book, Book Review

Married ’til Monday, by Denise Hunter

About the Book:Book - Married 'Til Monday
Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source: Publisher Provided
Publication Date: 2015
Find the Review elsewhere:
Amazon ǀ Blogger ǀ Goodreads ǀ Novel Crossing
Find the Book Elsewhere:
Amazon ǀ Barnes & Noble ǀ Goodreads
Series: Chapel Springs, 4
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Romance, Inspirational
Rating: 5 out of 5

Review: When ranking Denise Hunter’s novels, like any reader, I certainly have my favorites. But each time I learn of a new novel from this seasoned author, excitement is more than a little off the charts and I am guaranteed a lovely read at the very least. As her latest four-book series draws to a close with this release, I saw my review copy patiently awaiting its turn to be read and after reading it, am left wondering how I delayed cracking open its pages this long. Those who’ve read all three of these familial novels will know that book four is about Ryan McKinley, the eldest sibling in the quartet of siblings. Ryan is one hero with a darkened past because of the marriage and divorce he proceeded through, now gone three years. When he learns that his ex-wife, Abby has never confessed their divorce to her parents, Ryan invites himself to tag along on her return home for her parents anniversary party. Feeling led by God to pursue a fresh, mature and healthy relationship with Abby, Ryan sees this as his one opportunity to win back the trust of his ex, whereas Abby isn’t receptive to the same feelings as Ryan.

Ryan’s story didn’t set out to be a reconciliation story (publicized in the author’s note), however I have to admit even back in book one, I had a sneaking suspicion Abby would work her way back into these books and the life – and heart, of Ryan McKinley. How happy I am to have had that inkling proven right. What’s unique about this story of second chances is that we had no opportunity to form an opinion of Abby. Or not much of one anyway. She was an established character in and to Ryan’s past however to us, the reader, it was as if we were being introduced to a new heroine and had to base our first impression off of that. All we had was the second hand opinions of the McKinley family. Mine would certainly be a favorable one. I adored Abby, and the interaction between she and Ryan is on-point. True she isn’t the most outgoing heroine, but there’s good reason for that. Through loving Ryan and eventually, recognizing the serious flaws she played in their marriage, she learns to live without the dark cloud hovering over her.

Potential readers should know that when this story draws to a close, there are still fractured relationships in place. Don’t misunderstand, there is the happy ending we root for and need, but Denise doesn’t give one specific relationship a dab of super glue for a “quick fix.” No, she leaves this relationship where she found it and I respect that. The rest of the book really needs no more explanation or praise because it speaks for itself. Married ‘til Monday is a remarkably well crafted redemption story that speaks for itself. From the gorgeous image of intimate love on its cover to the final pages, the book shines with the purest kind of emotions. It’s bittersweet that with Ryan’s story, we’re closing out a chapter in the lives of a family we’ve come to love as friends. But fortunately, Denise also sets up her next (presumed) trilogy and with it, the anticipation that the three brothers’ we’re going to meet in Summer Harbor will quickly take up residence in our hearts. Until then, be sure to add Married ‘til Monday to your summer reading lists. Forgiveness, flirty banter and hilarity, emotional tumult and family all co-mingle to make this one of my favorite reads of 2015.

Synopsis: With a big anniversary party in the works for her parents, Ryan will pretend to be Abby’s husband for just one last weekend.

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 2-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 devastatingly handsome as ever. When he insists he’s going to Seabrook, with or without her, Abby knows she can’t say no. Her parents still think they’re married and now Ryan knows it too. Besides, he only wants to check in with his best friend from college—her cousin Beau, who just lost his dad. It’s just a one-week road-trip with the man who broke her heart. What could possibly go wrong? – Goodreads

Coming Next from Denise Hunter: Speeding north through rural Maine, Eden Martelli wonders how it ever came to this—on the run, with her mute five-year-old son dozing fitfully in the passenger seat. But when a breakdown leaves them stranded in Summer Harbor, Eden has no choice but to stay put through Christmas . . . even though they have no place to lay their heads.

Beau Callahan is a habitual problem-solver—for other people anyway. He left the sheriff’s department to take over the family Christmas tree farm, but he’s still haunted by the loss of his parents and struggling to handle his first Christmas season alone.

When Eden shows up looking for work just as Beau’s feisty aunt gets out of the hospital, Beau thinks he’s finally caught a break. Eden is competent and dedicated—if a little guarded—and a knockout to boot. But, as he soon finds out, she also comes with a boatload of secrets.

Eden’s been through too much to trust her heart to another man, but Beau is impossible to resist, and the feeling seems to be mutual. As Christmas Eve approaches Eden’s past catches up to her.

Beau will go to the ends of the earth to keep her safe. But who’s going to protect his heart from a woman who can’t seem to trust again? – Amazon, September 2015

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

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