The Summary: Chad Walker and Amelia Snyder have been friends since they were kids. When Chad decides to enter into a business marriage with former high school mean girl Claire, Amelia knows she has to save her best friend from making the biggest mistake of his life. As kids, they’d promised they would only marry for love. Besides “friends did not allow friends to marry the wrong woman.” So Amelia does what any rational woman would do when logic and pleading won’t do the trick: she hijacks his limo with him in the back seat and whisks him away to a remote cabin to make him see sense.
The only thing that planning obsessed Chad sees is that impulsive Amelia has caused chaos in his life again. But a small part of him acknowledges his business marriage with Claire was a bad idea, and he allows himself to be kidnapped. That doesn’t change the fact he needs to marry to inherit his shares of the family business from his grandfather, but he believes he can convince Claire to move their wedding back a couple days.
After a serious of unfortunate events, Chad and Amelia are forced to marry to get the shares. Being married to your best friend for six months shouldn’t be that big of a hardship, except that Chad and Amelia have been feeling something other than friendship growing between them ever since she kidnapped him. Can an impulsive commitment phobe and a planning obsessed man who believes love destroys ever live happily ever after?
The Review: As soon as I read the premise of Stealing the Groom, I knew that if it was written well, I would love it. It’s been a while since I’ve read a good marriage of convenience story, and having a friends to lovers hook as well places Stealing the Groom right in my romance novel wheelhouse. Both friends to lovers and marriage of convenience stories hinge on the characters. If the characters don’t pull you into the story and keep you flipping the pages, the plot won’t be believable and will feel manufactured.
Sonya Weiss strikes just the right note with Amelia Snyder. Amelia is an impulsive woman with a good heart. She has the best of intentions, but her lack of foresight causes her “plans” to devolve into chaos. Chad Walker is her perfect foil. He is man never without a plan. He tries to plan things that you just can’t plan for and it bites him in the butt. It’s clear very early on that Amelia can benefit from Chad’s ability to think things through, and Chad can benefit from embracing a bit of Amelia’s spontaneity.
The supporting cast of characters also shines and adds to this delightful read. Amelia’s sisters, Abby and Ann, Chad’s friends, Nick and Eric, and their meddling grandfathers, Henry Walker and Noah Snyder all add to the mêlée surrounding these two. Their well meaning loved one are more hindrance than help, but all with the best motives.
This book hits every single criterion I have for a good romance novel:
1. I care about the characters. See gushing above.
2. A believable impediment to them being together: commitment phobia, believing that love destroys, other things I won’t ruin for you.
3. Unique way of getting them together. She steals a limo and whisks him away to a cabin in the woods.
4. A sweet reveal of their feelings for each other. Chad steals the show with what he’s willing to do to show Amelia that he loves her.
5. Make me feel as if I haven’t missed the best part of the journey. If this book had ended after I love you, I don’t know that I’d trust these two not to muck things up. The fact that Ms. Weiss gave me a little bit more put my mind at rest.
The Short Version: Stealing the Groom by Sonya Weiss is a fun read propelled by compelling characters, witty dialogue, familial meddling and hindrances, and enough sexual tension to power a locomotive. I would recommend Stealing the Groom to any romance reader who loves friends to lovers, marriages of convenience, skeptics, cynics, commitment phobes, grand theft auto and a little accidental arson with their happily ever afters.
Stealing the Groom: * * * * 1/2 of * * * * * (4 1/2 of 5 stars)
PS. As of today, Stealing the Groom is still on sale for $.99! Get it while it’s hot!