The Fairy Tale Bride
I’ll admit it. I can be a little shallow when I’m picking my books. That was totally the case with The Fairy Tale Bride. I decided I liked the title, and next thing I knew, I had it loaded on my Kindle. So, how was it? Well, if you like small-town romance, you’ll probably enjoy this at least a little. And if you don’t? Well, this isn’t going to be the story that converts you.
This short novel is first in a series about the wedding fever that has hit Marietta, Montana. A local girl who grew up to become a movie star has returned home to Marietta because she wants to get married in her hometown and use local businesses for her wedding. First up? Bridesmaids’ dresses from the local bridal salon owned by Lisa Renee. The selection of gowns for the wedding is something of a show in itself, and along the way, Lisa herself finds romance with local doctor Adam Brady.
There are definitely some things that work in this book. First of all, the town itself stood out for me. I tend to have a love-hate relationship with small town romance because so many of the settings are just too cutesy and cloying for me to handle. I wouldn’t call Marietta “edgy” by any stretch of the imagination, but it does come off as being sweet without feeling overly saccharine. Folks know and look out for each other(and gossip a bit), but they do have individual lives that don’t involve spending all their time up in each other’s business. I had some issues with the main romance in this book, but I’d definitely be up for a return trip to Montana’s little Wedding Central.
Even though much of the plotting felt a bit cliched and it was easy to guess where things were going to go next, many of the scenes still worked. The frustrating fittings in the bridal shop, Lisa and Adam’s first date, and the moment of truth where they have to resolve their conflict were all free of surprise and yet they worked somehow. As a reader, I felt as if I had been dropped right into the middle of these scenes and they possess writing vivid enough to make one feel the emotions running through each scene.
Unfortunately, Lisa and Adam didn’t fare quite as well for me. In a novel as short as a category romance, an author has to make her characters come alive using a minimum of words, and that just didn’t happen here. Neither one felt like a fully realized person to me. Instead, I felt as though each character had tons of extraordinary obstacles piled on in lieu of actual characterization. I know that folks can face unusual difficulties and family tragedy, but these two have so much past history between them that I often felt like they’d need to bring a baggage handler along for the ride. If they had more page count within which to flesh out their personal stories and deal with their histories, I could see this all working. However, at 112 pages, it felt like we had too many plot points and not enough development.
Ultimately, The Fairy Tale Bride isn’t a perfect fairytale romance. However, it has its moments and if you like small-town romance, you may find this a fun diversion. I can’t quite recommend this novel, but the celebrity wedding that forms its backdrop shows hints of interesting developments to come, so I may still read some of the later books in this series.