When a wedding reenactment turns real, Shay finds she’s an accidental bride.
Shay Brandenberger is raising her daughter in Moose Creek, Montana, on her childhood ranch, nestled against the Yellowstone River. Despite the hard work, she can’t seem to keep her head above water—and now the bank is threatening to foreclose. She prays for a miracle, but the answer she receives is anything but expected.
Having agreed to play the bride in the Founders’ Day wedding reenactment, Shay is mortified to be greeted at the end of the aisle by none other than Travis McCoy, her high-school sweetheart—the man who left her high and dry for fame and fortune on the Texas rodeo circuit.
Then the unthinkable happens. Thanks to a well-meaning busybody and an absentminded preacher, the make-believe vows result in a legal marriage. But before Shay can say annulment, Travis comes up with a crazy proposal. If she refuses his offer, she may lose her home. If she accepts, she may lose her heart.
Shay isn’t sure if the recent events are God’s will or just a preacher’s blunder. Will trusting her heart to the man who once shattered it be the worst mistake of her life? Or could their marriage be the best accident that ever happened?
You can also check out a great Reading Group Discussion guide here.
About The Author:
Denise Hunter is the best-selling author of many novels, including The Convenient Groom and Driftwood Lane. She lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too! Visit her website at www.DeniseHunterBooks.com
An Interview with the Author:
Q: In The Accidental Bride, your main character, Shay is continually concerned with what others might think. Worrying about the opinions of others is a common malady in today’s society. What made you decide to write about it?
As you say, it’s so common to be worried about what others think of us. I love that quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, “You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” So true! Shay needed to realize that it’s God’s opinion that really matters. When we focus on pleasing people, we tend to make poor decisions.
Q: This isn’t your first novel based on the cowboy lifestyle. What drew you to this particular lifestyle as the backdrop for your writing?
I’m drawn to the rugged appeal of the cowboy lifestyle. Even though I live in a city, I’m a country girl at heart, and I especially love the mountains; that’s why I was drawn to Montana for this series. There’s something simple and beautiful about living off the land that I think appeals to readers right now. Things are tough for so many people—and though the cowboy lifestyle is a hard one—it’s also very organic, a back to our roots kind of thing.
Q: The premise of The Accidental Bride is both interesting and unique. What inspired your decision to involve your hero and heroine in an “accidental” marriage?
I was watching a TV movie in which the actors were getting married, and I wondered, “What if the actor playing the preacher was an ordained minister? Would the couple be legally married?” Turns out, it’s not quite that simple to become accidentally married. There’s the matter of a marriage license that the pastor has to sign and mail to the proper government agency. So the good news is, it’s not likely to happen to you or anyone you know. But it sure was fun instigating such an event in a novel!
Q: Before she could forgive him, Travis had to rebuild Shay’s trust. Is this a necessary step, or do you believe we should forgive even those who may never be trustworthy again?
Trust and forgiveness are two different things. Forgiveness is something God commands us to do—regardless of circumstances like whether or not the offender is apologetic or has changed, etc.
Trust is different; it’s earned. And unfortunately, it takes a long time to build trust and only one bad decision to wreck it. We forgive the offender, but if he or she doesn’t change, we aren’t required to trust the person again. It’s the offender’s responsibility—if he or she wants to be trusted again—to earn back that trust.
Q: As an award-winning romance novelist you are, no-doubt, a role model for many would-be writers. What advice would you give to those who dream of one day being published? What’s an absolute must for a great romance?
- First of all, I recommend aspiring writers to study and practice. Writing is a craft to be honed, and no matter how much natural talent you have, it takes both of those things to become a good writer.
- Also, write the book you want to read. If you want to read that kind of book, there will be others who want to read it too.
- Study the market, not so that you can jump on every trend, but so that you know how your story fits into the market.
- Join a writers group so you can meet other writers—iron sharpens iron.
- Once you have a marketable manuscript, go to conferences. The American Christian Writers Conference is the best out there in my opinion (www.acfw.com). At conferences, you will learn from some of the best in the industry and get a chance to pitch your work to agents and editors.
- E-publishing is becoming huge, but don’t put a sub-par manuscript out there where it will only flounder. Hone the craft, write the best story you can, and learn to re-write. Then hire an editor. Every published author has one for a reason!
- Getting published can be a long, uphill climb, but persistence pays off.
I have been a fan of Denise Hunter's work for a while now, and so when the opportunity to review her most recent release, The Accidental Bride, came about, I jumped at the chance. I am so glad that I did.
The Accidental Bride is full of fun, whimsical characters that you would find in any city or town in society today. They all live life like we do, and I would bet that any one of us that reads this book would relate to at least one of the characters. I loved the story line, as you follow the ups and down of the two main characters. It was a fun, easy read that will keep your attention to the very end.
I highly recommend this read, and give it a huge thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can purchase The Accidental Bride at your favorite bookseller from Thomas Nelson
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Thomas Nelson and The B and B Media Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***