Monday, January 24, 2011

Jenny B. Jones's Save the Date ~ Reviewed

Save the Date
By Jenny B Jones
Published by Thomas Nelson
ISBN# 978-1-59554-539-8
311 Pages

Back Cover:

When Alex and Lucy pick out wedding invitations, they wonder if they can be printed in vanishing ink.

Former NFL star Alex Sinclair is a man who has it all--except the votes he needs to win his bid for Congress. Despite their mutual dislike, Alex makes Lucy a proposition: pose as his fiancée in return for the money she desperately needs. Bound to a man who isn't quite what he seems, Lucy will find her heart on the line--and maybe even her life. When God asks Alex and Lucy to scrap their playbook and follow his rules, will they finally say, "I do"?


Main Character Lucy's best friend Morgan says, “Is this a private mental break down or can anyone join in?”

I choose to join in the fun and you will too when it comes to reading this and any one of Jenny B. Jones’s books. She has a gift of drawing the reader quickly into a world she’s created and has you sympathizing with her characters while learning a thing or two. I was so thankful for the review copy of such a brilliant book.

Lucy is the director of Saving Grace home for girls. Donations were down and time was running out on her lease. Alex is in the middle of a heated campaign and needed Lucy’s help with the election process. Alex saw Lucy had a passion for Saving Grace and had the potential to help him win the election.

“Alex, do you know what Saving Grace is? Did you know in our country wards of the state are considered adults at eighteen? As soon as they graduate high school, many of them are forced to leave the foster care system. They become instantly homeless. With little help, no life skills. The girls at the home have real hopes and dreams just like the rest of us if given a chance. Saving Grace is their chance."

Alex has a plan and a marriage proposition for Lucy. They could help each other. It would be strictly a business deal. It reminded me of The Princess Diaries, where Anne Hathaway learns she is next in line to the throne and starts Princess Lessons. Lucy is not studying to be a princess but she has to learn about political matters and who’s who to get along at social functions she attends without Alex. How would the doors stay open for her girls at the home? Could she even entertain Alex’s proposal? That was the question. Could she pull off what he was requesting? She’s despised Alex since high school. He knew what she thought about him. That he was one of those rich kids that could fix anything with money. She didn’t mingle with his kind. Alex had to convince her this could work, that he could do. There was a lot of work ahead and they both knew how much after Alex’s questioning, that went something like this:

“Lucy do you know anything about football?”

“You toss a ball around and throw people to the ground. What else is there to know?”

“….if we’re going to do this I think I should know everything about each other. Don’t you agree?

"I’ll send you a memo."

"No we’re going to have to get to know each other the old fashioned way. Talking . Spending time together. Texting.”

Oh, God help her, let the games begin! Alex seeks the help of Clare in educating Lucy in political matters and manners so she does well at campaign dinners and events. This reminded me of Julie Andrews trying to teach Anne Hathaway manners and policies of running a country. Hysterical!

No one can describe situations like Jenny or create characters you can totally relate to. Make sure you set aside time to enjoy every minute of this book. I think Save the Date is Jenny’s best novel she’s written so far. Not only will you laugh out-loud, have your heart hurt at certain parts, but the important message in the book will remind you that the only things worth living for are faith, family and friends. I highly recommend this book and will be doing just that to my book club.

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network

Bonus Review:

You know that wonderful anticipation you feel as you open up the wrapper of your favourite chocolate to reveal that all the chocolaty goodness inside? Well, a Jenny B Jones novel will give you that same feeling without any of the calories ~ what could be better?! Save the Date is a gorgeous story overflowing with witty repartee, feisty moments and plenty to tickle the funny bone as well as touch the heart. I adore Jenny's gift for creating authentic, down to earth characters who battle pride, anger and impatience but also reflect generosity of spirit, tenderness and compassion. The conflict between Lucy and Alex is refreshingly genuine as their prejudices collide and their slow journey towards like and then something more is enchanting and entertaining. Can't wait to unwrap more fabulous novels from one of the most talented writers I know!

Reviewed by: Rel Mollet

Bonus Review:

Jenny B. Jones has joined my list of favorite authors with Save the Date. Though filled with laugh-out-loud moments, it carries a deep message for all women. Lucy, one of the best characters I've read, continues to linger in my mind. I didn't want the story to end. Her other characters are equally memorable. Save the Date is a book I couldn't put down. Novel Journey and I give it our highest recommendation: a 5-star read.

Reviewed by: Ane Mulligan, editor
Novel Journey

Bonus Review:

Though this storyline seemed highly improbable to me, I found myself enjoying this book. It's the classic story of two people who hate each other hating so much that they fall in love. Alex is a former NFL star, 'ladies man', and now wanna be Congressman who needs to change his public image. Lucy is a eccentric 30 something post foster care girls home director who doesn't have enough funding to keep Saving Grace (the girls home) open. What starts out as a business proposition quickly turns into much more...and Alex ends up coming to terms with the guilt in his past....while Lucy finds her self worth and identity; each helps the other draw closer to Jesus, the only one who can totally heal them both. With plenty of laughs and along the way, I ended up enjoying this book.

Reviewed by: Rachael Schnitker

Another Bonus:

I nearly missed Save the Date, thinking it was another “fluff romance.” Drawn to a heroine involved in the lives of foster girls, I picked up the novel with meager enthusiasm. By page two, I was hooked. By chapter three, my family began to stare at my frequent bouts of laughter. Jenny B. Jone’s witty, sarcastic humor left me completely unprepared for the run-for-a-tissue moments that followed. Few novels can take me from giggles to tears then back to giggles again, yet Jenny B. Jones roller-coastered my emotions on numerous occasions.

I loved each one of her characters, from their Star-Wars-loving quirks, to their riotous remarks, Lucy being no exception. Like her 1950’s counterpart, Mrs. Ricardo, Lucy is uncouth, clumsy, and often manages to entangle herself in quite a mess. But beneath her almost goofy (yet beautiful) exterior hides a girl with a heart as big as the disasters she creates.

And then there’s Lucy’s boyfriends, two men as different as chocolate and bananas, yet equally inviting. Although I longed to hate Alex, her fiance√© for hire, I found myself rooting for him instead. Matt, poor Matt, Mr. Tried-and-true, predictability, left me equally convicted. He reminded me of a lost puppy dog robbed of his bone. Needless to say, I understood why Lucy tripped over her words and her feet so often. In the end, I found Save the Date to be an emotionally satisfying novel able to evoke a gamut of feelings, often in a single page. Ironically, the novel I nearly passed up became my favorite read for 2011.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Slattery

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