The third season in A Year of Weddings (Winter and Spring have also been reviewed) was another reasonably enjoyable outing. While nothing came across as wildly innovative and engaging, they were still pleasant reads on the whole, even if they did kind of make my eyes roll more than usual. Of course, that could be me because I have been quite discontented with my reading this month.
June Bride by Marybeth Whalen – 2.5/5 – This was my least favorite of the three. Supposedly, Wynne has just finished a season on a reality show that focuses on people who have just been through a bad breakup and helps them find a new love. When the story opens, the show has finished and Wynne is engaged to one of the guys she met on the show, Andy. However, Wynne’s ex shows up almost immediately, and it’s obvious that he and Wynne are going to end up together, so I never had any kind of investment in the Wynne/Andy relationship, and it felt completely absurd that Wynne would have agreed to marry this guy without talking about things like going to church and having children. I mean seriously. There was also this other random character whose actions and presence made almost no sense and definitely felt like filler. Basically I just felt annoyed at everyone the whole time I was reading this story, even if it did have its cute moments.
July Bride by Beth Wiseman – 3/5 – This story was alright. Alyssa’s fiancee, Brendan, leaves her at the altar, which is pretty darn embarrassing. Even more embarrassing is that afterwards he feels really bad and starts trying to win her back, when all she wants to do is move on. Unfortunately, she starts dating another guy and Wiseman obviously wanted to make the other guy a bad guy, but she was really bad at it, so he just came across as not really making a lot of sense. Like he thinks about seducing Alyssa, but then completely respects her request to wait until they’re married to have sex? I wasn’t expecting him to rape her or anything, but it definitely seemed like if you wanted to convince me that he was not a nice guy, he should have been using a lot more peer pressure or something. It was like she wanted everyone to root for Brenden so she had to make the other guy not nice, but she also didn’t want anything actually distressing to happen in her story, so the bad guy was just kind of … a guy. The whole story would have made much better sense without the love triangle – there still could have been plenty of story just with Alyssa and Brenden working out their lives.
August Bride by Debra Clopton – 3.5/5 – My favorite out of the three, even though it’s really not my ‘type’ of romance, as it definitely involved a cowboy, which generally makes me roll my eyes really hard. But the chemistry between the two main characters was really good, and I loved the involvement of the crazy match-making aunts (who apparently are actually in a whole series of books that Clopton wrote, and right after I read this novella I got the first book in that series for free!). I also felt like the give and take between the main characters was done really well. All in all, this would have been a 4/5, except after knowing each other for only three weeks (and a lot of that time spent not convinced that they should be dating at all) they leap directly into being engaged to get married?! The story would have made WAY more sense if they had decided to start dating each other, and then we had a nice little epilogue set in the future where they get all happily married. Like I met my husband in April and married him in July of the same year, so I understand the concept of knowing when someone is the right person and not messing about, but my real-life story of three months already seems like a stretch, and I just couldn’t buy a fictional three week relationship that leads directly to getting married.
All in all, another pleasant set of three, but nothing that really captured my fancy.