I figured it was high time that I re-cap some of the books I was able to finish during my mini-blog break.
I was very fortunate to receive the first six books from "A Year of Weddings" novella series from Zondervan publishing via Netgalley. The series is written by various Christian romance authors and each novella will be published the month before it's titled, as in the December bride was published in November and so on. You can currently read the December and January novellas with the February bride coming out in a few weeks. Here are the descriptions and my thoughts.
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.
I loved this start to the series. The romance was very believable and it was a great story to read over the holidays. I would highly recommend this book, I was crying, laughing and freaking out my family, which is usual when I am reading a great story.
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.
I also really enjoyed this story. I thought the letters that incorporated this story where so sweet and I loved them multiple perspectives. It is a cute story of mistaken identity and finding friendship before love.
In A February Bride by Betsy St. Amant, 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.
I wasn't originally sold on this one. I mean the girl thinks that her wedding dress is cursed and will not marry the man of her dreams because of it. It was a quick read but not my favorite in the series.
Susanna has found her true prince, and their happily ever after is just around the corner. But when Nate asks her to give up something precious to her, Susanna can’t help but wonder if it’s a sign that their love is not meant to be.
Susanna Truitt (Once Upon A Prince) is three weeks from royalty. She’ll soon marry King Nathaniel II of Brighton Kingdom. But when the government insists she renounce her American citizenship before the wedding, coupled with the lack of involvement by family and friends, her heart begins to doubt whether this marriage is God’s plan for her.
Nathaniel would do anything for his bride-to-be. But he knows his position requires that she give up a lot to be with him. Her life will never be her own — right down to her very identity. When she travels home to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, right before the wedding, Nathaniel fears she won’t return. Gathering his courage, he devises a plan to win his bride all over again, and together they seek out a kingdom to treasure above all.
Y'all probably now know that I am in love with the story of Once Upon a Prince(a Christian romance that is similar to the Prince & Me). This is a follow up of my favorite couple and it was great to see them again with all their flaws, insecurities and love as they plan for their royal wedding.
War changes everything . . . even their love.
Bride-to-be Stella Carson can’t wait to marry her longtime sweetheart Marshall Henderson. But Marshall has been away serving his country and after suffering a head wound and being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome, he has distanced himself from Stella by asking her not to visit him in a Washington, D.C. hospital.
Marshall returns to Louisiana just four weeks before the wedding, but as the big day draws near, Stella wonders if the man she’s loved for most of her life still wants to marry her.
This story started out with heartbreak but it was very sweet and focused on the fact that love can continue on through various hardships and disabilities. I loved the strength of the two main characters and the sense of renewal between re-discovering a person after a brain injury.
She’s prepared for her wedding all her life … but she forgot a few things.
Ellie Martin, a country girl in Atlanta, often de-stresses from city life by tending the flower beds of a church near her apartment. She has dreamed of a traditional wedding all her life, a wedding like the one her younger sister is planning back in their hometown. Their single mom will pay for Alexa’s wedding, but Ellie started her own wedding fund years ago. She only needs to find a groom.
She bumps into a man who’s a guest at a wedding on the church grounds. She’s noticed him around the neighborhood, but today he introduces himself as Gray Whitby. They embark on a whirlwind romance, but her mother doesn’t trust freewheeling men like him. Standing up to Mom leads Ellie to stick up for Alexa too. When Ellie risks her own plans for her sister’s sake, Gray feels betrayed. Will he always play second fiddle?
Will Ellie and Gray reconcile their differences so her dream wedding can come true, or will the romance they’ve begun come crashing down?
Ok, I am going to go on a mini-tantrum. I really hated this book. Unfortunately, the romance which you expect from this collection of stories was not there and it was mainly the story of a woman and her mother and their fights over everything. The entire relationship from meeting, dating, engagement are all in this story but I was not rooting for the guy to get the girl. It felt very whirlwind and controlling between the two of them but since I had read all the other stories (and not one of them is more than 200 pages) I continued to read it to hope it would get better but it really doesn't. I think you could pass on this month.
Are you excited for A Year of Weddings? Any great reads from the start of 2014 you have discovered?