Book Review

Review: A Year of Weddings Novella Collection (Winter)

For awhile now, I’ve seen these novellas popping up with similar titles, “A INSERT MONTH Bride”. I’ve been intrigued by them, then I’d forget about them, and then I would see them again when another one would come out.

I think the idea of having a romance novella come out every month is a great idea, especially since they are coming from such a variety of authors as well. For now, it appears that most of the stories are contemporary, so it is giving me a great opportunity to sample authors I’m not overly familiar with.

So this post is round one of what will hopefully be 4 different posts over time for these novels. I guess this is the winter portion,  December, January, and February.

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A December Bride by Denise Hunter

From Amazon: What started as a whim turned into an accidental — and very public — engagement. Can Layla and Seth keep up the façade 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-fiancé — 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.

A December Bride was a cute story. The characters had just enough backstory to push the story forward, making you wonder about their relationship, and the reasons for them to keep up the fake engagement offer an interesting storyline. This novella is a great start to this series. It was well written and had just enough story for it’s 88 pages.

For more on the author or this book, please check out the following links:

A January Bride by Deborah Raney

From Amazon: In A January Bride by Deborah Raney, what will happen when novelist Madeleine Houser’s “pen pal” friendship with a lonely widower takes an unexpected turn? 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.

Oh my goodness, I fell in love with this story. First of all, the main character is a writer, so what’s not to love about that? But this story reminded me of a modern day mail-order bride story (similar to the way couples would send letters back and forth before agreeing to a marriage)–only, neither person was looking for a relationship.

This story was just simple enough to fit into the confines of a novella, but long enough to be immersed in the story. There were a couple of unexpected moments and some humorous aspects to the story as well that I couldn’t help but smile at. Overall, it was a sweet story!

For more on the author or this book, please check out the following links:

A February Bride by Betsy St. Amant

From Amazon: Allie left the love of her life at the altar—to save him from a lifetime of heartbreak. When a Valentine’s Day wedding brings them back together, she struggles against her family’s destructive history. Can Allie ever realize that a marriage is so much more than a wedding dress? History repeats itself when Allie Andrews escapes the church on her wedding day—in the same dress passed down for generations and worn by all the women in her family—women with a long history of failed marriages. Allie loves Marcus, but fears she’s destined to repeat her family’s mistakes. She can’t bear to hurt Marcus worse. Marcus Hall never stopped loving Allie and can only think of one reason she left him at the altar—him. When the two are thrown together for his sister’s Valentine’s Day wedding, he discovers the truth and realizes their story might be far from over. Can Allie shuck expectation and discover who she is as a bride and in the Bride of Christ? And if she ever walks down the aisle, what dress will she wear?

This was a nice story with some interesting backstory woven in. The heroine definitely had more flaws to overcome for this story, but it made it a bit more fascinating of a read. Overall, it hasn’t been my favorite of the novellas so far, though. It seemed a bit more fast-paced and I just didn’t connect with these characters quite as well unfortunately.

For more on the author or this book, please check out the following links:

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**I received free copies of these novellas from Zondervan and NetGalley in exchange for my honest reviews**

 

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7 thoughts on “Review: A Year of Weddings Novella Collection (Winter)

  1. I’ve never seen these before so I love that you brought them to my attention. 🙂 We seem to have similar tastes. Just while reading the book descriptions I was pulled in on the 2nd book and was quickly bored with the 3rd. I think I’ll be looking for January Brides. What a neat idea for a unique pen pal story!

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  2. I’ve been enjoying reading the collection since I typically don’t read a lot of contemporary fiction- that second book had a bit of a vintage vibe to it, part of the setting is in an old house turned bed and breakfast. Maybe that’s why that one appealed to me so much more. The books are fast reads which is nice as well.

    I’m hoping to review March, April, and May soon… we’ll see!

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