Saturday, December 13, 2008

Stand-In Groom by Kaye Dacus

Stand-In Groom

Stand-In Groom
by Kaye Dacus

Trade Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
First Released: 2008

Author Website

Source: Netgalley, online ARC from publisher

Back Cover Blurb:
When wedding planner Anne Hawthorne meets George Laurence, she thinks she's found the man of her dreams. But when he turns out to be a client, her "dream" quickly turns into a nightmare. Will Anne risk her heart and her career on this engaging Englishman?

George came to Louisiana to plan his employer's wedding and pose as the groom. But how can he feign affection for a supposed fiance when he's so achingly attracted to the wedding planner? And what will happen when Anne discovers his role has been Stand-In Groom only? Will she ever trust George again? Can God help these two believers find a happy ending?

This Christian romance is a well-written, thoroughly enjoyable read. The pacing was excellent and kept me wanting to know what came next. I liked how the two main characters truly strove to live out their high ideals in less than ideal circumstances. While neither main character was perfect, they were very clearly perfect for each other.

The first part of the book was the typical "they'd get together if they just talked out their misunderstandings," but the reason they couldn't clear up the misunderstanding was a very good one. The second part of the book was devoted to after the misunderstanding was cleared up. The two of them get to know and start to trust each other while learning to forgive those who hurt them in past relationships. Overall, the story was very satisfying.

Both main characters are Christians and their faith plays a lot more vital role in their lives than is typical in many Christian romance books. This is a book that should please Christian romance devotes, but probably wouldn't interest many non-Christians.

Excerpt: Chapter One
Nothing like running late to make a wonderful first impression.

Anne Hawthorne left a voice-mail message for her blind date, explaining her tardiness, then crossed her office to the gilt-framed mirror that reflected the view of Town Square through the front windows. At a buzzing jolt against her wait, she flinched, smearing her lipstick.


The vibrating cellular phone chimed out the wedding march. A client. She reached for a tissue to repair her mouth while flipping the phone open with her left hand. "Happy Endings, Inc. This is Anne Hawthorne."

"I can't do it! I can't marry him!" Third call today.

Why had she agreed to be set up on a date the Thursday of a wedding week? If it were just the regular weekly dinner with her cousins, she could skip out and get some work done. "Calm down," she said to her client. "Take a deep breath. And another. Let it out slowly. Now, tell me what happened."

Fifteen minutes later, still on the phone, she pulled her dark green Chrysler Sebring convertible into a packing space in front of Palermo's Italian Grill. She sat in the car a few minutes--air conditioner running full blast--and listened to the rest of her client's story.

When the girl paused to breathe, Anne leaped at her chance. "I completely understand your concern. But, sweetie, you have to remember most men aren't interested in the minute details of a weeding. Just because he doesn't care if the roses are white variegated with pink or solid pink, don't take that to mean he doesn't love you anymore. White ones do you like the best?"

"The variegated roses," the bride-to-be sniffled into the phone.

Anne turned off the engine and got out of the car. The heat and humidity typical for the firs day of June in central Louisiana wrapped her in a sweaty embrace. "Then get the flowers you like. He will be happy because you're happy. Do you want me to call the florist in the morning?" One more change the day before the wedding. Saturday couldn't come fast enough.

"Do you mind?"

"That's what I'm here for." She opened her planner and made a note at the top of the two-page spread for tomorrow. "Feeling better?"

"Yeah. Thanks, Miss Anne. I've got to call Jared and apologize."

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