Review: The Accidental Marriage

The Accidental MarriageThe Accidental Marriage
by Annette Haws
Adult LDS/Adult Contemporary
December 10th 2013 by Cedar Fort Publishing

Goodreads Summary

Love is hard work—something Nina and Elliot didn't anticipate when they rushed into marriage. Thinking their passion would conquer all, they never anticipated that cooking mishaps, laundry disasters, and a tug-of-war with a possessive mother-in-law could push them to the brink of divorce so quickly. If their marriage is going to survive, Nina and Elliot must not let pride stand in the way of their promise.

You can read an excerpt here and here.



My Thoughts

I was thinking about how to express what I felt as I read this book and the best I can come up with in one sentence is a crazy roller-coaster ride of ups and downs. I was expecting a much lighter read. One with happy newlyweds (they are present) with a few issues and a meddling mother-in-law. This was actually a very emotionally charged story about two very different people (different backgrounds, different expectations, different views, and different goals) who fall in love and get married. I think the only thing, besides that they love each other, they had in common was their religion. Although, I guess they did have some similar interests and likes in some areas. This is basically the story of their first year and what a first year it is!

You should know that the characters in this book are LDS, or Mormons, and there are a few references to their religion, but I would say that this book would be a great fit for anyone who enjoys Adult or NA Contemporary Romance (even though it takes place in the 1970's). There is no preaching. It is just a down-to-earth, realistic story of the era in this country when women were still seen and treated like they were only good in the home as wives and mothers. Nina, the heroine, doesn't even know how to cook or clean and was planning on becoming an attorney following in her father's footsteps (even though her father's office doesn't even employ any women attorneys). Then there's Elliot whose own mother is the perfect housewife and who expects the same from Nina. Oh, the issues that preconceived notion creates and on both sides.

There is so much that happens in that first year and so many things that they are forced to deal with. Nina and Elliot are adjusting to each other, marriage, fitting in their own families, juggling school and work, Nina trying to survive in a man's world, a very tight budget, only owning one car, Nina not knowing how to do anything domestic and Elliot expecting her to, a mother-in-law who dislikes the daughter-in-law and a father-in-law who dislikes the son-in-law, and on. It was a mess! I have to say that I was proud of Nina and Elliot at some points and really upset with them at others!

So, what did I really think? I bawled through half of it. Literally. It is so heartbreaking! Some really nasty things happen to Nina. Some at work and some at Elliot's parents' home. At the same time, Nina and Elliot's story is so sweet! They are so in love and they both try so hard! It does make things tough when the stress levels are extremely high and they hardly see each other. They also both committed many of the things you should never do in a marriage (i.e. complain to parents about spouse, put mother before wife, expect spouse to do something without telling them or discussing, lying, spending time with an ex, etc.). I loved how much Elliot loves Nina and the ways he shows her! I was just really invested in the story almost right away (after I adjusted to the time period) and was strongly rooting for them to pull through.

This was one of those books that made me cry, laugh, and sigh. It definitely wasn't your usual romance or light read. I highly recommend it!

Here are two favorite quotes:
"We all make mistakes. The important thing is not to keep making the same mistakes over and over again." 
"Emotional more difficult. It takes time and effort to put each other first, to create trust and understanding."

Content: This is an Adult book. There is suggestive content, but it is all the closed-door type. There is also a sexual assault. It was brief and didn't go very far, but I can't say that makes it better. I would consider this clean for the genre.
Source: From the publishing company, which did not affect my review in any way.

Thank you, Cedar Fort, for this review copy! The author, Annette Haws, is stopping by tomorrow with Nina to give some fairly humorous, but very good, marriage advice to the author's daughter (who coincidentally gets married this month).

What do you think? Do you like books that make you cry, that are heartbreaking, but good, and also make you smile?

Disclosure: This review is of a book I was given for free by an author, tour host, or publisher, or through NetGalley or Edelweiss. This in no way influences the opinions shared in my review. You may see my complete policy on my policies page. This post also contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase of any type using these links, I receive a small kickback.

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