Thursday, January 30, 2014

A December Bride by Denise Hunter

As some of you know I’m a school librarian in Africa, and over Christmas break I got to go home to the States. Before leaving I requested a bunch of books through NetGalley to read on the plane rides (it takes three flights, two of which are between 6 and 8 hours long). Well, I certainly enjoyed the books but then was lazy over break (and so busy with Christmas and seeing people) that I never got the reviews written.

So here is the first of books I read over the 24 hour trip:

A December Bride by Denise Hunter. Zondervan, 2013. 120p. (9780310338741) Series: A Year of Weddings, #1

A fun quick read that I think I started while waiting at the gate and had finished before we took off.

Goodreads Summary:
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.

My Review:
This was a sweet, quick read and I want to read more stories set in Chapel Springs. At the end is an excerpt of Barefoot Summer and it reminded me that Perfect Match was by the same author. The characters are all connected somehow – friends, sisters, I don’t really remember now.

Seth and Layla were very well portrayed given the length of the book and it was very easy to sympathize with their reasons for getting into the mess of a fake engagement and choosing to keep it up. I don’t like romance stories where everything happens in a short frame of time, it’s not realistic and in real life those strong feelings likely aren’t sustainable. December Bride takes place over two weeks time, but they had met two years prior and there had been some interest way back then, so it was easy to believe the way events unfolded.

A cute, Christmas romance with very nicely written kissing scenes. Not overly described, just enough to let you know it was a perfect, sweet kiss. While thinking how to word that I was reminded of The Princess Bride’s “most passionate, the most pure” kiss and I think Seth and Layla’s first kiss could rank up there. :-)

Not that that is very realistic either, I’ve been told (by newlyweds who ought to know) that kissing is awkward at first and nowhere near as picture perfect as the movies make it out to be. And actually I don't really like Wesley and Buttercup's kiss all that much - too much jaw movement. When we were little my sister made up a word for that, "humjumming" (at least I think that's how you'd spell it).

If you need a quick Christmas romance then this is a great choice!

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.
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