Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"a june bride" by marybeth whalen

About the novella (from the publisher): It takes a reality TV show for Wynne to realize love isn't just a game.

Wynne Hardy never thought she'd get engaged on a reality TV show, but when she met Andy on The Rejection Connection, the two of them hit it off. Now he's asked her to marry him, much to the public's delight and fascination. They're all set to wed on live TV in a seaside ceremony at the height of the wedding season.

But just as Wynne thinks all her dreams are coming true, her ex-boyfriend walks back into her life at the worst possible time. Callum broke her heart years ago, and she's still sorting through her feelings for him. Her heart isn't as clear as her head that it's past time to move on-even though she's engaged to Andy.

At a local TV talk show appearance, Wynne meets Meredith, who won another reality TV show-Marathon Mom-proving herself nothing short of a superhero. As Wynne's beach wedding plans spin out of control, Meredith offers to help, unknowingly stepping on Wynne's secret feelings . . . and exposing some secrets Meredith has been keeping to herself. Can these two reality stars get real about their feelings? Will Wynne go through with her televised wedding and be the perfect June bride the network is looking for?

My take: I've been loving this "A Year of Weddings" series (for the most part), and when I heard that June's installment would have to do with a Bachelor-type reality show, I couldn't wait to dive in! (The Bachelor/ette franchise is my TV guilty pleasure.)

"A June Bride" centers around Wynne's upcoming televised wedding to Andy, the man she chose at the end of The Rejection Connection. But she's haunted by memories of her ex Callum, who chooses to reenter her life mere weeks before the wedding. Should she honor her commitment to Andy or give Callum another chance?

I have mixed feelings about this novella. I absolutely love the concept, and I definitely enjoyed reading it. I especially liked the behind-the-scenes look at reality TV. But it also seemed less than realistic ... even for reality TV. Wynne didn't ask some very important questions about Andy until right before the wedding date, and she brushed over some rather unsatisfactory answers. I even wondered if she'd had a break with reality at one point, as she and Andy had a conversation that clearly went in one direction, and then she immediately told the press the opposite.

"A June Bride" isn't a bad novella, but it definitely isn't one of my favorites in the series. I've read another book by Whalen (The Guest Book), and I loved it, so perhaps the short length of the novella kept this story from being fully developed. I do think that reality TV fans will get a kick out of it if they can overlook some of Wynne's flaws.

My rating: 3 stars

Buy the novella.
Read my reviews of Whalen's The Guest Book and the other Year of Weddings novellas: December, JanuaryFebruary, March, April, and May.

About the author: Marybeth Whalen is the wife of Curt and mom of six children. She is the director of She Reads, an online book club focused on spotlighting the best in women's fiction. Marybeth is the author of The Mailbox, She Makes It Look Easy and The Guest Book. Marybeth spends most of her time in the grocery store but occasionally escapes long enough to scribble some words. She's always at work on her next novel. Marybeth and her family live in North Carolina. You can find her online at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook blogger 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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