The Novel

Never the Bride COVER ART

ACFW label

Where to buy Never the Bride:

Never the Bride at Randomhouse
Never the Bride at Barnes & Noble
Never the Bride at Books-A-Million
Never the Bride: A Novel on Amazon
Never the Bride at Christian

What are people saying about Never the Bride: the novel?

“The plot is ingenious. The writing is clever and funny (a little bit like Bridget Jones Diary). The romance is, well, romantic. But what makes this novel special is that we get a glimpse of God.” –  Leigh DeVore (The Buzz)

“A great story, this book will have you laughing until the end.”—Crosswayz

“This story will touch your heart, make you laugh out loud and choke you up and bring happy tears to your eyes…You’ll want to read this over and over again.”—Nora St. Laurent (Finding Hope Through Fiction / Book Club Network)

“Question: What do you get when you take ‘Dinner With a Perfect Stranger’, ‘Sleepless In Seattle’, and ‘While You Were Sleeping’ and mix them all together? Answer: You get one of THE BEST collaborative chick lit novels ever written! …If this novel doesn’t take your breath away, I’m thinking you may not be breathing anymore!” –Deena @ A Peek at My Bookshelf

“Never the Bride is a brilliantly funny, deeply moving and spiritually powerful novel that will have you pondering its impact long after the last page…. The unique premise reveals human nature at its core ~ our deep desire to be loved and our oft times misguided efforts to find it. Jessie is such an engaging character, with qualities we recognize in ourselves and the heartfelt desires we have lived or are living… I adored Never the Bride and can’t wait for the film!”—Relz Reviewz

“McKay and Gutteridge have created a unique and humorous novel about the search for Mr. Right in which God plays matchmaker. Jessie’s dialogue with God is just like one between friends. She laughs, argues, and talks about her hopes and dreams. This is a great novel to kick back and escape reality with.”— Romantic Times Book Review Magazine, 4 1/2 stars

“I admire writers who employ words to paint touchable pictures and likable characters,
instant friends, who lead us blithely to unexpected endings. That’s why I admire Cheryl and Rene and love Never The Bride.” –SQuire Rushnell, Author (When God Winks books)

“Hope, Humor, and Happiness…to me, those are the attributes of good a book. Never The Bride, by Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge is more than that…it’s terrific!” –Louise DuArt, Comedic Impressionist/TV Host/ Author: Couples Who Pray

“In my mind, no one is better at turning a story into a movie and then turning a movie into a book than the team of Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge.  Cheryl took my novel The Ultimate Gift and turned it into a great 20th Century Fox movie with her marvelous screenplay.  Then Rene took The Ultimate Gift movie version of the story and turned it into a great novelization. In Never the Bride, we are all reminded of those eternal lessons we already know but often forget in our daily lives.  Jessie has been a bridesmaid 11 times, but when it comes to her own proposal and wedding, she is certain that God has somehow misplaced her address and phone number.  In the midst of trying to do it all herself, God reveals himself as willing to make it happen, but Jessie’s got to be willing to turn over the controls to Him. Never the Bride teaches us all powerful lessons about God’s plan, control, and the peace that comes with surrender.” –Jim Stovall, author, The Ultimate Gift

“Engrossing as they are entertaining, McKay and Gutteridge hit it out of the park with this delightful romantic romp, striking at the heart of a woman’s deepest desire: to be known and loved for herself. Side-splittingly funny and devastatingly raw in turns, as Jessie aches for relationship at a soul level, Never the Bride mirrors the white-knuckled power struggle common to all who would dare to entrust the dearly coveted purple pens of their lives to Divine Authorship. Having devoured McKay’s inspired screenplay first, followed by this fabulously faithful novel, I can hardly wait for the movie!” –Susan Rohrer, Producer/Writer/Director, Author of Merry’s Christmas & Virtually Mine

“I devoured every single page. Never the Bride is the best romantic comedy written in years! A page turner from page one, you’ll instantly fall in love with Jessie—a hilariously high maintenance “never-the-bride,” who’s tried everything to find Mr. Perfect only to end up heartbroken and fed up. Her best friend is the One she really wants yet he never seems to notice. Enter God, who much to Jessie’s chagrin, decides it’s time to infiltrate Jessie’s life. Can God to be trusted with Jessie’s dream of happy-ever-after or is this all some messy kind of joke? Turn the page and find out.”  –Victorya Rogers, Love Coach and host of, Author of Finding a Man Worth Keeping

“Never the Bride is a pure delight!  It’s fun, refreshing, and witty, yet also profoundly insightful about God and His amazing love for us.  I’ll be recommending this one to my family and friends!” –Marlo Schalesky, author of If Tomorrow Never Comes and Beyond the Night

“Never the Bride is a delightful book. Jessie is a wise-cracking, sarcastic gal I’d love to take to lunch. And her search for love and romance leads her to risk everything when God asks her to give up her purple pen: AKA dreams of perfect love. This book had me in stitches as I laughed with Jessie to tears as I felt her pain and desperation. Her interactions with God were so real and the love affair He wants with us painted beautifully. If you’re looking for a book that is more than a romance, this is the book. This novel will speak to the heart of every woman who’s ever sought the perfect man by pointing her to the perfect romance with enough humor to make the journey a delight.” –Cara C. Putman, A Promise Kept (HP) and Trial By Fire (LI Suspense)


Cheryl with co-author, Rene Gutteridge at the Gideon Film Conference, when Never the Bride was first released.



(Excerpted from, five-star reviews)

Hilarious, page turning read! “Jessica Stone is my kinda gal. She has a razor sharp wit and oozes with confidence, consistently snapping back with a verbal repartee that had me laughing out loud – a difficult feat to accomplish for a long time book reader and sci-fi fan such as myself. I can only hope and pray the authors write a sequel, because I know I want to see more of Jessica!”—by Wendy Childers

Pitch perfect chick lit is filled with humor and faith “A charming novel of romance and faith…The entire book was pitch perfect, just flawless. I laughed, I cried… It doesn’t get any better than that.”—Christina Lockstein (Top 500 Reviewer)

Positively non-religious & refreshing, “A great Summer read… I totally can see this as a movie… Comparing the story line to Evan Almighty and Bruce Almighty, a female main character would be welcomed.”—Lisa Snaidecki

A romantic comedy that will soon be a great movie. “NEVER THE BRIDE, by Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge, is a romantic comedy that should be made into a movie… It is a lot of fun and offers a unique twist on the romantic comedy… I really liked the book and can’t wait for the movie.”—Bill Garrison (Top 1000 Reviewer, Vine Voice)

Hilarious! “Never the Bride is hilarious — I laughed until I cried several times. And at times I just cried. A moving story about learning to trust and letting go of control. A totally unexpected, awesome ending is just the icing on the cake. I rarely read a book twice, but I’m looking forward to reading this one again!”—D. Burns (Book Junkie Confessions Blogspot)

When God Writes Your Love Story Meets 27 Dresses “I am absolutely delighted with this book! …What an incredible and inspiring way to address a topic that is close to so many hearts. I can’t wait for the movie! Definitely a must read and definitely a book that ranks up there with The Ultimate Gift.”—Katharine  (Orange County, CA)

Guys need to read this! “Thank you Cheryl and Rene for this remarkable book. I couldn’t put it down. I recommend that guys read this book. Not only does it foster a deeper understanding of the beautiful heart of a woman, but I was blessed to walk away with a deeper understanding of God. Thank you, thank you!”—Chad Demiguel

Never miss…Never the Bride! “This story is told with a wonderful sense of humor, a brilliant fresh writing voice and is an absolute joy to read. As this was written as a screenplay first (Cheryl McKay) and adapted to a novelization later (Rene Gutteridge), it is easy to see how it would make a great movie, but trust me it works as a great novel as well…I say ‘Bravo’ on ‘Never the Bride’ and I will be rushing to the movie theaters if this is made into a movie. It was darling, winsome, and full of great spiritual messages. I can think of quite a few friends to recommend this book to and I truly hope to see Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge team up again- they are a formidable force.” –Girlsmama

Best chick novel ever! “This was the most incredible book, ‘Never the Bride’ by Cheryl McKay and Rene Gutteridge. I usually I find that most chick-flick novels fall terribly short of the mark. Not this one…I laughed and I cried. This story was so well-written. I can only hope they come out with a sequel.” –S. Hill

Speaking on the “Novelization” panel, with Rene Gutteridge and Eric Wilson (Fireproof, October Baby, Facing the Giants novelizations)

rene cheryl eric 2


We’ve been hearing of camps, churches and book clubs using this book as a discussion tool. Feel free to use the following questions for your group.

1)  What was the thing that most frustrated you about Jessie Stone?  What did you relate most to?

2)  If God came down in human form and let you pick what He looked like, what would He look like?

3)  Many movies depict God as old and wrinkly.  Was it uncomfortable to read a “what if” book where God is young and handsome?  Why or why not?

4)  What is your purple pen? What is God asking you to give up control of in your life? What are the practical steps you can take to surrender that pen to God? And how can you make sure it stays surrendered?

5)  Whether married or single, what was the most interesting point you were left with after reading Never the Bride?

6) Like Jessie does in this story: when have you tried to convince yourself that something was “God’s best” for you when it clearly wasn’t? Do you have a sense of what God was protecting you from?

7) Can you think of an experience when it seemed like God wasn’t doing anything to help you, only to find out He was at work the whole time “Behind-the Scenes”?

8) In what ways is God’s work with Jessie preparation for marriage? (or as she calls it “Marriage Boot Camp”) What is God teaching her about life and unconditional love through the assignments He gives to her?

9) Do you believe God wants to walk with you and talk with you as closely as He does with Jessie?  What can you do, to invite that kind of relationship with Him?

10) Jessie’s biggest heart’s desire is to be pursued, loved, and seen by a man. In what ways does God desire this from us? How can we pursue, love and see Him?

Pending availability:

Cheryl McKay may be able to participate in a Q&A via Skype with book clubs.


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