*Disclaimer: I received this book for review from Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.
So, I have to admit. This wasn’t a favourite for me.
I know, a book by Chautona Havig that I didn’t rave over (sorry, Friend!).
I think I struggled with her take on a Christian marriage. It’s not wrong. In fact, I think there’s probably some Biblical take away here. I just struggled because in our culture we’re taught that there must be an element of love before getting married. We have a box that we’re told we need to fit into. Sometimes its hard to set those boxes aside when presented with something different.
I actually had a number of people who took me aside before my wedding and cautioned me about marrying a man 13 years my senior (because of course I was just marrying him because I was desperate!). There’s this stigma that unless you’re marrying someone you’re in love with you’re not marrying for the right reason. Although I’ve seen arranged marriages (friends from the Middle East) and how happy they are, it’s still hard to get past that feeling that that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. I think I had an internal war going on the entire time I read this book which is why I was ready to put it down by the time I finished it.
I will say, though, I find Chautona’s characters fun and easy to relate to. I especially liked Mallory’s character (even though she’s not the star of this book, hah). I would still recommend this book and think it was well written, even if I didn’t appreciate the subject.
Check out the other blog stops on the tour and scroll to the bottom for a giveaway!
Texas Book-aholic, August 5
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 5
Inklings and notions, August 6
lakesidelivingsite, August 6
deb’s Book Review, August 6
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 7
Rebekah Jones, Author, August 7
For Him and My Family, August 7
Artistic Nobody, August 8 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Locks, Hooks and Books, August 9
Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 9
21st Century Keeper at Home, August 9
She Lives To Read, August 10
Simple Harvest Reads, August 10 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, August 11
Adventures of a Traverlers wife, August 11
Emily Yager, August 12
Stories By Gina, August 12
CarpeDiem, August 12
cultivating us, August 13
Connect in Fiction, August 13
Livin’ Lit, August 13
Read Review Rejoice, August 14
Quiet Workings, August 14
Blossoms and Blessings, August 14
Just Your Average reviews, August 15
Rebekah Reads, August 15
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 15
Lis Loves Reading, August 16
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, August 16
Splashes of Joy, August 16
Pause for Tales, August 17
Captive Dreams Window, August 17
Spoken from the Heart, August 17
Lots of Helpers, August 18
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 18
About the Book
Book: Dual Power of Convenience
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 28, 2020
When Richard Danforth inherits the family estate on Merriweather Island, he doesn’t have time to deal with it—especially not from halfway across the globe. He’s too busy working to become the world’s newest billionaire and avoiding the women who would detract him from his goals.
Enter Lyla Santana. Fresh out of Oxford University with a degree in antiques and a relationship that nearly killed her to leave, she’s eager for the isolation and treasure trove that is Danforth Hall. Lyla also is determined to avoid men at all costs. Forever.
It was supposed to be a match made on paper. With him halfway across the globe, they’d never have to see each other again.
So, what’s Richard doing on Merriweather just weeks after the wedding? And how will his arrival test Lyla’s faith, not to mention stretch their so-called relationship?
In a twist on billionaire romance and marriage of convenience, this “Merriweather book” kicks off a new series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
The Independence Island Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.
Click here to get your copy!
About the Author
Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.
More from Chautona
Did I Really Agree to Write a Romance Series?
When my fledgling little idea for a single book transformed into a series that then transformed into a SERIES, I kind of missed the part where I agreed (and likely suggested, if truth be told), that the books should be contemporary romance.
I mean, beach reads. Romance. Duh.
There’s just one problem? I rarely write a straight-up romance. And if I do, it’s usually a short novella in a collection—often at Christmas.
Isn’t it obvious?
Despite nine kids and being married for almost thirty-two years, I am THE most unromantic woman on the planet. No habla amor. Or something like that.
So there I was, toodling down the 395 (a treacherous bit of road between my house and the publisher’s) when all of what I’d agreed to exploded in my brain. I’m still scraping brain matter off the windshield and trying to stuff it back in. I need every last one of those “little gray cells,” thank-you-very-much!
Romance. My heart sank. Boy meets girl. They like each other. They fight. They get back together. They live happily ever after.
It’s a thing, folks. A formula. And if you deviate, true romance readers get annoyed. What was I going to do? I didn’t want to write romance. Not really. I had ideas. The prequel book had been all about trying to bring a young woman back to the Lord. That’s more my speed, okay?
The wheels began churning.
The ones in my head, I mean. The tires still rolled along the ground. Fortunately, my cranial explosion hadn’t caused an accident or anything. Just in case you were curious.
I considered making each one loosely related to a fairy tale retelling. I’d have a Cinderella story, a Beauty and the Beast, a… nope. That made it that far and I just couldn’t. The minute we got to Sleeping Beauty, I’d have my readers in comas. No. Thanks.
Next came Rom-com. We’d make it funny. All the stuff that happens in beach romances gone wrong. Why not? We live once!
I was yawning before the thought finished forming.
Right about then, I think, is when I wondered what kind of tropes I needed to consider.
See, romance tropes are a thing. I even talk about them on my podcast. The tingling sensation that comes when a good idea is brewing happened. A grin formed.
Tropes. I’d play with tropes. I’d take all those familiar things and twist them somehow. Why not? It would be fun.
And it was.
Right about then is probably when I began recording my ideas. Creosote and sage whizzed past at breakneck speeds (let me dream. I’m not a speed demon, but c’mon… for the sake of poetic license and all?). And the ideas whizzed faster (no license needed. They really did).
Book 1. Marriage of convenience. I mean, those are always fun, right? So why on earth would someone need to get married?
Every idea I came up with has been done… and done again.
That’s when I upped the stakes. Authors do that, you know. We come up with a way to torment our characters, and then we say, “Okay, now how can I make this worse? Nope, I need it even worse. Oh, and…” Bam! The story goes from interesting to can’t-put-it-down. All because we’re not afraid to be cruel to non-existent people. Score!
How’d I do it with this one? I added in another trope. One I personally just can’t “get.” People love the things, and I’ve got no idea why. But it answered my first question of why someone might need a marriage of convenience or… as my gal puts it… “a paper marriage.”
My guy became the world’s newest billionaire.
Yep, you read that right. I wrote a “billionaire romance.” Sort of. Now, if I could figure out how on earth I’d take two people on opposite sides of the world and get them together.
*insert hands rubbing together in fiendish delight*
Oh, yeah. I did it. And even more than that, I love it. I made my characters do some stupid things. I really did (you know, like how two Christians didn’t even pray about their marriage decision? Like how they didn’t even ask if the other person was saved? Why should they? They’ll never see each other again… they said. Ha! The Lord had other ideas. Sorta. This is fiction, right? Oops! I suddenly feel like that crazy Kathy Morningside in Miss Congeniality).
From Adelanto to Kramer Jct., I planned out that first book—Dual Power of Convenience.
(the title gives away that reason for marrying, no? Also, links may be affiliate links that provide a small commission at no extra expense to you.)
It was almost too easy.
Then I started playing with the next ones, and the series became a reality to me.
– Dual Power of Convenience—when a woman too afraid of men goes to work for a man who is too busy making money to want anything to do with that whole marriage and family thing.
– Bookers on the Rocks— This couple’s marriage is on the rocks (that’s the trope, of course), and neither of them has a clue. They’ve been married for twenty-five years, neither is having an affair, no one wants a divorce, life is good, so why is it on the rocks? You’ll see…
– Directing Hearts— The Crawforths got tricked into allowing a reality matchmaking show film on their islands. Brooks Crawforth tangles with the director until their verbal battles turn into a different kind—a battle for their hearts (enemies to “lovers”)
– Just a Memory— In this one, Mallory Barrows (who makes appearances in all of the books) comes across an old journal that tells a story she’d never heard. It’s the old Patti Paige song “Go On with the Wedding” but over forty years later! Mallory knows something that might just create a (here comes the trope) second chance at romance.
–Printed on Her Heart— After being instrumental in so many couples’ relationships, it’s Mallory’s turn in this dual-trope story. In this one, we get a mashup of friends to more and love at first sight. Can’t wait to share it. Squee!
Okay, that’s the deal. Yes, I really did agree to write a romance series.
And yes, it probably was my idea.
I might deny it to my dying day, but it is also a whole lot of fun… so far.