A year’s worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.
Allie left the love of her life at the altar—to save him from a lifetime of heartbreak. When a Valentine’s Day wedding brings them back together, she struggles against her family’s destructive history. Can Allie ever realize that a marriage is so much more than a wedding dress?
History repeats itself when Allie Andrews escapes the church on her wedding day—in the same dress passed down for generations and worn by all the women in her family—women with a long history of failed marriages. Allie loves Marcus but fears she’s destined to repeat her family’s mistakes. She can’t bear to hurt Marcus worse.
Marcus Hall never stopped loving Allie and can only think of one reason she left him at the altar—him. When the two are thrown together for his sister’s Valentine’s Day wedding, he discovers the truth and realizes their story might be far from over. Can Allie shuck expectation and discover who she is as a bride and in the Bride of Christ? And if she ever walks down the aisle, what dress will she wear?
“I was delighted to hear that some of my own favorite authors would be writing the stories for the Year of Weddings collection, and when I saw the gorgeous book covers, I knew the series would be a huge hit! There's just something so hopeful and heartwarming about a wedding, and I'm thrilled to have A January Wedding be a part of this fun project!” —Deborah Raney, author of A January Bride
About the Author
Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana and has a heart for sharing the amazing news of God's grace through her novels. A freelance journalist, Betsy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she’s not reading, writing, or singing along to a Disney soundtrack with her young daughter, Betsy enjoys inspirational speaking and teaching on the craft of writing. Visit her website at www.betsystamant.com Facebook: BetsySt.Amant Twitter: @betsystamant.
Read an Excerpt
A February Bride
By Betsy St. Amant
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2014 Betsy St. Amant
All rights reserved.
If wedding dresses could talk, Allie Andrews was fairly certain hers would have a sailor's mouth.
Four months later—to the day, actually, after she'd shucked out of her wedding dress in the backseat of the meant-to-be honeymoon car and gunned it down the highway with nothing but a bottled Yoo-hoo and her favorite faded jeans for company—the dress hung on the inside of her closet door, the once small tear in the seam now gaping and taunting her. Every time she opened the closet, that rip reminded her how she'd severed one of the few relationships in her life actually worth keeping.
Which was precisely why she had to give it away in the first place.
Allie grabbed her favorite purple sweater, the one she often wore to work at her antiques store since the air conditioner in the quirky old building refused to shut off year round, and tugged it over her head. She could use all the cozy comfort she could get today at lunch with Hannah. She'd put it off long enough. After ditching her best friend's brother at the altar, she'd fully expected Hannah to hold a grudge. Hannah's unconditional love expressed through multiple phone calls and text messages had been almost worse than the cold shoulder—harder to face than a much deserved grudge—which was probably why she'd been avoiding this meeting.
Besides, Hannah looked so much like her brother.
Allie's arm brushed against the dress as she adjusted her sweater, and the frothy number swayed on its padded hanger. The swish of the fabric only seemed to whisper more condemnation.
With a groan, she shut the closet door harder than necessary. She should just get rid of the thing, but it wouldn't be worth the wrath of her mother, grandmother, and aunt. Yet even though they all threatened her within an inch of her life if she sold the dress or threw it away, not one of them would store it at her own house. "It belongs to you now, and will until you wear it. Then you pass it down to your daughter."
Right. A daughter? Not at this rate.
And zero hope of getting over what she did to Marcus. Even if it was for his own good.
A knock sounded on her apartment door, and Allie dashed to get it, checking her watch. She needed to leave in less than ten minutes if she didn't want to be late, and with a long-time friendship already riding on this lunch, she really shouldn't push it by appearing like she didn't care. She pulled the door open.
Hannah, looking at once like her best friend and a total stranger in a pink cashmere sweater and skinny jeans tucked into boots. She looked great—like she hadn't lost her best friend or spent the past several months comforting a broken-hearted brother at all.
Maybe Allie hadn't mattered all that much to begin with.
"I was just heading out to meet you." Allie cautiously opened the door wider to allow her friend inside, bracing herself for ... something. And not just the chill of the January air that rushed to meet her despite the heated hallway. "Did I mess up the time?"
She took a step backward, and the heel of her boot caught on the striped rug under her feet. Maybe Hannah had changed her mind and decided to tell her off privately instead. Maybe she'd realized a polite lunch in public was way more considerate than Allie deserved.
"I couldn't wait another minute to tell you." Hannah shoved her left ring finger in Allie's face and let out an excited squeal. "I'm engaged!" She jumped up and down, her curly dark hair bouncing against her shoulders.
The word twisted in Allie's throat and refused to rise to her lips. "That's ... that's ..."
What was it? Surprising? Not really. Hannah and Zach had been dating for about six months, but she supposed not everyone had to be together for several years before tying the knot. A long courtship hadn't exactly worked out for her and Marcus ...
"I know, right?" Hannah pushed past Allie and sank down onto the arm of the overstuffed turquoise chair, exactly as she'd done a million times over the years. As if it were that easy to pick up. Like the past few months hadn't changed everything.
Maybe they hadn't.
Hannah held up her hand again, this time keeping it steady enough for Allie to focus on the significant princess-cut carat adorning her finger. "Zach is perfect. Well, no, he's not. He's pretty much a slob, and we don't like any of the same movies." She snorted a laugh. "But we're perfect together."
Allie slowly sank to the edge of the couch near Hannah. "Right. I understand." Sort of. She'd never felt like anything between Marcus and herself had been perfect. He was perfect, to be sure. As much as any six-foot, dark-haired, chocolate-eyed, car-loving athletic guy could be. The problem had been Allie. She'd been the one to fall short, thanks to her family—and the curse that ran though her blood.
Once upon a time, when gazing into Marcus's eyes and feeling the heady weight of that diamond on her finger, she'd thought she could break the family scourge. Break the effect of the words her mom had whispered when Stepdad #2 had roared off on his Harley, and when Stepdad #4 had slammed the door on his way to the bus stop, and when unofficial Stepdad #5 had plucked his clothes from the front yard and shoved them into a trash bag before calling a taxi.
"Remember, Allie, this is what Andrews women do. We break hearts before we get ours broken."
She could still remember the firm set of her mother's lips, the expressionless twist of her eyebrows, the wall of steel in her eyes. It was the same look Grandma had when anyone mentioned her first or second husband, and the same look Aunt Shelly got when she announced she was meeting another man from her online dating profile.
If a leopard couldn't change its spots and a zebra couldn't change its stripes, who was Allie to change her blood?
Since Marcus was way too gentlemanly to break a promise or dodge a bullet, she'd been the one forced to remove him from the line of sight.
A point no one seemed to understand.
Hannah grinned. "Of course you get it. I knew you would, since you've been engaged ..." Her voice trailed off, and she averted her gaze to the carpet. "I didn't mean to bring that up. Honest."
Her eyes radiated sincere regret, and Allie relaxed slightly. No firing squads. Just good ol' Hannah. "I was thinking George."
Hannah gave her a sharp glance, her brown eyes, as vivid as Marcus's, sparkling suspiciously beneath her furrowed brow. "What are you talking about?"
"I don't get it." Her voice hitched. "Are these guys you've dated since—"
"Calm down." Allie winked. "I'm just trying to name that elephant in the corner. He's been sitting there since you walked in, so I thought we ought to give him a collar and a home."
Hannah stared at her a minute longer before her lips quivered into a hesitant smile, then morphed into a full-out grin. "Funny. You had me there." She straightened her shoulders and arranged her features into a deadpan mask. "Clearly, though, he's a Steve."
"Steve it is."
That hadn't been so hard. Maybe her years of friendship with Hannah demanded loyalty in spite of the sibling relationship.
Not that she would ever ask Hannah to choose—in fact, that was why she had refused all contact with her friend all these months. She didn't want to put her in an even more awkward position. And Marcus had enough to deal with without her creating family drama for him.
But the fact that Hannah was right here in her living room meant maybe they could find their way around this. After all, it wasn't like she'd have to see Marcus if she and Hannah remained friends. Maybe he wouldn't even have to know.
"Anyway, Steve wasn't why I came. You've made it clear you don't want to talk about that, and I'll respect your wishes." Hannah rose from the chair and began to pace the small living area, pausing every few feet to nervously rearrange a knickknack on the mantel or straighten the royal purple pillows on the couch Allie had recently recovered. "I came to ask a favor."
"Anything." The word leapt from Allie's grateful lips before she could self-edit. She really would do anything to get her relationship with Hannah back, to grasp something good and familiar during this dismal season in her life. Maybe she'd brought it on herself, but that didn't make everything any easier to cope with.
Because one fact remained—if she'd run down the aisle instead of to her car that day, she'd have been married for four months right now. She and Marcus would probably be getting ready to go to a celebration dinner, where he'd have sneaked a card under her dinner plate or arranged for the chef to make a heart with cherry tomatoes in her salad. That was Marcus. Considerate. Romantic. Always thinking.
No question, she had done him a favor. They might have made it a few months, but they wouldn't have made it a few years. No one in her family had ever made it past three—and good grief, they'd all given it multiple tries.
"I'm glad you said that." Hannah's voice, and the squeak of a glass vase against the coffee table as her friend absently redesigned the floral arrangement, jerked Allie away from her thoughts. She wondered if Hannah realized that the vase had taken the place of the giant framed engagement photo of her and Marcus snuggled under an oak tree. "Because my favor is sort of big."
Couldn't be as big as Steve.
"You know how I've always wanted a Valentine's Day wedding."
Hannah's eyes gleamed, and Allie could almost see cartoonish, pulsing pink hearts shooting out of her gaze.
"Well, that means we only have about six weeks. Actually, more like five."
"Five weeks. Wow, you're right. That is soon." Allie knew better than to assume there was a secret reason, though others surely would speculate. Marcus would hate those rumors about his sister. He'd always been so protective of the women in his life.
"Really soon. So there's no time to lose." Hannah took a deep breath and twisted her ring on her finger.
"Whatever it is, I'm in." I owe you. The words faded from her tongue but still burned an aftertaste. She did owe her friend. Whatever Hannah needed, it was Allie's turn to support her. After all, Hannah had reluctantly honored Allie's desperate request to give her time and space after the wedding-that-wasn't, time and space from all things Marcus-related. Hannah had met her several hours after Allie sped away from the church that day to pick up Marcus's car, and their brief conversation had been tear-filled and beyond awkward. But Allie needed the chance to process her decision, and in allowing her that time, Hannah had given her a gift that beat all the premium toasters and coffeemakers in the world. Allie'd had to return those to the store, so it was the least she could do to return this favor for Hannah and keep their friendship alive.
Besides, what could be so bad? If Hannah's obvious willingness to bury the hatchet was anything to go by, this opportunity—whatever it may be—could be the catalyst to proving her ability to remain loyal to at least one member of the Hall family. And having Hannah around again would ease that unbearable loneliness that had taken over these past few months. There was no reason they couldn't rekindle their friendship apart from her brother. No reason for her to have to be around him at all, really.
"I want you to be my maid of honor."
Except maybe that reason.
* * *
Marcus Hall wiped his grease-stained hands on an even dirtier shop rag, then tossed it onto the bench inside his garage before bending back over the car's fender. Rebuilding the engine in this '67 Corvette Stingray had proved to be a little more complicated than he'd anticipated—and he still had to check the clearance on the headers—but ever since his sister broke the news of her particular choice in bridesmaids, he'd appreciated the distraction.
She'd had to pick Allie? His Allie? The only woman who'd ever made sense to him. The only woman who could make an obsession with anything in the shade of turquoise seem cute. The only woman who had ever possessed the power to steer his heart straight over a cliff—and probably still did.
Guess he'd be finding out.
When Hannah broke the news yesterday, he threw his wrench against the wall and nearly broke it. The resounding clang had been all but drowned out by the warning alarms wailing in his head. Wasn't the fact that Valentine's Day was right around the corner bad enough? The day he'd planned to take Allie back to the scene of their first date, a day he thought he'd be spending as a happily married man. Now he'd be spending what should have been a special holiday at his little sister's wedding.
Standing across from his should-be wife as maid of honor.
He groaned. It was like a reality show setup gone bad. He'd always hated those things. Now he could practically star in one.
One thing was certain—Allie Andrews meant personal system malfunction. It'd been a solid four months since she'd pealed out of the church parking lot, and he still couldn't take a full breath when he heard her name. He should be livid over what she'd done, leaving him at the altar with no explanation—or at least, so everyone told him. Maybe anger would be easier to deal with than the ever-present pain, but the emotion just wouldn't stick. Rolled right off like Rain-X on a windshield.
The familiar click of heels on concrete alerted him to the fact he was no longer alone. Hannah. He folded his arms over his chest and leaned against the wall, tipping his chin to acknowledge her presence. Two visits in two days. Never a good sign.
"You busy?" She offered a timid smile, and he dropped his crossed arms, trying to make his own smile appear more genuine than it felt. This was his little sister's big moment in life. He wouldn't ruin it because of his own problems.
Even if Allie was a big problem.
"Just fighting this Chevy." To prove it, he picked up a ratchet he didn't need and pretended to resume his work. There would probably be a whole lot more "fighting" if Allie showed up to every prewedding shindig and unnecessary couples showers people held for engaged people.
Definitely a whole lot more pretending.
Funny how he hadn't minded all that frou-frou stuff when it'd been his and Allie's celebration.
"I just drove over to make sure you weren't mad at me." Hannah shuffled inside, twisting her new diamond ring around her finger. She had the same look on her face that she'd had as a kid when he busted her for playing with his model cars.
He straightened, mentally noting a need to check the timing on the engine. "Not mad." Not really. More like confused. Why resurrect her friendship with Allie now?
Some things just needed to stay dead.
Too bad his heart couldn't remember that fact.
Hannah shoved her dark hair behind her ears, the overhead garage light catching the shine in her giant diamond. He wondered briefly—and not for the first time—what Allie had done with hers. And what had happened to all those gifts that had been piled up in the church?
And why he'd never taken his and Allie's wedding bands back to the jeweler's instead of shoving them in his top dresser drawer.
"So did you hear any more about Texas?"
So obvious, his sister's change of subject. But he wasn't going to argue. Marcus shrugged. "It's pretty much up to me right now, if I want to go there as regional manager for the new store or just keep my franchise going here in Louisiana. Not sure I have the time right now." Well, he did, though business had clearly picked up. He just wasn't sure he wanted to leave. Moving over the border, even temporarily, seemed like some kind of significant Next Step. In the aftermath of losing Allie, it had seemed genius, a decent goal to work toward. Now that it was within reach, it just made him feel like he was slogging boots through mud. Sticky. Heavy.
He hated that decisions were so hard these days.
"You know, you sure are here a lot now. You used to do more of your work from home." Hannah glanced around the packed garage, full of his company's half-finished motors, three parked cars—one of which remained on a lift—and a grimy workbench covered in tools that his employees had apparently not put away.
Marcus's heart constricted, desperate to prevent his sister from saying the words he knew were coming next.
"Don't you think it's time to go back into your home gar—"
He intentionally nudged the factory headers across the floor with his boot, the squeal of metal against concrete worse than fingernails on a chalkboard.
Excerpted from A February Bride by Betsy St. Amant. Copyright © 2014 Betsy St. Amant. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What would make a sweet, kind girl dash away from her own wedding? What kind of woman leaves the man she loves at the alter? The answer is – A woman who has had her heart poisoned by the women in her family. Allie believes that the marriages in her family are doomed. If the past multiple failed marriages of her mother, aunt and grandmother are to be believed, then there is just no hope for a happily ever after with Marcus. She feels that she will be unable to break this “curse” and decides to run out on Marcus for his own good! This was a very enjoyable read. I am having a great time reading these wedding novellas and this one was no exception. I really felt for these two main characters, Allie and Marcus. They both still love each other. Four months after the “left at the alter incident”, they find themselves thrown together multiple times and must face what happened. Will there be any way for the two of them to overcome the past heartache and make a future together that has a chance of lasting? I had trouble putting this novella down and ended up reading it in one evening. I found myself very invested in what would happen between Marcus and Allie. This story has great characters, wonderful chemistry between Marcus and Allie, and a fun set up. I loved the kitchen scene! Very romantic! A sweet story that fans of Christian romance will enjoy. (4 stars) I received a complimentary copy of this novella from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
This was such a cute story. Oh my soul - Marcus is a man of gold. There are not many men who would not harbor resentment and anger toward their betrothed if they were left standing at the alter! I really enjoyed watching Allie and Marcus fight their attraction for one another throughout the story and I just KNEW they would get back together. Allie's belief in her cursed dress and family failings is relatable. A lot of people think because generation after generation does one thing, they are destined to do it as well. The cycle can be broken with God and faith! Overall, I enjoyed this sweet story! I look forward to reading more by Betsy.
The novellas in The Year of Weddings novella collection keep getting better and better. A February Bride by Betsy St. Amant is my favorite novella in the collection so far. Even though the premise of this novella is predictable, sometimes reading a predictable love story is exactly what you need. Allie’s family has been cursed in love for decades. The curse goes back as far as her grandmother (from what the reader knows) and has passed down to her mother and her aunt and Allie fears it will pass on to her. Her family is cursed in love. The women get married and divorced as much as a normal person changes their underwear. Now Allie is about to continue the curse when she is about to walk down the aisle to marry the love of her life, Marcus. The novella takes place in the months after she left Marcus at the altar in an attempt to save Marcus and not hurt him, even though leaving him at the altar broke his heart. Now Allie is to be the Maid of Honor in her best friend’s wedding, who just happens to be Marcus’ sister. During the few shorts weeks leading up to the wedding, Allie and Marcus constantly are seeing each other and being reminded of what they had between them. Can Marcus forgive Allie for leaving him at the altar? Can Allie get over her fear of this “curse” that is on her family? For the short length of this novella, I think it was well written and I loved the idea of a tool shower for the groom. I would give this novella a 4 out of 5 stars, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a well-written and quick fluff romance.
Allie is a delightful character who makes the perfect nervous bride.....as in "she's in love, but afraid to marry due to her family's curse".....Allie thinks her family is cursed. The women in her family have been married many, many times and they all wore the same dress. How can she doom her love, Marcus, to the CURSE? Now, to top it all off, her best friend who happens to be Marcus's sister is marrying and she is her maid-of-honor. So she and Marcus have to see each other a great deal after she recently ran and left him standing at the altar ALONE! To make matters even worse, it would just have to be February and Valentine's Day with hearts and love and kisses floating all around. This is a cute love story. It is a quick read and I rate it 4 stars! I received a free pdf version of this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
I rated this book after I finished reading it and now have come back to write a review for it. And I'm a little surprised I gave it four stars - it seems like a 3 star book for me as I reflect on it. In hindsight, I'm annoyed by Allie's insecurity and Marcus' refusal to fight for her throughout the story. There is also back-story to Allie's emotional distress and St Amant did not fully develop it; if she had, then Allie might have been a much more likeable character from the beginning. Because in all honesty, I didn't care for her much and thought Marcus should move on. However, I re-read the beginning and the ending; ah, the ending completely saved this book! Both Allie and Marcus decide to speak up for what they are feeling in their heart. This type of ending is so much nicer than just one of the characters deciding to take a chance. LOVED the ending. I received an eARC copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. Here is my honest review.
Hott Synopsis: Allie ran out the back of the church on her wedding day unable to say ‘I do’ in a wedding of another’s design and with the Andrews curse hanging over her head. She didn’t want to end up a serial wedder like the rest of them. Allie wanted it to mean something and she couldn’t say the words until she was sure she meant them for life. When her best friend, Hannah, who happens to be the little sister of the man Allie ditched, asks Allie to be her Maid of Honor she says yes while wondering whether this will be the best. Hott Review: I LOVED this book. I really felt for Allie & completely got how desperate she was to save someone she loved from herself. No she didn’t believe in the curse of the wedding dress but looking at her mother’s soon-to-be 27th husband would be too much for anyone. My heart broke for her. The end was rushed but I think going slowly would have ended with the same problem as the beginning. More… Author: Betsy St. Amant Source: Zondervan via Netgalley Grade: B+ Ages: 16+ Steam: YA Setting: Beaux Creek, Louisiana Series: A Year of Weddings, February
While A February Bride didn’t WOW me, I did think it was a sweet Christian romance that made for a pleasant read. I found Allie, the bride, to be slightly quirky, which I often enjoy in a character, but also slightly selfish, which I didn’t care for. I must say, though, that a significant part of the story is about Allie’s growth. One major player in that growth is Mrs. Hall, Marcus’s (the groom) mom. Mrs. Hall’s role in the book is fairly small, but her impact is large! She’s a strong portrayal of what a Godly Christian woman should be. She’s forgiving even when it’s her children that have been harmed, and her wisdom is great. Hannah, Allie’s bff and Marcus’s sister, also plays a big role. She, like her mother, shows a great amount of forgiveness, and has a huge impact on Allie. But, I’d be remiss to not mention Marcus. He is half the story after all. You get alternating points of view throughout the book between Allie and Marcus. Marcus is pretty amazing. You can’t help but feel his incredible sadness and heartbreak. So, I’ll stop here before I give the whole story away. If you enjoy short, sweet and clean romances this is for you. If you’re looking for something with some real depth then I wouldn’t recommend it. Personally, I enjoyed it enough that I’d be glad to read more from Betsy St. Amant.
A quick, enjoyable read!
I feel as though I should say right off the bat, that if you’re looking for a full length romance book, this is not it. This was a really short quick read but there was still plenty of romance in it. One thing that I did enjoy about it, this is what I consider a ROMANCE. There isn’t the erotica parts to it that are taking away from the story. In this book, we were just able to spend time with Allie and Marcus. That was all the story was about. The only issue that I have with it was how predictable the story was, but I think that’s because of the length of the book as well as the fact it’s a romance. I did like the twist that was thrown into this one because it’s your typical romance. There is enough going on and it leaves you wanting to read more. And it kept me turning the pages. The characters I think when it came to Allie’s character, she was really quite developed. It was easy to understand why she was acting the way she was and what was going on. But with Marcus, I felt like there was still a lot that we could have learned about him. Overall, I still did enjoy this book. It was a really sweet read and if you’re looking for a gentle romance, check this one out. Reviewed by Crystal for Crystal’s Many Reviewers *Copy provided for honest review*
This is a darling series. I love how each author takes a theme and puts her spin on it. Weddings=love. Allie runs because of struggles she has with her family. I believe that deep down, she really does have Marcus's best interests at heart. She wants to save him the heartache and pain of a failed marriage or, more accurately, of dealing with her family and their failures in relationships. I get that and what I loved the most was the way that Hannah (his sister) and her mother were able to see past Allie's insecurities and get to the root of the problem. They had such faith in her and helped things along. Marcus was a great sport! He was willing to take risks and put his heart on the line time and time again. Maybe he's a glutton for punishment, but I think he was willing to take the heat because he had hope of how it would all end. Content: no language, no violence, kissing. Clean! **I received a copy for review from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**
A book that keeps you spell bound. Please read and enjoy it.
February Bride Betsy St. Amant Book Summary: A year’s worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed. Allie left the love of her life at the altar---to save him from a lifetime of heartbreak. When a Valentine’s Day wedding brings them back together, she struggles against her family’s destructive history. Can Allie ever realize that a marriage is so much more than a wedding dress? History repeats itself when Allie Andrews escapes the church on her wedding day---in the same dress passed down for generations and worn by all the women in her family---women with a long history of failed marriages. Allie loves Marcus but fears she’s destined to repeat her family’s mistakes. She can’t bear to hurt Marcus worse. Marcus Hall never stopped loving Allie and can only think of one reason she left him at the altar---him. When the two are thrown together for his sister’s Valentine’s Day wedding, he discovers the truth and realizes their story might be far from over. Can Allie shuck expectation and discover who she is as a bride and in the Bride of Christ? And if she ever walks down the aisle, what dress will she wear? Review: Loved this story!! It was so easy to read and read quickly I did. I enjoyed and empathized with Allie, Marcus was great, and Hannah was a prize! It was a book you felt like you knew these people and went by so quickly, yet I was eager to see all things resolved. It was a book that looked to the marriage not so much the things leading up to the ceremony. Saying ‘I do’ was the bridge to cross for their relationship to grow more. A refreshing look at being a couple, in a day where couples do not always identify themselves as one. I found it so refreshing that no one believed in happily ever after, but in building a relationship. These were so readily pressed into the pages of this story. I would like to thank Net Galley and Zondervan Fiction for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
Even though this is a short novella, it contains so much! This is the beautiful telling of the story of Allie and Marcus. Match made in heaven, destined to live happily ever after . . . except Allie thinks that it just isn't possible. Allie comes from a long line of women with failed marriage after failed marriage. Why should it be any different for her? So at the very last minute she decided to toe off one shoe, then the other. Dig her painstakingly pedicured feet into the carpet for traction, grab the hem of this cursed dress, and just . . . bolt. And so she did. Four months later her best friend and also Marcus' sister is getting married and Allison is to be the maid of honor. That's all fine and good but how can she show her face to Marcus and his family? She humiliated the whole family by leaving him at the alter. How in the world is she ever going to be able to make amends and perhaps recapture the friendship she lost? While this is a delightful tale of a Valentine's wedding, it is also so much more. The story is really about redemption and restoration. I loved the contrast between Allie's family and Marcus' family. Betsy St. Amant did a marvelous job of showing how something damaged can be made whole again. A restored car, a refinished workbench and even a remade dress all capture the imagery of how each of us can also be made new. The dings and dents may still be visible in a few areas but when covered in love they hardly show at all. I received a copy of this ebook to facilitate my review.
This is another enticing short read that is part of the A YEAR OF WEDDINGS offered by Zondervan and NetGalley. I love that these can be read in one short setting and yet have a lot of the elements found in a full length novel. The only thing that ties these together into a series is, well, weddings, and short engagements. As such, they are stand alone novellas written by well loved authors. Well formed characters, vivid imagery, and a plot that gets you thinking. In this story it appears that an inanimate item, a wedding dress no less, has the ability to foreshadow a happy life. It takes a diligence, a trust and some soul searching to break deep imbedded expectations. I enjoyed this offering, and hope to bring reviews of the rest of the series as well. I received this ebook free from ZondervanThomas Nelson Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. A positive critique was not required. The opinions are my own.
My favorite things about books are the enormous variety of stories and settings that are created by authors. This is a great read by a new author(to me) and has caused me to buy or pre-order the rest in this series of novellas. Allie leaves Marcus at their wedding ceremony when she realizes that she didn't want to break his heart, since she comes from a long line of women in her family who have had many failed marriages. When her best friend(who is her fiance's sister) wants her in the wedding party and she is reunited with him again through a series of parties and dinners. This is a truly an emotional read that makes you feel sorry for the heroine as she struggles(as most humans do) with her crazy family and how the love of one man can save her. Excellent book!
A superb second chance story! Can Marcus ever forgive Allie after she left him at the altar? This is a wonderful story that shows us how strong true love can be if given the chance. I recommend this for everyone.
A February Bride, by Betsy St. Amant is part of the Year of Weddings novella series. The novella starts off with Allie and Marcus at the church, about to be married, when Allie gets cold feet and takes off leaving Marcus at the altar. This novella is sort of cute. I didn’t like this story. The main character annoyed me too much to like the character. The other characters were fine, but 90 pages were too short to develop a decent story. I was glad that it was short and was happy that it ended. The December Bride and A January Bride are stories worth the time to read. Received E-Book from Thomas Nelson Publishing in their Booksneeze Blogger program