Save the Date
Lucy Wiltshire is in a slump. The love of her life said goodbye instead of "will you marry me?" A devastating cut in funding means her non-profit home for young women is existing on borrowed time. And frosting the slump cake are ugly childhood memories that still make her feel like a chunk of limestone amidst the pearls of Charleston society.
Willing to fight for "her girls" --- the residents of the non-profit --- Lucy goes to a gala attended by Charleston's finest. She hopes to acquire donations for the girls' home, but the evening goes from embarrassing to disastrous. Just when it seems the situation can't get any worse, she finds herself staring into the eyes of her nemesis, Alex Sinclair, whose attempt at kindness couldn't possibly be real. When God throws these polar opposites together, the result is a funny, heartrending romance that brings Lucy and Alex first to their knees, then into each other's arms.
The last thing Alex wants is a relationship. The mega-famous ex-football star and infamous playboy is plagued by guilt, weighed down by sorrow, and determined to change his life and reputation. Years of money, women and fame did nothing to fill the nagging void in his heart. Now that same heart is crumbling. Alex's twin brother, Will, has disappeared while ministering to children in Afghanistan. In Alex's head, the "good" twin died, and nobody will ever convince him otherwise. All he can do now is try to make a difference in a world void of Will. His strategy: getting elected to Congress. Attending gala events and fundraisers is, unfortunately, a necessary evil in attaining that goal. When Alex meets spunky Lucy, he doesn't remember he used to bully her in high school --- he only knows that those blue eyes touch places inside him that haven't been touched before.
Lucy desperately wants to keep her home up and running. If funds run out, the residents will have nowhere to live. Alex desperately wants that seat in Congress. It is his only hope of filling the void, of making his life worthwhile, of honoring his brother. When paparazzi photographers catch the two of them unguarded and publish photos, Alex's ratings climb. Alex offers Lucy enough money to save the home if she'll pretend to be his fiancé until after the election. Lucy refuses….until her landlord informs her she has one month to vacate. Out of money and options, she accepts Alex's offer. Now she must find a way to fit in among the prim and proper of Charleston's elite --- not an easy task for the illegitimate daughter of a maid.
Alex comes to the "rescue" with a mentor. The former first lady of South Carolina, Clare Deveraux, is an uppity, rich snob who fired Lucy's mother years ago and blacklisted her among the city's upper crust. Clare is the last person from whom Lucy wants etiquette lessons, but Clare is the best. When Lucy's apartment floods, she winds up staying with Clare. Once again, God takes polar opposites and works a miracle. Two lives will never be the same and will be entwined forever.
If you are looking for the perfect romance --- funny, sweet, tender, clever and gripping, with a touch of hot --- look no further than SAVE THE DATE. Jenny B. Jones does it again with a great storyline complemented by wonderful twists and turns. Likable main characters are supported by a cast of quirky, sweet and funny secondary characters. The dialogue is pure genius, and the sci-fi references are the cherry on this delicious fudge sundae of a book. This is one you'll want to read and share.
Reviewed by Susan Miura on February 1, 2011