About the book (from the publisher): 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. My take: "A December Bride" is a novella centered around Layla, a character first seen in Hunter's excellent Barefoot Summer(book one in the Chapel Springs Romance series). One of my issues with novellas is that they often rush the romance due to their short length, but Hunter moves Layla and Seth's love story along at the perfect tempo. I firmly believe that Hunter writes some of the best Christian romance on the market, and "A December Bride" lives up to the Hunter name.
The novella isn't perfect—the reader is too frequently reminded of the connection Seth and Layla once shared, as well as of the mayor's youth (and as he's only a minor character, I found the mention of his youth each time he appeared on the page to be unnecessary)—but most of the book is thoroughly enjoyable.
"A December Bride" is the first novella in Zondervan's A Year of Weddings series, and reading it has made me eager to read the rest. My rating: 4-1/2 stars
About the author: Denise Hunter 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! Find out more about Denise at http://www.denisehunterbooks.com/.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneezebook review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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