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REVIEW: Marrying Minister Right by Annie Jones

Dear Ms Jones,

First off, kudos to whoever chose the title of the book. It’s cute, inspired and totally fits the subject matter of the story.

Heather Waters has made a life for herself running a Christian charity after that disastrous day ten years ago when she discovered two things. One that her father wasn’t her real father. And two that the man she was going to marry didn’t love her enough to commit to their relationship. It didn’t help her pride any to find out the first truth from the information dug up by the private investigator hired by her fiance’s family. Or to learn the truth about John Parker when he didn’t show up for the ceremony.

Sure that their mutual best friend, Michael Garrison, had known all along yet let her walk down the church aisle without trying to stop her, she hurled some harsh accusations at him, along with her bouquet, and stormed out of town. But the town needs her help after suffering a devastating tornado. Home is home and the pull is strong so Heather answers the call. Will she and Michael, who’s now a minister there, to be able to work together as well as help Michael’s troubled teenage niece? Or are some things too late to be overcome?

I know this is part of a group effort series and I’m not sure how much, if any, of the plot or outlines you were given and had to follow but some things just don’t make too much sense. Heather obviously doesn’t live that far from the town of High Plains so why has she never once been in contact with seemingly anyone from home in those ten years? No other friends or chuch contacts have taken the time or made the effort to call her or see her? No one who could assure her that the town doesn’t see her in the negative light she sees herself? When she does return, she appears to get a nice welcome and it didn’t seem like people disliked her while she was growing up.

And if Michael loved her so much then, why didn’t he try and contact her? I know he was supposed to be young and a little unsure of himself but then these three people were best friends and Michael still loves Heather as much now as he apparently did then so again, why no effort to set her straight?

What’s happened to John Parker? His family is/was so prominent in town but there’s no mention of him or them living there now. Almost
no mention of them in relation to the town at all until the very end. I kept expecting him to pop up when Heather first goes back to town. With the book being so short, I can see why you left him out, for the most part, of physically being in the story but some mention that he’d moved away would have helped. However, I do like that story focuses on Heather and Michael.

Big Misunderstandings are everywhere. Heather thinks certain things about Michael and he hasn’t a clue that she does. I can somewhat see misunderstandings ten years ago, when Heather was initially so hurt. But now…they talk about Avery. They talk about the town. Why not talk about themselves? Guess it just must take time to work up the courage in the face of being together for the first time in ten years.

I liked Michael’s niece Avery and feel that her occasional sulks and anger make sense in a teenager, in her eyes, torn from her home and sent to this hick town for the summer. But her issues seemed to me to be resolved almost too quickly though this might be due to page count demands.

After thinking about it a little, I guess the real reason Heather was so mad at Michael is because she felt more for him all along than she thought so it’s natural that his “betrayal” would be the one that cut her most and stuck with her all these years. She’s almost forgotten John and his reappearence makes no impact on her but it’s Michael who can move her to tears of laughter and pain.

Michael seems like a down to earth guy who’s still maybe growing in experience as a minister. Perhaps the issues with his niece will help him become a better counselor and youth minister. And maybe finally learning that he needs to speak up when he thinks it necessary will keep him from having too many more misunderstandings with Heather. I guess deep down, most of us have our moments of personal cluelessness despite being able to readily give advice to others about what they should do.

I know I commented on “Somebody’s Hero” about the speed of the relationship but here it felt right to me. These two already know each other and now that they’ve finally worked out what happened ten years ago, and seem to have their communication channels open, I think they’re going to be just fine.

A series, with each book written by a different author, can be a mixed bag. Here I didn’t feel too much like I’d been dropped into the middle of the action with no clue as to people or places or relations. While I wish you’d had a slightly longer page count to fill out more details, overall it was time well spent in reading “Marrying Minister Right.” B-

~Jayne

This book can be purchased at Amazon or in ebook format from Sony or other etailers.

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

8 Comments

  1. Miki
    Aug 22, 2009 @ 18:01:58

    This grade seems a little higher than I’d have expected, based on the description…

    I’ve got a few ebooks from this line in my TBR pile, but I’ll admit I tend to hesitate because I’m afraid I’m going to spend 90 minutes getting preached to!

  2. Jenn
    Aug 23, 2009 @ 08:04:50

    This sounds like a good story, and I agree about the title – very clever! I don’t read inspys because of the reason Miki stated, but if I did, I might be tempted to pick this one up.

  3. Karmyn
    Aug 23, 2009 @ 10:24:03

    I’ve read several Love Inspireds in all three series and never felt they were preaching. Their faith is simply a part of their life. They’re not fundies.
    I’m currently reading the first one in this series and enjoying it very much. I plan on reading the rest of the series.

  4. Jayne
    Aug 23, 2009 @ 18:00:31

    Looking back at my review, I can see where you’re coming from Miki! ;) But overall, the book still worked better for me than a C grade. I’ve got the next book in the series lined up to read and am hoping that the series as a whole will answer some of these questions and concerns.

  5. Jayne
    Aug 23, 2009 @ 18:03:08

    I've read several Love Inspireds in all three series and never felt they were preaching. Their faith is simply a part of their life. They're not fundies.

    I have stopped reading a few books in the Love Inspired line due to preachy-ness but not many.

  6. Deb Kinnard
    Aug 24, 2009 @ 18:05:49

    I love Annie Jones’s work and it’s not easy to make me love LI in general. I often find them dull. Hers never are. I have a TBR pile as tall as I am, but oh, well, one more can’t hurt.

  7. brooksse
    Aug 29, 2009 @ 15:53:26

    I haven’t read any of the Steeple Hills books before, but I took advantage of the blogspecial discount to try this one and the first one in the series. I read excerpts for these and they both sounded interesting.

    What's happened to John Parker? His family is/was so prominent in town but there's no mention of him or them living there now. Almost
    no mention of them in relation to the town at all until the very end.

    This is one of the reasons the group author series usually fail for me. You might get a very brief glimpse at a character from another book in the series, but I never feel I’ve gained enough insight into the other characters to be hooked into reading the rest of the series. I know that must be the intent, to get you to read the other books by authors whom you may not have read before. But that’s never worked for me. One of the reasons I enjoy series written by a single author is the sense of familiarity with the characters. Whether it’s the feeling I already know a little about the characters before I read their book, or just having the chance to catch up with characters from previous books. I never get that feeling with these group author series.

  8. Annie Jones
    Sep 22, 2009 @ 15:43:02

    I just checked in on the review – Thanks!

    I totally agree with the issues stated – it really is a case of having to hit the high points needed for the continuity vs fleshing out finer points that don’t add to the larger story arc. I kept having to cut and cut and cut and sometimes it became an issue of the editor’s vision over mine, which was fine… eventually… after I had enough chocolate and a good pout ;)

    thanks again for the honest review
    annie

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