Never the Bride

Book Review -- Never the Bride by Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge
As an unsaved teenager, I read Harlequin Romances like four-year olds eat candy.  After I became a Christian, one of the first things the Lord removed from my life, along with my bikini and the television show Dallas, was romance novels.  As I began to apply God’s word, Philippians 4:8 shone a spotlight on my entertainment choices and convinced me to put better media into my mind and heart. 
 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” 
Even in my spiritual infancy, I realized that these novels did not encourage me toward purity of thought.  In addition, they held up an unrealistic and unattainable standard for my future husband and my future love life.  Ever since, I have avoided any novel that smacks of romance, even Christian romance, because most of them are just Harlequins with a few token spiritual overtones and the sex taken out. 
(Before you start sending me hate mail, keep in mind that this is how the Lord has led ME. I am just sharing my journey, not criticizing yours.  If you feel that my concerns have merit, perhaps the Holy Spirit is using my thoughts to challenge yours.)
I share this long introduction to explain that the only reason I agreed to review Never the Bride by Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge is because I love Rene Gutteridge.  She is my favorite comedy fiction writer.  I loved Boo and its sequels, so my expectations for Never the Bride were high from the start.  I was not disappointed. 
Her book jacket says this:  “Since she was a little girl, Jessie Stone has dreamed of hundreds of marriage proposals, doodled the romantic ideas in her journal with her treasured purple pen, and fantasized about wedding dresses and falling in love.  She’s been a bridesmaid nearly a dozen times . . . “
Classic story about a 30-something year old single gal who desperately wants to meet the man of her dreams and will stop at (almost) nothing to catch him.  This is where “classic” ends and “classic Rene Gutteridge” begins. 
Jessie Stone is drowning her sorrows in yet another box of chocolate after another failed attempt to catch a man when. . . God steps in.  Literally.  And He looks like a really hot guy.  Are you intrigued yet?
Through a series of conversations and bizarre events, God invites Jessie to turn over her treasured purple pen and let HIM write her love story.  Jessie responds less than enthusiastically, “Everything I’ve accomplished in my life, I’ve done myself.  Me.  Alone. Why should I trust you now?”
God replies, “You haven’t asked me for help. . . Of course, you can keep doing things your way.  If that’s working for you.”
The remainder of the book is a contemporary allegory of how God wants to write each of our love stories.  Suffice it to say that I loved it. I laughed at it.  In Jessie Stone, I saw myself and every other woman who desires to be loved with an everlasting love.   Does Jessie find true love?  Does she finally get her man?  No spoilers here.  One thing I will tell you is that this romance novel hater gives Never the Bride two thumbs up!

In exchange for my honest review, I received a free copy of Never the Bride from WaterBrook Press.

1 comment:

  1. Rhonda R.7:09 AM

    Niceeee. I just might read this and I RARELY read fiction, especially not the romantic kind. :)