The Substitute (#1)

Next: The Player

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 fiancé. 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? 


“I think what drew me to this book was that in amongst the storyline was a thread of complete and utter truth […] the real life struggle to deal with family and how to balance our commitments to others with our own desires. Everyone has experienced these elements and, in this story, they were handled with care, with humor, and with finesse. If you haven’t read a book by Denise Grover Swank this is a good one to start with […] but, in reality, all of her books are wonderful.”

The Book Hookup

“A fun and rollicking kind of romance that had a lot of humor and likable characters.”

The Aroma of Books

“A sweet story to get lost in.”

Open Book Society

Awards & Accolades


#5 New York Times Fiction Bestseller List


USA Today Bestseller List