27 May 2014

Review: A June Bride by Marybeth Whalen

Reality TV Romance

Wynne Hardy sent in a tearful application for reality TV show The Rejection Connection after being dumped by her fiancĂ©, Callum Royce, her high school sweetheart. She does the show, accepts a marriage proposal from the handsome and caring Andy Green, but finds herself lost in wedding plans that seem to have been taken over by the TV network. And she wants closure with Callum before marrying Andy, to confirm she’s made the right choice.

A June Bride is written entirely in the first person, from Wynne's point of view, and that is both a strength and a weakness. It’s a weakness in that we never know exactly what Andy or Callum are thinking, so we don’t get to understand their feelings or their motives, and I’m was never sure which man was the ‘right’ choice (one of the issues with this kind of plot, and one reason many readers—and authors—prefer not to use the ‘other man’ plot). But that’s also the strength: if we knew what the men were thinking, it might telegraph the ending.

A June Bride is part of the A Year of Weddings series, featuring stories from a range of contemporary authors such as Denise Hunter, Rachel Hauck and Deborah Raney (not surprisingly, the plan is for a series of twelve books). Each novella appears to be a standalone story, although they do also link to other books by the author, either in terms of characters or location. In A June Bride, it was the location, which has featured in several of Whalen’s novels (I’ve read several, and enjoyed all of them more than I enjoyed this novella). The writing is good, but I didn’t find the male characters convincing, and I’m not sure Wynne made the right choice.

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

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