Every wedding season, starry-eyed brides wed their handsome grooms amid fairy-tale summer celebrations. But what happens during the months and days leading up to the magical day, you ask? Staggering emotional highs and terrifying, jumping-off-cliff lows, that’s what! We’ve picked three titles this month to immerse you in the ups and downs of saying “I do.”
CAROLINA COAST CELEBRATION
New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe returns to Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, and the Muir family in A Lowcountry Wedding, the final novel in her Lowcountry Summer series. Marietta “Mamaw” Muir, matriarch of the clan and grandmother to half-sisters Harper, Carson and Dora, welcomes the excitement of Carson and Harper’s upcoming weddings on the island.
Behind the scenes, however, all three sisters are confronted with potentially life-changing complications: Harper has a secret that will shock everyone; Carson struggles to deal with career and commitment issues; and, after enduring a difficult divorce, Dora isn’t convinced she’s truly ready to be in the serious relationship she’s found herself in. Fortunately, each sister is deeply in love with her partner, and as the couples confront their problems, it becomes increasingly clear that their hearts have chosen strong, wise and honorable men.
However, when a stranger knocks on Marietta’s door, she quickly realizes her family will be changed forever in unexpected ways. But with all the emotional stress of the weddings already upon them, will her granddaughters decide that the changes are good, or disastrous?
Sumptuously layered with authentic emotions and contemporary issues, this novel is rich in Southern charm. The lush setting of Charleston’s lowcountry is a palpable presence, while multigenerational characters add depth to the story. Fans and new readers alike will be enthralled with this complex and endearing story.
NEVER A BRIDE?
Former children’s book editor and journalist Lindsey Kelk delivers a witty and heartwarming read with Always the Bridesmaid. London event planner Maddie Fraser is 31 and single since her ex-boyfriend moved out two years earlier. She wants to move on and find a significant other, but it seems the only thing moving on is time. Then her work-centered, boring life explodes when one best friend plans to throw a wedding in an insane three months, her other best friend unexpectedly faces divorce, and Maddie’s boss is clearly determined to destroy any chance of Maddie winning a promotion. Oh, and Maddie meets a gorgeous guy and begins a passionate affair.
All of the above should have Maddie shouting “Stop!” but she can’t seem to say no when people need her help. The stress of planning Lauren’s wedding and supporting Sarah through the grief of divorce, along with the pressure of unreasonable demands at her job, strain Maddie’s multitasking abilities to the max. Fortunately, she has Will, the handsome new boyfriend who is wild about her. Or is he?
Maddie is warm, wonderful, smart and the best kind of friend. This delightful tale of the enduring value of friendship, self-discovery and life as a single woman in urban London will have readers laughing out loud.
KENTUCKY IS FOR LOVERS
USA Today bestselling author LuAnn McLane heads to the small town of Cricket Creek, Kentucky, in Wish Upon a Wedding, where upcoming nuptials draw two friends into an unexpected romance.
Beautician and makeup artist Sophia Gordon has been attracted to handsome Avery Dean for months. Avery, however, appears to still be getting over a broken engagement, and Sophia settles for a casual friendship. All of this changes when Avery’s sister plans her wedding with his ex-fiancée as her maid of honor and Avery as the best man. He’s aware that his ex, Ashley, wants him back, but she cheated on him, and Avery isn’t interested. He can’t hurt his sister by refusing to be part of her wedding, but he clearly needs a plan to deflect the determined Ashley.
The snarl of family and wedding issues couldn’t come at a worse time, because contrary to Sophia’s belief, Avery is definitely over Ashley, and he’s interested in dating Sophia. He catches a bit of luck when Sophia suggests they pretend she’s his girlfriend to throw Ashley off his trail. Sophia thinks they’re playing to the crowd, but the kisses they share seem all too real. She’s in danger of losing her heart to this sincere, charming man. Is there any chance he feels the same, or will family entanglements tear them apart?
The secondary romance between an older couple adds extra charm to this novel, which is filled with small-town characters and humor. Fans will thoroughly enjoy this tenth entry in the Cricket Creek series and eagerly anticipate the next installment.
Lois Dyer writes from her home in Port Orchard, Washington