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?
Source: ARC from Thomas Nelson via NetGalley
On the whole this is a well-written tale about a broken marriage, a wounded woman and the man who desperately wants her back. However, for me it didn’t quite work, and not just because I didn’t realise it was Christian Fiction, because although faith definitely has a presence in this book it doesn’t overwhelm everything.
No, sadly, my main issue in this book is Abby. I wanted to like her, truly I did. I wanted to empathise with her. I certainly felt terrible about her childhood and the issues that have ruled her life, but I just could not connect to her. She’s too wounded. She’s defensive and prickly and confrontational and hard, and yes underneath it all she is wounded, but she’s too good at putting up walls. There’s very little softness in her, very little kindness. I struggled to like her.
This was not helped by Ryan. Oh, not because of anything he does, more because he’s the complete opposite of Abby. He’s giving and sweet and kind and caring, and the contrast is simply too stark. I didn’t want all their marriage problems to boil down to Abby’s issues, because I didn’t want it all to be the fault of one person. While Ryan never says this, the book definitely leans that way and it left me sad.
There is a romance in here somewhere, but because of Abby’s difficulties it’s very push-pull, making her seem indecisive and a bit mean, while Ryan has to be pushy to make any kind of point. Yes, the moment when Abby finally talks things out is good and cathartic, but for me it was too little too late. The action is slow, the build up is slower, things are definitely dragged out longer than they need to be, and I felt quite left out with all the entwined relationships in both Abby and Ryan’s families.
So, in short, this book wasn’t really for me. However, it is well told and if you can find a way to like Abby I’m sure it’s wonderful. Just don’t expect this to be a quick or easy read. If you like a long meander on the way to love, with several emotional stop offs along the way, and don’t mind a prickly heroine alongside a too-good-to-be-true hero, then you’ll probably like this.
Married ’til Monday is out June 9th!
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