Book: Blessing Bentley
Author: Chautona Havig
Genre: Fiction / Christian / Romantic Women’s Fiction
Release date: June 13, 2019
Note: I was given a copy of this book by the author. All opinions expressed are my own. Links in this post may be affiliate links.
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 reminded 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.
The typical romance book follows a fairly set formula. You know what that is. Woman sees good-looking man, gets to know him and he falls for her, soon they are both in love and can’t live without each other. They get married. Most books are pretty predictable, and I get very tired of that. Blessing Bentley does not follow this kind of formula. I found it very refreshing, and loved all the truths that were brought out in it.
Bentley had her eye on one of the men in her singles group, but it seemed like he was happy with the way things were, just hanging out together with the group most of the time. She was happy with it, too—until one day, she was challenged to study the Bible and see what God said about marriage. What she found changed her life, and she found herself asking a man to marry her so they could glorify God together in that way. Of course, his reaction was predictable—but what would he conclude after study, prayer, and counseling with his parents?
Life did not go smoothly for Bentley and her new husband after their unconventional wedding (which you just have to read about!). All those little things that happen to test every couple’s love came up—how could she cope? Would she ever find herself in love with him?
A couple of passages really stood out to me. At one point, Bentley and her husband appear on television because their story caught the attention of someone. Bentley was challenged about submission, and replied, “People think Biblical submission means you no longer have opinions; preferences and things like that—totally not true. It’s about preferring others over ourselves.” A little later in the same interview, her mother says, “How many people in divorce court would tell you that they were ‘in love’ when they got married?” Good point! Since love is a choice, we must choose to love the one we marry. This book is full of truth, and I can hardly recommend it highly enough.
In a way I could identify with Bentley. When I said “Yes” to my husband’s proposal, I could not have said honestly that I was in love with him. I knew he was the one I wanted to spend my life with, and that he was a man of integrity that I could trust with my life, but “falling in love” came later. So much of this story rings true to me—I love it! It’s actually hard for me to write this review because I love the book so much. If you like a story that has Biblical truths woven all through it, give this book a try. Chautona has explored what marriage is intended to be, and what love really is, and made it into a wonderful story. This is my newest favorite book! I have read the digital version, but I fully intend to get myself a print copy as soon as I can get one without paying international shipping.
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.
Guest Post From Chautona Havig:
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.
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