When I signed up for The Year of Weddings novella series, I hadn't quite appreciated that the year would run away with me, despite Booklook Bloggers providing me with free copies at regular monthly intervals. I'm enjoying the series and am grateful to them for this lovely, light reading. So, here I am, at the end of October, catching up on book reviews.
A July Bride by Beth Wiseman opens with a wedding and finishes with a wedding. Same bride, different bridegrooms. It is a sweet story of Alyssa, jilted AT THE ALTAR by her high school sweetheart, Brendan. Of course, he regrets it straight away but it is too late: Alyssa, understandably, doesn't want any more to do with him.
On to the scene steps the handsome, well-off Dalton, a nice guy who also happens to be a friend of Alyssa's brother Alex.
Everyone lives, happily and not so happily, in the same small town.
Beth Wiseman weaves an interesting story. Dalton has recently broken up with his girlfriend and, while he wants to date Alyssa, is under no illusions that she will get over Brendan quickly. He's ready to be patient. Brendan, meanwhile, is doing everything he can to get Alyssa back. But she just can't trust him any more...
As Brendan and Alyssa untangle their feelings, dodge their way clumsily through misunderstandings and try to get on with their lives, Alyssa and Dalton get engaged.
There are some charming insights woven into the story. Alyssa tells Brendan: "You don't hurt the people you love," Brendan replies: "Of course you do. When the love is real and deep, you have the capacity to hurt someone more than you ever thought. People who love that deeply hurt each other, even though they don't mean to."
"You can forgive," says Alyssa's friend Sherry, "or you can let the hurt wrap around you until it sucks the life out of you."
Not just a little light reading. Wise advice for marriage, for relationships, for life. A light read: we guess the ending, but it still comes as a slight surprise. And on the way, some personal reflection, too. What's not to love about A July Bride?