The Book Worm: Review: The Substitute

Friday, October 2, 2015

Review: The Substitute

the substitute, denise grover swank, book review


Megan Vandemeer meant to tell her parents about her broken engagement, but a month and a half later she finds herself boarding a plane home to her wedding. Having stretched avoidance to its limits, it's time to come clean--a terrifying prospect since her mother is sure to blame her rather than her cheating, emotionally frigid ex. A couple of drinks and two Dramamine later, Megan finds herself spilling her sob story to the tall, dark, and handsome stranger in the seat next to her.

With only one week left to save his business, Josh McMillan boards a plane to Kansas City in a last-ditch effort, leaving the details to chance. An unexpected answer is delivered in the form of the beautiful brunette beside him. Though she’s completely loopy, her honesty, openness, and humor charm him. So when she passes out before landing, he helps her off the plane--a good deed that leads to a colossal misunderstanding. Her parents assume he’s her fiancĂ©. In a twist of fate, the mix-up might help Josh save his business, so he plays along, figuring he can help Megan too. All he has to do is stage a public break up convincing enough to appease her mother.

Josh is only supposed to be a substitute groom, but the more time he and Megan spend together, the more their pretend engagement starts to feel real…and the less they want to break it off. Can a relationship that began as a farce turn into happily ever after?

Genre: contemporary romance

Publishing date: January 2015

Offensive content: there is mature content in this book, in the form of a couple of explicit sex scenes. They are totally in context but you can skip them in full and the story still flows.

I stumbled across this book unexpectedly, through one of those related books links over at Amazon when I downloaded Substitute Bride, the book that follows Hired Bride (my review here). And I'm so happy I did! Denise Grover Swank is now my new favorite author and I've already started downloading several of her other books!

The Substitute is an amazingly funny romance story between two people that meet in the wrong place at the wrong time and are totally perfect for each other. The beginning of the book is faintly reminiscent of Sophie Kinsella's "Can You Keep a Secret?" but the rest stands perfectly on its own. You'll be laughing through those first pages and you'll not stop again until the end. 

Josh and Megan meet on a plane heading for Kansas City. She's going home for her wedding without having shared one very important detail with her family: there is no groom. And if you're wondering why she didn't tell her family before...well...wait until you meet her mother.

Josh, on the other hand, is trying to save his family business and needs to sort out a stolen patent issue in order to convince a financial investor that his company is a safe bet. He sets out for Kansas City in hopes of somehow meeting with the partners of the competing firm and proving that they stole the patent they recently registered. When Megan falls on the other side of tipsy and Josh helps her off the plane, two things happen: Megan family thinks he's the fiancĂ© they never met and Josh suddenly realises Megan's father is one of the men is was looking for, one of the partners in the competing engineering company. 

While the general direction of the story is fairly predictable, what happens in between is not. In some places I was laughing so hard that the people around me must have thought I was crazy. The secondary characters are all amazing but the one I loved best was Megan's grandmother, who likes to run around in her birthday suit, practice nude yoga and flirt with men old enough to be her grandsons - and still, in the totally messed up four days until the wedding, she sounds like the sanest of them all. 

There are several explicit sex scenes and while I'm not offended by that, I would have preferred the author to subdue them a little. Like I said above, you can skip them and the story still flows, but the book is so great otherwise it's a shame if some people will miss it just because of the mature content. 

Still, it is a 5 stars for me and, notwithstanding the disclaimer above, I totally recommend this book.

I'm going to start today reading number two in the series, The Player , which features Megan's best friend Blair and I'll be sure to post a review of that one too very soon.

Have a wonderful weekend,
the book worm, book blog


  1. Sounds like an interesting book! Thanks for sharing this review.

    I came over on Grandma Ideas today, and I'm glad to find your site.

    Hope you have a blessed day~

    1. I'm glad you stopped by! Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. The premise of this book sounds like something I would love, but I don't read books with explicit sex scenes so I'll have to pass. Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday this week!

    1. That is the reason why I like to clearly state any offensive content in my reviews. Even if I'm Ok with it most of the times (up to a certain point), I like to be forewarned. Thank you for stopping by anyway Tina, and have a wonderful weekend!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...