Perfect Weddings by Lynda Renham

 

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perfectweddings

Amazon UK

Amazon US

What they say: Every bride wants a perfect wedding and that includes Georgina Winters. Amy Perfect is the crème de la crème of wedding planners so who best to plan Georgina s wedding… except the man Georgina plans to marry is the same man who jilted Amy three years ago. Will her plan to give Georgina the most imperfect wedding backfire on her? Is this the chance for Amy to win back the love of her life, or will insufferable Ben Garret put a spanner in the works? Arab princes, spoilt brides and wedding catastrophes make Perfect Weddings a page-turning romantic comedy that will keep you guessing until the very last page.

The Review: You probably know by now that I’m a bit of a sucker for chick lit wedding books. I generally devour them and have yet to find one that I haven’t enjoyed. This book is no exception. First off can I bring the above invitation to your attention? Isn’t it just gorgeous? The invite is of course to ‘Perfect Weddings,’ which is the story of Amy, who describes herself as someone who has “mousy brown hair” and “is twelve stone ten and counting” and ready to marry her ‘prince,’ the charismatic Greg . From  the start of the book I was taken with Amy, and leapt straight into the wedding and general excitement, which turned out to be short lived. The wedding itself was perfection, planned to every detail, complete with Amy, beaming as the expectant bride to be. I grinned my way through the first part of this book, happy that I’d clicked with her. I actually laughed out loud in places, getting some curious looks from the girl next to me on the bus.

There is a before and after part to this story which is expertly managed. There was a definite way to see the changes in Amy before and after and when they overlapped I never once found it confusing. The only thing was, in this case, that with the changes came a different personality and I regularly missed the ‘old’ Amy, lamenting the fact that I could find no trace of her in the new and ‘improved’ version. The only other problem I had was that I found at times that the book read oddly, but then I’m terrible for trying to edit as I go, changing words around and adding and subtracting to the dialogue, even when the book is well edited.

The story itself was brilliantly done, with some great romance, twists and turns and in particular some shockers that I definitely didn’t expect and applauded. The comedy was right up my street and will definitely drive me to some of Ms. Renham’s other books. There were some great characters that I warmed to instantly and some epic wedding descriptions that conjured up vivid beautiful imagery and placed me firmly at each of ‘Amy’s’ weddings. May is chick lit month and I think this is one to look out. Extremely enjoyable:) Thanks so much to the author for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

Tune in tomorrow for an author interview with the great Lynda Renham and Friday for my review of Rory’s Proposal which I’m looking forward to devouring tonight!

Lynda Renham online

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‘Perfect Weddings’

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Bride Without A Groom by Amy Lynch

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What they say: Single, coupled-up or married, this laugh-out-loud summer read is the perfect anecdote for the wedding season!

Rebecca has chosen the most luscious, five tiered, wedding cake. The engagement ring that she has selected is celebrity inspired. The wedding singer is on speed dial. He doesn’t usually do Michael Bolton, but as it’s for a first dance he’ll make an exception. Father Maguire is checking dates for the parish church as we speak. The deposit on the white sand honeymoon is paid for in full on Barry’s card. She has fallen for an ivory lace couture gown that is to die for. The down payment may require her to sell a left kidney, but it will be worth it. Isn’t that why you have two?

There’s one teeny tiny problem. It’s nothing, really. No need to panic! It’s just that Barry has yet to propose. Says he’s not ready! He can be a bit of a kill joy that way. It’s time to face the harsh reality – Rebecca is a bride without a groom!

 

The Review: To start, I promise I will try to get through this without too much gushing, as I really, really enjoyed this book. So here we go! Bride Without A Groom starts with the pre-empting of a proposal that doesn’t come, followed by the dramatics of one who believed their happy ever moment had arrived only to have their hopes shot down and stamped out. We quickly find out that one of the reasons for the hysterics is that our lead, Rebecca Browne, has already organised the planning of the bulk of the wedding, down to the tiniest details.

Rebecca reminds me of a mixture of Elle (Legally Blond), Becky Bloomwood (Confessions of a Shopaholic) and Cher (Clueless), in that she’s what would traditionally what would be viewed as selfish, and yet you can’t not like her (see note *), you just clickety clack along with her (my impression of high heels there, NOT a train), as aghast as her when things don’t go her way.

Her boyfriend, Barry, is what some people may call gutless (I would be one of those people) and yet you can easily jump between empathizing (sympathising!) with him and not liking him at all. This is consistant with the characters in Bride Without a Groom which are generally done very well, and play their part in leading you to various conclusions or just surprising you.

This book felt like it was made for me, or maybe it was just built for my generation. It is set in Dublin and so we quickly hear names such as Brown Thomas’ (large exclusive department store) and Dundrum Town Centre (large exclusive shopping centre). On the entertainment front we hear of Fair city (Irish version of Eastenders which is a british soap opera where nothing goes the way of the always unhappy residents of Albert Square), Legally Blonde, Dirty Dancing, Patrick Swayze and Michael Bolton and Top Gear (Barry not Rebecca), with a hilarious letter sent when she realises The Young and The Restless is due to be cancelled. A point to note is that although the settings and backdrops are mostly Irish, this book is definitely translateable, I think it could be popular anywhere in the world.

One thing I would say to you would be in terms of character development, as in the journey the character goes through to get to a point whre ethey might figure something out that changes themselves. There is none. None at all. But, before this bothers you, look at the bottom of this review. I’ll give you a hint, the rating I gave it was 4.75/5. So I took off .25/5 for that fact, because I was waiting for a certain something to happen and it didn’t, and it bothered me just a little but I would assume that there will be a sequel and if there is it doesn’t really matter (if there isn’t, yes, it will continue to bother me just because I’m like that!). To date this is possibly one of my standout books for 2015. When someone’s looking for a commercial, light read that will make them laugh and keep them interested, this is a serious contender (for the right person, mind, again, see my note marked *)

Rating: 4.75/5

*This is a marmite one. If you look at the reviews on this you’ll see it’s a love it or hate it type of book and people seemed to find Rebecca to be a love her or hate her type of character. The people who didn’t like it/ her went for it tooth and nail, but to be honest if you take a look at the cover, blurb and the first few pages you’ll know. I love it. I cannot gush about it enough and as I read it I had at least three people in mind who would flip for it. It is pure unadulterated chick lit at its best!