When a wedding reenactment turns real, Shay finds she’s an accidental bride.
Shay Brandenberger is raising her daughter in Moose Creek, Montana, on her childhood ranch, nestled against the Yellowstone River. Despite the hard work, she can’t seem to keep her head above water—and now the bank is threatening to foreclose. She prays for a miracle, but the answer she receives is anything but expected.
Having agreed to play the bride in the Founders’ Day wedding reenactment, Shay is mortified to be greeted at the end of the aisle by none other than Travis McCoy, her high-school sweetheart—the man who left her high and dry for fame and fortune on the Texas rodeo circuit.
Then the unthinkable happens. Thanks to a well-meaning busybody and an absentminded preacher, the make-believe vows result in a legal marriage. But before Shay can say annulment, Travis comes up with a crazy proposal. If she refuses his offer, she may lose her home. If she accepts, she may lose her heart.
Shay isn’t sure if the recent events are God’s will or just a preacher’s blunder. Will trusting her heart to the man who once shattered it be the worst mistake of her life? Or could their marriage be the best accident that ever happened?
Shay Brandenberger can’t seem to catch a break in life. Her high school sweetheart left her at the court house on their wedding day. The man she did marry walked out on his family before dying in a hiking accident. The family ranch is struggling financially. The last thing she wants to do is don a wedding dress and participate in an historical reenactment in a town where everyone knows her business. It doesn’t help that there’s a last minute substitution in the groom’s role, a substitution she doesn’t know about until it’s too late.
Travis McCoy is back in town to take care of his parents’ ranch while they’re on a mission trip. He knows he screwed up with Shay all those years ago, and sees the mistakenly legal marriage as a way to make it up to her. He knows that she and her daughter are struggling, and he’s in a position to help them. Shay accepts despite her misgivings. The bills can be paid and her daughter can have new clothes. At last, they can look acceptable in the eyes of the townsfolk.
This was a great book about making up for past mistakes, forgiveness, learning to trust, and accepting that external appearances really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I really felt for Shay’s daughter, Olivia, who was the target of a classmate’s abuse due to how she looked. I was once in her shoes. If there was anything that let the book down slightly, it was Shay’s repeated habit of saying, “Blame right,” when I think she meant, “You got that right.” The novel does ask for a suspension of reality – wedding licenses do expire, for example – but Hunter admits that in her end note, and it certainly does not detract from this delightful fairytale.
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 03 January 2012
Page Count: 304
I received an ARC of The Accidental Bride from The B&B Media Group. This is my complete and honest review.