The only stories I've read by Beth Wiseman were in the form of Amish novellas, so this was a very different experience for me.There was a little I liked, and a lot I didn't like. t was heartfelt and sweet. I loved Brendan's pursuit of Alyssa. He knew he messed up, he confessed, and he did all he could to win her back. Sometimes his antics were hilarious. Alyssa was a borderline character for me. There were moments in the story that I really liked her and related, and there were moments I wanted to shake her! I DID NOT like her involvement with Dalton at all. It was obvious from the beginning that she shouldn't be with him, but she persisted anyway. For a Christian Fiction novella, this story references sexual thoughts quite a bit. One part of me liked the open and honestness of that because it made it more life like, and another part of me didn't like it. Overall, I did like the story, but it's not my favorite of the series.
So, it's the other way around in A July Bride. I'm not connecting this book to A February Bride, but I can't help but see the similarity with a tiny twist.
The buildup had me anticipating the reason behind Brendan's action. The revelation was shocking yet understandable, because it happened so close to home.
There were glimpses into the characters' family backgrounds and histories, but I cannot identify with their decisions much. The story wasn't that romantic but it has bits and pieces about marriage to reflect on, like faith and forgiveness. I agree with the author that everything in life, whether it's marriage or parenting or work or relationships, has no guarantee. I just wished they credit their life events to God's work in their hearts.
Note: I got A February Bride e-book to review compliments of BookLook Bloggers in exchange for honest opinions.
Beth Wiseman created a love story that grabs your heart right from the very beginning. Broken hearts, a failed wedding, living in the same town... all in one story of forgiveness, truth, faith and of course, love.
I thought Beth did a great job of keeping the characters real, engaging the reader and keeping the mood of the book strong until the end. Sometimes, these novellas can lack enough passion to get you hooked, but Beth Wiseman has the ability to do that within just a few pages!
Book Summary: Can she forgive the man who left her at the altar? Alyssa Pennington dated Brendan Myers for three years before she accepted his proposal. For almost a year, Alyssa's friends and family helped her plan a lovely wedding to take place in the church she'd grown up in. It was the happiest day of her life when she walked down the aisle to be united with the man of her dreams. But when Brendan left her at the altar, Alyssa was consumed by humiliation, embarrassment, and a broken heart that wouldn't allow her to trust anyone. Especially Brendan. Brendan Myers knows he will spend the rest of his life regretting what he did to Alyssa, the only woman he's ever loved. Without her, his life is empty. In one fateful moment, he'd panicked, destroyed their future, and ruined everything. Now he plans to win her back. But winning back his bride might prove much more difficult than he can imagine. And even if he does get her to the altar again, will she think turnabout is fair play?
Review: This is my favorite of the series so far. I really liked this book. I loved Alyssa, she was strong and yet wounded by Brendan. I thought it was well written and the story line was modern and realistic. Ethan was a great guy and yet his views of relationship were far different than mine. I loved Alex, Alyssas brother. He was protective without Alyssa knowing about it. Mr. & Mrs. Pennington were great. They wanted the best for their daughter sometimes without knowing what that should be. Alyssas best friend and her husband brought a believability to the story that was well written and made this novella packed with substances. It was a great sketch of life about the human condition as broken people in need of a savior.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Zondervan for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
I hate writing "less than positive" reviews, but sadly A July Bride was my least favorite of the Year of Weddings series. Alyssa is left at the altar, but then Brendan (the jilting groom) realizes the terrible mistake he made and begins frantically trying to win her back. I felt sorry for Alyssa and the humiliation she suffered. But beyond that, I didn't experience much emotion while reading this novella.
I wished the author had given me a bit ... more ... related to the reasons behind the sudden breakup. It also felt odd for another guy to come on the scene and for Alyssa to be caught between the two guys. I had a hard time establishing the ages of the characters. Many of the actions and conversations gave the story more of a middle school or young high school feeling, but since the characters were discussing marriage, I assume they were at least college-aged.
Overall, I just wasn't impressed with this story. So many of the other books in this series have been fantastic, but I would probably skip over this one. [2 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.