Journal

Review: A Year of Weddings Novella Collection (Summer)

I’ve been enjoying this series of novellas. If you haven’t read it yet, you can read my first set of reviews from this collection.

These stories offer a great opportunity to sample work from a variety of authors, not to mention something to look forward to reading each month. Since I decided to start reading these books a bit later, I’ve been able to catch up and look forward to the future releases of them. 

Check out the following links to see the rest of my reviews on these wonderful novellas:

Winter (December, January, February)

Spring (March, April, May)

Don’t miss the TWO different giveaways going on my blog:

First, you can win a copy of A Lifelong Love by Gary Thomas. Learn more details by clicking HERE.

Second, I’m giving away a bundle of four books. Learn more by clicking HERE.

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

A June Bride by Marybeth Whalen

The reality show ended with an engagement, so why doesn’t this feel like the fairy tale she thought it would be? The Rejection Connection hardly sounds like the place to fall in love, but Wynne Hardy walked off the reality-TV set with an engagement ring. And in the whirlwind of publicity and preparation that follows a TV-bride-to-be in her fifteen minutes of fame, Wynne barely has time to consider how she really feels about her new fiancé . . . to say nothing of how she still feels about her ex. As the wedding plans develop, so too do Wynne’s doubts: Is she in love with Andy? Or is this really about Callum—the ex-boyfriend who sent her onto Rejection Connection in the first place? A nationally televised snub might be the best revenge . . . but is it a good reason to get married? When Callum resurfaces at the worst possible moment, Wynne can’t help wondering if she’s made a huge mistake. Is her marriage a publicity stunt? And what happens when the cameras stop rolling, and she has a husband she barely knows?

Marybeth Whalen is a “new to me” author, and I was impressed with my first read by her. The story that takes place in A June Bride is one that I found conceptually interesting, and the story was told quite well.

There were two questions I thought that this novella explored, what if a girl’s pre-wedding jitters were completely realistic and she should listen to them? and what happens to the people who wind up on those reality tv shows? I thought those themes in this story were wonderful, and the story even included some hidden truths about God’s plans for our lives.

While I think I might have enjoyed this story a bit better if I could have seen the perspective of a couple of the other characters, I think it was well-written. It is definitely a novella to add to your reading list.

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

A July Bride by Beth Wiseman

In a moment of total panic, Brendan left Alyssa at the altar. What will it take for him to win her back? When Brendan Meyers became a “runaway groom,” Alyssa Pennington’s heart broke. But she’s returned the unopened gifts, exchanged the dress, and is ready to get on with her life…and forget Brendan. The problem is, Brendan can’t forget. He can’t forget the love he and Alyssa shared and can’t forgive himself for what he put her through on their wedding day. He can never undo his actions, but at least he can try to win Alyssa’s forgiveness. And maybe, someday, another shot at her love. Dalton Landreth was the only person not disappointed about that botched wedding. He had been eyeing Alyssa since high school—with his gorgeous, magnetic blue eyes—and when Brendan ran out the church doors, Dalton heard opportunity knocking. Within months of being jilted at the altar, Alyssa finds herself being simultaneously wooed by the love of her life and the best-looking man she’s ever seen. Not bad for a small-town girl with a broken heart.

To be completely honest, I didn’t really enjoy this novella. I was quite bored with it and the characters just didn’t quite feel real to me.

The story is told from three points of view, Alyssa, Brendan and Dalton. Alyssa feels the most developed, which would make sense because she is probably the main character of the story. Brendan just didn’t really feel, well, like the hero that he should be. He seemed a bit melodramatic. Dalton felt quite shallow, both in his actions and as a character. He didn’t quite make sense to me in the story.

The premise of this story was an interesting one, to have a runaway groom who realizes he made a mistake, but I don’t know, the story just didn’t resonate with me.

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

An August Bride by Debra Clopton

As far as Kelsey Wilcox is concerned, her last cowboy was the last cowboy. Kelsey Wilcox has had enough of cowboys. After the last one broke her heart, Kelsey traded in her boots for flip-flops, and the open range for a bistro on the beach. Her life on Corpus Christi’s gorgeous beach might be a little lonely, but at least it’s heartbreak-free. At least until her cousin’s beachside wedding bucks Kelsey right back into the rodeo. When unlucky-in-love Brent Corbin packed his groomsman’s tux for his friend’s wedding, he brought his boots and belt buckle with him. Brent isn’t exactly looking for love, but when he sees what appears to be a mermaid in distress, he jumps right in to rescue her. So Kelsey finds herself plucked from the sea—and certain-drowning—by a gorgeous groomsman . . . in soaked cowboy boots. She’s quick to say thanks, but no thanks. Brent dedicates the weekend to pursuing Kelsey—and Kelsey spends the weekend trying to deny an obvious match. She’s as stubborn as a wild horse, but Brent’s determination may tame her yet.

This novella was so fun. Debra Clopton made me into such a fun of the characters in this novel. While there isn’t too much depth to the story, it is a novella after all, she had a solid roadblock preventing her heroine, Kelsey, from following her heart and falling in love with Brent.

The first scene had me reading quickly, but then stole my heart with wit and charm. Brent is everything you could ask for in a hero of a story. But I could never quite figure out how things would work between them, but through the course of watching the story unfold, it all became clearer.

This one is probably one of my favorite novellas from this collection. It had it all in my opinion, wonderful characters, interesting setting, and a plot that was just the right size for a novella.

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

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