The Week Before the Wedding
NAL Trade / May 7, 2013 / $15.00 print, $9.99 digital
After enduring a chaotic childhood, Emily McKellips yearns for a drama-free life, complete with a white picket fence. Her dreams are about to come true: She has a stellar career, a gorgeous house, and a fiancé any woman would die for. But as friends and family arrive in picturesque Valentine, Vermont, for her wedding, an uninvited guest shows up.
Ryan is Emily’s first husband from a disastrous starter marriage. They wed on a whim, only to discover that combustible chemistry couldn’t ensure a happily ever after. But Ryan is no longer the headstrong boy she left behind. He’s now a successful film producer who just happens to be scouting a resort in Valentine with his adorable retriever in tow.
As the bridesmaids revolt and the mothers of the bride and groom do battle, Emily is surprised to discover new sides of both her ex and her fiancé. She thought she had life and love all figured out, but the next seven days might change her mind—and her heart.
While The Week Before The Wedding is the first Beth Kendrick book I've read, it won't be the last.
First thing I noticed about the book is its cover—a dated wedding gown with even more dated pinkish pumps. Surely this was no cover art faux-pas; there must be something more to this. And there is. The bride is wearing her mother-in-law’s gown. It’s a family tradition she’s had to starve herself to get in to. But she can’t say no to family tradition. The wedding is in their home town, with their heirloom gowns and wedding bands.
The in-laws and their traditions leave little room for the real Emily. She thinks it’s all so perfect, an Andy Griffith-esque family of her own. The perfect family she didn’t grow up with. The Emily she used to be is tested, especially when her first hunk of a husband shows up. Emily is the tried and true bride-to-be we love to root for, stuck in a love triangle, conveniently, no pun intended, a week before her wedding.
What I love about this tried and true trope is that Kendrick doesn’t make it so predictable. Up until the end you really have no idea how this will all end. Wedding or no wedding? Will she end up with ex-hubby Ryan or fiancé Grant? You really like both of these men. You really love Emily. You really cannot wait to get to the end.
There are moments that literally made me snort out loud. Like when Emily notices Ryan’s cologne, Drakkar Noir. He wore it for old time’s sake. As in it made her all horny back in the day. Kendrick is able to to describe what love felt like in one's 20s—filled with raging hormones, drama, and more hormones. And also how it might feel to 30-somethings—still filled with raging hormones, less drama, and lots of love and more hormones.
The Week Before the Wedding is a delightful romp with depth—a perfect read as we approach wedding season.
Learn more about or order a copy of The Week Before the Wedding by Beth Kendrick, out today:
Charli Mac writes Women’s Fiction and YA Paranormal set in Philly and the South Jersey Shore. Snorts & screams are probable and fist-pumps are highly discouraged at www.charlimac.com. Twitter her @charlimacs.