27 March 2014

Review: An April Bride by Lenora Worth

Planning a wedding ... or a life?

Stella Carson has been planning her wedding to high school sweetheart Marshall Henderson for a year, since he was posted to the Middle East. Now he’s back after several months in hospital recovering from an attack that killed several of his comrades—and stole his memory. Can their wedding still go ahead?

Reading An April Bride showed me a completely different side of weddings. I’m married, and while I had a lovely wedding, it was nothing compared to the wedding Stella had planned for her and Marsh. A month before the wedding, she’d already had five bridal showers. Five. Most brides I know manage one at the most. But Stella had five, “each with a different theme—kitchen, garden, linens, recipes and cookbooks, and china and everyday dishes”. Seriously? Does no one start with a few basics and gradually build up a household?

But it was this quote which illustrated the real difference to me:
I’ve been so caught up in the wedding, I forgot to plan for the marriage.
This brought to mind a blog post I read recently, which expanded on the same point. Couples planning the celebration to get the gifts, not thinking about what they are celebrating. The start of a life together.

That’s not a criticism of Stella, Marshall or their parents. I could understand why Stella threw herself into wedding preparations—it was a way of staying sane and occupied while Marshall was away. And I could admire Marsh for being prepared to go ahead with a wedding to a woman he couldn’t remember, because it was the right thing to do. From that point of view, the story was excellent, as was the Christian aspect (one thing Marsh hadn’t forgotten was his faith in God). It showed him to be a man of convictions and honour. But I would have liked to have understood more about what he was thinking at times.

This was a well written love story, of two people struggling to come to terms with something that has completely altered the nature of their relationship, but who commit, in God, to working through those problems. Those women in real life who are planning for a wedding, not a marriage, could learn something from Stella and Marsh.

An April Bride is the first book I’ve read by Lenora Worth, but I’d certainly be interested in reading more. Her previous books are all Love Inspired (short contemporary romance) or Love Inspired Suspense, and I can see that background coming through in An April Bride. Worth reading.

Thanks to Zondervan and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Lenora Worth at her website.

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