Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuesday Review: Saved by the Bride

Saved by the Bride
(an electronic book)
By Fiona Lowe
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: April 15, 2013

Annika Jacobson returned to her hometown of Whitetail, Wisconsin, after a bad breakup and a savaging by art critics left her with the artist’s equivalent of writer’s block. Since childhood, she has had the reputation of being a helper and problem solver. Thus, when Whitetail needs an acting mayor to lead the battle for the economic revitalization of a town that has been devastated by the loss of its largest employer, Annika takes on the job. Concentrating on Whitetail’s problems allows her to avoid her own problems such as an inability to paint, rent that is in arrears, and a bank balance filled with zeroes.

She is not enthusiastic about her fellow Chamber of Commerce members’ idea to persuade Bridget Callahan, only daughter of wealthy industrialist Sean Callahan, that their town is the ideal location for her upcoming wedding and Weddings that Wow, their embryonic wedding planning business, the perfect choice to make her wedding all that she dreams of its being. Nevertheless, Annika agrees to crash the heiress’s engagement party, which is being held at Kylemore, the family’s vacation home on Lake Whitetail. She may have little faith that Bridget Callahan will do for Whitetail, Wisconsin, what Chelsea Clinton did for Rhinebeck, New York, but she is more hopeful of persuading Sean Callahan to put to use the warehouses in Whitetail’s business park that he recently purchased. He has ignored her letters, faxes, and phone calls, but he won’t be able to ignore her in a face-to-face meeting. Unfortunately the plan that seemed promising goes awry in major fashion. Denied entrance to the party by a security guard, Annika makes a window entrance only after falling victim to a sprinkler system and falling into the hands of the brother of the bride-to-be.

Finn Callahan is not happy to be part of his sister’s scheme for playing happy family at Kylemore. In fact, gathering his father and his current wife and his mother, the first Mrs. Sean Callahan, under one roof seems downright foolhardy to Finn, given that the acrimony between his parents is still going strong even though the divorce happened years ago. Sean Callahan wasn’t much interested in being a father when Finn needed him; now Finn makes certain only business ties him to the man. Finn retreats to the library, one room mostly unchanged since his grandfather’s day, to check his work email and avoid the party until his presence is required. When his privacy is invaded by a pair of sexy legs wriggling into the library via a window, he is intrigued enough to offer his help. But suspicion soon overcomes his interest. Annika ends up in the Whitetail jail, and Finn ends up angry and self-righteous. They both end up thinking too much for their comfort about a passionate kiss they exchanged. 

Neither one is prepared for the chain of circumstances that leaves Finn forced to spend two months in Whitetail as acting CEO of AKP Industries with Annika as his PA and housemate in his one-bedroom island cabin. Her own history had made Annika wary of handsome men, and anti-marriage, anti-family Finn has limited his relationships to women who are satisfied with dinner and mutually satisfying sex. Despite an attraction that is on simmer just about to heat up to full boil, they are determined to keep their relationship that of employer-employee. But Finn finds Annika’s warmth and light irresistible. Even her klutziness becomes endearing. And Annika knows that Finn is in need of connection and laughter and a life that is more than business. She longs to see him reconciled to his father. They agree on a summer fling, but Annika is still too busy finding solutions for everybody else’s to confront her own, and Finn is too frightened by love’s power to look into his own heart. They have to discover the truth of who they are before they can earn their HEA.

Saved by the Bride, the first book in Fiona Lowe’s Wedding Fever series, is a delicious romantic comedy that combines laugh-out-loud physical comedy, sigh-worthy love scenes, and enough heartbreak to keep it real. I liked not only Annika and Finn but also Finn’s sister who is headed toward Bridezilla status in her quest to see that a perfect wedding protects her and her endearing beta finance from the sad ending that her parents experienced. Frothier than Lowe’s Rita-winning Boomerang Bride, this book has the same charm. Tobin and Whitetail have more in common than their Wisconsin address and the wedding business. Give this one a try. I think you’ll be glad you did. 

The citizens of Whitetail succeed in making their small town a destination wedding site. Destination weddings (average cost $22,000) are the fastest growing segment of the wedding market. Do you find the idea romantic, or does a traditional wedding seem more romantic to you?


quantum said...

This sounds a delightful fun read with possible similarities with Susan Mallery's Fools Gold which I enjoyed a lot. I like to have some comparison with authors that I know before diving in. (I think Amazon exploits this in its tracking algorithms. The large data sets allow it to suggest similar books that I might enjoy. LOL).

Both of the books that you mention are also available at audible which is a big plus for me. Not sure whether to start with 'Boomerang Bride'. Though 'Saved by the Bride' is first in a series so if I'm hooked I won't be left stranded and gasping for more. Choice of narrator may decide it for me in the end! LOL

IMHO a traditional church wedding is more romantic by far, especially with a historic church in beautiful surroundings. A reception at a mansion in a romantic setting would add the icing and those v special photos! LOL

regencygirl01 said...

Depends can I get married in a castle in Scotland. Lol

Janga said...

Q, I really fell for Lowe's voice when I read Boomerang Bride, which I read because it was a RITA nominee. I have a couple of the 2013 RITA finalists on my TBR list. I hope I enjoy them as much.

I'm a traditionalist too. But one of my nephews and his fiancee were married in a beach ceremony last year, and it was so lovely and romantic that I couldn't fault their choice. Their wedding pics look like illustrations for a romance novel epilogue.

Janga said...

Regencygirl, I must admit Kathryn Caskie's wedding pictures persuaded me that few settings are more romantic than a castle in Scotland. :)