Monday, September 14, 2015

Married ‘til Monday by Denise Hunter

Married 'til Monday by Denise Hunter

I love a good reunion romance. And I couldn’t wait to read this last of the Chapel Springs series from Denise Hunter.

Let’s begin with the summary:

With a big anniversary party in the works for his ex-wife’s parents, Ryan has just one weekend to play Abby’s husband . . . and win back the woman of his dreams.

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 two-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 handsome as ever. When he insists he’s going to Summer Harbor, with or without her, Abby knows she can’t say no. Her parents still think they’re married and now Ryan knows it too. It’s just a one-week road trip with the man who broke her heart. 
What could possibly go wrong?

And now, my review:

As I read the earlier books in this series, I found myself drawn to Ryan. He reminded me of someone I use to know, and like in the story, he was a brother figure. I wanted to see his story turn out happily ever after. I wanted to read about his situation going from hard and painful to better. See his rejection issues turned around.

Our heroine came from an abusive home, and because her father expects her to fail, she must prove him wrong. That’s what toxic shame will do to you—motivate you to prove people wrong, which sometimes results in taking risks. But the only risk for our heroine is a possible return to a relationship with her ex-husband.

Ryan is willing to take the risk. In some ways this book reminded me of my favorite Denise Hunter title, Surrender Bay, in the symbolism to God’s willingness to risk His heart in loving us.

The heroine is determined to be rejected. Yes, you read that right. She doesn’t make their week together easy on Ryan. But though he seemed on a fool’s mission, I sympathized with both him and with Abby. I wanted the best for them. 

I loved watching these two together. And the humor here and there was fun! But at times this was a tough story to read. I’ve found lately with Denise’s writing, she’s going deeper into the pain humans face in relationships and this story proved that true. But, like in life, that pain was tempered with possibilities, with hope, with romance in these characters' lives.

A little secret: mention of Abby’s family comes up in Denise’s next series, Summer Harbor, which is set in Maine.

Up soon here on Net's Book Notes, a review for Falling Like Snowflakes, book one in the Summer Harbor Series, which just released.

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