Allie left the love of her life at the altar—to save him from a lifetime of heartbreak. When a Valentine’s Day wedding brings them back together, she struggles against her family’s destructive history. Can Allie ever realize that a marriage is so much more than a wedding dress? History repeats itself when Allie Andrews escapes the church on her wedding day—in the same dress passed down for generations and worn by all the women in her family—women with a long history of failed marriages. Allie loves Marcus, but fears she’s destined to repeat her family’s mistakes. She can’t bear to hurt Marcus worse. Marcus Hall never stopped loving Allie and can only think of one reason she left him at the altar—him. When the two are thrown together for his sister’s Valentine’s Day wedding, he discovers the truth and realizes their story might be far from over. Can Allie shuck expectation and discover who she is as a bride and in the Bride of Christ? And if she ever walks down the aisle, what dress will she wear?
This was honestly the first interaction I had with Betsy St. Amant as an author, and I truly enjoyed her sweet novella. The characters and their voices were clear, the story moved at a good pace, and there were several moments that made me smile. The main character, Allie, has a lot to overcome in these few pages, and she manages to do it in a believable manner. Her family...well, I can see why she'd shy away from them and how they maybe, just maybe, have given her a complex. Watching Allie struggle with the idea that God has a new plan for her--separate from the mistakes of her family--was a hope-filled storyline that had me rooting for her. And the love and forgiveness of Marcus? He was the perfect hero for this heroine. A beautiful picture of love.
Overall, this bridal series has been a great way to become acquainted with new authors in a short sitting and at a wonderful price. And because I so enjoyed this book and Betsy's voice as an author, I am eagerly anticipating her next release with Zondervan: All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes. It's debuting this fall, but here's a short blurb. I'm sure I'll be highlighting it here too:)
Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.
At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie’s bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.
But when Lucas Brannen, Kat’s best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York.
As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself—her—is suddenly in danger of slipping away.
The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat’s senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana.