The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter (review)


About the book: Dr. Kate has it all-a radio talk show, a nationally-syndicated column, and a publisher who is paying for a lavish wedding to coincide with the release of her first book, Finding Mr. Right-For-You. But when her fiance jilts her the morning of the wedding, her life begins to crash around her. Who, after all, would want a relationship book by a counselor who can’t even hold her own engagement together?

When Lucas Wright realizes what has happened, he offers to marry Kate and save her public image. Kate’s heart-and her pride-have been deeply wounded. Are Lucas’s handsome smile and utter devotion enough to convince her that her marriage is more than she had ever expected?

If you enjoy a marriage of convenience story and are looking for a quick, light, beach worthy read – this is it!  Kate is a neat-freak, overly organized, type A personality made sympathetic through circumstances and a sad childhood backstory.  Lucas is, well, he’s just downright charming and has his own bit of sad backstory to boot.

Lucas is a bit of a knight in shining armor, rescuing a suddenly vulnerable Kate from the public humiliation and professional devastation of being a jilted bride.  What Kate doesn’t know is that he’s been in love with her for three years – and that he is a “messy” (her moment of realization is pretty amusing).  Some of the fun of this particular story is how opposite they are, and how opposed to this sort of match Dr. Kate is in her counseling practice and in her book – also fun is having a quote from her book at the start of each chapter.

Along with the fun aspects, there are also the parts meant to be touching.  And those parts are treated with a light touch, but do serve to make the characters more sympathetic and add dimension to the main and some secondary characters.  I must admit that I did tear up at one point – I mention this because if a book is meant to be touching and I don’t tear up at all, then it has pretty much failed in that regard.

A marriage of convenience story in the romance genre generally has some foregone conclusions, and the enjoyment for the reader comes in the journey to that happy ending.  In the case of Christian fiction, it is also their faith journey, which is nicely done here.

This is a sweetly satisfying read.  I often think of these sorts of books as brain candy, and cotton candy is what comes to mind for The Convenient Groom. Spun sugar at the beach.  4/5 stars

I purchased this ebook on a whim, since it was at a special price and the TV-movie version is airing this weekend (I’ve already arranged for a visit to my younger sister’s home to use her cable). Happily, this was a highly enjoyable read for me, helped along by my picturing Vanessa Marcil as Kate for much of it.  The description of Lucas (who is now one of my top favorite male romance leads), however, did not mesh with my attempts to picture David Sutcliffe in the role.  My dislike of his character in Gilmore Girls may be partly to blame.

While I tend to prefer romances that are historical fiction, I am in danger of having a favorite contemporary author in Rachel Hunter.  I am looking forward to the Hallmark Channel movie version, and hope that it exceeds my expectations.

Is it odd that I find Lucas’ lack of a cell phone and internet, and particularly his not knowing what Amazon is, so charming when in real life it would likely annoy me?

The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter | Thomas Nelson, 2008 | ebook, 303 pgs