Back in 2008—well before I was reviewing books on a regular basis—The Convenient Groom caught my eye. I had never read anything by Denise Hunter before, but I gave it a chance based on two things. 1) That cover. I just love it! 2) It's a marriage of convenience story, a trope I've loved ever since I read Lori Wick's Sean Donovan as a high schooler.
I adored The Convenient Groom, and it set off a love affair with Hunter's writing that continues to this day. (Her books routinely make my yearly "best of" lists.)
When I learned that the Hallmark Channel was turning The Convenient Groom into a film starring Vanessa Marcil (Brenda on General Hospital) and David Sutcliffe (Christopher on Gilmore Girls), I decided that maybe it was time to revisit the novel and see if it was as good as I remembered it being.
Spoiler Alert: It was.
She wrote the book—literally—on finding the right mate. But does she really understand what love's about?
Five hours before her Nantucket beach wedding—and on the eve of her big book launch—celebrity marriage counselor Kate Lawrence has everything in place.
Everything, that is, but the groom. She might not have a career, either, when her nationwide audience finds out their marriage guru has been left at the altar.
Enter Lucas Wright, who offers to stand in for the missing husband-to-be and marry her. Kate's desperate enough to agree—although she's sure this Mr. Wright is completely wrong for her. But can they pull it off? And why would Lucas marry her in the first place?
Could it be that "Dr. Kate" doesn't know the first thing about love?
I clearly remember reading The Convenient Groom into the wee hours of the morning the first time I read it. This time was no different, except that I also had to take time to compare versions! (Seriously. It was 2 a.m., and I was flipping back and forth between my paperback and Kindle copies.) See, my paperback copy is the 2008 version, but somewhere along the line, the story was revised to make it more clearly Christian, and the revised version is the one you'll get if you buy it on Kindle (which I picked up for $.99 last year).
For the most part, the story is the same, except that Kate and Lucas are clearly Christ-followers in the revised version, whereas God isn't really mentioned in the original. I didn't even notice any differences until a pivotal plot point near the end of the novel didn't play out like I remembered. So I pulled my paperback off the shelf, and, sure enough, things were different. It's not a make-it-or-break-it kind of thing, but I do vastly prefer the way things unfolded in the original version. So if you find yourself with a choice between the original and revised versions, I'd definitely recommend the original!
Either way, though, The Convenient Groom is a great story! I loved the way Lucas slowly and surely won Kate's heart, and the two have chemistry in spades. Also, each chapter begins with a quote from Kate's book, and it was fun to see how those quotes fit in (or didn't) with the events in Kate's life.
The Convenient Groom is a wonderful romance, and I highly recommend it! 5 stars.
Buy the book: Original Paperback & Revised Kindle.
Read my reviews of Hunter's Summer Harbor novels Falling like Snowflakes (5 stars) and The Goodbye Bride (5 stars); Chapel Springs books Barefoot Summer (5 stars), A December Bride (4.5 stars), Dancing with Fireflies (5 stars), The Wishing Season (5 stars), and Married 'til Monday (4.5 stars); and Big Sky novels A Cowboy's Touch, The Accidental Bride (3-1/2 stars), and The Trouble with Cowboys (4-1/2 stars).
DeniseHunterBooks.com or by visiting her FaceBook page at facebook.com/authordenisehunter.
Exciting news for fans of Denise Hunter's stories: Her book The Convenient Groom is making its silver screen premiere as a Hallmark Channel Original Movie! Join Denise and other readers on Facebook on June 16th for a fun author chat party at 8:00 PM EDT (that's 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, & 5:00 Pacific)! Denise will be chatting about the book, answering your questions about the book-to-movie process, and of course, there will be plenty of fun giveaways too: a $100 Amazon gift card and 25 signed copies of Denise's newest book, The Goodbye Bride!
The movie releases two days after the author chat party on Saturday, June 18th, 9 EDT/8 CDT. Click here for details and to find out more about the movie.
Get your copy of The Convenient Groom so you're ready for a fun book discussion. You can order your copy and find out more about the book here.
Hope to see you on June 16 for Denise's The Convenient Groom Pre-Premiere Facebook Party!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased this book myself and reviewed it by choice. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. 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."
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