by Laura Hamby, Rebecca Ruger, and Lyndell King; contemporary (2006)
By Grace Publishing, $3.75, ISBN N/A
Brides And Bouquets 2006, like its title would suggest, is a sweet romance anthology revolving around marriages and love.
Laura Hamby starts off things with At First Sight, where Whitney Adams and Brad Wright meet when they are stuck in an elevator together during a power blackout. Brad soon meets the large Adams clan and they have pleasant chit-chat and all until he and Whitney get married at the end. This story is pretty much a big gathering of friends and family chit-chat and while it's a pleasant read, it's not really much of a story.
Rebecca Ruger's Jack And Jenny sees Jenny Barrie on the verge of pushing the panic button because she's 26 (30 marks the apocalypse) and her last relationship with snobby rich Grayson didn't pan out. The guy she has a crush on for five years, Jack McKenna (brother's best friend - the usual), doesn't seem to be making eyes at her like she'd hoped. When her brother gets married, she's the bridesmaid while Jack is the best man. Unfortunately for me, this story goes on and on for what seems like forever with the driving conflict separating Jack and Jenny being their inability to talk over the most obvious things. Let's just say I soon run out of patience for these two people. They are nice folks but certainly not the brightest bulbs around.
Brides Maid In Heaven by Lyndell King closes the anthology. Heroine Katie has her hands full trying to calm down the bride-to-be Janie who is turning out to be an emotional mess of a Bridezilla as the day approaches. As she and the friend of the bridegroom, Brad, find themselves trying to pull the wedding preparations together, the happy couple are having second thoughts about going ahead with the wedding. Can Brad and Katie get the wedding going no matter what at the end of the day? This story is the best of the three because here, Ms King creates a most believable romance - the two characters decide to begin dating at the end of the story, which makes plenty of sense given how those two meet and how busy they were in this story. Katie and Brad are pleasant characters to read about and they do not get lost in the bustle of secondary characters like the poor main characters of the previous two stories.
Brides And Bouquets 2006 on the whole is a readable anthology. There isn't anything particularly strong or memorable here, but there isn't anything truly bad either.
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