The Substitute by Denise Grover Swank


“Megan Vandemeer meant to tell her parents about her broken engagement, but a month and a half later she finds herself boarding a plane home to her wedding. Having stretched avoidance to its limits, it’s time to come clean – a terrifying prospect since her mother is sure to blame her rather than her cheating, emotionally frigid ex. A couple of drinks and two Dramamine later, Megan finds herself spilling her sob story to the tall, dark, and handsome stranger in the seat next to her.

With only one week left to save his business, Josh McMillan boards a plane to Kansas City in a last-ditch effort, leaving the details to chance. An unexpected answer is delivered in the form of the beautiful brunette beside him. Though she’s completely loopy, her honesty, openness, and humor charm him. So when she passes out before landing, he helps her off the plane – a good deed that leads to a colossal misunderstanding. Her parents assume he’s her fiance. In a twist of fate, the mix-up might help Josh save his business, so he plays along, figuring he can help Megan too. All he has to do is stage a public break up convincing enough to appease her mother.

Josh is only supposed to be a substitute groom, but the more time he and Megan spend together, the more their pretend engagement starts to feel real…and the less they want to break it off. Can a relationship that began as a farce turn into a happily ever after?”

This was the first of hopefully many great finds thanks to the website Bookbub (a sight that sends you daily emails notifying you which books are on offer for kindle.)

Overall I enjoyed reading ‘the Substitute’ in a ‘I’m still a teenager and this was a easy read’ sort of way. It was a very interesting plot for a contemporary Romance novel which is why I was so intrigued to read it.

I have a feeling that this book would make a rather comical movie – something along the lines of ‘Freaky Friday’ or ‘Legally Blonde’, but perhaps a little more sophisticated. Whilst the language wasn’t anything special, I admit that it is nice on occasion to just read a book that doesn’t require thinking – a book that you can let yourself get wrapped up in.

Whilst this is a teen/young adult romance, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone younger than 16 as there were a few naughty bits!

The dual narration was essential to this story as half of the fun in this book was created by the suspense of the dramatic irony when I knew what Josh was thinking but Megan didn’t and vice versa. It was a heartwarming book, a good one to curl up with on a rainy day if you’re into reading Romance novels.

It was a bit of a page turner, even if the majority of the plot was a bit predictable and the characters were somewhat stereotypical. Nevertheless I had fun reading it and would still recommend it if you love a bit of Romance.

3.75/5 rating.


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An aspiring cellist, I absolutely adore reading, and even if it means squeezing it into the cracks of my busy life I am still determined to read more! For me, a truly great novel isn't just flashy with a fast paced plot and glossy characters, it is good literature that traps you with every word and entices you to read on. I write quick-to-read book reviews on CreativeThoughtBubble, as well as occasionally publishing short stories of my own.

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