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Summary

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 that he's her fiancé. In a twist of fate, the mix-up might help Josh save his business, so he plays along, figuring that 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?

©2015 Denise Grover Swank (P)2015 Tantor

What listeners say about The Substitute

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Light hearted and very romantic

Great story line, paced really well.
much more romantic than I was expecting it to be. Josh is a honey. Grams is shockingly fabulous.
Such a sweet story if you enjoy light comedy which I do if I have listened to something heavy.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Amy M
  • Amy M
  • 23-10-16

Enjoyable & Fun Story

If you could sum up The Substitute in three words, what would they be?

steamy, lighthearted, fun

Who was your favorite character and why?

Megan was my favorite character because she was sweet and kind.

What about Shannon McManus’s performance did you like?

I will say it was funny to me to hear the narrator speak the men's voices (first time I've listened to a book with this), but she did a good job in consistency of all because I could tell from the tone which character was speaking each time.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I wanted to keep listening and was annoyed life was getting in the way!

Any additional comments?

I have listened to books before, but not many. After recently signing back up with audible.com, I chose a few books to download and, after looking at the list decided I needed something a bit lighthearted. The Substitute sounded like just the ticket from the description and I wasn't disappointed. I found myself looking for opportunities to listen to the story, I wanted to know what was in store for Megan and Josh, the main characters (and now look forward to book 2!). The Substitute is a steamy, fluffy chicklit book that is perfect for a weekend getaway, rainy day curled up in front of the fire, or just about anytime you want to "read" something simply for fun.

15 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Patricia
  • Patricia
  • 19-09-18

Loved the Idea

This audiobook has a fun premise. Josh, a genial (and, of course, handsome) man, helps a damsel in distress on a plane to Kansas City. He ends up posing as her fiancé. The damsel, Megan, is heading home for her wedding. She's been afraid to tell her family that she and her true fiancé broke up six weeks prior. The family mistakes Josh for the fiance and so it begins...

Loved the idea. The scenario is as far-fetched as it can get—but it’s fiction so that’s okay in my book. It seemed like a light, humorous read.

But, I have never met so many unlikable characters. Out of all of the characters, there were only 4 that I could stand. Josh, the male lead was kind, considerate and according to the book’s description tall, dark and handsome—though I don’t consider 6 feet very tall. Megan was okay too, though the fact that both her witch of a mother and her witch of a best friend dominated her to the point that I wanted to scream made me like her less.

Libby, her one care-free friend was likable. Lastly, there is Megan’s gram, an eccentric octogenarian, who ends up naked at every turn. She was fun but it seemed too forced, She was over-the-top outrageous like she had escaped from a locked nursing home unit somewhere.

The rest of the characters were unremarkable and-or obnoxious. Nicole, Megan’s mother was intolerable, controlling and there wasn't one thing likable about her. Bart, the father was mostly absent and spineless, and Megan’s brother Kevin needed anger management. Megan’s best friend Blair was so obnoxious that I disliked listening to any part with her in it. All of these characters serving to highlight Megan’s tendency to be a doormat were hard to listen to.

The book does have some funny moments and funny dialogue. But overshadowing the humor, for me, was the sadness of our leading lady having a mother that treated her like she was never good enough. That ISN’T funny.

I also have to say that the sex scenes were too graphic for my taste. I don't need all the specific details of each encounter and there were many.

For me, the narration ruined it. I was thinking as I listened that it was poorly written. So I picked up the book after the audio so that I could see if that was the case. The writing isn't exemplary but it isn't horrible. It seemed in the narration that the reader placed emphasis in the wrong places, or just read very flat. Both Blair, the best friend and Nicole, Megan's mother, sound and act exactly the same (sort of an upper crust east coast vibe even though they are in Missouri). There was very little variation in voices for the different characters.

The next book in the series is about her obnoxious friend Blair. I’m going to pass.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Laura McMillin
  • 14-11-15

A sweet, funny read!

Absolutely loved this book! Megan and Josh are adorable together! All the characters in this book add the perfect amount of everything to the story and what a wild ride it is! Can't wait to read the other books in this series! Knickers and Grams are hilarious!

15 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for SIMARA
  • SIMARA
  • 16-01-17

I used to like the name Megan

I didn't enjoy this story. It's completely unrealistic but I can handle that. My biggest issue is that there is not one likable character. The heroine is a doormat, the hero is unethical, mom is a horrible momzilla, dad is a cheating bastard, granny tries to be funny but fails miserably and even Megan's friends are terrible. I couldn't connect with any character and the story felt like it was 5 hours longer than needed. The whole story takes place in 3 days and the book is over 10 hours long. Way too long and drawn out.

The narrator was ok. My only issue is the robotic way she would say the name Megan. And it is repeated a gazillion times throughout the story in the same robotic way. So no, I don't recommend this series at all.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Barbara Trice Tittsworth
  • 23-12-17

ALL of Denis e Grover Swanks books that I have read, and they are more than a dozen, are some of the best books I have read.

I really enjoyed this book. I never get tired of reading her books! Keep writing these interesting books!!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Deanna
  • 18-05-20

Funny, passionate, light, but deeper than expected

So I'm a 40 something straight woman and have an audio book addiction... I have to admit it now. I go through several books a week. I generally listen to romance, and have several preferred story themes. I tend to like intense, historical or fantasy. However, I like to switch it up with comedy romance, which is this book. I get bored with many books... sometimes after the couple gets together the book starts to drag... I lose interest and fast forward to the end. Not this book...

I kept interested all the way to the end...

Romance level: This is an adult book with fully descriptive sex scenes. They add to the book; they are written well and not overdone.

What I enjoyed most about this book: The plot is simple, it is yet another twist on the fake finance. That being said, I was really impressed with how the author wrote the characters and their reactions. The female lead didn't jump to conclusions. She was intelligent and caring, a bit insecure but still able to fend for herself - she was very "believable." The various character's actions stayed consistent and true to their presented personas. Her mom was written as dramatic, pretentious, and bossy -- albeit dedicated to her family -- and she stayed that way throughout. She was funny. The yoga-practicing, nudist embracing granny is hysterical. The male lead was responsible and bit uptight, but passionate about his business and family... so when he was hesitant to get involved but then started falling, it made sense. He was definitely respectful, which is pleasant writing. Also, you could actually believe the male lead was falling for the character he was trying to play.

This book is LOL funny at times. There's a scene with a pool party that literally had me laughing out loud while I was folding laundry.

Do not expect profound or complex; do not expect subplots, suspense or big surprises. It's pretty light... but somehow by the end it's a bit deeper than I expected. It's a lovely statement about the goodness of people and how love brings out the best in us all. It was a pleasant, engaging and entertaining listen (and hot). Enjoy!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-09-17

Pretty good

This story was cute, though completely predictable. I wish it was a few hours shorter as parts certainly dragged, but overall it was well done.

3 people found this helpful

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  • David Sambrook
  • 10-09-16

Loved it

I've read the Substitute before and loved it. The characters and story line is fantastic. But Shannon bring it's to a whole other level with her voices of the characters. I didn't think Grams could be funnier, but her tell about naked yoga out loud had me laughing so hard I had tears. You will love this book whether it's audio, paper, or ebook.

3 people found this helpful

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  • A. O. Neill
  • 09-07-18

Wow. Women are their own worst enemies

The narrator is good, not incredible, but good. The problem is this story in general. Every woman in this story, except the main character, is written as an awful, jealous, horrible, 'bit*h'. That's not just the takeaway, that's literally written about even women who pass by the main character. I'm substituting w for b in this review to keep it clean, but the book describes them with a b, bear this in mind. The mom is a jealous, overbearing snotty witch, the flight attendant is so overwhelmingly llust smitten by the LI that she also becomes a raging jealous witch who can't control being snotty, obnoxious and unprofessional and fawning all over the LI, the sorority sisters from the MC's past are mentioned as, also, witches. I turned it off when even the best friend turned out to be a raging witch. I'm sure she was sleeping with the ex-fiancé or something. I didn't stick around long enough to find out. Had my fill of the misogyny.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Love to shop...
  • 12-10-15

cute

this book was entertaining. I thought it was a little too unrealistic but it was cute.

6 people found this helpful