Winter Brides (A Year of Weddings) — Review

Winter Brides by Denise Hunter, Deborah Raney, & Betsy St. Amant

Winter Brides is a collection of three novellas from the Zondervan series ‘A Year of Weddings.’ Winter Brides contains the stories from December, January, and February.

Info from the Publisher:

Happily ever after begins today. The honor of your presence is requested at three winter weddings . . .

A December Bride by Denise Hunter

When Layla O’Reilly and Seth Murphy make their engagement public, she knows it’s only to convince a major client that she’s high-society enough to work for his agency. Seth has secretly loved Layla for years, but she’s never given him the time of day. For Layla, this romantic illusion is the chance to save her career. And for Seth, it’s the chance to finally win her heart.

A January Bride by Deborah Raney

Novelist Madeleine Houser arranges a temporary office in a local bed and breakfast to escape the distracting renovations on her own house. Although she’s never laid eyes on the inn’s owner, an unlikely friendship blossoms between them as they leave daily notes for each other, and before long, Maddie finds herself falling for her mysterious host—a man likely many years her senior—and a man she’s never even met.

A February Bride by Betsy St. Amant

History repeats itself when Allie Andrews escapes the church on her wedding day—wearing the same dress passed down for generations of women in her family, all women with histories of failed marriages. Allie loves Marcus but fears she’s destined to repeat her family’s mistakes. When thrown unexpectedly together for a wedding months later, Allie and Marcus discover their own story might be far from over.

My Reviews:

A December Bride:

I always fall so easily into Denise Hunter’s stories! This is the first in a series called A Year of Weddings. Each novella will be written by a different author. A December Bride focuses on Layla. The story starts with her scramble to find a date for a wedding–but not just any wedding. Her ex is marrying her cousin, and it still stings. She ends up going with her ex’s former best friend, Seth. Things get tricky when Seth offers a lie about his and Layla’s relationship, and that’s when the story really starts to take off. Hunter has created a realistic tale with heart and holiday spirit. An easy read for a cozy evening!

A January Bride:

Several years ago my mom gave me a book with a cat on the cover. I was blown away by how much I loved the story inside! That book was Playing by Heart by Deborah Raney. When I started reading A January Bride, I thought, “This seems way too familiar. I think they may have ripped off that book with the cat on the cover.” After some research, I discovered A January Bride is in fact an updated, expanded edition of Playing by Heart!

A January Bride is the story of Maddie Houser and Arthur Tyler. The whole book revolves around simple misconceptions. I really enjoyed the story. My only criticism is that the last chapter should have either been an epilogue or labeled as some amount of time later. It would be implausible for the events to take place at that exact time. The author didn’t tell us how long it was between chapters, which I’d be interested to know. This is a fun read. I’d recommend it to fans of christian romance.

A February Bride:

I enjoyed this novella. I give it 3.5 stars. I think it’s hard to fully develop characters and tell a deep story in a novella because of the short length. However, St. Amant did a great job of it. I felt like I really got to know Marcus and Allie, while Hannah and Julie were strong supporting characters. The story was a little predictable, but it was still enjoyable. A February Bride is a short, sweet, easy read. When the story begins, Allie has just left Marcus at the altar. The women in her family have terrible track records when it comes to marriage, and Allie thinks she will ruin Marcus’ life by marrying him. Marcus’ sister, Hannah, gets engaged a few months later and asks Allie to be her maid of honor. Of course this leads to all kinds of awkward situations for Allie and Marcus. I’d recommend reading this on a lazy afternoon when you’re yearning for a good story. Don’t forget to check out the other books in the A Year of Weddings series!

Winter Brides is available now in paperback and digital form! It’d make a great gift for the Christian Fiction fan in your life!!

*I received a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Advertisements

A December Bride — Review

I always fall so easily into Denise Hunter’s stories! This is the first in a series called A Year of Weddings. Each novella will be written by a different author. A December Bride focuses on Layla. The story starts with her scramble to find a date for a wedding–but not just any wedding. Her ex is marrying her cousin, and it still stings. She ends up going with her ex’s former best friend, Seth. Things get tricky when Seth offers a lie about his and Layla’s relationship, and that’s when the story really starts to take off. Hunter has created a realistic tale with heart and holiday spirit. An easy read for a cozy evening!

Goodreads Synopsis:

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’m really enjoying this series! The books are standalone novellas, so you can start with any month you choose. Pick up “A March Bride” and come back next month to let me know what you think!

I received a digital copy of this book for review purposes.

Teaser Tuesday – Smitten

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser for the week comes from Smitten by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, & Denise Hunter. These lovely ladies (along with Hannah Alexander) write a blog together called Girls Write Out. I love following them, and I feel like we’re all friends! lol. They are very talented authors. I just finished reading one of Denise’s books, and it was SO GOOD!! Smitten is the first book in a series, so get excited!

 

“He had all the single women in town drooling over him. Except for Natalie, of course. If the other girls knew what she knew about him, they wouldn’t think he was so great.” Chapter 1, Page 7

Here’s the back cover info:

WELCOME TO SMITTEN, VERMONT.

WITH THE HELP OF FOUR FRIENDS, IT’S ABOUT TO BECOME THE MOST ROMANTIC TOWN IN AMERICA.

The proposed closing of the lumber mill comes as unwelcome news for the citizens of Smitten. How will the town survive without its main employer? A close-knit group of women think they’ve got just the plan to save Smitten. They’ll capitalize on its name and turn it into a tourist destination for lovers–complete with sweet shops, a high-end spa, romantic music on the square, and cabins outfitted with fireplaces and hot tubs.

But is this manly town ready for an influx of romantically-minded guests?

Country music sensation Sawyer Smitten, the town’s hometown hero, wants to help by holding his own wedding there on Valentine’s Day. And little Mia’s lavender wreaths hang all over town as a reminder that faith can work miracles. Along the way, the four women spearheading the town’s transformation–energetic Natalie, sophisticated Julia, graceful Shelby, and athletic Reese–get in the spirit by reviving their own love lives.

Join best-selling inspirational romance authors (and real-life BFFs) Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter for an inspiring stay at the (soon-to-be) most romantic town on the eastern seaboard.

One visit…and you’ll be smitten too.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway!