Title: Daughters of the Bride by Susan Mallery
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
With Joy, Love and a Little Trepidation, Courtney, Sienna and Rachel Invite You to the Most Emotional Wedding of the Year… Their Mother’s
~ The Misfit ~
As the awkward one, Courtney Watson may not be as together as her sisters, but she excels at one thing—keeping secrets, including her white-hot affair with a sexy music producer. Planning Mom’s wedding exposes her startling hidden life, changing her family’s view of her—and how she views herself—forever.
~ The Free Spirit ~
When Sienna’s boyfriend proposes—in front of her mom and sisters, for crying out loud—he takes her by surprise. She already has two broken engagements under her belt. Should she say “I do” even if she’s not sure she does?
~ The Cynic ~
Rachel thought love would last forever…right up until her divorce. As Mom’s wedding day draws near and her ex begs for a second chance, she’s forced to acknowledge some uncomfortable truths about why her marriage failed, and decide if she’ll let pride stand in the way of her own happily-ever-after.
Susan Mallery’s newest release, Daughters of the Bride, is a charming standalone novel about three sisters preparing for their mother’s upcoming wedding. In the three months leading up to the nuptials, each of the sisters deal with romantic issues that range from an unexpected engagement, a new relationship and a possible reconciliation with an ex-husband. It is an engrossing story that delves into the family’s dynamics as each of the women examines how issues from their childhood still continue to define them.
Twenty-four years ago, Maggie Watson’s world was completely upended when her husband unexpectedly passed away. With no life insurance or savings to fall back on, she lost their home but fortunately for her, local hotel owner Joyce Yates stepped in and offered them a place to live. This provided Maggie the opportunity to attend night classes while at the same time trying to keep her husband’s faltering accounting business going. After years of struggling, she managed to find financial security but amid fears of losing everything again, she continued to work long hours. Never expecting to find love again, Maggie (with the help of with her three daughters Maggie, Sienna and Rachel) is happily planning the wedding of her dreams to fiancé Neil Cizmic.
Courtney is the youngest of the siblings and since she works at the hotel where the wedding is being held, she is most involved with the plans. She has a complicated history with her mom and while their relationship remains a little distant, she is quite happy to help with the wedding plans. Accustomed to her family underestimating her, she is still hurt by their continued doubts about her ability to successfully plan the wedding and reception.
Courtney is quite close to Joyce, her boss, mentor and friend, but she refuses to give in to Joyce’s pleas for her to reveal the secrets she has been keeping. One of things she is keeping to herself is her new relationship with Joyce’s grandson, Quinn. Since Courtney views their affair as a summer fling, she sees no reason to share the news with her family but it does not take long for everyone to figure out the two are involved. Once her family learns about the other secrets she has been keeping, Courtney is stunned by the varying reactions of her mom and sisters.
Oldest daughter Rachel married her high school sweetheart Greg and they have an eleven year old son, Josh. Divorced for two years, she is struggling to make ends meet while juggling her career and life as a single mom. Tired and still heartbroken over the divorce, Rachel is shocked when Greg becomes more actively involved with Josh. She is even more stunned when Greg admits to his role in the breakdown of their marriage and then begins asking her probing questions about the underlying reasons for some of her behavior during their marriage. With a better understanding of her knee-jerk reactions to certain situations, she gains a new perspective on how deeply her childhood is still affecting her but she remains unclear about what Greg wants from her. Courtney realizes she has never stopped Greg but is too late for them to salvage their relationship?
Middle sister Sienna is absolutely blindsided by her boyfriend David’s proposal, but she cannot bring herself to turn him down. Wracked with doubts about their relationship, she begins to feel steamrolled by him and his family but he easily overcomes her objections. With two broken engagements behind her, Sienna is uncomfortable about breaking things off with David and she continually second guesses herself as she tries to sort out her feelings for him.
Written from multiple points of view, Daughters of the Bride is an engaging novel with a multi-layered, likable castt of characters. While there is a romantic element to the storyline, the plot mainly focuses on the growth of the characters and their individual relationships. Susan Mallery once again delivers a family-oriented story that is quite heartwarming, emotionally gratifying and incredibly uplifting.