About this book: (from the publisher) Lucy Lovett can’t remember the last seven months of her life. She doesn’t remember leaving her fiancé Zac Callahan weeks before their wedding or moving to Portland, Maine. And she sure doesn’t remember getting engaged to another man. All she remembers is loving Zac more than life itself.
Zac was just beginning to get his life back on track after Lucy left him with no explanation. And now she’s back—vulnerable, homeless, and still in love with him. Has he been given a second chance with the only woman who stirs his passion and haunts his dreams?
Lucy knows she must unlock those missing months and discover why she threw everything away. And Zac knows that if he follows his heart he’ll win back the love of his life—but if Lucy’s memory returns, his would-be bride might say goodbye forever.
About the author: (from her website) Denise Hunter is the internationally published bestselling author of more than 20 books, including Dancing with Fireflies and The Convenient Groom. She has won The Holt Medallion Award, The Reader’s Choice Award, The Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist.
Denise writes heartwarming, small-town love stories. Her readers enjoy the experience of falling in love vicariously through her characters and can expect a happily-ever-after sigh as they close the pages of her books.
When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking coffee, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband are raising three boys.
You can learn more about Denise by visiting her FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/authordenisehunter<
If this book were a movie, I would rate it: PG
Reminds me of: romance novels by Beth Wiseman and Beth K. Vogt
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Reflection: I tend to fall for novels with provocative taglines, like this one: “She only remembers loving him. But he can’t forget the way she left.” Right there, I want to know more. This, taken with its intriguing premise and an author I’ve enjoyed before, prompted me to say yes to The Goodbye Bride.
I enjoyed the fresh spin on romantic love, beginning with a unique at-odds positioning of the two main characters. As romances go, The Goodbye Bride does all the right things, hitting all the high notes of a heartwarming love story: charming small-town setting; colorful secondary characters; male and female leads who are everything you’d expect–him big, brawny, protective; she small, needy, sweet. Both of them likable…but (to me anyway) not terribly interesting.
And this perhaps explains why I wasn’t as enamored with this novel as I’ve been with other Denise Hunter novels. First, though, a disclaimer of sorts: romance is not generally my genre of choice. Every once in a while, however, I enjoy one that offers more than just a love story. That’s what I’ve enjoyed about other Denise Hunters novels: hers, I’ve found, typically rise above the bar. This one, however, I would place more in the same bracket of what I consider typical inspirational romance (though it was a bit surface-y with the inspirational (“God”) content…which could be good or bad, depending on your druthers.)
The other aspect that has drawn me to other Denise Hunter novels is her knack for witty banter. Here, the dialogue was solid, but it lacked Hunter’s usual sparkle. I also found that a few of her secondary characters were exceptionally cliché. Particularly Morgan, the woman set up as Lucy’s rival. Straight out of a grade-B rom com.
Not that I would put this entire novel in that second-rate class. It simply didn’t as a whole rise quite as far, in my estimation, as several of its predecessors.
Thanks to BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
After words: Sometimes I wonder, when an author’s work falls short of her usual standard, whether publishers are pushing their writers to crank out books more frequently than they should. The quality suffers. What do you think?