Happily ever after begins today. The honor of your presence is requested at three winter weddings ... These books came out one at a time last year, and now they are in a collection for your reading pleasure.
by Denise Hunter What started as a whim turned into an accidental - and very public - engagement. Can Layla and Seth keep up the facade in Chapel Springs this holiday season - for the sake of her career . . . and his heart? Under normal circumstances, Seth Murphy, the best friend of Layla O'Reilly's ex-fiance would be the last person she'd marry. But the news of their upcoming (and phony) nuptials convinces a big client that Layla may be high-society enough to work for his agency, a coup that would put her fledgling home-staging business on the map. Seth has secretly loved Layla for years, even when she was dating his best friend. Maybe she'll never forgive him for the way he hurt her back then, but he has to try. And Layla is willing to keep up their engagement farce until she's landed her client. For Layla, it's the chance to save her career. But for Seth, it's his last chance to win her heart.
Again, I know Christmas is over for another 9 months...but this was cute! And short, and I needed something to read that wouldn't take all day. This fit the bill nicely. I really enjoyed the staging of Seth's house. I could see all the goodies Layla was setting up. The sleigh? Yes, that was a fantastic touch! And Seth, ah he was a sweetheart. Jumping at the chance to get the girl of his dreams. He was a bit awkward, but that made him all the more endearing. The thing that I didn't like about this one was Layla never laid the blame for her broken engagement where it belonged. That would be on her cousin and her ex-fiance. She forgives Seth, but he really didn't do anything wrong. That bothered me. He was a very forgiving guy, himself, and while he shouldn't have felt guilty, he was a great guy who did. Yes, he's a keeper. Even though their fake engagement and then their real one doesn't take all that much time, it worked here. They had known each other for a long time. Finally, the time was right...and it was sweet. There's no steamy scenes in this book. There is some lovely UST in the form of kisses. It was a lovely, clean read. So, if you are still wishing for a bit of Christmas Cheer, check this one out.
Who can work in a house that's overrun by contractors and carpenters? Not Madeleine Houser, a successful novelist who gladly accepts the help of her octogenarian friend, Ginny, to arrange for a temporary office in the charming bed and breakfast owned by Ginny's friend, Arthur. Maddie’s never met the innkeeper––but a friendship grows between them as Maddie and Arthur leave messages for each other each day. To Maddie’s alternate delight and chagrin, she seems to be falling for the inn’s owner––a man who's likely many years her senior––and who she’s never even met.
This is the third book in the "Year of Weddings" series that I've read. And I loved this one the most. Maybe because I'm an editor, and reading about Maddie's life as she writes books, there was something that rang true here.
Maddie can't work in her sister's house as it undergoes a major renovation. Her elderly, but spry, neighbor Ginny finds a place for her to work in a friend's B&B. It's empty during the week and the lovely surrounds and the quiet are the perfect place for Maddie to get her novel going.
She and the landlord, Arthur, leave each other notes. She assumes that he's this older gentleman, because he's Ginny's friend. He assumes she's elderly because she's Ginny's friend.
Neither are correct.
Times passes as do their letters to each other. They are rapidly becoming friends through their words. I found myself getting anxious about their actual meeting. Ginny has a hand in that, too.
Arthur's beloved wife died nearly three years ago. He struggles to accept his growing attraction to Maddie and, once again, Ginny helps out. I think she needs her own book! Maybe Alex, the cat, needs one, too.
Yes, I enjoyed this Wedding Series book the best so far. Well done, Ms. Raney. I will be looking up more from you!
*Thank you, NetGalley and Zondervan, for the opportunity to read A January Bride. You can add A January Bride to your Goodreads Shelf:
In A February Bride, history repeats itself when this bride runs out of the church on her wedding day---in the same dress that had been passed down for generations and worn by her mom, grandma and great-grandmother who also ran out of their weddings. The heroine struggles to break destructive cycles of the past. Can this bride shuck expectation and discover who SHE is as a bride and in the Bride of Christ? And if she finally walks down the aisle, what dress will she be wearing? Readers will enjoy this novel of redemption centered on a winter wedding.
Ah, Allie...she hasn't had the best mentors as she stands in the church on her wedding day. She's wearing THE DRESS that the women in her family always wear to be married in. Each and every time they marry. They enjoy saying they are cursed. That they leave (or push out) the men that they love...before their own hearts can be broken. They've all been married over and over again. And now it's time for Allie to enjoy her own FIRST marriage. Allie loves Marcus. Loves him to distraction. While I don't agree with her method (leaving him standing at the altar) I can see why she does it. A tear in the sleeve of THE DRESS seems like a sign to her...and she sprints away, to save Marcus from the torment of a broken marriage later on. It's four months later and Hannah, Marcus' sister and Allie's best friend makes a huge request. She wants Allie to be her Maid of Honor in her own wedding, slated for Valentine's Day.
My issue here is that Allie and Marcus haven't run into each other in FOUR MONTHS. This is a very small town. Very small. And once the initial meeting goes awkwardly by, they keep running into each other. And the sparks are still there. Oh, Allie admits to herself that she loves him, and probably always will. But she just doesn't want to hurt him any further.
This book has alternating POV and Ms. St. Amant does it well. We get to read Marcus' confusion, and about his continuing love for Allie, and she does this very well.
Just when Allie thinks maybe she can break the curse, and get back together with Marcus and they can live HEA, her mom calls. She needs THE DRESS back. She's getting married for the umpteenth time.
I really enjoyed the VOICE OF REASON when she came to Allie. And I enjoyed the sweet ending. This was a fun way to spend a few hours.
*Thank you, NetGalley and Zondervan, for the opportunity to read A February Bride.
Please add A February Bride to your Goodreads shelf: