For Professor Laurie Wilson, planning her wedding to longtime boyfriend Brandon Kopp has been a whirlwind. But somehow, between all the cake tastings and dress fittings, she never imagined being left at the altar. In the aftermath, she does what any sensible woman would - she swigs champagne and considers keying his car. Until someone knocks on her door with a much better idea for revenge.
Best man Andrew Lyndon thinks Laurie's better off without Brandon. But Laurie's father - and Andrew's boss - isn't going to accept anything less than a reconciliation. And he's made it Andrew's problem to solve. So Andrew decides to make Brandon jealous by setting Laurie up on a string of "dates." After a couple of weeks, Brandon will be begging Laurie to take him back. But Andrew's plan works a little too well because suddenly he's the one falling for Laurie -- and planning a proposal of his own.
Ramsay's third Chapel of Love contemporary (after A Small-Town Bride) is a satisfying tale of finding love by finding oneself. Laurie Wilson, a professor at a small college in Shenandoah Falls, a Washington, D.C., suburb, is stunned when her boyfriend of five years, Brandon Kopp, leaves her at the altar. Laurie is quickly ushered out of the church by handsome lawyer Andrew Lyndon, Brandon's best friend. Laurie's father is Andrew's boss, and he insists that Andrew get Brandon and Laurie back together. Trouble is, Andrew doesn't want to he falls for her, too. Sweet, loyal Andrew helps Laurie to realize that she subjugated her own desires in favor of Brandon's desires, including turning down the job offers she received from more prestigious universities. He shows Laurie that Brandon's refusal to marry her was the best gift of her life. The usual problems ensue ex-lovers showing up, a hunky Marine turned small-town cop who might steal the heroine's heart, manipulative relatives but Ramsay ably navigates the shoals of predictable plot machinations to deliver appealing primary and secondary characters (particularly Laurie's group of girlfriends). This is a well-paced, expertly characterized, and fun story.
Meant to be
I found this book delightfully entertaining and fun, although what happened at the start was heartbreaking and embarrassing for Laurie. Her groom, Brandon, ran from the altar because he wanted to sew his oats before tying the knot. Seeing her devastation, Laurie's friends and family take over and decide what is best for Laurie to heal her pain. Her friend (and Brandon's best friend) Andrew follows through on what is asked of him, which is to set her up with dates to prove Brandon wrong in taking a pause from the relationship they had. I wanted revenge on Brandon and for Laurie to do an "I'll show him!" I wanted both Laurie and Andrew to step it up and defy what everyone else wanted them to do. Maybe this temporary or permanent break between Laurie and Brandon wasn't so bad after all! This can be read as a standalone, but will also hook you in wanting to read the previous books in the series. And I found some other relationships that may blossom in the future. [I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.]
sure to please people who want a bit of drama and angst to go with their read.
3.5 Stars, Rounded
I’ve read the first two books in this series, and what stands out most from those is the heart and the writing. Now we have Laurie, left at the altar by her fiance and understandably devastated. Her father, however, thinks they are meant to be together and sets his employee (and the best man) Andrew a task: strategize a reconciliation and make sure Laurie ends up married. So Andrew sets his plan in motion: set Laurie up on a series of dates to make her ex (Brandon) jealous: everyone is convinced he just has cold feet and his excuse (we need time to discover what love really is, blah, blah, blah) is nothing more than a way to hide his own insecurities. Well, Laurie agrees to the plan, she still isn’t seeing what’s truly in front of her.
Of course, this is a romance, so we know that she and Andrew will start to see one another as more than friends and conspirators, despite the repeated (and often amusing) meddling by family and friends. Throughout the story, even with the repeated (and overdone I think) man bashing that cropped up at near every turn, you want to cheer on Andrew in his quest to win Laurie’s heart, and the slow kindling of a relationship as it morphs from friends to loves is quite cute, even as we don’t get ALL the answers in the end.
This isn’t solely a story about Laurie and Andrew though: characters from earlier stories make several appearances, and we see couples in all stages of their relationships, from settled and happy to starting fresh to even those discovering that love is in the air. Told in 3rd person, the story gives a decent insight into interior voices from all of the characters, although I found that Laurie’s constant rehashing of her trust issues (understandable) and her quick-to-judge motivations from each new man she met (less so) wore on me quickly. Fortunately she is able to find some solace with Andrew, and with his family playing puppeteers in the background, working determinedly to push them together, the interplay between all of the characters gave a real sense of the small-town, everyone in for romance sort of feel. As always, Ramsay’s writing is solid and clear, and her characters are believable, from the ones you adore to the ones that frustrate you endlessly. A solid installment in the series, easy to read as a stand-alone title, the book is sure to please people who want a bit of drama and angst to go with their read.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Hope Ramsay’s Bride novels are the perfect end to summer and Here Comes the Bride is no exception. After Laurie Wilson is left at the altar, best man Andrew Lyndon steps in to smooth things over. When Laurie’s father, and Andrew’s boss, asks Andrew to help reunite Laurie and her errant group Andrew can’t say no. The only problem is that Andrew has started to realize that he’s in love with the bride. While not quite completely screwball, there are definitely some screwball elements in this novel. Andrew and Laurie are fun together and you easily root for them over the runaway groom. Aunt Pam, of course, tries her own hand at matchmaking, which only contributes to the confusion. Andrew and Laurie eventually prevail, providing the perfect HEA. I have read and loved all the novels in this series and this is no exception. There is something about a visit to Ramsay’s small town settings that seems to draw me in.
I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this novel.