Denise Hunter's latest release and a follow-up to A Cowboy's Touch in her A Big Sky Romance series certainly has an attention-grabbing title. After all, how can two people really get married accidentally? Hunter acknowledges that these circumstances are a bit contrived and highly unlikely. Yet, for both the author and readers it is hard to resist such a storyline because it offers the potential for further blunders and moments of tension as the consequences of such an arrangement unfold.
Because I read A Cowboy's Touch, I was looking forward to re-visiting Moose Creek, Montana and characters from the first series. Shay and her daughter Olivia made appearances in the first book, and I was looking forward to reading Shay's story since she was portrayed as a hard-working and loving single parent, experiencing her share of challenges. In The Accidental Bride, readers will continue to see that Shay is independent and strong-willed. These character traits are born out of past experiences and hardships, which include financial insecurity, being left at the altar by her high school sweetheart, and later being deserted by her husband. There is no doubt that she carries layers of hurt, disappointment, and betrayal beneath her guarded front.
The one person who threatens to break through these barriers is Travis McCoy, Shay's accidental groom and the man who jilted her. I initially thought that I would not like Travis; but because Hunter switches viewpoints, we are able to see both of their perspectives. There is no doubt that situations in the past were not handled well, but I found myself liking Travis better than Shay, which really surprised me. I was actually irritated by Shay and her stubborn streak, especially during the second half of the novel. While I understand the feelings that motivated her decisions, I grew tired of her willfulness. Finally, when there was a resolution in sight, the novel drew to a close a bit too quickly for me, considering the obstacles that were encountered throughout the story.
Denise Hunter continues to be an author who crafts well-written, modern romances. The Accidental Bride began on a promising note, but I just could not always sympathize with Shay. This lack of connection to a main character caused the story to be one of my least favorites of Hunter's. Despite this setback, I still look forward to a possible upcoming third book in A Big Sky Romance series.
I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from NetGalley, courtesy of Thomas Nelson. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. 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."
Some author's write stories that grip you, some write stories that scare you and some write sweet romances. Denise Hunter, author of The Accidental Bride and A Cowboy's Touch from the Big Sky Romance series, falls into the latter category. When you read a book by Ms. Hunter you're bound to be swept away by a light-hearted romance, simply put her books are good readin!'
In The Accidental Bride we are once again in Moose Creek, Montana and some characters from A Cowboy's Touch make cameo appearances. Shay Brandenberger was left at the altar by Travis McCoy here high school sweetheart. Years later, at the request of a friend Shay agrees to participate in the reenactment of a Founder's Day wedding without knowing who the "groom" is. Thanks to the minister performing the ceremony Shay gets married to the last man she'd ever want--her ex fiance. Modern day cowboys and independent heroines butt heads and make for some sizzling chemistry.
While I don't quite understand how Shay and Travis ended up officially married since they never technically said vows to each other this story is just so romantic! I'm such a sucker for the knight in shining armor and that's just what Travis is. It may not be the most believable story, in fact some things didn't make a whole lot of sense to me but I liked it anyway. Denise definitely writes heroes you wish you could meet and frustratingly stubborn heroines who you'd sometimes like to slap but they are what make her stories. If you're looking for a book to read on a lazy Sunday afternoon this is it.
4.5 out of 5 stars
*I received my complimentary review copy from the publisher in exchange for posting my honest opinion of the book.*
In The Accidental Bride, Denise Hunter sets up an almost impossible situation...two people who planned to elope as teens, now find themselves married through a fake ceremony. As I was reading I kept waiting to see how she would pull it off -- boy did she! Shay can't stand the thought that her neighbors are watching her to see what another man wiill leave her. Travis just wants a do-over of the past tired of living with his regrets. The valid marriage license seems to be the ticket to make Shay give him a chance. She needs money to save her ranch and he needs time to prove his love is real.
While I could anticipate where the story headed at times, that didn't rob the joy of the journey. Instead, as a writer, I couldn't wait to see how Denise would work Shay and Travis out of the impossible situations she wrote them into. These characters have a spark between them and a brokeness that made me root for them. I wanted to see love win because they both needed it so deeply. The setting makes it a cowboy tale with a twist. A very enjoyable read -- just what I've come to expect from Denise Hunter. A contemporary romance that leaves me with a smile.
This is the second in the Big Sky Romance series. It could be read as stand alone but would be a much better if you read A Cowboy's Touch book one in this series.
Shay Brandenberger and her childhood sweetheart, Travis McCoy have eloped to get married in her happily ever after. But Travis forgets something very important and leaves her waiting on the court house steps. She waits and waits and Travis never comes back. Leaving her dreams of happily ever after and her heart shattered. From this day she makes all the wrong choices. And ends up married, then abandoned again, but this time with a child. Then low and behold Travis shows back up in town.
This is a wonderful story of love and the pain of letting go of past hurt and the will and strength from God to be able to forgive, trust and hope. The author created a strong since of pride in Shay that only God could penetrate. There is a great lesson in humbling oneself displayed in the love and patience Travis has for God's will in this relationship.
The only happily ever after I look forward to in my life is God's will.
I highly recommend this book.
I rate this book a 5 out of 5.
I got a copy of this book from Netgalley it was a personal choice. I was in no way compensated for this review. This is review is my own opinion.
When Shay Brandenberger wanted to marry Travis McCoy, he left her alone on the courthouse steps to pursue his own dreams. Years later, Shay struggles to raise her daughter and keep her childhood home financially afloat following the death of her husband, Garrett Brandenberger. When Travis McCoy shows up in town, he is the last person Shay wants to spend time with. But when she finds herself accidentally, yet legitimately, married to him, Shay must decide which is riskier: To keep trying to save her home as she has been or to accept Travis' ridiculous proposal to stay married to him for a few months and receive the financial assistance she needs. Could this accidental marriage actually be God's will or just a crazy twist of fate? Is Shay even willing to find out? Read for yourself in The Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter.
The Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter is the second book in the Big Sky Romance series. I enjoyed revisiting some of the characters of the first book, A Cowboy's Touch. However, The Accidental Bride works well as a stand-alone book if you have not read the first one. While the premise of Shay and Travis' accidental marriage seems highly unlikely to ever happen in real life, the story was so good that I was happy to suspend a little bit of reality in favor of just enjoying the book. Hunter touched on an important theme about trying to win favor with people or God. Though I think this theme could have been brought out a little stronger earlier in the book, it is a challenging and encouraging message for the reader to ponder. Overall, I highly recommend The Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter to anyone looking for a sweet romance with a good message.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an advanced reading copy of this book free from the publisher as part of FIRST Wild Card Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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."