Imagine the night before your temple wedding discovering your fianc’s bachelor party had included a stripper, alcohol, and a lot of inappropriate behavior.
Imagine being in the temple, waiting for your bride who doesn’t show, and having to explain to all your guests that there would be no wedding.
A Trusting Heart begins with a woman, Megan, who has little reason to trust. Her parents have instilled in her that if she isn’t a thin, beautifully groomed, perfect show piece, then she’s a failure. They’ve lied, manipulated, and given her no reason to trust them or herself. The one good thing they’ve given her is a little sister she loves.
Once the most popular girl in school, a cheerleader, and the girl dating the most popular hunk, now she returns ten years later to her high school reunion. She’s changed a great deal; her clothes come from a discount store, her glamorous hair style and makeup are gone, and she’s still single. The biggest change is inside where she has rejected her parent’s world and the superficial glamour of her high school days. Her classmates don’t recognize her and she feels out of place, but before she can make her escape the one person she doesn’t want to recognize her, does. The old boyfriend, whom she jilted the day they were to be married, sets out to make a fool of her and pretty well succeeds.
An unexpected ally turns up in the form of Trevor Riley, former seminary class president and all-around opinionated, holier-than-thou doofus, who once had a well-hidden crush on her. He’s also now the head of his own multi-million dollar company and determined to first save her from the ridicule of her former boyfriend and then convince her to be his wife. His show of support and a dramatic kiss in front of all her former classmates only embarrasses her further. When the bidding starts for a dream dance and Trevor bids $5000 for a dance with her, she leaves the reunion hoping to never see him, her former fianc, or the girl who was once her best friend ever again.
Trevor tracks her down after the reunion, but in his bumbling way antagonizes her further by using his mother as a go-between to manipulate her into a date. Trevor is persistent and concocts a scheme to persuade her to be his girlfriend for a month, a month which turns into a strange series of dates and misunderstandings as their courtship follows its rocky course.
The only child of a mother who was widowed at a young age, Trevor and his mother share a close relationship, and now that his business is successful and he can afford to live anywhere he chooses, he decides to live near his mother. Now that he’s almost thirty, he also decides it’s time to marry. A chance meeting with Megan at their class reunion revives the interest he felt in her back in high school and he sets out to win her. Though a genius when it comes to business and money, he’s clumsy and impulsive as a suitor.
Along with the romance between Megan and Trevor there are two other romances between secondary characters: a subplot dealing with Megan’s sister who is suffering from anorexia and Trevor’s right-hand man, and Trevor’s long-widowed mother and a blind date Megan arranges. There is also a slight mystery concerning why Megan left her former fianc on the day they were to be married.
Megan joined the Church because of the efforts of the former boyfriend and a college roommate. Her testimony carried her through the difficult times she has endured. Her younger sister joined the Church, too, but mostly because Megan did and now Megan is concerned whether Linette has a testimony or even knows much about the Church. After jilting Dylan, Megan had moved out of her parents’s home and became a not-too-successful real estate agent. Without Megan there to encourage her, Linette had stopped going to church. The relationship with Megan’s parents was never good, but after breaking up with the son of the owner of a company that had been about to merge with her father’s, her parents want nothing to do with her.
The younger sister’s anorexia struggle is never developed fully in the story and is dealt with a little too easily. It merely serves the function of giving Megan an excuse to move her sister out of their parents’ home and into her own.
One of the strongest elements of the story deals with forgiveness on both a small scale and for major wrongs. Guymon also addresses the issue of developing trust as Megan and Trevor overcome the obstacles in their lives and their courtship. First they must learn to believe in themselves, then each other.
A Trusting Heart is a light read that will provide an enjoyable short interlude from the usual busy routine of a woman’s life. The story line is well-developed and along with a message concerning trust, it also presents a strong case against jumping to conclusions. Though the characters are in their late twenties, the story reads much like a young adult novel and doesn’t take long to read. The plot is simple and presents no great surprises nor does it delve into any doctrinal or social issues at great length. It will likely appeal to young adults as well as busy young mothers without a lot of time for meatier novels.