Sunday, March 15, 2015

Review of "Married 'til Monday"

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: If a book was judged by its title alone, I would guess that "Married 'til Monday" would be a light and fun romance.  Denise Hunter gives readers much more in book 4 of "The Chapel Springs Romance" series.  Readers of the previous novels in the series will be familiar with Ryan and his past with his ex-wife, Abby. Although this can be read as a stand-alone novel, there is a sense of connection to the McKinley family that can only be developed after reading all of the preceding books. Reconnecting with past characters is almost like enjoying an extended epilogue, while hearing a new tale that has been waiting to be told.

Hunter combines humor, fun, and romance with emotional depth to capture readers.  The scenario of "Married 'til Monday" is completely different than the other Chapel Springs Romances. Between a failed marriage, broken hearts, and a long distance road trip in a tiny car, there is a lot of opportunity for revealing emotional conversations alongside romantic attraction. There are some funny scenes to lighten the mood, but the emotional journey of Ryan and Abby is most memorable.  They are both carrying heavy baggage from their marriage, and as more of Abby's childhood is revealed, the baggage gets heavier. I always appreciate the way that Denise Hunter develops her characters with dimension that makes them realistic and engaging. "Married 'til Monday" is no exception, and Ryan, Abby, and their struggles become very real throughout the novel.

"Married 'til Monday" is not a typical romance.  It is a tale of a broken marriage and two ex-spouses in need of healing and forgiveness.  After catching glimpses of Ryan in the other Chapel Springs Romance books, I was anticipating reading his story.  Denise Hunter delivered another solid story that will capture hearts.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above 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. 

Summary from Thomas Nelson: With a big anniversary party in the works for her parents, Ryan will pretend to be Abby's husband for just one last weekend.

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 2-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 devastatingly handsome as ever. When he insists he’s going to Seabrook, with or without her, Abby knows she can’t say no. Her parents still think they’re married and now Ryan knows it too. Besides, he only wants to check in with his best friend from college—her cousin Beau, who just lost his dad. It’s just a one-week road-trip with the man who broke her heart. What could possibly go wrong?

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