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Synopsis (from Amazon):
Since she was just a little girl, Jessie Stone dreamed up hundreds of marriage proposals, doodled the romantic ideas in her journal with her treasured purple pen, and fantasized about wedding dresses and falling in love. She’s been a bridesmaid nearly a dozen times, waved numerous couples off to sunny honeymoons, and shopped in more department stores for half-price fondue pots than she cares to remember.
But shopping for one key component of these countless proposals hasn’t been quite as productive–a future husband. The man she thought she would marry cheated on her. The crush she has on her best friend Blake is at very best…well, crushing. And speed dating has only churned out memorable horror stories.
So when God shows up one day, in the flesh, and becomes a walking, talking part of her life, Jessie is skeptical. What will it take to convince her that the Almighty has a better plan than one she’s already cooked up in her journals? Can she turn over her pen and trust someone else to craft a love story beyond her wildest dreams?
About Cheryl McKay (from Amazon):
Cheryl McKay has been professionally writing since 1997. Cheryl wrote the screenplay for The Ultimate Gift, based on Jim Stovall’s novel. The award-winning film stars James Garner, Brian Dennehy, and Abigail Breslin and was released in theaters by Fox in 2007. Cheryl also wrote the DVD for Gigi: God’s Little Princess, another book adaptation based on the book by Sheila Walsh, as well as the Wild and Wacky, Totally True Bible Stories audio series and books with Frank Peretti. Her screenplay, Never the Bride, has been adapted into a novel for Random House Publishers and was released in June 2009. She also released Finally the Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting, the non-fiction version of Never the Bride. She penned the film script for “A Friend for Maddie”. She recently released her autobiography, Finally Fearless: Journey from Panic to Peace. Cheryl and her husband live in Los Angeles.
About Rene Gutteridge (from Amazon):
Rene Gutteridge is the author of eighteen novels, including Escapement, Possession, Listen, Never the Bride (2011 Carol Award Winner), The Boo Series, The Storm Series, The Occupational Hazards Series and My Life as a Doormat, a Women of Faith selection for 2006. She has a degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in screenwriting and twenty years of experience writing, directing and publishing comedy sketches. She writes in both comedy and suspense genres. Her upcoming releases from Tyndale House Publishers: Heart of the Country, Misery Loves Company and Old Fashioned. From B&H Publishers: Greetings from the Flipside co-written with Cheryl McKay.
You can connect with Rene on Twitter.
I give Never the Bride 4 out of 5 stars.
I always preface romance novel reviews by saying this: I am not a huge fan of the romance genre on the whole. BUT I was pleasantly surprised by Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge’s ‘Never the Bride.’
Jessie Stone and her struggles are wholly relatable. As a reader, I struggled with her as she learned to trust God, and sometimes failed; as she fell for all of the wrong guys, convinced they were God’s will for her; as she searches for not only the right mate, but the right job. The ending was both a surprise and yet fitting for the romance genre.
I liked the cast of characters on the whole, and Jessie’s perception of them. I liked Malia, a mother figure to Jessie, and Brooklyn, Jessie’s younger sister, wise at the most inconvenient moments.
God was represented in an interesting way, although I can’t say I was thrilled with it. It was a little close to the idea of “dating Jesus” for my comfort.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed the story, and recommend it for fans of romance or anyone struggling with accepting less than God’s best.