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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for A December Bride by Denise Hunter @DeniseAHunter @Zondervan #BrillianceAudio

SERIES: A Year of Weddings 1, Book #1
AUTHOR: Denise Hunter
NARRATOR: Julie Lyles Carr
PUBLISHER: Zondervan on Brilliance Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: November 26, 2013
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 2 hrs and 17 mins 
GENRE: Contemporary Romance, Holiday/Christmas
A year's worth of novellas from 12 inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed.

What started as a whim turned into an accidental - and very public - engagement. Can Layla and Seth keep up the façade in Chapel Springs this holiday season - for the sake of her career…and his heart?

Under normal circumstances, Seth Murphy - the best friend of Layla O'Reilly's ex-fiancé - would be the last person she'd marry. But the news of their upcoming (and phony) nuptials convinces a big client that Layla may be high-society enough to work for his agency - a coup that would put her fledgling home-staging business on the map.

Seth has secretly loved Layla for years, even when she was dating his best friend. Maybe she'll never forgive him for the way he hurt her back then, but he has to try. And Layla is willing to keep up their engagement farce until she's landed her client. For Layla, it's the chance to save her career. But for Seth, it's his last chance to win her heart.


I don’t normally read contemporary romances, but I was looking for a holiday story and this one was on Hoopla at my library. I am so glad that I picked this up!

Layla O’Reilly is at work, waitressing at a diner, when she receives a phone call from her date cancelling on her five hours before she is supposed to attend a wedding. It’s not just any wedding. It’s the wedding of her ex-fiance, Jack, and her snobby cousin, Jessica! Surely, she cannot attend solo without a man on her arm! One of the diners, Seth Murphy, is a friend of Jack’s and tells Layla that he is heading to the wedding as well and offers to take her. The last thing she wants is to go with HIM, but she also can’t find another date on such short notice. Seth is a great guy, but he inadvertently had a hand (at least in Layla’s eyes) in Jack and Jessica getting together. Jessica had car trouble one night out on the highway, and Seth sent Jack out to help her. They hit it off, and Jack ended up leaving Layla for her cousin.

Jessica’s cousin is a real piece of work. She has always been jealous of Layla’s good looks and personality to match, so she gets her digs in any way that she can. Layla’s father is a reformed alcoholic and didn’t have the best upbringing, and she is not university-educated. Jessica is snooty, and she looks down her nose at Layla. Meanwhile, Layla is hardworking and dependable and trying to get her own business off the ground staging homes for sale. When Layla and Seth show up at the wedding together, tongues are wagging and they are turning heads. Jack asks if Seth and Layla are dating or just attending as friends, and Jessica scoffs that they can’t surely be dating! The reason for that is because she thinks Layla is not good enough for Seth, who is wealthy and owns a hardware store. Seth can’t stand watching Jessica try to get under Layla’s skin, and he not only tells Jack that he and Layla are dating but that they are also engaged and will be married on Christmas Eve which is less than four weeks away! Layla can’t believe her ears and wants to call the whole charade off, but then the owner of the prestigious realty firm that she has been trying to work with invites her to lunch and tells her to bring along her fiancé. With her career on the line, she decides to keep up the appearance of being an engaged couple. A phony engagement might not be all bad, and it doesn’t hurt that Seth is a hunk!

I enjoyed this story more than I expected! It was hard not to fall in love with Seth. He seems like the perfect man, saying and doing all the right things. His attraction and fondness for Layla is so apparent, and I love his protectiveness of her. Jessica is a real witch! I loved how Seth put her in her place. At first, I thought that Layla was shallow and only cared about her career and was willing to lie and cheat to get what she wanted. As the story went on and we learn more about the backstory of the characters, we learn that there was a spark between Seth and Layla even back before she dated Jack. 

Denise Hunter is a new-to-me author, and I really enjoyed this sweet clean romance. I will definitely look for more of her work. It appears that this series has a book for each month, written by different authors and featuring different couples. I hope the next one in the series is as good as this one!

Narrator Julie Lyles Carr is also new-to-me, and I really enjoyed her narration. Her pace was very good, and she portrayed the characters convincingly. Here is a sample of the narration:


4 stars!! It was really good, and you should definitely put it on your TBR list if you enjoy sweet romances.


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