Release date: October 1, 2019
Publisher: Howard Books/Atria
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Returning home to her family’s farm in the Midwest for her Christmas wedding was never Beth Dean’s plan. But it’s the only way her beloved grandmother will be able to attend. And even her New York City friends will find the family’s old barn elegant. But when her fiancé’s family want her to sign a pre-nup, her hopes for her future marriage may be crumbling even as the guests arrive.
Beth’s childhood friend, Jen Fitzgerald, has always dreamed of starting a wedding planning business. And when Beth decides to have her wedding back home, it’s the perfect chance for Jen to show everyone what she can do. But when the caterer cancels and a blizzard comes in through the barn door, Jen wonders if she’s bit off more than she can chew—and how she’s going to get through the wedding while seeing her old flame, Jared, for the first time in years.
Meanwhile, Beth’s friend Destiny is trying to put on a brave face while she wonders why she never left home to follow her dreams like Beth. The groom’s parents are brought face to face with the tensions in their own marriage as they argue over their son’s. And Sylvia, a native New Yorker, is wondering how long she can survive in a town that doesn’t even have a Starbucks, while unexpected sparks fly with Winston, a gruff local tree surgeon with a heart of gold. But when a surprise snowstorm blankets the area, keeping the guests together on the farm, everyone learns to put aside their differences and enjoy their unexpected Christmas blessings.
If a holiday book publishes today that means it’s not too early to be reading them, right?! What’s great about this one is that while it’s set right before Christmas Day it’s not actually super holiday heavy so you can easily read this a bit early and still enjoy it like I did. While the weather and the small town setting gave me cozy holiday vibes, the story itself focuses more on the wedding itself and the relationships between the various characters making it a great read for any time of the year.
There’s quite a bit going on here as there is a pretty large ensemble cast of characters and I adore books like that. Weddings seem to always bring out the drama and craziness and there was some of that at play here. Jen is trying to plan her first wedding and nothing seems to be going right, Beth is the bride and she’s having some future in law issues, Destiny is totally bogged down by motherhood and Sophie is visiting from New York and isn’t really sure what to think of a midwestern farm. Like I said, lots going on to keep things interesting and when you throw in some more secondary characters that add romance to make it a pretty entertaining read.
This was a fast and effortless read for me, the pages just flew by as I got totally sucked into the drama and lives of the characters. The only problem with reading this one before the holiday season starts is that I wish I had saved it to curl up with next to a fire and a pretty Christmas tree, it was sweet and cozy and totally lighthearted, totally what I want when I pick up this type of book.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.