A July Bride by Beth Wiseman ~ A Contemporary Fiction Review

A July Bride
A Year of Weddings, Book 8
Beth Wiseman
Contemporary Fiction

About the book:

A year's worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. 
Happily ever after guaranteed.

Can she forgive the man who left her at the altar?

Alyssa Pennington dated Brendan Myers for three years before she accepted his proposal. For almost a year, Alyssa's friends and family helped her plan a lovely wedding to take place in the church she'd grown up in. It was the happiest day of her life when she walked down the aisle to be united with the man of her dreams. But when Brendan left her at the altar, Alyssa was consumed by humiliation, embarrassment, and a broken heart that wouldn't allow her to trust anyone. Especially Brendan.

Brendan Myers knows he will spend the rest of his life regretting what he did to Alyssa, the only woman he's ever loved. Without her, his life is empty. In one fateful moment, he'd panicked, destroyed their future, and ruined everything. Now he plans to win her back.

But winning back his bride might prove much more difficult than he can imagine. And even if he does get her to the altar again, will she think turnabout is fair play?

My thoughts:

Of the eight novellas that I have read in the A Year of Weddings series, this one rates up towards the top. From the opening scene of Alyssa and Brendan's dream wedding I knew something had to go wrong. After all what would the rest of the story be about? I was expecting Alyssa to be the one to get cold feet, but instead it was Brendan.

Poor Brendan, almost immediately he realized that he had made a horrible mistake. He loved Alyssa more than anyone and really did want to spend the rest of his life with her. But it seems as if every gesture he makes just rubs salt in the wound instead of being a healing balm. Even Alyssa's father has told Brendan to quit. Then Brendan's worst nightmare happens. Dalton turns up and begins to pursue Alyssa. Alyssa has always had a secret crush on Dalton so it seems like a great choice.

As secrets unfold and become known a distinct story-line of redemption and forgiveness emerges. I really enjoyed how everything came together with not only the main characters but the supporting ones as well. My only complaint is that I would have liked this to be a full length novel rather than a novella. There was so much to this tale that I think it would have been nice for Beth to have the time to develop the characters more and to expound on the themes of overcoming and forgiveness. Quite frankly I think I would say this about any novella that Beth Wiseman would write. I just like her stories and this one came to a conclusion much too soon.

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