I have enjoyed Janice Thompson’s Weddings by Bella series for her ability to write humorous characters and sweet romances. I was thrilled that she is continuing her tradition with her new series, Weddings by Design. Picture Perfect is the first in this series but it flows beautifully from the Bella series as many of those same characters appear here.
Where Weddings by Bella had found humor in Italians living in Texas, Picture Perfect has fun with Texan Irish. Mix a little Italian in there and another wedding fiasco, because you know they can never run smoothly, and you have a lighthearted and fun romance.
Hannah McDermott finally has what she had longed for. A successfull business as a photographer and her opportunity to be “the best” on the island after she landed a prestigious wedding. She is forever haunted by a friend from high school who had stolen her boyfriend for prom. She feels like she is always coming up short. Right now, coming up short is being in competition with the handsome Drew Kincaid.
Drew however is not so put off by the idea of competition with Hannah and soon the two band together and are embraced by Bella’s boisterous Italian family, and associated friends. Will life stay the same? Will Hannah before ever falling second or can she set aside her competitive spirit and fear of second place, to share a delightful adventure with one really charming Irish man?
If you have read and enjoyed any of Janice’s books, you will enjoy this one too. Humor and romance and yet spiritual truth are woven together beautifully. I look forward to the next in the series.
I have enjoyed Sandra D. Bricker’s Creations by Emma Rae series that take place at the Tanglewood Inn. In the final book, Always the Baker Finally the Bride, Emma Rae, the diabetic baker who has walked so many couples to their perfect day finally gets her chance, after several novels of her romance with hotel owner, to marry Jackson Drake.
First, let me stay that for humorous romance, Sandi Bricker stands up side by side with another favorite of mine, Janice Thompson. Both write about weddings and put a unique spin and voice that while similar in content in some ways, is refreshing and have me smiling my way through their novels.
Emma Rae finally has a ring on her finger and a date on the calendar for her wedding to Jackson but challenges abound on the way including the trauma of Jackson considering selling (gasp!) the Tanglewood! Add to that family issues, people who might not make it, Emma’s stress induced health issues, Jackson’s fear of losing her like he did his first wife, ultimately topped off by a wedding cake designer who can’t seem to come up with her own wedding cake! And then the big question: Will they get to live their dream of a year in Paris where Jackson writes the books he’s always wanted to write and Emma takes classes in baking? Throw in a lot of other fun disasters and you won’t be able to put this book down.
The drama never ceases but the love and the familial (blood and some not) relationships that make up this series have never shone brighter. This book is bigger than Emma and Jackson but the relationships they have made over the previous novels comes together beautifully here. In a world where life is lived on the internet rather than in person, this book shines a light on the importance of the relationships with the people around us. Sandi does this brilliantly and this book was definitely the icing on the cake for her series.
I’m sad the series is over. It would be fun to follow Emma and Jackson into their future adventures (along with the friends and family that are so integral to their lives) so, Sandi, if you read this, take the hint for what it’s worth, keep going! You have a winner here; and thank you for writing such a fun and entertaining series. I think I gained ten pounds just salivating over the luscious deserts described in here.
I have loved the Wedding by Bella series written by Janice Thompson and It Had to Be You did not disappoint (except that it means the series has ended? Say it ain’t so, Janice!).
Bella is planning her own wedding to her hunky cowboy while at the same time planning a wedding between her aunt and uncle (unrelated to each other) who have loved each other for years but didn’t acknowledge it until the previous book.
Every wedding has it’s challenges and this one does as well with fights and a swing band that magically can help heal relationships and the most oddly humorous assortment of characters you will ever meet, including a mobster and a parrot that sings Amazing Grace among other things! I don’t even know if I could survive a week in that household given the emotional upheavals and drama.
Overall of that is love. Bella learns a huge lesson about grace and learning to depend on others when her body finally tells her to stop. I mean, literally, it stops her in her tracks. I love DJ and his faithful patience and adoration and listening to his bride-to-be. I really do hope they have the happily ever after they were planning on, because after all, it’s not the wedding that’s the most important, but the marriage, and I think Bella finally got that at the end.
Kudos to you Janice for another laugh-out-loud Texas sized romp with Italian sized heart. I enjoyed my trip to your imaginary world (but wish it were real because it would be fun to visit!)