Marrying the Wedding Crasher (2018) by Melinda Curtis is part of the Harmony Valley series, but does read as a stand-alone story. This book is set to release tomorrow, March 6, 2018, by Harlequin Heartwarming Publishers. This book will be available in all forms including eBook, and is 384 pages in length. With a full-time job and a very busy five-year old at home, this book took me two days to read. I received a copy of this novel from Harlequin Heartwarming in eBook form for review. In no way has this influenced my opinion. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I give this novel 4.5 STARS. Marrying the Wedding Crasher is a Contemporary Clean Romance.
About the Book
This bachelor’s pretend girlfriend just made a shocking discovery—
Although they dated for only a month, Harley O’Hannigan just agreed to be Vince Messina’s plus-one at a Harmony Valley wedding. Big mistake, given her deepening feelings for the tall, dark, unavailable bachelor. And what about Vince’s long-buried family history? Then there’s the growing secret that could transform this pretend relationship into the real thing…
“Wonderfully entertaining!” Jayne Ann Krentz, NYT Bestseller (referring to Playing for Love)
“Reading Slade and Christine’s story reminded me of why I enjoy romance. SEASON OF CHANGE has found a place on my keeper shelf!” Brenda Novak, NYT Bestseller
Harley opened her eyes on a shuddering breath. A familiar face greeted her.
Vince. They both worked for Jerry, remodeling houses.
Vince. Friendly black eyes, a sturdy nose and black hair. That black hair. It had required a second glance when they’d first met. He had fantastic hair. The kind of hair Disney gave its princes.
Her heart was racing for the exit and her hands had started to tremble in his. Vince’s hands, not Dan’s.
Vince. He drove an old truck, not a new Ferrari. He’d offered her carrots once when he’d heard she’d forgotten her lunch on a remote job site. He’d bought her a drink after work one day, which had led to him buying her dinner—more than once—and then the infamous weekend away where he’d learned she’d quit being an architect. Not that he’d understood Harley and her inability to pick herself up after one undisclosed setback. He may have been seven years older than her, but that didn’t mean he could be judgmental about her career choices.
Note to self… I’m not safe with Vince, either.
“Hey.” Vince gave her hands a gentle squeeze. “Are you with me?”
With him? She would’ve followed him anywhere a few weeks ago, before the let-me-tell-you-what-to-do-with-your-life debacle.
Vince moved to sit next to Harley, tucking her beneath his arm, next to his bulky tool belt. “Breathe in. Breathe out.”
Sounded easy enough, but that heart of hers was hammering against her lungs, making her pant. Vince holding her wasn’t helping her recovery. Not that she moved away from him. Not one inch.
“Like this.” Vince took Harley’s hand and placed her palm on his sturdy chest.
She could feel his heart beat nearly as fast as hers, but she could also feel him fill his lungs with air.
“Breathe in. Breathe out.” Vince was big and warm and calm, and completely different than Dan. He’d never be a slave to fashion. He’d never take credit for someone else’s work. He’d never put his hands on a woman with intent to do damage.
In a distant part of her brain, somewhere where things weren’t pounding, Harley’s mother recited one of her Southern lectures. Life is hard, baby girl. You need to find yourself a big, strong man to lean on when times get tough.
Finding big, strong men was something of a specialty of Harley’s. It was finding the ones she could lean on forever that eluded her.
Author Melinda Curtis
Melinda Curtis is an award-winning, USA Today Bestseller of over 40 romances. She writes sweet romance for Harlequin Heartwarming, sweet romantic comedies and sexy sports contemporary romances. When not working on DIY projects around their home, Melinda and her college sweetheart enjoy watching Duke mens basketball and visiting their three kids and one grandchild. Sign up for her mailing list to receive two free reads.
One day when I was seven years old, Sr. Regina, my 2nd grade teacher, gave me and my fellow classmates a brown paper bag. We were told to decorate them prettily and make sure to include our names. These bags were going to be our Valentine’s Day bags! She also told us to make/buy Valentine’s Day cards for our fellow classmates. I can remember vividly putting my whole 7-year old self into my bag, and later into the cards I made for my classmates. Valentine’s Day arrived and I excitedly hurried to class. I could not wait to pass out my cards and then enjoy the cards I got from my fellow classmates. After the craziness that is 2nd graders distributing cards and moving around the classroom, Sr. Regina asked us all to open our bags and dig into our cards and candies. I was SO excited!!! I opened my bag and saw three cards total. No candy. Just three cards. My little 2nd-grade heart dropped, but I was ok because something is better than nothing, right? Two of the cards were the store-bought kind, and one was hand written. I was excited for the hand-written card because it meant someone took time for me! I opened the note and read, “Happy Valentine’s. Nicole, you look like a clown.” I was devastated. I got up, went to the back of the classroom, and buried myself behind the coats and backpacks. I sobbed my little heart out. I was embarrassed and heartbroken.
I was seven years old when someone’s words crushed my heart and made me see myself differently. I became a very closed-off kid from that day forward, and I began to really hate the way I looked. I hated that I had to wear glasses. I hated that my prescription was so thick it looked like I was wearing coke bottles. I hated that my family was poor and I couldn’t afford cute glasses, just glasses from the cheap section in the eye doctor’s office. I then started to really look at myself in the mirror… AT SEVEN!!! I decided I hated my big nose. I hated my ugly teeth. I hated my limp hair. I hated me. It should be noted that I have a really pretty, skinny mom. The kind of pretty, skinny that the world says is perfect. I am about as opposite as you can get. Guess when I noticed that?! Yep…right after I got told I look like a clown.
I have been battling that note every day since I was seven years old.
If you are still reading this, you are probably wondering by now what this has to do with Marrying the Wedding Crasher. Marrying the Wedding Crasher is a good, solid story. It has exactly what you look for when you want a Harlequin Heartwarming-type story. The characters are well written and realistic, the plot is very engaging, and the romance is sweet. I do very much recommend it for all of these standard qualities, BUT, I really recommend this book because of what it reminded me: words are SO very important, and they can be blessings or weapons. Of all the characters in this book, I relate to Vince Messina. Vince, of course, is the perfect Harlequin Heartwarming hero — he is gorgeous, he is kind, he is all man! So, I definitely cannot relate to his gorgeousness and his manliness, but I can relate to him in regards to this “words” issue that I’ve been discussing. When Vince was a teenager someone very important to him said something in an emotionally-drained moment and it completely changed the course of his life. Vince was never going to be the person he was BEFORE THE WORDS ever again. After my Valentine’s Day card fiasco in the second grade, I was never going to be the same bright-eyed, happy, blissfully ignorant girl ever again.
We need to be SO careful with our words. This is an excellent reminder for me as a wife and mother, but also as a teacher. The words we use can have positive effects on those around us, or they can do great harm. Ephesians 4:29 states, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” God wants us to use our words to build others up, not tear them down!
Marrying the Wedding Crasher is a sweet romance. I definitely left the book smiling for the main characters, but I also left the book with a great reminder that I certainly did not expect. If you are looking for a well-written, sweet story that ends happily, and includes a great moral, then I highly recommend Marrying the Wedding Crasher. You will not be disappointed.
Blog Tour Schedule
I Am A Reader – Spotlight
A Writer’s Life – Spotlight
Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm – Spotlight
Why Not? Because I Said So! – Spotlight
Aubrey Wynne: Timeless Romance – Spotlight
Laura’s Interests – Spotlight
Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review
The Christian Fiction Girl – Review
Bargnhtress – Spotlight
Bonnie Phelps, Author – Spotlight
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – Spotlight
The Avid Reader – Spotlight
T’s Stuff – Spotlight
My Devotional Thoughts – Spotlight
Susan Heim on Writing – Spotlight
Remembrancy – Review
Wishful Endings – Review
Rainy Days and Pajamas – Spotlight
Bookworm Lisa – Spotlight
The Eco Lifestyle – Spotlight
Diana’s Book Reviews – Spotlight
Stacking My Book Shelves! – Spotlight
Reading Is My SuperPower – Review
Always Books – Review
Room With Books – Spotlight
Hearts & Scribbles – Spotlight
Queen of All She Reads – Spotlight
BookHounds – Spotlight
StoreyBook Reviews – Spotlight
Thoughts of a Blonde – Spotlight
Alina Snow Book Adventures – Spotlight
Among the Reads – Review
Rockin’ Book Reviews – Spotlight
Kindle and Me – Review
Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.