By Melinda Minx
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I have one month to find a bride or I lose my daughter.
They say a tattoo artist with a dirty mouth can’t be a kickass father.
Bullsh*t. But my lawyer says I need a wholesome bride to convince the judge.
I know just the perfect girl—hell—I think she might even be a virgin.
Only problem? She’s my sister’s best friend, and she hates my guts.
When my best friend’s brother asks me to marry him, I nearly slap him in the face. I’m pretty sure he’s teasing me—just like he always has—but marriage isn’t something to joke about. Not when I’m pushing thirty with no hope in sight. And not when I’ve always had a huge, stupid crush on him.
Then he tells me he’s serious. He needs me to do it so he can keep his daughter.
I have to refuse. He’s always treated me like crap, which makes my feelings toward him even more sad and pathetic.
How can I not have a crush on him though? He’s always wearing a thin, tight undershirt that shows off his cut abs and broad shoulders, and despite what some people say about his chops as a father, he’s as sweet to his daughter as he is mean to me.
Maybe I can say “yes.” I’d be doing it for his daughter, not for him. And I certainly wouldn’t be doing it with the sad hope that he’d look at me as anything other than his sister’s dorky friend—that he’d touch me and make me—no, definitely not that.
Single Dad’s Bride was a fast, steady-paced, and entertaining read.
Deacon is being challenged for custody of his six-year-old daughter by his late wife’s parents, who are trying to paint him as an unfit father because he’s a tattoo artist whose shop is right next door to his house, clients have gotten into fights, and he’s covered in ink himself and rides a motorcycle. His lawyer suggests that he find a “wholesome” wife – even if the marriage itself is only pretend – so that the judge will have no reason not to rule in his favor. His sister Anna’s friend Rita, who just recently got fired from selling insurance because she refused to sucker people out of their hard-earned money to buy bad policies, ends up fitting the definition of “wholesome.” Rita isn’t convinced she wants anything to do with the idea. Though Deacon is a hot guy and she’s sort of had a crush on him for years, he’s teased her mercilessly since she was in high school and never really been very nice to her. Jealousy rears its ugly head and Rita backtracks, though, when she introduces him to a “wholesome” girl in her church’s Bible study and she’s obviously interested in becoming Deacon’s token wife and a whole lot more. By this point, Deacon has finally realized that somehow he overlooked Rita’s many virtues and physical assets until now, and is thrilled when she agrees to tie the knot. Will they find that they have feelings for one another when they take a short honeymoon?
Deacon’s daughter, Elsie, is an engaging and likable little girl, and though she plays an integral role, she doesn’t come off as bratty or a scene-stealer. She actually seems pretty genuine for her age and accurately interprets much of what’s happening around her for what it is, specifically her grandparents’ manipulative, selfish, and condescending behavior and her dad’s genuine love and human decency.
The plot device entwining the grandparents and their compulsive actions, child protective services, and the various legal muscle was an original idea, as was the slant to finding a wholesome wife by attending Bible study. This was a well thought-out story with original characters, spunky, humorous, and spirited banter, a down-to-earth and caring dad with authentically sounding dialogue, sweet and natural relationship development, and a romantic, family-driven HEA.
Original review posted on Amazon and Goodreads on March 18, 2017.