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.
I read Dual Power of Convenience while Chautona Havig was writing it—one of the perks of being in her launch team! Actually, it’s a perk, but it’s also a nuisance, because I can’t just sit down and read the whole book in one go (as if a busy mother can do that, but anyway…) I have to wait for her to write the next chapter! I reread it last week, though, for the purpose of writing this review, because I forgot to write one the first time around. This series is rather interesting; six authors each write a book based on one of the five Independence Islands, an imaginary set of islands off the Atlantic Seaboard of the southern United States. I loved the introduction to the series, Christmas on Breakers Point.
Near the end of Christmas On Breakers Point, Mallory had the idea of starting a mobile bookstore. At the beginning of Dual Power of Convenience, she has started her shop, and is selling books, coffee and snacks. One day, she sees a stranger approaching from the ferry. Lyla has arrived to take up the job of sorting and cataloging the contents of one of the old mansions on the island, the Danforth Estate, for Richard, the absentee owner—who just happens to be on the verge of becoming a billionaire.
Soon, Lyla runs into problems managing the house, and Richard comes up with the perfect solution—a marriage of convenience. He doesn’t want a wife, and she definitely does not want a man in her life, so they’ll get married and never see each other again. Win-win situation. Except that Richard shows up at Danforth Hall a few months after the wedding. What is going on? What is Lyla going to do about this twist in her plans?
Not only is this book a very entertaining story that I enjoyed almost as much on the second reading as the first, there are a number of truths woven into it in such a way as to make them memorable. How should a husband and wife interact with each other? How can you learn to trust again when you have experienced a horrible betrayal? How far should a friend go in pushing someone to do what is right? If you enjoy light romance with a serious side, you’ll love this book. If you enjoy a serious book with a lot of humor in it, you might enjoy it, too. One thing I found really fun was the way Lyla was poking fun at popular “tropes” in romance books!
I received a free copy of this book from CelebrateLit, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
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.
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