Saturday, July 11, 2015

REVIEW: Bride in Bloom by J.B. Hartnett

For Victoria, it started with the perfect dress and the perfect man...well, she thought he was perfect.

For Cameron, it started with a devoted wife and a bright future...until he discovered devotion was never high on his wife's list of marital duties.

When trust is tested and faith in the power of true love is lost, there is only way one to restore it:

Give that person everything you’ve got, nurture her, love her…

And watch her bloom.

In the first installment of The Beachy Bride series, we experience the love story of Victoria and Cameron. Both are no stranger to heartache, but both believe in the power of love.

*This book contains mature content for an audience of 18 years or older. Sexual scenes M/M and M/F

Paperback, 208 pages
Published March 12th 2015 (first published March 10th 2015)
Source: Free on Amazon
Purchase: Goodreads | Amazon

Shel: Surprisingly (or not?), I didn't read the synopsis before I started Bride in Bloom but I could tell by the cover, this wouldn't be the dark, angsty stuff I'd read from J.B. Hartnett before; this was confirmed within the first few chapters (after the prologue). What were your initial thoughts, Court? I felt initially really excited because we've been big fans of J.B. Hartnett for a while. We've read every book she has published, so we took this opportunity to catch up on her newest series and ran! *Side note* We DID read this book before the second one, Katherine in Bloom, but with some family stuff going on I wasn't able to get the review done in time to post BEFORE that hopefully this isn't too confusing, but I wanted each to have their own day to be spotlighted, because they are worth it to us.  

Shel: So other than J.B. Hartnett changing things up and making this a lighter/funnier romance, what things stood out to you, Court? I thought that Cam was simultaneously super sweet and stalkerish. I guess what I kept thinking was if I didn't think he was obviously in love with Victoria, he'd be major stalker material for the way he took over parts of her life. To be clear, he wasn't a stalker and every thing he did was motivated by love...and I can't even imagine someone like that in my life, I'd die. Super sweet. (I'm a bitch so super sweet people, I don't know what to do with). The other thing that stood out to me was how relatively low angst this was. Court: He wasn't quite a JOE was he? But hahahaha, that is a hilarious observation that I didn't really notice in the book. That is essnetially what he did, but I think I was swooning too hard to realize it. Then on the other hand, I kind of had a toothache by how sweet Cam was as we went on...

Shel: One other thing that stood out to me was the structure/writing. As I mentioned earlier, this was lighter, funnier, less angsty and I loved that--I love seeing writers do different things than what their readers expect. A few things that were a little distracting for me were the way the timeline would speed up, and also sometimes I felt like I wasn't always following what the character was thinking or wanted me to understand.  It felt like maybe the pacing or the dialogue/inner monologues were sometimes just missing a few things. Not enough to put me off of the book, just enough for me to notice. Court: I'm glad you brought that up, because I was having the same hang ups with the pace. Later, and maybe this is because...well, the beginning is out there with a big fat holy crap...we have two very diverging plot lines for Tori, and I think the pace felt somewhat confusing for it. I still feel like I can recommend this title with enough gusto because I did enjoy it a lot. 

Shel: When I think about who would enjoy this book, I think I'd recommend it to people looking for a sweet romance with low angst, who enjoy a California beach setting (loved this!), likes reading about a fun ensemble cast, likes humor, snark, and some steamy scenes (nice surprise there). I'm sure I'm missing some things, Court. What else would you add to this? Court: Well, I think that the little community feel of Lark's shop, Deb, Nico's tattoo shop, Cole's house...(if you've read J.B's earlier series you will recognize ALL of these people...and I was excited that some of our old favorites are coming out to play as people we've been curious about get their story. I am excited to see what comes next. OH, AND OMG, there are some major things that made me seriously excited and even more so excited for the first half of the book...but I obviously can't tell you...but it is about a boy that I didn't think I would end up liking before the story was over. And his journey is pretty big for Tori. I'll stop now! 

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