|Publisher:||Penguin Random House LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.55(d)|
Read an Excerpt
A Wedding in Truhart
By Cynthia Tennent
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2015 Cynthia Tennent Sohn
All rights reserved.
We were late to the dinner party and I was crushed between my great-aunt and my mother in the backseat of a battered taxi stuck in the slow lane.
"Is my bra twisted, Annie? Something feels like it has a hold on my left bosom and it can't be a man!" The setting sun glared off Aunt Addie's purplish gray hair. I never should have let her dye her own hair last week.
"Let me see what's going on." I shifted my position in the sweltering cab and cringed as I lost a layer of skin on the vinyl seat. Opening the back of my aunt's dress, I took a look at the massive brassiere that was surely more complicated than a seventy-six-year-old woman needed. "You're caught up in the sleeve. Give me a moment to fix this."
"Take your time, my dear. That air is like heaven on my back. Who in their right mind would live in a city that feels like a furnace?"
Our taxi driver convulsively stepped on the brakes and all three of us lurched forward as we crawled through seven lanes of rush-hour traffic on I-75 in Atlanta. I dodged Aunt Addie's head and Mom's shoulder, attempting to fix the bra, and felt a bead of sweat trickle from my armpit to my elbow. The driver leered at me through the rearview mirror.
"Just remember, this weekend is for Charlotte. We can handle a little August heat. Besides, Atlanta will be a lovely place for a wedding next spring," Mom said as I finished with the bra.
"With all your brains and talent I always thought you were going to be the one to live in the big city," said my great-aunt, nudging me with her elbow.
I bit my lip and let Aunt Addie's words roll off me. I'd buried my regrets years ago. The same year we buried Dad.
"I'll remind you about this heat next February when it's ten below and there's three feet of snow on the ground at home," said Mom as she reached behind her back to fasten the top of her own dress. My mother, Virginia Adler, was attractive and calm, even with a layer of perspiration on her face. I had only seen her fall apart once, and a little heat like this wasn't going to rattle her cool composure.
Was it just this morning that we left our inn before dawn and drove three hours to get to the Flint airport? Unfortunately our luckless journey had only begun. Our flight from Flint was behind schedule and the connecting flight in Detroit was delayed too. I guess that's what we should have expected after buying tickets on a website called ElCheapoFare.com. Now, we were getting dressed in the backseat of a steamy cab as we finished the final leg of our journey.
Sometimes I think my family avoids luck as if it is a nasty four-letter word. Well, I guess it actually is a four-letter word. But so is love, and we have plenty of that. I just wished love came with air-conditioning and a restroom to change in.
A dinner tonight, wedding-dress shopping tomorrow, and a wedding shower the following night. The long weekend was going to be a whirlwind. I leaned back against the seat and angled my head to catch a breeze coming through the window, marveling at the fact that my baby sister, Charlotte, called this home. It still was hard to imagine anyone from Truhart, population thirteen hundred and dropping, living in a Southern city like Atlanta.
For the past few years, my focus had been on my family and keeping our inn running smoothly. And now I had another goal. I was going to make sure this wedding was everything my little sister dreamed it would be.
At last we pulled up under a large gilded marquee that marked the entrance to the Ambassador Hotel of Atlanta. A man in a dark suit held open the back door of the cab and all three of us awkwardly slid across the sticky seat. By the time my mother disembarked she had to push Aunt Adelaide and me out of the way; we were momentarily frozen in place as we stared through the open glass doors at an opulent room that was nothing like the rustic lobby of our inn back home.
The man cast his eyes over Aunt Addie and her purplish gray hair piled on top of her head, the way she had worn it since the bicentennial of the nation. Then he cast a glance at the three sorry-looking carry-on bags the driver had tossed onto the sidewalk.
"May I help you, ladies?"
My mother stood up straighter. "Yes, you can. My daughter and her fiancé are hosting a special dinner for family and close friends."
"Oh, of course, in the Governor's Room. Will you be staying here tonight?"
"Actually, no," I said. It had been hard enough to scrape together money for the airfare; there was no way we could afford this place.
The man nodded and offered to store our luggage, but Aunt Addie refused to be parted with hers. She insisted that we hold on to them, and my mother and I knew that arguing with her was futile when she had that look in her eye. So we followed suit and shouldered the bags. I cringed to think what Charlotte's guests would think.
Like zombies we shuffled through the main lobby and shivered when the air-conditioning hit us with a cold blast as we walked up a long, winding stairway overlooking the lobby. Standing near a curved bar was a group of elegantly dressed people who stopped talking and stared as we walked past.
I lifted my chin, trying to look as if we weren't totally out of place.
Mom wore a pink cotton dress that she'd worn to our church's fiftieth anniversary last spring. I wore my black go-to skirt with a wilting gauzy white blouse, a silver chain, and hoop earrings.
And then there was Aunt Addie.
Blue cabbage roses shouted out from her floral polyester dress, in stark contrast to the chic black elegance of the room around us. Wearing a dress with an elastic waistband that cinched her large girth, and sensible shoes, she looked like a 1950s throwback. No matter what Aunt Addie did to herself, she resembled a cross between Minnie Pearl and Betty White. Out of habit I double-checked my aunt for handwritten price tags from the church thrift store and safety pins that showed at the hem.
Then I saw Charlotte. She stood in an ornately framed doorway absently listening to an older man as she chewed on her lip and looked at her watch. She looked up and our eyes met.
"Annie!" she squealed, rushing our way.
My worries dissolved as I dropped my bag and closed the space between us. I forgot the imposing room and all the curious faces as we crushed each other in an embrace that brought tears to my eyes.
Almost a full year had passed since Charlotte had left Truhart for Atlanta to become the newest sweetheart correspondent on the nationally televised Morning Show. Every time I saw her face on TV, I still wanted to reach out and touch the screen to make sure it was real.
"It's so good to see you," we said at the same time.
"Jinx," we said, then laughed.
We pulled apart and Charlotte was immediately captured in a hug from my mother and then Aunt Addie.
"I am so sorry we're late! The plane out of Detroit was delayed and we did the best we could," Mom explained.
"Oh, that's all right, Mom. I'm just glad you're here." The smile Charlotte flashed us assured me she was the same blue-eyed angel who used to pour glitter in the sand traps at our inn's golf course, to make pixie dust. But she had changed as well. Dressed in a black sleeveless dress with a chiffon overlay, her blond hair pulled back in a sophisticated chignon, she appeared every inch the celebrity she was becoming.
"You look wonderful, honey," said Aunt Adelaide, grabbing Charlotte's left hand. "Good Lord, that engagement ring is bigger than a lump of coal in a Christmas stocking. I'll bet that didn't come from the Sears catalogue like mine did."
"And you should see the new car Henry bought me," Charlotte exclaimed.
"Just in time! Annie is really excited to drive that SUV back up to Michigan. A new car for you and our old car back to us," Mom said.
My car had broken down a month ago, and I had been pricing used cars in Gaylord. Now I could reclaim the Ford Escape my dad had bought ten years ago and take it back to Truhart.
"I still can't believe you are getting married," I said.
"Of course I wish you could have told us before you announced it on The Morning Show," Mom added.
"That Marva O'Shea still brags about the fact that she knew about it before I did," complained Aunt Addie.
Charlotte frowned. "Oh, Mom, I hope you didn't mind too much!"
We all protested, of course. No point in making Charlotte feel guilty after the fact.
"This must be your family, darling." The three of us stopped to stare as Charlotte's fiancé joined her.
I was prepared to resent this man who was stealing our Charlotte away from Michigan for good. But something in the way he looked at her before he turned to greet us made me love him on sight. Adoration was written all over his face. It was as transparent as the picture window in the lobby of the Amble Inn after spring cleaning week. His blond hair was cropped short to his thinning hair line, and his broad shoulders made up for the fact that he wasn't overly tall. He wore a sharp black suit with a starched white shirt and blue-and-gray striped tie, the perfect complement to Charlotte's sleek style.
"Henry, this is my mother, Virginia, Aunt Adelaide, and, of course, Annie."
I held out my hand politely, but Henry surprised us by swallowing each of us up in a big hug. His Southern drawl came with a whole hunk of charm, and Aunt Addie was already half in love.
"I am so sorry you didn't get a chance to rest before this party," Henry said.
An older woman stepped in front of Henry and held out her hand. I was overwhelmed by a heavy dose of expensive perfume and bling. Her wrists dripped with gold and matched the lamé trim on her formfitting dress. Her blond hair was pulled back and for a moment I wondered if the tight hairstyle was the reason no wrinkles showed around her eyes. But when she spoke and her generous upper lip barely moved, I had my answer.
"Why, it is so nice that you made the trip to our little part of the world. I am June, Henry's mother." We took turns reaching out for her limp hand and I winced when Aunt Addie shook it too hard and June Lowell flinched. June put her arm around Charlotte's shoulders in a proprietary manner. "We just love Charlotte, our little Northern bride." It sounded so old-fashioned that I resisted the urge to look around for hoopskirts. "Do y'all want to freshen up or change before the party? I know you probably didn't have time."
Something about the way she said the word party made my breath catch in my chest. I stole a glance at Charlotte. "This is just close friends and family, right?"
"Well, the Lowells have a lot of friends." I could have sworn that her smile was painted on because it didn't waver. I was conscious of the music and laughter in the room nearby.
Mom placed her hand over her heart. "Would that happen to be the Governor's Room?"
June Lowell's eyes darted to the pin on Aunt Addie's dress, made of lace and shells. She had bought it at last year's church craft show. "Why, yes. Everyone is so excited to meet you. But as I was saying, you are welcome to change in the ladies' lounge."
"No need to change. We're fine," said Mom with that hint of ice in her eyes that I recognized as stalwart Adler pride. "That is, unless you feel we should. We are late enough as it is ..."
"Oh, you look lovely just as you are, Mrs. Adler. I can see where Charlotte gets her beauty. We wouldn't want to miss your presence for another minute," inserted Henry, giving his mother an annoyed look that lifted him up another notch in my estimation. "Let me get someone to take your bags so you can have a chance to relax."
Henry signaled to one of the waiters, who put down his tray and held out his hand to take Mom's bag. After I handed over my bag, he turned to Aunt Addie. She clutched hers with both hands and narrowed her eyes suspiciously. The young waiter looked startled when he saw her fierce expression, but Mom and I wrestled the bag from her death grip and looped it around his free arm.
A serious-faced young girl appeared at Henry's elbow. "Virginia, Addie, Anne, I would like you to meet my little sister, Jessica," Henry said. The girl was in her early teens and it was obvious that she wished she was anywhere else at the moment.
June pushed Jessica forward and I heard her whisper sharply, "Shoulders!" as the miserable girl readjusted her slouch. She was painfully thin and wore a purple dress dotted with sequins. It looked like something her mother might have picked for her. She held out her hand and greeted each one of us without actually looking us in the eye. Then she reached up to fiddle with her hair.
"Jessica, how nice to meet you," my mother said warmly. "Are you in school in Atlanta?"
"Actually she boards at the Delaworth Academy in Connecticut."
"Boards?" asked Aunt Addie. "Is that some kind of new sport these kids do?"
"No, she lives at a boarding school," corrected June. "We flew her here for the weekend so she could come to the party."
I tried to navigate the conversation away from any comment Aunt Addie might make about boarding school. "It must seem pretty strange to think of your big brother getting married, huh?"
Jessica nodded and looked over at Henry, showing emotion for the first time. Hero worship.
Henry reached over and patted her back. "Actually I keep telling her how great it will be for her to finally have a sister!"
Jessica's glance shifted to Charlotte and I noted how Jessica shut down before Henry led us into the Governor's Room.
As I paused on the threshold of the grand room, some sixth sense made me hesitate and glance to the side. A dark figure caught my eye and the hair on the back of my neck stood up.
I was closer to thirty than twenty, a grown woman who was beyond acting like a star-crossed teenager. But even so, my heart sped up at the knowledge that Nicholas Conrad was coming toward me. Dozens of my diary entries between the ages of eight and fourteen were devoted to him. I knew everything about him: his favorite candy from the vending machine in the golf shack, his batting average on Harrison County High School's baseball team, and the type of car soap he had used on his royal blue 1995 Grand Prix. I knew every girlfriend he took to homecoming and why they weren't good enough for him.
And Nick? He didn't even know my real name.
"Hi, Bump," he said.CHAPTER 2
My unfortunate nickname was bestowed on me when I was five years old. I was playing with my stuffed animals along the large stone hearth in the cavernous pine lobby of the inn. My Puffalump teddy was being chased by Alf, the ugliest stuffed animal ever created. I'd like to blame it on Alf for being so aggressive, but I lost my footing and fell forehead first into the corner of a coffee table in front of the fireplace. The result was a substantial knot right in the middle of my forehead. The nickname "Bump" stuck.
So, there I was, with a droopy collar, hair sticking out on one side of my head, and a dried layer of sweat on my body, flashing a crooked smile at a man who called me Bump.
He leaned forward to kiss my cheek at the same time I reached out to grab his shoulders for a hug. We ended up colliding in an awkward nose-smashing greeting. I laughed and jumped back. He managed to look as if nothing unusual had happened.
I felt thirteen again.
"Welcome to Atlanta."
"It's great to finally be here." I smoothed my hair, conscious of the uneven side. And then I added a huge insight to the conversation. "It's hot."
"Consider yourself initiated to summertime in Georgia," he said, narrowing his gaze to the side of my head where I was trying to tame that curl. "Sorry to hear Ian couldn't come."
Why my brother, Ian, and Nick got along so well was completely beyond my understanding. Ian was a long-haired college dropout who spent half his life with a guitar in his hands playing dimly lit bars from Indiana to the Upper Peninsula. Nick was a former high school star pitcher with near perfect standardized test scores, who earned a full ride to Vanderbilt University and joined one of the most successful architectural firms in the South. He was driven to succeed the same way Ian was compelled to loaf. Yet their friendship had lasted all these years.
"You know Ian. He had a gig in Grand Rapids last night and said he would help with the inn this weekend." I didn't add that we only had one guest booked tonight. The summer had been a struggle.
"Nick! It's so good to see you," said my mother, coming up behind us with Aunt Addie.
Aunt Addie squealed, "Nicholas Conrad! Look at you, dressed up in a suit like a fancy businessman."
"Aunt Addie ..." Nick started, before being swooped up in a sloppy bear hug.
Excerpted from A Wedding in Truhart by Cynthia Tennent. Copyright © 2015 Cynthia Tennent Sohn. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Charming and light. A joy to read .
Funny, Great Characters, Well Written!
One wedding, that will put the family loyalty to a test, that will change their lives forever, and events that will put the whole wedding into a danger of never happening. What I really enjoyed in this story was how with everything happening around them, every detail that could go wrong doing so, several times over, the bride and groom never lost the sight of each other, questioning their love for each other. At least so I assume, the story is told from Annie's point of view, in the first tense, leaving a bit narrowly look into the story. The characters are all eccentric, or stereotypical to extreme. It makes the story great fun and entertaining reading. There were the little town odd older women, the rich, obnoxious snobs, the bride who was trying to please her future mother-in-law, and the relatives who embarrassed the bride as often as possible. I thought the story could have moved on a bit faster, the first half of the book almost lost me. But when the events move into Truhart, things move at a faster pace as well. The romance between Annie and Nick wasn't on the center stage, even though it was in Annie's thoughts constantly. The family struggles with the financial situation, trying to plan the wedding on a short notice, and fixing everything that goes wrong, clearly takes the attention. The story is good, it has some fun moments in it. The characters could have been more complex, and more developed. I felt at times too much was trying to put into the novel at once. The ending was sweet, and even the most difficult and overwhelming personalities seemed to find the joy of the wedding, love, and future possibilities towards the end. Interesting start for a new series, with lots of intriguing characters to focus on, and a wedding no one will forget anytime soon ~ Three Spoon
A Wedding in Truhart may be a little light on the romance for some - Nick and Annie really aren’t together that much and when they are things usually don’t end all that well :) - but I really enjoyed their relationship. And there is so much more going on to keep you glued to the pages. You only get Annie’s POV, which is both good and bad. The good is that you feel like you understand her and what she’s going thru, allowing you to see why she says and does different things. Everything is revealed to you at the same time they are revealed to her so we feel a better connection to her. The bad is that you don’t get that same connection to everyone else and there is some confusion on things because she doesn’t have all of the information. I usually like to have the male and female voices in my romances because I’m intrigued by where both are coming from, but here it works. Annie goes thru moments of clarity in dealing with her family and friends so having only her voice makes that better. And while there are a bunch of clichés at play (rich snobs, small town bumpkins, that kind of thing) it brings levity and fun to Annie’s growth. With family issues, romantic entanglements, and a touch of humor, A Wedding in Truhart is a wonderful start to a new series and I can’t wait to see where Tennent takes us from here. (Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review)
A Wedding in Truhart by Cynthia Tennent is the first book in her Truhart series. This is a sweet romance that surrounds two families that are very different. One family is high society in Georgia, and the other is somewhat eccentric from a small mid western town in Michigan. The premise of the story is a wedding between the bride from the small town and the groom from a wealthy high society family. Annie is our heroine, and we meet her when she and her mom, and aunt attend her sister’s engagement party. Annie’s sister, Charlotte moved to Atlanta and is now a rising news reporter for the Morning Show. Annie almost immediately senses her sister’s concern over their down to earth, loud and eccentric family dealing with the snobbish and rich Lowell family. Annie becomes defensive, especially when she sees Nick, our hero, who was her childhood crush and who is now part of the Georgia elite. Much of the early story, though at times funny, especially her aunt, but other times a bit embarrassing. Because Annie began to feel out of place, seeing her sister’s concern, and then she finds herself picking on Nick, which was annoying. With a major storm causing havoc in Atlanta, the wedding plans are forced to move it to Truhart, and the inn they own, which is possibly on its last days. What follows is a nice and funny story of how everyone in Truhart work together to make this wedding surpass the expectations of the Lowells. What could go wrong does go wrong, as we did expect the unexpected. I loved Annie’s devotion to her family, but also thought she was way too off the wall with her constantly getting mad or being mean to Nick. It did change, but she had begun to rub me the wrong way, despite the snobbish future family her sister was marrying into. I loved Nick, as I thought he was the best character, and his patience and forgiving attitude with Annie was great. The Aunt was hysterical, though I have to admit I would have been embarrassed at times, too. Lol Charlotte’s intended, Henry was also a great guy, and though very rich, he was down to earth and quickly accepted Charlotte’s family. It was a fun ending, though I thought it ended a bit abruptly. A Wedding in Truhart was a different, but nice sweet romance.
Wow, what a totally awesome book from author Cynthia Tennent! A Wedding in Truhart grabs you right from the beginning and the heart-stirring roller coaster never lets up. The two primary characters, Annie Adler (or "bump" to her close friends,) and Nick Conrad, have undeniable chemistry and their journey is replete with desire, loathing and love. Ms. Tennent is an excellent storyteller and her words kept me glued to my seat from the very first chapter. Annie lives with her mom at the Ambler Inn in the small town of Truhart Michigan. Truhart is known for tons of snow, very cold winters and a slightly hickish population. Up until recently, Annie taught art at the local public school, while helping her mom run their business. Unbeknownst to Annie, her younger sister Charlotte, and her older brother Ian, the inn is in foreclosure. Annie is an honest and kind soul who has sacrificed her dream of being a professional photographer in order to help her widowed mother. Nick, Ian's best friend and Annie's childhood hero, left Truhart years ago to pursue architecture and is quite successful with a firm in Atlanta. Atlanta is also where Charlotte lives, working her way up the entertainment ladder on The Morning Show. Charlotte's resplendent and high society wedding is only months away when the venue is moved to Truhart, due to the flooding that overtook and permanently ravished the Atlanta area. A wedding in Truhart on New Year's Eve is a huge risk, both socially and physically, unless everyone bands together to make it work. I truly liked this story, however I would have enjoyed it even more with a little more romance and steam between Annie and Nick. This book is filled with raw emotions from many of the characters, and it is an amazing combination of interesting plot, well-defined personalities and family love. I immediately connected with Annie and Nick and there was never a moment that I did not want them to be together. The secondary characters are unique in their own right and add a ton of background story to the present happenings. I especially liked Aunt Addie, with all her eccentrics and macaroni reindeer. Overall, this is a terrific read and I can't wait for the second book in this brand new series. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Great Book! This is a great book; this is the first book in the Truhart series by Cynthia Tennent. Annie’s is the Maid of Honor for her famous older sister’s wedding. Annie is starting to feel the pressure to plan a wedding suitable for America’s newest sweetheart in the small town of Truhart, Michigan. To make matters worse she finds out that Nick Conrad her embarrassing childhood crush is going to be the best man. If you are looking for a great romance that will keep you up reading until the end, then you need to read this book. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
3.5 Stars A Wedding at Truhart is the story of Annie Adler, the older sister who has returned home to help her mother after her father surprising death. Her younger sister, Charlotte has met the man of her dreams, and is planning a upper-crust wedding in Atlanta. Charlotte is a popular host of a morning show, and is a minor celebrity. The story opens with Annie and Family driving to Atlanta to attend Charlotte's shower and to help plan the wedding. At the party, Annie sees Nick Conrad, who grew up with Annie and Charlotte, but now lives in Atlanta. He is Annie's former crush and she is happy to see him. Charlotte Wedding is cursed and everything that can go wrong does. Will Annie and Nick be able to survive family drama, secrets and an over the top wedding? This was a cute book, but I wish there was less drama and more romance between the hero and heroine. I liked Annie's family and the setting. I was given a free copy for an honest review by netgalley.com.
A Wedding in Truhart by Cynthia Tennent is the first book that I have read by this author. It was an enjoyable book to read but I felt that there could have been more to the story. Annie Adler came home from studying in New York City to help her mom and brother run the family inn in Truhart, MI. Annie is strong but is definitely "a fixer". She feels like everything is her responsibility to take care of in order to help her mother. Then their is Nick Conrad who was her brother's best friend while growing up in Truhart. Nick is smart and good looking and enjoys living in the city. He has his reasons for never visiting Truhart. He has moved to Atlanta and works for a huge architecture firm. Annie had a crush on Nick the whole time she was growing up but it always seemed that she said or did something "dumb" whenever she was around him. The story starts as Annie, her mom and her aunt have arrived in Atlanta to help the youngest sibling, Charlotte, celebrate Charlotte's engagement. The story then moves back to Truhart and the trials and tribulations of planning and providing a wedding for her sister when the original venue in Atlanta has a catastrophe. Unfortunately, Charlotte does become a "Bridezilla" before the roof collapses - literally. The plot moved smoothly but it seemed that I got to know only small pieces about each character in a rather haphazard manner throughout the story. I was disappointed at the end because I felt there should have been more to Annie and Nick's story. An epilogue would have been a nice touch. I received an ARC from NetGalley and Kensington Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
Enjoyable, delightful and filled with both humor and heartache! This is the story of a wedding in which just about everything seems to go wrong but it is also the story of a family pulling together to achieve the goal of providing one family member with a perfect wedding. The book starts in Atlanta and ends in Truhart – two completely different places. Some problems faced related to: high society versus small communities, dreams fulfilled or left behind, communication and miscommunication. The characters were enjoyable, the dialogue fun and it was all tied up with a bow at the end. I stayed up late last night to finish the story because I needed to find out how it all worked out for everyone in the end.
A Wedding in Truhart was an enjoyable and special read for me. I actually live in Michigan so although a fictional story it was nice to learn about locations and landmarks that I may not have known about. It took a little time for me to warm up to the story. Issues with pacing had a hand in that. Once further into the novel, I started to find it delightful. Annie had a lot to deal with. A tinge of jealously, falling in love and the crazy theatrics of her family. A wedding was the perfect setting. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Despite some glitches, I ended up really liking this story.