Series: Marriages of Conviction #1
Published by Havilah Press Publications
Publication Date June 11, 2019
Genres: Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Written for: Adults
Bentley Girard’s about to propose… to a guy she doesn’t even love.
Not THAT way anyway.
After studying everything the Bible has to say about marriage, she’s decided she wants in. Now. So who’s going to take her up on that offer?
And just why did no one remind her that those vows include that little word, “love?”
With her Bible in her hip pocket and a shiny new ring on her finger, Bentley navigates this new world of marriage with grace and… oh, who is she kidding? She flounders until she gets a sure footing and hangs on tight.
Grab the first book of this unusual series today!
I would like to thank Celebrate Lit for giving me a copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Leave it to Chautona Havig to take a perfectly ridiculous concept and work it into a story in a way that actually makes sense and teaches great lessons along the way!
Do I have your attention now? Because it isn’t really ridiculous. It’s just not done by Christians. The idea of entering a marriage with someone you only know on a casual basis, that you don’t love in “that” way and expect it to be honoring to God? Um, let me just say this is not mainstream.
And yet Havig makes it work. Really!
I admit I was surprised the marriage didn’t take place near the beginning of the book. I guess I’ve read enough marriage of convenience stories where they wed at the beginning and the rest of the book is about how they fall in love. Not so with Blessing Bentley. There are struggles with the very concept. Families to inform. Friends to invite. Remember, this is a modern-day story, not the “get off the stagecoach and marry a stranger” type.
While Bentley’s conclusion about marriage and the way she approached it may or may not match up with your understanding of what God intends, it is quite thought-provoking. Moreover, it can’t be denied that it is God’s will for those of us who are married to honor Him in our marriages. And every other area of our lives.
While I know it isn’t designed to be a primer on marriage, the things Bentley and her husband had to learn and the conflicts they had to resolve resulted in lessons that are valuable for all marriages. Because honestly, it doesn’t make a difference how the union comes about, God’s plan for marriage is for it to be a picture of Christ and His bride. So as this couple struggles through the process of becoming one, we, the readers, can benefit from their efforts.
Don’t be misled into thinking this is a super serious book. It is by Chautona Havig, after all! There is plenty of fun, swoony moments, and slightly quirky characters you’ll love to love.
In case you didn’t notice, I haven’t mentioned who Bentley proposed to. There were a number of choices. I also didn’t mention how many she proposed to. Or what the reactions were, of the men or of the friends and families. I’m just not sure if that would give anything away. I will tell you that the wedding was so funny and sweet and perfect! After all, what wedding do you really remember where everything came off without a hitch?
Was the story perfect? Not quite. But close enough I didn’t take away any from any of the stars. There was a reference to a deep, painful sin in her husband’s past that he wasn’t ready to share with her. I wanted to know what it was! And Bentley had this habit of saying things like “le sigh“. While it was revealed she was a fan of Pepe LePew, in my mind that didn’t quite explain it. Then again, I haven’t watched those cartoons since I was little. Would it have made more sense if I had? Perhaps? Fortunately, this was not overdone so I was okay with it.
Readers who enjoy stories that make them think, laugh, and swoon without making them blush will enjoy Blessing Bentley.
If You Need to Save Time, Don’t Ask for Help
Not from my friend anyway. It all started with a conversation about Bentley…
She pops up now and then—the most ubiquitous (and yet not) of my unpublished characters, you might say. Who is this unsung Bentley, and why should we care about her? For that matter, why has her story been languishing in my “to be edited” pile for over a decade?”
It’s worse than that. Bentley isn’t the only book that’s been sitting there, unedited, waiting for a chance at daylight. There’s also Tait’s story. Andi’s story. Ami’s story… all the unpublished stories. Those don’t even include the partially done ones.
It’s an illness, I tell ya.
Some people may not know this about me, but I plot out my books while I’m driving. I get in the car, turn on my voice recorder, and talk to myself. You can’t know how grateful I am for cellphones. I don’t own or use one, but man I’m glad they exist. Know why? Because people don’t give you weird looks when you talk to yourself in the car now. When I was a kid, that wasn’t true. Not that I know from personal experience or anything. whistles
So one trip down south (it’s an hour and a half to go anywhere from my house, and most of my trips are at least three hours one way), I realized that Tait and Bentley’s stories could be merged. It would be awesome. Two books. One stone. If I did that to a bunch of my languishing manuscripts, I could clear out that unfinished file in no time! (Okay, let me dream here. Eternal optimist, remember?)
And that brings us back to Blessing Bentley
I was at my friend Sandy’s house (if you know Celebrate Lit, yes, that Sandy), and I told her I needed a new title. Why? Because now it included Tait and his story.
We talked. We schemed and plotted. Sandy wanted something to happen that just can’t. I’d seriously have to rewrite the entire series. Oh, and then there would be issues with already published books. Ahem.
Then it happened. She said the words. “It needs to be two books.”
I could have put an ice cube down her shirt. Do you remember how excited I was to have two combined into one??? Now we’re back to two books. Still, they were written as two. I just don’t have a satisfactory ending for Tait’s.
That’s when things got fun. Sandy tossed out one idea. I tossed it back. She remolded it and flipped it in the air. I caught it, made a few changes, and voila! We had a BOOK. And it would be adorable.
Then she swore at me.
Okay, so she actually just said, “You really need a third book, friend.”
Anyone who has ever heard her talk, can hear her voice there. I know you can. Still, as sweet and kind as she might have meant to sound, I heard swearing.
Another book. You’ve got to be kidding me! I went from having two books morphed into one being split back in two, and now you want to add one? I’m trying to reduce the to-do pile!
But then I remembered another story that’s been percolating since I wrote 31 Kisses. Carson’s brother is newly single. And well…
Yep. Enter trilogy.
Marriage of Conviction—that was supposed to be the title of Blessing Bentley. Who knew that when I started writing that book fifteen years ago—who knew it would end up being the title of a series instead. Marriages of Conviction. Blessing Bentley, Tempting Tait, and Charming Chloe.
Welcome to a new look on marriage and a wild ride with these characters!
And remember… if you think I have too many series… Well, this one’s Sandy’s fault.
Among the Reads, July 8
Cultivating Us, July 8
Texas Book-aholic, July 9
janicesbookreviews, July 10
A Reader’s Brain, July 11
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 12
CarpeDiem, July 12
Retrospective Spines, July 13
Splashes of Joy, July 13
Back Porch Reads, July 14
Inklings and notions, July 15
Through the Fire Blogs, July 16
Godly Book Reviews, July 16
Lots of Helpers, July 17
Captive Dreams Window, July 17
Daysong Reflections, July 18
She Lives To Read, July 19
Blogging With Carol, July 19
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 20
For Him and My Family, July 21
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 21
To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a Blessing Bentley grand prize package that includes a paperback copy of the book, a book cozy, a Blessing Bentley Candle, and a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e550/blessing-bentley-celebration-tour-giveaway