I find it very difficult to pass up any book by Chautona Havig. I discovered her works when I got my first Kindle almost seven years ago and have read most of what she has written.
One of the things I love about her books is the way they are filled with the unexpected. Take
To give you an idea just how bad this obsession is, I read my first book by her in August 2012. Thirty Days Hath is her ninth book that I read – in October 2012!
Thirty Days Hath...
by Chautona Havig
Published by Amazon Digital Services
Publication Date July 19, 2012
Genres: Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Main Character Ages: 25-34, 35-60
Written for: Adults
Blind Dates Are for Wimps!
At least, that’s what Adric Garrison thinks.Can you blame him? Thanks to his sister and brother-in-law, Adric is about to embark on a year of month-long, chaperoned, blind dates. awkward.He didn’t ask for it. But Adric still finds himself living what seems more like a bad TV reality show than a new life in Fairbury. Once an ordinary (if prematurely gray and vertically challenged) guy, Adric is now Fairbury’s newest “most eligible bachelor,” and dreams of permanent bachelorhood loom on the horizon. Will he call it quits before the year is out, or will one of his “girls of the month” change his mind?
One man, twelve women, one happily ever after.
It’s been six and a half years since I have read this book, but I still vaguely remember the events in it. And remembered that I liked it enough, when I saw she had re-imaged and revised it, I knew I wanted to read it again. So I did.
The concept of the book is unusual among Christians. I mean, really, how do you take a Christian man and put him in a situation where once a month for a year, a new woman will come live in his house so they can determine if they are compatible enough to pursue marriage. And keep things nice and clean and platonic. (Hint: you send chaperones along. And have Ms. Havig write it, of course.)
Having married young, I don’t necessarily relate to the motivations of Adric and the twelve women who agreed to this experiment. Yet I was able to relate to them in other ways and understand exactly why they were there.
Part of what made this story so enjoyable was that there weren’t just two main characters. With Adric, his sister and her husband, twelve women, and their chaperones, there were so many (quirky!) people to get to know. Each one had their own baggage and way of dealing with it – or not. Some were strong in their relationship with the Lord, some were insecure, some were wonderful, and some were not. I found myself really liking more than one of the women and feeling bad for Adric for having to make the choice between them.
What made the story even better is that while it was about romance, many spiritual truths were presented in an entertaining and compelling way.
Being as it has been so long since my first reading, I can’t tell you if the new version is better or worse. I can’t really put a finger on what is different other than a few references to characters in an upcoming story. I did have a recollection of one of the women and as I reached beyond the halfway point I wondered if she had been written out and replaced by another. Oh, but then she showed up. Just later than I recalled. Yeah. She was interesting!
If you have read other books by Chautona Havig, then you already know you need to read this one. If you haven’t, t
A Silent Truth No One Admits: Blind Dates Are for Wimps
by Chautona Havig
Maybe I’m not the one to talk. After all, I never dated. Not really. My best friend in high school was a guy. We went to the movies. We did things. Still, we were just great friends.
I had what might be considered one date in Lubbock, Texas in 1987. Maybe. I didn’t consider it one, but I suppose the guy might have. Maybe.
Then I went from best friends with the guy I’ve been married to for 30 years to engaged in the span of a few seconds after what might have been a rhetorical question. He’s under orders not to tell me if it was. After all, he’s the fool who went on to say, “I do.” Just sayin’.
Still, in the first decade of the 21st century, I discovered a new “thing” in reality TV. The Bachelor. Though I tried watching it, I couldn’t after a while. It started out reasonably clean, but then it devolved into cat fights, spit-swapping sessions, and drama. Oh, the drama.
But one aspect intrigued me. The focused attention to finding the girl. What if Christians did that? What if we stopped playing the silly game of “pretend we’re not in this to see if you’re someone I could put up with for the next fifty or sixty years…”? Oh, man. What if the church rallied around its members and helped without pushing.
Trust me, you don’t want to push too much. You may discover that the people you’re pushing just get together and talk about it. Laugh at your antics. Mock the ridiculousness of it. Not that Kevin and I ever did that back in the day or anything. (Check out that story HERE.)
That “what if?” spurred an idea.
Sister churches. Chaperones. Not a couple of weeks in a giant house somewhere, but a whole month of real living with someone, day in. Day out. And again, with that chaperone to avoid that “appearance of evil” thing. If you could spend that much time with someone, seeing warts, virtues, best and worst sides… well, maybe you might just be right for each other.
At the least, you’d have a good idea if you even wanted to find out. That’s a healthier and quicker start than two or three months of a date here or there and hoping you’re seeing the real person. Right?
I created a character and ran with it. From giving him less than Hollywood good looks, to an anger problem and a blue-collar job, Adric had lots going for him… and not so much!
Then I tested it out. Acid test. I signed him up for eHarmony.
No, really. I did.
For the record, apparently short, prematurely graying mechanics with anger issues are a hot commodity. It took hours to get it set up, but man there were many women out there for him… supposedly.
And to this day, my Gmail email (that I never use) still says email@example.com. No joke.
For what it’s worth, Adric learned one very difficult lesson that year.
As I’ve already confessed. I’ve never been on a blind date. I doubt anyone would even consider that I’ve been on a date. Still, after writing this book, I know for one thing. Blind Dates Are for Wimps.
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