Thursday, November 15, 2012
By Debra Ullrick
Love Inspired Historical, August 2012
About the Book
It’s a perfect plan. Best friends Leah Bowen and Jake Lure will each advertise for mail-order spouses in the papers, and then Jake will help select Leah’s future husband, while Leah picks Jake’s bride-to-be. Surely the ads will find them what they seek: a wife who’ll appreciate Jake’s shy charm and a groom who’ll take Leah away from the Idaho Territory she detests.
When the responses to the postings pour in, it seems all Leah’s and Jake’s dreams will soon come true. But the closer they each get to the altar, the less appealing marrying a stranger becomes. Is it too late to turn back—or to turn around and find the happiness they truly seek together at last?
Groom Wanted was a sweet story about two good friends who would never consider marriage to each other . . . at least not at first. I enjoyed many of the nuances of the story like the heroine writing to Mr. Darcy in her diary and telling Jake she wanted to marry a man like Mr. Darcy. That fit the story so well! I loved how Jake simply had to read the book to find out what the appeal of the man was. He had a lot of wisdom when he said it was just fiction. But that’s an aside.
I also enjoyed the little quirks that Leah possessed, like calling her sister Abbynormal, and her teasing nature. So cute! And the many near kisses the hero and heroine shared were nice enough to fluster the reader at times. I wanted them to discover that they really did love each other. The author had a good balance, though, between the conflict and the internal struggle of the characters. The conflict didn’t feel contrived at all.
The man who responded to Leah’s ad couldn’t have been more obnoxious, but that made the story more entertaining to read. I liked how the author incorporated each of the character’s fears into the plot and how they were resolved with faith and honesty, but not in an unrealistic manner. The author didn’t use faith or love as a cure-all, and I found that refreshing. Those things offer hope, but don’t always cure the ills in this life.
My favorite novel in the series is still the second book, The Unlikely Wife, but this was a good story as well, especially if you enjoyed the characters from previous books and wanted to see them again. At the same time, this could be read as a stand alone. It’s definitely a sweet read with a lot of spiritual depth and healing conversation and insight, so it goes deeper than surface level, and I appreciated that.
Healing Hearts . . . fiction making an impact on real lives . . .
New titles releasing in 2012: Decision to Love, It’s Not About Her, Somebody Love Me,
Out of Time, and Surprise Love