Practically Married by Karin Beery: Book Review
About the Book
Book: Practically Married
Author: Karin Beery
Genre: General Market, clean fiction, women’s fiction, contemporary romance
Release Date: October 22, 2019
She moved to a new town to marry her fiancé. Instead, she’s burying him.
Ashley Johnson moved to northern Michigan to finally meet her fiancé face-to-face, but she arrived in time to attend his funeral. With no home back in Ohio, she decides to stay in what would have been their house, except his cousin Russ lives there too, and Russ has never heard of Ashley. To complicate matters, her fiancé accidentally willed her the family farm house. Eager to please everyone and desperate to disappoint no one, she proposes a marriage of convenience that could solve her and Russ’ problems, if they can get past her aunt, his sisters, and an ex-girlfriend.
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I love when a title has a double meaning. Then I spent a large part of my reading trying to figure out if the author meant the title this way or that…or both? Probably not the best use of my time while reading, but it’s instinctual by this point. And fun.
Modern-day marriage of convenience stories are not that common, and I’ve read Karen Beery’s work before, so I knew I had to check out this book. Not everyone can write this trope and do it well.
I think Practically Married is a wonderful example of what works.
Her characters feel authentic and the emotions displayed never feel over-played.
Something I’ve appreciated before in Karin Beery’s work is her ability to weave spiritual threads throughout the entire novel. As a reader, you see God’s presence through these characters’ lives and it happens naturally. You don’t have to search and wonder but it’s not preachy either.
A wonderful anytime read with a message of finding hope in the broken pieces.
When all she wants to do is please everyone, and when that proves impossible, Ashley will have the opportunity to learn what it is she truly wants.
I requested a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. I was not required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
About the Author
Karin Beery grew up in a rural Michigan town where she wrote her first novel in high school. Today, she writes contemporary stories with a healthy dose of romance. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s reading, editing, or teaching it. In her free time, she enjoys being at home with her husband and fur babies watching University of Michigan football and action-adventure movies.
More from Karin
Why would two contemporary American’s agree to a marriage of convenience?
That’s what I asked myself when I sat down to write Practically Married. I love reading historical books about mail order brides and other arranged marriages, but I wanted to see if I could make that historical theme more modern (and still be believable).
That’s how Ashley and Russ came to be, and—after several revisions—I think I did it! It takes two to get married, but this is really Ashley’s story—it’s her past that inspires her future, and it’s up to her to decide where that inspiration with lead her.
The story couldn’t just be about their relationship, though. I’ve always thought it would be fun to have a big brother, so I gave Russ little sisters. And nieces and nephews. And a pie-baking mom who doesn’t like his beard (which may have been inspired my mother-in-law, who tried desperately to get my husband to shave his beard before our wedding). I also threw in some real buildings and places in northern Michigan (even though Boyne Falls is fictional). And it’s possible that some of my character names came directly from friends and other local inspirations. Practically Married isn’t only set in northern Michigan, it’s inspired by it.