A #Holiday #Romance- The December Bride by Denise Hunter

december bride

The blurb reads,

What started as a whim turned into an accidental – and very public – engagement. Can Layla and Seth keep up the facade in Chapel Springs this holiday season – for the sake of her career . . . and his heart?

Under normal circumstances, Seth Murphy, the best friend of Layla O’Reilly’s ex-fiance would be the last person she’d marry. But the news of their upcoming (and phony) nuptials convinces a big client that Layla may be high-society enough to work for his agency, a coup that would put her fledgling home-staging business on the map. Seth has secretly loved Layla for years, even when she was dating his best friend. Maybe she’ll never forgive him for the way he hurt her back then, but he has to try. And Layla is willing to keep up their engagement farce until she’s landed her client. For Layla, it’s the chance to save her career. But for Seth, it’s his last chance to win her heart.

This was the first book I read in the Year of Weddings Series. When I saw it on NetGalley I had to pick it up. And I enjoyed this one the BEST so far in all the Wedding Novellas Series!!

This book was a wonderful holiday romance. It starts off with Layla. She’s abandoned and hurt and alone. Her ex-fiance has just left her for someone else, not even a stranger, but her own cousin!! She has no choice but to spend the holidays alone and bitter. Her cousin misses no opportunity to rub her nuptials in Layla’s face.

At a party, Seth, Layla’s once best friend, makes a decision that can change both of their lives forever. He claims her as his own. Layla has severed all ties with Seth while he still nurses a deep feeling for her. What follows is their journey of re-discovery and healing.

What I liked about this book was its simplicity. And plausibility. The story felt like it could happen anywhere. And the characters were unusual. I liked Layla. I could feel her pain throughout the book. I could also feel her transformation from being a bitter woman to finding an old friend again. And I cheered when she fell for Seth because even though it was a given, the way it happened was so very cute.

Seth has to be one of the sweetest and most patient book boyfriends I’ve encountered. He has a river of torrid emotions when it comes to Layla and yet he feels for her and her broken relationship. Even though it may mean that he has to let her go.

Seth and Layla decide to continue the bargain until Layla can get a stronghold on her career. That was really the defining point in the book for me. It highlighted so many points. Firstly, a sort of role reversal. Usually, a woman is seen to be biting the bullet and adjusting so that her man can fly and achieve his dreams. But here, the man was doing it for her. While a woman’s contribution goes unnoticed, this time, the man/ Seth’s decision to hang on to the engagement till Layla found her career steps, only spotlighted how important support is for any career decision.

While many of us dream to make it BIG out there all on our own, it is NOT possible to do that all ALONE. Everybody needs someone. Someone to make them believe that their dreams are worth fighting for. Be it a man or a woman, this “Wind Beneath The Wings” is the most important contribution anyone can make in any relationship.

Also, even though at some points, Layla only focused on her career, I didn’t feel like she was being selfish. I always feel that women somehow, somewhere tend to give up their dreams to look after a family or simply prioritise others ahead of them. And I liked how Layla wanted to make something of herself.

I really did enjoy this book. The ending, when Layla realises she does indeed love Seth was so beautiful. That feeling of falling in love is so beautiful. The moment when you realise that, “Yes, this is the person I want to be with!” is so humongous! I could imagine Layla and Seth and how they cuddled and found each other again!

This book made me believe in the healing power of Love again. It was a beautiful piece of writing and still leaves me smiling. Seth and Layla were perfect for each other and I loved how they blossomed together!! This book is definitely something I will read again.ย 

As a note: This is the first book of the Year of the Weddings Novella. It is the first book I read and the BEST one of them. I recommend you to read this one and read the February Bride. The others can be skipped for better novels.

My Rating: 4/5




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