Publication Date: February 24, 2015
In a small town, Beth, Lindy, and Rachel are all looking for new beginnings. They set up a business to help people find their happy ending at an affordable rate, with class and style. As they grow busier with planning other people's big days, their own love lives begin to blossom.
Okay, so I had a lot of trouble getting into this. I really wanted to get into a nice contemporary again after having such good luck with The Dress Shop of Dreams earlier. I was excited about the plot and I really wanted to see how the characters would pull off a company that specializes in vintage weddings. But then I started reading this and got confused pretty quickly. We're introduced to all the main characters in the first chapter, but two of them are new to the town. So, I continued reading and realized that I was having a lot of trouble telling the characters apart. I basically kept guessing their identities until I finally got a basic grasp when I was about 24% of the way through. After some time, I finally admitted that I wasn't connecting with the story, found it boring, still had trouble telling the characters apart, and was just struggling a lot with this book. Which resulted in me putting it down for over a week and starting another book.
When I decided to pick it up again, I was kind of surprised that I had made it a little more than a quarter of the way through the book. That night, I knocked out another 5% of the book and found myself slightly more interested. But even then, I found myself with little desire to find out what was going to happen. Then I found out that the physical copy is almost 500 pages long and I almost facepalmed. It made so much sense as to why I was having trouble making a dent in the book and knowing that the story would drag out for almost 500 pages just made me groan internally.
But as I read on, things began to pick up. Slowly but surely, the characters became more interesting and I began to like where the plot was going. I became interested in the story again and found it much easier to get through the book. In fact, I read the majority of it in 2 days. After reading a massive chunk of the book, I realized that I might not have been in much of a contemporary mood when I first picked it up, or just needed a bit of a break from stressing about reading review books.
I think a problem that I initially had with the books was with the characters. Like I said earlier, I had a hard time telling the three main characters apart and found that their voices were quite similar, which only added to my confusion. But the more I got into the book, the more I realized that despite working together and wanting to officially start a company, the three women really don't communicate very well or talk things through with each other all that much. Each character just keeps things from the others until something comes up and it has to be revealed. Furthermore, no one in this book seems to be able to say "No." It just really began to irk me that three adult women could not handle basic communication with each other, stand up for themselves, or get a grip on anything. And I happen to really, strongly dislike characters like that.
None of the love stories really interested me when they first started up, they were actually quite insta-lovey, but in the case where only one side was attracted to the other. And I thought that they were actually based on quite stupid things. Beth's was based on physical attraction, Lindy's was based on an old crush that led to a lot a trouble, and Rachel's is some kind of weird situation that I can't really describe. But really, none of these were particularly interesting to me, because I thought it was either cliché or annoying. But as I got further into the book, things began to play out better and I slowly started to see where the author was going with the storylines.
Something I did find odd about the storyline was that three strangers were so willing to team up and plan weddings together, despite having just met. I didn't find it super realistic in that area and thought that it could have been written in a way that didn't make them such strangers when they began working together.
In the end, I did like the book, but I wish that it could've been edited a bit more and that the set up was written in a clearer manner. I think I would've had less trouble getting into the book if it was easier to get a grasp on the characters and the storyline.
Lindy is the only character from the small town, and it is revealed early on that she is a single mother of two. But even then, I still found her choices and actions annoying in the beginning. The main reason for her love story was an old crush that entered the picture again, but it was one of those situations that would only lead to more trouble as it went along because of the people involved.
Beth recently moved to town and is helping to plan her sister's wedding, and is staying in her future brother-in-law's parents country cottage. She seemed okay, but then there was her love interest and the whole story with that, which was basically a lot of physical desire. The whole thing about physical attraction being the basis of a relationship really irks me and I find it even more annoying because I know couples in real life that are only together because they are just attracted physically and sexually. I think Beth ended up being my least favorite out of the three women, because I found her annoying and felt that her character made really stupid decisions. There were a number of things she did that I didn't like and I just thought that her personality and actions leaned to a more immature side.
Lastly, there's Rachel, a divorcee and businesswoman who recently moved to town. She is quite...composed and she has her set ways. None of that actually bothers me, but it bothers me that she keeps saying that she doesn't like her love interest, then randomly goes out for drinks with him and doesn't tell him to stop with his flirtatious advances. Eventually, she sorts it all out and I began to like her more and more. She ended up being my favorite out of the three women and I found that I related to her the most.
3.5 stars. It was a good book once I got past the first quarter, but I'd still say that it's worth picking up. It's a decent contemporary, though I wouldn't say that you should get your hopes up a lot.
Thank you to NetGalley for hosting this on your site and thank you to Random House UK, Cornerstone for putting this on NetGalley and approving my request to read and review this.