I have been wanting to read a Kaye Dacus novel ever since I read an interview she did in which she was discussing Andrew Davies and Sandy Welch. As a huge fan of British dramas, I know these two screenwriters and can debate their merits, but rarely do I find another person who shares this interest. Kaye caught my attention and has been on my watch list ever since.
Another reason I was interested in "Stand-In Groom" is because, like the heroine, I am a member of the wedding industry. I love weddings and being part of them. Unlike Anne, though, I don't plan them, and this reminded me why. It takes so many months and such a close relationship with the bride and groom. That's more than I'm up for!
To our story: Anne Hawthorn has a very successful wedding planning business, but she's never found the right man for herself. Her heart starts fluttering when she meets George Lawrence... until she finds out that he's the groom for an upcoming wedding.
But things are not always what they seem. George is actually a personal assistant (in British valet fashion) for a well-known actor and is only posing as the groom in order to keep the tabloids off the scent of his employer's nuptials. George is attracted to Anne but is unable to tell her who he really is and finds himself in quite a quandary, weighing his faith, his feelings and his job in trying to decide what is the right thing to do.
Anne's large extended family and her background play a big part in the story. It would be great if everyone had such loving and involved aunts, uncles and cousins! Her fears and her disappointments also show up to claim their share of attention. Through it all, can Anne trust the Lord and maybe learn to trust this man after she learns the reason for his deception?
This novel honestly didn't live up to my expectations. At times the pace raced, and at others it dragged. Where the attraction was concerned, I was displeased that it focused so much on things such as sharing tastes in movies and music. Not that it isn't nice when those things coincide, but it is hardly the basis on which one should form a life-long bond such as marriage. While Anne and George did share the same Christian faith, it seemed like their love of Dean Martin was just as meaningful. On the other hand, I did very much appreciate how Dacus showed clearly that both our main characters wanted to be the best individuals they could be before deepening their relationship with each other. They didn't want to get serious until issues were resolved and forgiveness extended where required. That's not a popular topic and one you very rarely see in novels. Job well done here!
I'm looking forward to trying one of Dacus's historical releases one of these days and seeing how it compares to this one. I still think Kaye's the kind of person whom I could easily sit down and chat with, and this won't be the only one of her books that I check out!
This review originated at http://www.reviewsbyerin.livejournal.com