When I had to opportunity to review another book by Denise Hunter, I jumped at the chance! Having previously LOVED getting to know the McKinley family through the other books in this series (Barefoot Summer, Dancing with Fireflies, The Wishing Season). This book, Married ’til Monday, is the last one in the “Chapel Springs” series. I’m a little sad to be saying goodbye to these characters, but I’m very happy with the way the story ended, catching me up with favorite characters.
Here’s a summary of Married ’til Monday:
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?
My thoughts: While at its core is a story of reconciliation and forgiveness, Married ’til Monday also perfectly blends drama, fun, love, family, and a crazy, adventurous road trip into one.
Taking a hero and heroine with a past history together and communicating the dynamics of that relationship from page one has to be challenging for an author. But, Denise Hunter does it with ease and skill — and well-placed flashbacks revealing the backstory of Ryan and Abby. With this tool, the reader glimpses the beginning spark of their relationship, while at the same time seeing the rift that has formed between them.
Denise had me rooting for these two from the beginning. Because the story shares their thought processes, I could understand Abby’s frustration with Ryan and his fierce desire to protect her from pain. Their opposite personalities really complement each other (great chemistry), yet neither wants to admit their shortcomings. Aren’t we all like that, in the face of our flaws? Holding onto our pride until we have no one but God left to turn to for help?
Without revealing any more about the baggage Abby carries or the comical cross-country scrapes they get in, let me just say that this story is a fantastic conclusion to this series. And, it could definitely stand alone if you’re new to Denise Hunter and enjoy contemporary romances or Christian fiction. I look forward to more great stories from Denise in the future!
Thank you to BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson for a complimentary ebook copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.