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The Substitute: The Wedding Pact #1 (Volume 1) Paperback – January 21, 2015
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The first book in a humorous contemporary romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Denise Grover Swank.
When Megan, Blair, and Libby were in the fourth grade, they swore they would get married by their thirtieth birthday and include the other two in their weddings. Now, coincidentally, twenty years later, two of the women are engaged and have weddings within months of each other in their hometown of Blue Springs, Missouri. What they all forgot was the fortune teller at a local festival who warned all three their weddings would be a disaster.
The Substitute: Megan
About the Author
New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank has released over thirty novels and novellas and has sold over two million books. She writes mysteries with romance, humorous romance, light-hearted young adult romance, and urban fantasy. She lives in Blue Springs, Missouri with her three naughty dogs and six imaginative children. You can find out more about Denise at denisegroverswank.com.
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The premise of this book is that Megan is going home to her own wedding but without the groom. She meets a man on the airplane and because of her being impaired, he is assumed to be the groom. They each let the ruse go on because it benefits them both.
I knew this was going to be a very funny, emotional, dramatic story. There are quite a few laugh out loud moments and moments where you are trying to figure out exactly what is going on. Denise does a great job of foreshadowing in the story, but not so much that you know what the outcome is. You try to guess what you think is going to happen, but when it is revealed, you didn't have a clue.
I like stories like this that have the mystery mixed in with the rest of the elements of the story. It keeps me glued to the pages and wanting to read. I actually stayed up all night reading this because once I got into it, I needed to find out what was going to happen. I had to no idea as to where the story was going to go and I just had to keep reading.
Even though this story has more sex in it than I like, it was done tastefully and was not metaphor-ridden and silly. The moments were intimate and sexy and did not induce any eye-rolling by me, which is a great feat with sex scenes!
What took the book down from a 4 star book was the predictability of the storyline and the unncessary 'cheese' factor at times. There wasn't really any suprises in this tale. I actually kept picturing Sandra Bulloch and Ryan Reynolds from 'The Proposal' as I felt it was so similar in it's thoughts. The 'cheese' factor came from the way that the H and h declare their feelings... after only days, it just felt a little over the top. What I probably disliked most though was the unbelievable run of the events of our heroine. Two years of dating and your family doesn't have so much as a photo of him? You leave it until 3 days before your supposed wedding to tell any of your family that you've broken up with him? (no I'm not giving you any spoilers by telling you this) Ok so I get that it makes for the start of a fun storyline and angst straight up, but I couldn't help but scoff at a lot of it and it prevented me from fully investing in the story and it's characters at times.
In saying this, I actually did enjoy the story as I felt the author did well in creating the moods and the chemistry between the characters. I will consider looking into further books in the series.
I love the fake-relationship theme, so I was super amped for my first DGS book to be one.
Megan and Josh were super fun to watch and they really had a great chemistry. They played off of the each other well and were easy to like, even with the impending doom. I will say that most of the characters are on the OTT side of life, so be prepared to either love or hate them.
Overall, the plot was interesting, the characters were engaging, and for the most part I enjoyed it. Is it a favorite of mine? No. But it was enjoyable.
Next to her sits Josh McMillan, who had a patent pending for some special part in wind turbines that marked the success of the company he inherited from his father. Unfortunately, someone stole the plans from his brother and another company won the patent for the same part. Now he's on his way to Kansas City to investigate or confront the other company and get his patent back or his company will dissolve.
When the plane arrives, the drugs and liquor work on Megan and she's unconscious. Josh carries her out of the plane and tells people he's her fiancee so they don't think he's kidnapping her. He confronts her family and two things happen: they think he's the groom and he learns that Megan's father is one of the principals of the company that stole his plans.
The part with no credibility for me is that Megan accepts Josh's impersonation of the groom and accepts his reasons for doing so. Thus starts a charade and a quest for the information that will solve Josh's problem. Secondary characters add a lot of color to the story: Megan's two best friends who act as good cop/bad cop, Megan's big brother who carries guilt for not acting before against the jerk groom, the unorthodox granny who loves to practice naked yoga, the nazi mother-of-the-bridezilla, and the colorless father. The book is entertaining, the story moves forward at a good pace, there are frustrating and irritating moments (mostly involving Blair) and hilarious moments (mostly granny).
What made the book a little tiresome is the constant nagging/harping/aggravation of all characters against Megan. Even with Josh having her back, it made me sick and tired of everyone picking on Megan. I was also angry at Megan for being such a timid mouse. Several plot line were not resolved for me: the irregularities of Megan's father's company, the solution about the patent pending, and the disapproval that Megan's mother always showed to Megan.
For chick lit, this was an entertaining book.