The Goodbye Bride – Denise Hunter – Summer Harbor #2 – Thomas Nelson – Published 8 March 2016
Following a concussion, Lucy Lovett can’t remember the last seven months of her life. She doesn’t remember leaving her fiancé Zac Callahan weeks before their wedding or moving to Portland, Maine. And she sure doesn’t remember getting engaged to another man. All she remembers is loving Zac more than life itself.
It’s taken Zac months to move on after Lucy left him with no explanation. He’s thrown himself into his family’s farm and his restaurant business in Summer Harbor. Now Lucy’s back, vulnerable, homeless, and still in love with him. She needs his help putting the pieces together, but letting her back into his life is a risk—and the stakes are high. If he follows his heart he’ll win back the love of his life. But if her memory returns he’ll lose her all over again.
I’ve been really blessed with some fantastic books over the last couple of weeks, and the Goodbye Bride is just the icing on the cake (a really yummy, decadent icing).
We first met Zac in Falling Like Snowflakes, the first book in this Summer Harbor series, and heard of the fiancé who left him just weeks before their wedding. Now Lucy is back, after falling, becoming concussed and forgetting the last seven months, forgetting that she left Zac, moved to Portland and somehow ended up engaged to someone else. But now it’s only Zac who she remembers and feels safe with, so she begs him to help sort out who she is now and what has happened to her.
I didn’t much like Lucy to start with. She is whiny and needy and, yes she has just suffered a concussion and forgotten the last several months, but she could try being a little more understanding and accepting that things have changed instead of making demands. But Zac loves her, despite everything she has put him through and it is through Zac’s eyes that readers will fall in love with Lucy and fall even harder for the kind, gentle, hurting man who loves her.
As Zac reconnects with Lucy, the readers are treated to flashbacks of when he first met Lucy and their resulting courtship. Zac and Lucy have one heck of a connection. They felt that instant spark when they first met and it doesn’t take much to stir it all up again as Lucy stumbles back into Zac’s life.
There are some gorgeous moments between them, and my heart kept fluttering at that built-up tension (I was feeling quite light headed by the end, and those kisses… Wow.)
The readers are given no clue at the start as to what happened to Lucy, first to make her leave Zac seven months ago and what has happened to her in the intervening time. The mystery had my imagination running wild, from kidnapping plots, secret identities and even witness protection. I was a long way off, but you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out what really happened.
As always with Denise Hunter’s books, this story is a great balance of romance, faith, friendship, community and self-reflection. The Goodbye Bride is highly enjoyable, and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series, which will be the story of Zac’s brother Riley.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Christian contemporary.
Themes: Amnesia. Faith. Forgiveness. Marriage. Love.
Published: 8 March 2016 by Thomas Nelson.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook. 336 pages.