The Substitute

The Wedding Pact, Book #1

By Denise Grover Swank

ISBN# 9781939996237

Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

Josh McMillan was in trouble.  The patent he’d worked so hard on creating, the patent that was going to save his family’s business has been stolen!  And, worse, someone submitted the patent a week before they did.  Now he has to prove that the patent was stolen or his business will go under, leaving his employees jobless.  So, now he’s headed to Kansas City to find out what he can about the other company that submitted his patent and try to prove they stole it.

Megan Vandemeer is also headed to Kansas City, and is sitting next to Josh on the flight.  Her wedding is this Saturday and her mom has spent a butt load of money on it.  Unfortunately Megan caught her fiancé cheating on her and broke up with him six weeks ago, but couldn’t find a way to tell her mom!  She’s decided to tell her in person, but knows she’ll be disowned when she finally comes clean.

A very loopy Megan (hopped up on Dramamine and alcohol) confesses all her problems to the handsome stranger sitting next to her.  However, when it comes time to get off the plane she’s completely out of it!  Josh doesn’t want security called on her so he carries her off the plane with the intent of giving her safely to her family.  However, he realizes how bad it looks so he tells people that she’s his fiancé as they pass.  And, his family hears it and think that he’s Jay, the cheating fiancé!  But when he realizes that Megan is the daughter of one of the partners at the company that stole his patent, he feels that fate has given him a gift and opportunity that he can’t pass up!

Josh and Megan come up with an agreement that he will pretend to be her fiancé and then break up with her in a spectacular fashion so that her mother can’t possibly blame her.  But the longer the two spend together, the less they want their ‘relationship’ to end.

This is your typical, but unlikely romance novel.  But I have to say that I did rather enjoy it!  I absolutely loved Josh and feel that he really made the story work.  He was such a sweet and loyal guy trying to do whatever he could to save his family’s business after his brother royally messed up!  I also loved his humor and how sweet he was with Megan.

“Let me guess, you don’t function until after a cup of coffee?”

“Actually it’s two cups. And yes. Coffee is the elixir of the gods.”

Her brown eyes danced in amusement. “Are you calling yourself a god now?”

“You were a participant in last night’s activities, so you tell me.” 

It was great to see Josh do what Megan never would and stand up to her mother!  His protective side was a great sight to see.

“This woman by my side is the woman I want to marry, exactly as she is right now. I don’t want her transformed into some cookie-cutter Barbie doll”

Speaking of those protective of Megan … her brother, Kevin, was a lot of fun too and he made things interesting for Josh, for sure!

“Sorry I accused you of trying to kill my sister.” He stared into Josh’s face, his eyes filled with a challenge. “I’m sure an uptight prick like you would be much tidier with how you carried it out.”

Megan was a fun character, but I feel she is the most unbelievable thing of all in this book.  Who breaks up with their fiancé, but instead of telling her family, goes on like the wedding is still taking place?  Her friend, Blair, gives her a hard time over the Josh situation, but who can really blame her?

“Well, Josh McMillan, you’ve messed with the wrong person. I’m a divorce attorney, and I specialize in digging up shit on people. By tomorrow night I’ll know everything there is to know about you, including what blood type you are and whether you’ve been circumcised.” Blair turned to Megan and pointed her finger. “And you better not find out the answer to that question first.”

Another bright side of the book is Megan’s Gram!  She was too funny!  I love the eccentric characters like her in books!  And, she was willing and ready to seduce Josh if Megan wasn’t up to the task!  She had quite a thing for his butt after all, and made sure they all knew it!

This was a sweet story to get lost in for a couple of days and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

”You are singularly the best thing that has ever come into my life.”