A December Bride - eBook
It still works for February - the month of LOVE!
OK mom. I have to take back what I said... I LOVE this book!
When I started reading the book, I was sure it would end up on my "not a favorite" shelf in GoodReads. I could NOT have been more wrong. It's a FANTASTIC story. And now I find myself determined to go hunt down the rest of Denise Hunter's Chapel Springs stories.
I seriously misjudged this novella and I'm so glad I gave it a proper chance. Otherwise, I might never have discovered how wonderful is truly is!
It is possible I'm not the only one who might jump to the wrong conclusion so I'm going to give you a couple of hints that I really don't think will kill the story.
The synopsis might give you the wrong idea - especially if you've ever read Zebra or Harlequin romance novels. You might expect it to be one of those things where the two characters make a shady deal about getting married and then doing a "quicky" divorce later. It's NOT! Thank GOD!
Granted, the reasons for the "fake" engagement are not all that altruistic or even honest but they do not drag marriage through the mud like I was afraid they would. This is truly a good, decent, Christian story. And, while I hold that courtship is still the best way to head toward a marriage - it could be said that this is about what they have. They're "engaged" before they even kiss and there's a minimum of physical contact because the whole thing isn't real anyway.
A terrific story, excellent writing, real characters and great world-building! And it's easy to get right into the story - even if you haven't read any of the others that Denise has written. I didn't even realize this was part of a continuing series until I got to the end and saw "other books by Denise Hunter..." - which I now have to read...of course.
Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.
February 24, 2014
Great chemistry between main characters
Wow, the chemistry and tension is great in this sweet novella! It was nice to read from both characters' perspective. Layla does have a strong/stubborn personality, and it was a nice moment when she released the hurt and blame she was harboring towards Seth. Their interactions and dialogue were fun and witty. The predicament was a little contrived, but it was easy to look beyond that since the author made it so fun. The reason for 4 stars instead of 5 is that the beginning is kind of choppy and disjointed, and Layla's bitter thoughts became repetitive, but the story smooths out later on, and Seth's perspective was much more compelling.
February 21, 2014
A December Bride: A Year of Weddings Novella, by Denise Hunter is the perfect story to launch this series. Addressing a multitude of issues, this story captures oneÃ¢ÂÂs attention and holds it until the end.
Layla OÃ¢ÂÂReilly is working part-time waiting tables until she can get her staging business up and running. When she ends up attending her ex-fiancÃÂ©Ã¢ÂÂs wedding to her cousin with the man responsible for breaking them up, and walks out in a mock engagement to him, she is furious. But when she discovers that this engagement may open doors to launch her business, she agrees to continue the farce for a few weeks. Seth Murphy has loved Layla for years, but her anger toward him made it impossible to take any action. This situation is exactly what he has been waiting for. So he begins trying to win LaylaÃ¢ÂÂs forgiveness, and prays that he can win her heart.
I enjoyed this book. The characters deal with low self-esteem, anger, embarrassment, forgiveness, bitterness, and difficult family members. They attend church regularly. They appear to be believable, everyday people, and they captured my heart throughout the story.
I would recommend this book to all who enjoy reading Christian romance.
I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.
February 18, 2014
Short, Light-hearted Read
Because I have enjoyed many of Denise Hunter's books, I decided to begin the "A Year of Weddings Novella" series by reading her contribution to the twelve novellas collection, "A December Bride." Novellas can sometimes be disappointing to read because they lack character development and depth, but "A December Bride" examines the past of the two main characters Layla and Seth. Both Layla and Seth have been hurt in the past and face their share of uncertainties and insecurities. Set in Chapel Springs, readers of Denise Hunter's "Barefoot Summer will remember Layla as the sister of Beckett O'Reilly. Although her recent past is shared in "A December Bride," readers will have a more thorough understanding of her childhood and family background if they have read "Barefoot Summer." When Layla finds herself "accidentally" engaged to Seth, the scene is set for a light and sweet romantic novella. While having to spend more time together by staging Seth's house during the Christmas season, Layla and Seth have the opportunity to confront a misunderstanding from their past and begin building a new relationship. In many ways, it reads like a satisfying seasonal Hallmark movie.
"A December Bride" is a short, light-hearted read that is perfect for a winter day. With authors like Denise Hunter, Rachel Hauck, and Meg Moseley, "A Year of Weddings Novellas" series offers a promising collection of short stories.
I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from BookSneeze. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade CommissionÃ¢ÂÂs 16 CFR, Part 255 Ã¢ÂÂGuides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
February 8, 2014