trying to help. Without the notes and the preface, this love story could be any romance. It certainly wouldn't offend anyone who doesn't believe in God. If you want to, you can find another layer though.

Now for the good stuff. :o) Thomas Nelson provided me with this copy for review and since I already had my own, I am passing along my good fortune to one of you. This is how you earn entries: 
  1. Be/become a follower
  2. Announce the giveaway on your blog (share the link)
  3. Friend me on goodreads (or share that you are my friend)
  4. Announce the giveaway on goodreads (send/show me announcement)
Don't forget to leave your email address. The drawing will be held on 30 March 2011 - midnight CST. It is only for residents of the United States and is void where prohibited. Thanks and good luck!


  1. I absolutely LOVE this book Lee! I'm a sucker for a marriage of convenience story and even more so for the "modern" ones since it isn't nearly as commonplace as it was even 100 years ago. I have the old edition and I gotta say that I like that cover better. Everyone needs to pick up this story even if they aren't readers of Christian fiction. It's terrific!

    Please don't enter me as I already have a copy on my keeper shelf. :-)

    XOXO~ Renee

  2. Awww, this one sounds so good, Lee!! Thank you for the contest!!

    I'm a follower.
    I'm a goodreads friend.

    Also, I tweeted here:

    Thanks, Lee!!

    inthehammockblog at gmail dot com

  3. prayer request at arise 2 write.

  4. Don't enter me as I read this a while back and it wasn't one of my favorites. I don't remember what it was about it that made me not care for it though. But I really like this new cover...very nice.

  5. Renee ~ It doesn't surprise me that we both like this story! Please don't hesitate to share about the drawing though. I would love to pass this book along to someone else to treasure.

    Carrie ~ Thanks for sharing about the drawing. Twitter isn't something I thought about. I haven't succumbed to Twitter yet - I just don't seem to have enough interesting things to say. :o)

    Andrea - I'll pray. Did you want to be entered in the contest?

    Angie - The new cover is so beautiful. I like the old one too, but I have to admit that I like covers with faces on them and her expression is so interesting. I'm a huge fan of Denise Hunter and love the way she writes.

  6. Hi Lee! Thanks so much for the lovely review. I'm delighted that you picked up on the allegory. :-)

    Angie, the book, when initially published didn't have an overt faith thread--no mention of God, etc, nor did "Surrender Bay" the first book in the series. That may have been why you didn't care for it.

    When Thomas Nelson recovered the book, I went back in and added more of God since there were some readers who didn't notice the allegory and were offended that the Christian book had no Christianity.

  7. Denise ~ Thanks so much for stopping by. :o) I'm a huge fan and love the entire series. I look forward to reading more of your work as well.

  8. I became a follower!

    I friended you on goodreads!

    I posted the giveaway on goodreads at:
    I posted a link on my blog for the giveaway at:

    I would very much like to read this book! Sounds great!

  9. Courtney - Thanks! Good luck. :o)

  10. Courtney was the winner and she already responded via e-mail. Thank you to everyone who participated. I'm planning another drawing soon. :o)