Monday, February 9, 2009
Book Review: The Convenient Groom
Hunter, Denise. 2008. The Convenient Groom. Thomas Nelson Publishers. 314 pages.
The red light on Kate Lawrence's cell phone blinked a staccato warning.
Kate Lawrence, or "Dr. Kate," is ready to have her big day: not only is she finally getting married, her book is being released. What kind of book? A book about love, relationships, dating, and marriage. This "expert" is, however, about to be shamed in front of the world because her intended groom, Bryan Montgomery is a no show. Not only is he getting cold feet and backing out, he is shacking up with another woman, Stephanie. (He actually calls her when he's in this woman's bed.) What's a girl to do when she's got everything prepared for the big day except the groom? Well, if she's the heroine of a fiction novel, she's going to find another groom, and quickly. Luckily her friend, Lucas, is there to step into place.
Lucas is excited to be the groom, in fact, because he's secretly loved Kate from afar. But can this marriage of convenience transition into the real thing? Or will someone who knows the truth spill the beans? Will Kate's book be a success or a flop? Will Kate realize how useless she is in this love game? Will she see what a great man Lucas is and stop whining and pining for Bryan?
I liked this one well enough. It was cute in places. And Lucas sounded like a great guy.
But. And this really has nothing to do with the quality of the story itself. I just found myself questioning why this book was 'Christian.' It's published by a Christian publishing house, yes. And it is mostly smut-free. I mean the reader knows that Bryan is carrying on an affair behind-the-scenes. And it's never exactly stated one way or the other if Bryan had been intimate with Kate in the past. I presumed as much since the topic of her virginity never came up. But I don't know what the author intended. So don't take my word for it by any means. And any intimacies that occur between Kate and Lucas happen after the 'I do's' even if those occur before any declarations of love. So I don't have a problem necessarily with the content. It's more what is not in the book.
Not all Christian books have a focus on God, on having a personal relationship with Jesus as Savior and/or Lord. But usually, there is something--even if it's not the main focus of the book. No mention of God. No mention of personal faith. No church. No bible study. No bible reading. No prayers. No spiritual insights or 'aha' moments when she realizes that she needs God or wants God. We have a slightly shallow woman who is trying to do it all and be it all without seeking God, without turning to Him. There is nothing in the pages of this book that would give the reader any indication that the characters were Christian excepting the fact that it's a Christian publisher that some may recognize as such...and excepting page 299 where the author's note to the reader mentions that Lucas's love for Kate is meant to represent Christ's love for us. That Jesus can be any woman's knight in shining armor. A statement that leaves me slightly puzzled.