Focused on different aspects of the wedding industry on Galveston Island, the Weddings by Design series follows Hannah McDermott, Scarlet Lindsey, Gabi Delgado, and Cassia Pappas in their own respective novels as they discover friends, love, and plenty of professional opportunities thanks to their connection with Bella Neeley and the rest of the Rossi family (from the Weddings by Bella series). Surrounded by unique families, quirky brides, and plenty of connections to the world of Janice Thompson's other characters, these women become well-respected professionals and advocates of their respective vocations.
These light-hearted novels are reminiscent of Sandra Bricker's Emma Rae Creation series (including Always the Baker, Never the Bride; Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride; Always the Designer, Never the Bride; and Always the Baker, Finally the Bride), filled with laugh-out-loud moments and excellent character development. Ms. Thompson's focus on wedding photography and flowers, in addition to cake and wedding dress design, set her apart from Ms. Bricker's works. Additionally, Ms. Thompson's personal experience in wedding planning becomes exceptionally evident in the level of detail that she brings to her novels.
Overall, I found these books to be exceptionally fun to read. Out of all the books, I most enjoyed the first two novels (Picture Perfect and The Icing on the Cake), as they seemed to be the most well-developed out of all the stories and had more mature characters than the final two.
What the movies we chicks love to watch SHOULD be like!
Sometimes a reader just needs to sit back and enjoy a book that will make them laugh. Picture Perfect fit that bill perfectly for me. This book was a delightful read, like a breath of air!
Most of the time when I read books I have very little in common with the heroine but this time I was in for a surprise. Hannah's life is almost eerily like my own, some differences being that I do not live in Texas, I am only a fraction Irish, and I am not a business owner. But even then she reminded me of myself, even her insecurities are similar to ones I struggle with. Now all I need is my own 'Drew' and I'll be all set.
Hannah's life is flowing steadily on, hardly a ripple, her business is doing well. But not matter how hard she tries she always seems to come out second best. Everywhere she goes she finds her "Jacquie Goldfarb", the girl that bested her in high school, and the name she now uses as euphemism for person or situation that beats her or leaves her feeling inadequate. It takes an Italian family, her grandfather's wise sayings, and three ladies from Splendora to help set her aright. Of course a handsome guy and a wonderful best friend don't hurt either. Hannah has to learn to trust God and to stand up for herself with His power.
One of the things I just loved about this book were the chapter headings, all Irish proverbs. I found some familiar and favorite ones "May those who love us, love us. And for those who don't love us, May God turn their hearts. And if He cannot turn their hearts, may He turn their ankles, So we may know them by their limping" (Chapter 2), and some new ones that will become favorites "Blessed are those that can laugh at themselves, For they shall never cease to be amused" (Chapter 21).
This is only the second Janice Thompson book I have read, the first was Fools Rush In, and not only will I be looking for the 2nd and 3rd Weddings By Bella books but I am anxiously awaiting the next Weddings By Design book, The Icing On The Cake. Janice is a master of the Romantic Comedy genre and I am definitely looking forward to more.
If you are looking for a light and absolutely fun read that manages to slip in some valuable lessons about faith and trust, this book is for you.
(I won a copy of this book in a giveaway and am in no way required to review it. All opinions are my own.)
It couldn't have been more apropos that I read Janice Thompson's story "Picture Perfect" over the St. Patrick's Day weekend. Perhaps I should say that I giggled, chuckled and laughed aloud throughout my entire read of Hannah McDermott's situation at this crazy point in her life.
One of my favorite parts of Ms Thompson's book were all the Irish blessings, sayings, proverbs, and limericks at the beginning of each chapter; and of course Hannah's Grandfather Aengus's favorite sayings. But_.this story went far beyond the humor to deeper emotions of each main character that the reader could easily relate.
It did my heart good to see the changes taking place between Hannah's parents after meeting Bella's large Italian family and friends who were so big hearted and loving toward one and all. A lot of the unexpected became a hectic and normal occurrence in both families' lives. The Bing and Bob party thrown annually for all the McDermott Irish friends became a huge invasion of the Italian Rossi/Neeley clan. This party turned into a big noisy bash and I can't understand why the neighbors didn't complain about all the loud singing. That's just the luck of the Irish. I do wish I could have imbibed in the Irish and Italian food that fed that bunch. All in fun this intermingling of cultures.
Let's get to the real story. Hannah McDermott is a wedding photographer located in Galveston, Texas and about to be featured in the Texas Bride Magazine. Hannah has an infamous bride client whose demands on photo details are slightly erratic, including the agent putting intense and not so honest guidelines on Hannah to involve herself in a scam involving wedding publicity. Then, there is Drew Kincaid her archrival photographer. Hannah finds it hard to really dislike this handsome man who shows his considerate sweet side to Hannah, and then she hasn't a chance of not falling in love with him. God is still in control and moving in His mysterious ways throughout the story.
Having not read any of Janice Thompson's writings before, I'm now enticed to read the books leading up to this delightful story. It is a fast paced novel with many characters and sentimental moments. If you need a boost out of a low moment - read Ms Thompson's Picture Perfect of the Weddings by Design series. Oh yes, I forgot to tell you about the McDermott/Kincaid historical feud_..well, I guess you will need to read the book to find out!