Review: Hannah Grace is tired of her life being a series of “almosts.” Though the eldest in her family, she is the only one not yet married and is in fact, still living at home with her parents whose repetitive routines are enough to make any girl go mad. This time, Hannah has had enough: No more is she going to settle. She has started her own business – a photography studio – plans on winning the favor of Bella Neely, Galveston’s most sought-after wedding coordinator and shoot the wedding of one of the music industry’s best talents, which could make or break her burgeoning career. First, she must get over the re-appearance of her high-school nemesis, Jacque Goldfaurb. This time, however, Hannah’s Jacque arrives in her competition, the handsome Drew Kincaid – a man whose good looks and beautiful eyes may tempt Hannah to stop thinking of Drew as the enemy. To make matters worse, there is an Irish legend that says the Kincaid’s and McDermott are mortal enemies. These near-misses, Hannah is determined to ace!
If there is one author who has the romantic-comedy genre cornered, it’d be Janice Thompson. Her books have been one winner after the next and each one has been a delight coming alive with spunk and color with its quirky antics and loveable characters. Her brand-new new series is no different. In fact, if it is possible, I adore Hannah more (only by a smidgeon) than I did the memorable Bella and company back in the fictional trio, “Weddings by Bella.” If you have an aversion to over-the-top comic mishaps, this may not be the book for you. There are moments that may overreach but at the heart, this is a charming read. The characters are as close to perfection as any book in this genre is ever to be; Hannah and Drew make an attractive match and catching up with the Neeley/Rossi clans was a hoot. Given how much I complain that the romantic leads often meet “too” soon (I realize that sounds strange), it did surprise me how much I missed them not meeting until several pages in. In this case, it was tolerable because Drew and Hannah knew each other; we just weren’t privy to it since it happens off-page. I suspect part of this was because the story was told from a first person POV and also, anyone who has a complaint about the time it took to put the leads together should feel quite engaged in that first meet cute.
Memorable hysterics though the viewpoint of an intriguing image behind the camera lend elements of realism to everything about Picture Perfect. The only minor flaw is that the antics of the supporting characters do overwhelm Hannah and Drew’s blossoming relationship – that and the first person style which is easily overcome. From that first get-together with Bella’s family to Hannah’s failing attempts not to fall head over heels for Drew’s charm – primarily by imagining him as her teenage nemesis, it’s always a surprise what is around the next corner. Somewhere between the Monday nights spent watching Dancing with the Stars (a situation that reminded me all too much of my own) and the celebrity wedding of the year, I fell in love with another of Thompson’s Texas big comedic sagas that left me bemoaning book two’s summertime release. It cannot come quickly enough!
What’s Next: Scarlet Lindsey’s aunt Wilhelmina may be Texas’s most popular cake baker extraordinaire, but she’s also getting on in years. When Scarlet decides to take on the role of cake decorator at her cranky aunt’s bidding, it’s just the beginning of a series of misunderstandings and mishaps that will lead her to compete in a cake challenge on national television–and might even lead her to finding true love. – August 2013
Synopsis: Feisty wedding photographer Hannah McDermott has dealt with her share of difficult brides. But none can compare to the ultimate Bridezilla she’s dealing with now. Still, she’s trying desperately to impress Bella Neeley, Galveston Island’s most sought-after wedding planner, so she can take the top spot in Bella’s list of recommended photographers – a spot currently occupied by her arch-rival, Drew Kincaid. What she doesn’t count on, however, is falling head over heels for the competition.
With her contagious humor and cast of quirky characters, Janice Thompson gives readers more of the bridal business drama they want in a brand-new series all about those long-suffering people who make beautiful weddings happen. Readers are desperately waiting for more of Bella and this new series brings her back in a big way, while introducing new characters fans will love. Fans will laugh out loud as they experience this breezy and entertaining novel from a great storyteller.- from the publisher
Available February 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
With thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book for reviewing purposes.