When I started reading the book, I was sure it would end up on my “not a favorite” shelf in GoodReads.
I could NOT have been more wrong.
It’s a FANTASTIC story. And now I find myself determined to go hunt down the rest of Denise Hunter’s Chapel Springs stories.
I seriously misjudged this novella and I’m so glad I gave it a proper chance. Otherwise, I might never have discovered how wonderful is truly is!
It is possible I’m not the only one who might jump to the wrong conclusion so I’m going to give you a couple of hints that I really don’t think will kill the story.
The synopsis might give you the wrong idea – especially if you’ve ever read Zebra or Harlequin romance novels. You might expect it to be one of those things where the two characters make a shady deal about getting married and then doing a “quicky” divorce later.
It’s NOT! Thank GOD!
Granted, the reasons for the “fake” engagement are not all that altruistic or even honest but they do not drag marriage through the mud like I was afraid they would. This is truly a good, decent, Christian story. And, while I hold that courtship is still the best way to head toward a marriage – it could be said that this is about what they have. They’re “engaged” before they even kiss and there’s a minimum of physical contact because the whole thing isn’t real anyway.
A terrific story, excellent writing, real characters and great world-building! And it’s easy to get right into the story – even if you haven’t read any of the others that Denise has written. I didn’t even realize this was part of a continuing series until I got to the end and saw “other books by Denise Hunter…” – which I now have to read…of course.
If you haven’t already decided to read it, here’s a brief synopsis from GoodReads:
What started as a whim turned into an accidental – and very public – engagement. Can Layla and Seth keep up the facade in Chapel Springs this holiday season – for the sake of her career . . . and his heart?
Under normal circumstances, Seth Murphy, the best friend of Layla O’Reilly’s ex-fiance would be the last person she’d marry. But the news of their upcoming (and phony) nuptials convinces a big client that Layla may be high-society enough to work for his agency, a coup that would put her fledgling home-staging business on the map.
Seth has secretly loved Layla for years, even when she was dating his best friend. Maybe she’ll never forgive him for the way he hurt her back then, but he has to try. And Layla is willing to keep up their engagement farce until she’s landed her client. For Layla, it’s the chance to save her career. But for Seth, it’s his last chance to win her heart.
For more people convincing you this is a GREAT book, click HERE to read more reviews on GoodReads.
And don’t forget to visit Denise Hunter’s website HERE!
Disclaimer: I received the book free from the BookLook Blogger program
in exchange for an honest review.
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