The Wedding Bees: A Novel of Honey, Love, and Manners

The Wedding Bees: A Novel of Honey, Love, and Manners

4.4 7
by Sarah-Kate Lynch

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Sugar Wallace did not believe in love at first sight, but her bees did. . . .

Every spring Sugar Wallace coaxes her sleepy honeybee queen—presently the sixth in a long line of Queen Elizabeths—out of the hive and lets her crawl around a treasured old map. Wherever the queen stops is their next destination, and this year it's New York City.


Sugar Wallace did not believe in love at first sight, but her bees did. . . .

Every spring Sugar Wallace coaxes her sleepy honeybee queen—presently the sixth in a long line of Queen Elizabeths—out of the hive and lets her crawl around a treasured old map. Wherever the queen stops is their next destination, and this year it's New York City.

Sugar sets up her honeybees on the balcony of an East Village walk-up and then––as she's done everywhere since leaving South Carolina––she gets to know her neighbors. She is, after all, a former debutante who believes that manners make the world a better place even if they seem currently lacking in the big city.

Plus, she has a knack for helping people. There's Ruby with her scrapbook of wedding announcements; single mom Lola; reclusive chef Nate; and George, a courtly ex-doorman. They may not know what to make of her bees and her politeness, but they can't deny the magic in her honey.

And then there's Theo, a delightfully kind Scotsman who crosses Sugar's path as soon as she gets into town and is quickly besotted. But love is not on the menu for Sugar. She likes the strong independent woman she's become since leaving the South and there's nothing a charmer like Theo can do to change her mind . . . only her bees can do that.

The Wedding Bees is a novel about finding sweetness where you least expect it and learning to love your way home.

Editorial Reviews

The New Zealand Herald
“A sweetly old-fashioned romance with a high feel-good factor . . . The Wedding Bees is a romp of a novel, designed to be read for pure pleasure.”
Graham Beattie
“Clever and humorous, The Wedding Bees is a gentle tale of love, honey, manners and new beginnings. Another charming and witty story in the style the author has made her own.”
Kerre Woodham
“A sweet story of love and loss, this is another cracker from one of New Zealand’s most successful novelists . . . Witty, warm and wonderful - this is Sarah Kate Lynch at her best. ”
Chicago Tribune on DOLCI DI LOVE
‘An utterly beguiling blend of love and loss, heartbreak and hope that will dazzle readers.”
Kirkus Reviews
A Southern beekeeper moves to Manhattan and causes quite a buzz in a honey-coated, hard-to-swallow romance. Self-exiled Sugar Wallace flits from one location to the next with her bees, a blue ceramic birdbath and two gardenias in tow, but she only alights long enough to help others heal from their emotional and physical ills. But Sugar doesn't choose each new place at random: Her queen bee, Elizabeth the Sixth, crawls around on a map and designates the next stop. Sugar's move to NYC begins with an almost calamitous collision on her new street, but the two men involved, attractive Scotsman Theo Fitzgerald and elderly George Wainwright, are fine. When she reaches out to ensure they're OK, Sugar's drawn to Theo like a bee to honey, which disconcerts her. Betty (Sugar's pet name for Elizabeth the Sixth), too, feels something and finally realizes she has more purpose in life than just being a queen bee and reproducing. Sugar settles into her new apartment building, sets up her beekeeping on the roof, and, searching for a cup of (what else?) sugar, meets her unhappy neighbors: the single-mother owner of a failing balloon shop, an anorexic girl who collects wedding announcements, an older man whose only joy is his flat-screen TV, a woman who complains about everyone, and a shy, plump baker. Sugar spreads her honey-laden products among her fellow tenants, invites them to her place and gently sticks her nose into their beeswax. She also has long soul-searching conversations with George (who becomes the building's volunteer doorman, thanks to Sugar) and runs into Theo at the local Greenmarket. Although Theo pursues Sugar, every meeting results in some stinging misunderstanding, which sends Sugar fleeing in the opposite direction. When Sugar finally tells George what's bothering her, Betty and her worker bees swarm into action, and Sugar learns things about her neighbors she never suspected. Southerners might not take too kindly to the bizarre portrait Lynch (Dolci di Love, 2011, etc.) has painted of Sugar and her bees as the story moves beyond stereotypical--unsophisticated Sugar always wears ribbons in her hair, concocts honeyed cure-alls for every ailment and drips with starry-eyed optimism--to farcical--Betty schemes to unite Sugar and Theo by leading the swarm back and forth between Sugar's rooftop and Theo's as Sugar gives chase. There are too many points in the book that stretch the plot and characters from beyond believable to just plain silly.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Meet the Author

Sarah-Kate Lynch is the author of eight novels and travel editor of New Zealand Woman's Day, New Zealand's bestselling weekly magazine.

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The Wedding Bees: A Novel of Honey, Love, and Manners 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved every sentance of this book. I will read it again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings What a sweet and quirky book!  Sugar Wallace has moved year to year with her bees and has yet to set roots due to something that happened in her hometown of Charleston, it takes a bit into the book to find out what this thing is.   I absolutely fell in love with Sugar and she kept me reading to find out what would happen next in her adventures.  I enjoyed her struggle with trying to keep a distance with people and learning to rely on others instead of completely on herself.  
Sue_G More than 1 year ago
The Wedding Bees is a wonderful novel about finding out what makes you happy and stepping through the fear and uncertainty to grab it  and make it your own.  Sugar Wallace is a great character surrounded by lovely people all living in an apartment building in NYC.  Her  bees are a big part of the story; Sugar needs them as much as they need her.  If you enjoy Sarah Addison Allen you'll love Sarah-Kate  Lynch.  A perfect blend of honey, romance, friendship, and the South.  
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
THE WEDDING BEES by Sarah - Kate Lynch is a sweet Romance. What a sweet story of love, romance, and bees set in Alphabet City, Manhattan. Sugar Wallace loves her beloved bees, and good manners. She is a true Southern Belle, with her charm, wit and good manners. Enter..... Theo Fitzgerald, an attorney for a non-profit organization who just happens to be allergic to what else....bees. They are attracted from the start. A fun read filled with second chances, redemption, new love and the power of Southern charm mixed with the eccentricities of New York City. What a tale! "The Wedding Bees" was a joy to read with its eccentric, engaging characters and its unique storyline. Oh and you learn a bit about Bees, and Bee Keepers. You do not want to miss this sweet romance! A great read! Received for an honest review from the publisher. RATING: 4 HEAT RATING: Sweet REVIEWED BY: AprilR, courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
bookluvr35SL More than 1 year ago
Sugar Wallace,bee keeper and fixer of problems, runs away from her own problems.  Every year she lets her queen bee pick the next stop on the map, where they will live for the following year.  This time it happens to be New York City, a most unlikely place to raise bees.  Sugar has a chance encounter with a Scottsman as she is on her way to her apartment to move in, and that encounter sets off a ripple effect of changes in Sugar's life.  This book will have you so deeply engrossed in the story that you will have trouble putting the book down.   I would say this book is definitely a must-read, and I look forward to reading more by this author.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Sugar "Honey" Wallace never believed that she could ever find love again. In fact, she had only one mission in life and that was to keep moving as often as her bee's provided a new location. She never imagined that all of her running would end when she arrived in Manhattan armed with nothing but a hive of sixth generation bee's, a birdbath, and the supplies of honey that she intends to sell. While she was trying to locate a place to park with her friend Jay, a homeless man ran out in front of their van. Not knowing if he was alright, she got out of the car just as he was colliding with a man chatting away on his cell phone. Love finds you in the strangest of places and from that moment on, Sugar had met her match. Theo Fitzgerald, a lawyer for a non profit company housing the homeless, knew in a instant the moment he met Sugar, he had a feeling they would be walking hand in hand forty years from now, living a life of wedded bliss. His mother always said he would met the "one," he just never imagined that would literally run right into one another. The only problem with their relationship besides his inability to convince her that they are destined to be together forever after just meeting moments ago is when he learns she is a bee keeper and he is allergic to bees. What transpires over the course of Sarah-Kate Lynch's novel The Wedding Bees is the story of how Sugar Wallace became interested in bees and why she spends every year moving from place to place without setting up any roots. Now she finds herself in the middle of Alphabet City and the residents that live in the same apartment building as her are truly in for a treat of the sweetest kind. From Lola, the balloon lady who has a child that no one in the building can stand because of his crying at all hours of the night and day, to Ruby, the young girl who lives alone and rarely comes out to see anyone. There are the older couple Mrs. Keschl and Mr. McNally who live on different floors but spend all their time yelling at one another over the silliest of issues. Topping it off with the pasty genius of a recluse named Nate whose sweet smelling creations drive the entire complex into mouth-watering fits. What happens in the course of the novel is truly an unforgettable and memorable time you will enjoy. I received The Wedding Bees by Sarah-Kate Lynch compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation and the opinions in this review are strictly my own unless otherwise noted. I thoroughly enjoyed this romantic comedy and now find myself craving honey in a different way, wanting honey scented candles to fill my home with their intoxicating fragrance much like the products that Sugar created for sale. Readers should be cautioned that there is some profanity and adult subject matter in this book but overall the story is enjoyable and worth immersing yourself in if you love movies like Steel Magnolias or Runaway Bride! I personally rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars based on my rating system.