Release Date: December 1, 2013
Title: Married for Christmas
Series: Willow Park #1
Author: Noelle Adams
Available: Barnes and Noble
From the Publisher: 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...
This book includes fully-developed sex scenes between a husband and wife.
At the beginning of Married for Christmas is an author’s note. It explains that while the book is about a pastor, it isn’t meant to be Christian fiction. It is a simply a book that explores life from the perspective of someone who has faith. It is not intended to present any sort of religious message. Noelle rightly acknowledges that the challenge of this sort of book will mean that for some there will be too much religion and for others, not enough (I admit, I was convinced I would be in the first group).
Mission accomplished, Ms. Adams.
This book was perfect.
I’m really becoming fond of these “marriage of convenience” books. They’re so… romantic. (But Mandi, they’re romance novels. They’re supposed to be.)
Jessica proposes to Daniel because the church he wants to pastor won’t hire him unless he’s married (they think he’s too young and unstable to be a single/widowed pastor over their congregation). And Jessica has given up hope on ever finding someone to love her. She’s ready to settle down, put down some roots, and start a family. Daniel is convinced he will never love again (his wife died three years ago) but once he is certain that Jessica is okay with a marriage that has everything except love, they move forward. And he treats her the way a wife should be treated – mostly.
There are bumps in the road. Grief. Guilt. It broke my heart to watch Daniel dealing with the consequences of sex with Jessica. He didn’t do anything wrong – she was his wife after all – but in his heart, he was betraying his dead wife. It was painful and gut-wrenching. But he handled it. And he handled it well. There was one particular scene where he and Jessica were joking about the Christmas tree and how Jessica didn’t want to put up his ratty old garland from when he was a child. He finally said, “Lila let me do it!” And Jessica retorted, “Well I’m not Lila.” And you would think that a huge fight would brew as a result of that, but it didn’t. Daniel was thoughtful and considerate and he did not lash out.
But Daniel and Jessica truly were made for each other. Watching their feelings grow for each other and how they handled their feelings given the circumstances of their marriage was the highlight of the book.
And if you do read it, I recommend finding one of those old paper fans that you find in Southern churches to fan yourself with – because there are some hot and steamy scenes!
What Others Are Saying:
- My Written Romance: What I think I enjoyed about this story was the romance that developed between Jessica and Daniel. Watching their feelings for each other change and grow towards the type of marriage they both deserve was just gorgeous.
- GovernessInRed Book Reviews: I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good contemporary romance. It will absolutely make your heart smile.