Title: A December Bride
Author: Denise Hunter
Series: A Year of Weddings Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 26, 2013
Source: eARC provided by BookLook Bloggers
What started as a whim turned into an accidental—and very public—engagement. Can Layla and Seth keep up the façade 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-fiancé – 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.
From that first scene between Layla and Seth at the diner to that very “accidental and public” engagement announcement, I knew I would enjoy watching these two work out whatever issues they may have in their journey towards a happily-ever-after.
When Layla O’Reilly finds herself engaged (albeit phonily) to Seth Murphy at the wedding of her ex-fiance to her cousin, it was all she could do not to escape from the event. But when her phony engagement is seemingly set to give her the big break that her home-staging business needed with one of the biggest and successful realty firms, she decided to “postpone” telling people that everything is not what they seemed. And now, she also has Seth’s home to stage for the annual Tour of Homes and this means spending more time with the man himself.
This was a sweet and romantic story that will make your heart flutter. I admire Layla with her drive to succeed, to move forward with her life, to begin a new chapter where the hurt of the past will not have a say whatsoever with her present and future. She has gone through a lot with her relationship with her family and in her romantic relationship. And you can really feel her desire to succeed so I can pretty much not blame her at all for taking advantage of what Seth offered, albeit unsolicited help.
Seth, on the other hand, is a hero you can really root for. He has a lot of what-if’s when it came to Layla and you can really see him as he struggles to do good by her and to finally have the courage to reach for that which he has longed for and wanted for a long time now. I really liked his character and how he seems to see Layla beyond what she projects to other people, the emotions she tries to cover, the pain she tries to hide, and the inner strength that she exudes.
Their chemistry is very obvious whenever they’re together and I really enjoyed how their feelings for each other blossomed as the story progresses. This novella is a great series starter, Denise Hunter has done well.
About the Author:
Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she’s been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!
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