Saturday, December 6, 2014

Married for Christmas (Willow Park Book 1) by Noelle Adams

Married for Christmas (Willow Park, #1)

Synopsis via Goodreads:

After years of dreaming, Jessica is finally getting married, but the marriage isn't exactly what she thought.

Daniel is her best friend, and she's known him all her life, but he's never gotten over losing his wife two years ago. His dream is to become the pastor of the church in their hometown, but the small-town congregation keeps balking over calling an unmarried minister. Since Daniel needs a wife and Jessica wants a husband and family, she proposes an arrangement that benefits both of them.

They can get married. They can build a life together. They can celebrate Christmas as a couple. It's fine that he doesn't love her. And it's fine that she's not exactly suited to be a small-town pastor's wife. And it's fine that she's more attracted to her sexy, brooding husband every day.

Jessica can be practical about this marriage. She knows what she's getting into, after all...

I really liked this story. It had so many angles going on at the same time. It has a religious undertone, but does not get preachy or condescending. Miss Adams prefaces her book with this:

   "The Hero of this book is a pastor, but this is not an inspirational romance. It is a regular contemporary romance featuring characters who happen to be religious. Spiritually is an important aspect of the human experience and the lives of a lot of people. . ."

Jessica and Daniel both have a specific goal and Jessica has the perfect solution-get married. They are already friends and have known each other all their lives so it seems logical, right?
Jessica and Daniel are both very likable characters. Miss Adams develops them throughout the story. You get to know them little by little as their story unfolds. This may seem like it slows the story down but it is quite the contrary. As their relationship builds, you learn new things about each of them. As you learn these things, Miss Adams brings in the back story of why they behave as they do. You don't get bogged down with their full past. You are pulled along in their present to see how their life is progressing.
While I think the average person would not go into a marriage based on friendship (I may be too much of a romantic), the relationship after the marriage is one that most people can relate to. They have their arguments, anger, sentimental moments, and hot, sexy moments.
Daniel my be a pastor, but he isn't a perfect, super-religious pastor. Daniel is a down-to-earth male who believes in God but enjoys life. And Jessica is a realistic young lady just looking for a family.
I found myself hoping this sweet couple would make it.
This is a terrific story that is worth your time and money. It is a dose of reality in a contemporary romance.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Happy Holidays!