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Monday, November 3, 2014

Tasty Book Tour: The Shocking Secret of a Guest at the Wedding by Victoria Alexander (Excerpt, Review + Giveaway)


Hello all! I hope you're doing well. Today I have my review for The Shocking Secret of a Guest at the Wedding by Victoria Alexander (Long title huh?) as part of the blog tour. There's a great giveaway as well as an excerpt from the book. This isn't my first time reading Victoria Alexander but it was so long ago I'm not sure which book it was. I think it's time I reacquaint myself with her stories :) Are any of you fans?

About Victoria Alexander
New York Times bestselling author Victoria Alexander was an award-winning television reporter until she discovered fiction was much more fun than real life.

She turned to writing full time and has never looked back. Victoria grew up traveling the country as an Air Force brat and is now settled in a very old house in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two allegedly grown children and two bearded collies.

She firmly believes housework is a four-letter word, there are no calories in anything eaten standing up, procrastination is an art form, and it's never too soon to panic.


Find Author:
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Excerpt

“First, you should know about your family, Jackson,” Father began.

“He does know about his family,” Mother said under her breath.

Father ignored her and continued. “There are Channings all over England, mostly distant relations and you needn’t be overly concerned with them.”

“Although it is nice to know they exist,” Lucy said.

“Exactly.” Father nodded. “And I dare say you’ll meet them all eventually.”

“I really don’t see –“ Mother began.

“Quiet Mother.” Jack nodded at his father. “Go on.”


“For the most part, they’re not especially important although admittedly some of them are most amusing. Eccentric is probably the kindest description.” The colonel lowered his voice in a confidential manner. “There is Cousin Wilfred on my father’s side. He was quite convinced he could fly. He couldn’t of course. Pity, as it turned out.” Father shook his head in a regretful manner. “But as I was saying, you needn’t bother concerning yourself with anyone aside from the immediate family. At least for now.”

“The immediate family?” Jack said.

“You my boy, have an uncle, my twin brother, Nigel, and an aunt, his wife Bernadette. They have three daughters, charming girls all of them. They’ve grown up quite nicely, all things considered. Oddly enough, I am not the only brother whose wife preferred to let his offspring believe he was dead.”

Lucy stared.

“Although in Nigel’s case, he did rather deserve it. But that’s neither here nor there at the moment.” Father’s brow furrowed thoughtfully. “Let me thin. The eldest girls are older than you and are twins. One is married, the other a widow and about to be married again. The youngest, Delilah, is also a widow. So you can see how the revelation that I have a son changes, well, everything. Especially the future. The family’s and yours.”

“Basil.” A warning sounded in Mother’s voice. ‘This is not how I wanted –“

“It no longer matters what you want Elizabeth. You’ve had what you wanted for far too long.” Father cast her a hard look.

“I’m not certain I understand,” Jack said slowly. “I know I am as shocked by your existence as you are by mine. And this does change a lot, for any number of reasons. But while it certainly is significant, in a personal sense, I fail to see what effect my having a living father, and you having a son has on your future or mine. Not that I don’t like the idea mind you,” he added quickly. “It would be different if we were having this, oh, reunion I suppose is the only word for it, when I was ten years old or even twenty. Burt I am an adult. I have a position of responsibility at the bank and a sound, solid career ahead of me there. My future is well planned out.”

“Exactly,” Mother said under her breath.

“It might well have been planned out yesterday or this morning or even a few hours ago but now…” His father’s gaze me his. “Now your future is entirely different.”

Jack drew his brows together. “I still don’t see-“

“My brother is the Earl of Briston.” Father paused to allow the others to grasp the significance of his pronouncement.

“Jackson, your uncle is an earl,” Lucy said with delight. “How very interesting.”

“It’s more than merely interesting my dear girl,” Father said. “I know it’s not the same in your country-“

“We don’t have earls for one thing.” Mother sniffed.

“But in my country”-he met Jack’s gaze-“your country as well titles and property are often tied together in what is called an entailment. Are you familiar with it?”

“Vaguely.” Jack nodded. “We deal on occasion with English financial institutions and I’ve seen reference to it in correspondence. It has to do with inheritance doesn’t it?”

“Exactly.” His father studied him closely. “A title is tied to a family’s property, they are passed on together. In our case, Millworth Manor, the estate that has been in our family for generations, as well as some other properties, are tied to the title. The title can only be inherited by the closest male relative. If my brother died, I would be next in line to be the Earl of Briston. If I died..”

Lucy gasped.

Mother sighed.

Jack stared. “Are you saying that I would be the next earl?”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying.” Father nodded. “And thank God, too. We were all afraid Millworth and the title would eventually go to Wilfred’s son.” He shuddered. “And believe me no one wanted that.”




Format: .mobi (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: November 4, 2014

The bride and groom cordially request your presence for a wedding at Millworth Manor. . .

Guests will include Jackson Quincy Graham Channing, New York City banker, and Lady Theodosia "Teddy" Winslow, wedding planner to the finest families in England.

Introductions shall be followed by light conversation, dancing, flirtation, arguing, reconciliation, and an impulsive kiss that both parties are quite certain they will never repeat.

Until they do.

A mutually beneficial fake engagement will be accompanied by all manner of very real complications, scandalous revelations, nefarious schemes, and one inescapable conclusion:

That true love--unlike the perfect wedding--is impossible to plan. . .

Well that was… Shocking to say the least. That said, I’m going to have a devil of a time writing this review without spoiling anything!

America banker Jackson Quincy Graham Channing has just received the most surprising news on his thirtieth birthday: His English father is alive, well, and standing right in front of him! Apparently, Jackson’s mother neglected to tell both men of the other's existence. Now Jackson’s father, Basil has come to America to ask his son to journey to England to meet the rest of his family at the wedding of one of Jack’s cousins. Against his mother’s wishes but with the encouragement of his lifelong friend and fiance, Lucinda, Jack agrees to travel to England where meets wedding planner Lady Theodosia “Teddy” Winslow.

Being surrounded by his father’s side of the family causes Jack to question where his life is at and where it was heading before he met his father. Complications, scandals, and even more revelations ensue, forcing Jack to face facts and make a decision about what he wants for himself instead of what everyone else wants for him.

If you don’t read the blurb for The Shocking Secret of a Guest at the Wedding, then you’ll be in for one surprise after another as Jack goes from obedient banker to rebellious individual. I know I was and that was with me reading the blurb!

At first, Jack seemed like a dull fellow. He’s a banker for crying out loud, how exciting could that be? Even with the revelation that his father was alive, Jack seemed so staid and unflappable. He was quite calm considering the circumstances in the beginning of the book and even when he left for England. However, once among his other family members it’s like he became a whole new person. Someone who thought about what he wanted instead of what was expected of him. He became funnier, wittier and all together more alive. I loved watching him bond with his newly discovered family, heck, I loved his family, and they were quite the cast of characters, especially the women.

Lady Theodosia fell a little flat for me, especially compared to Lucinda, Jack’s closest friend, and the woman his mother had engaged him to since birth. Perhaps because she was a titled lady with all the trappings of the time but she just didn’t engage me as well as Lucy and Lucy only had a few pages of scenes. I didn’t flat out dislike Teddy but to me she was unremarkable and I couldn’t understand why Jack would fall for her. Teddy was smart, I’ll give her that, and she was similar to Jack in that she wanted to be able to choose her own path instead of doing what was expected but I didn’t connect with her as I think I should have.

As far as antagonists go, The Shocking Secret of a Guest at the Wedding didn’t have one until about halfway through the story. It was mostly a story of self discovery and romance which I fully enjoyed. I think had there been an antagonist from the very beginning it would have weighed the story down too much with Jack trying to figure out his place in his new, larger family, falling in love, and dealing with an enemy. The one thing that started to get a little annoying was the “He’s dead, no he’s not dead, he’s really alive” theme that seemed to happen with alarming frequency. It worked with Jack’s situation but after that I felt that it started to become a bad family joke or something.

I loved the way author Victoria Alexander handled Jack’s transition from only knowing his mother’s side of the family to becoming immersed in his father’s side, who I found way more entertaining and interesting. They were boisterous, loyal, funny, and just extremely likable. At times some scenes dragged on and on and I could have done without some of them but overall, The Shocking Secret of a Guest at the Wedding kept me off balance in such a fun, unpredictable way.

Final Verdict: Please tell me that Lucy gets her own book. I really liked her.


Book Rating:

Heat Rating:


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3 Print Copies of The Scandalous Adventures of the Sister of the Bride and The Shocking Secret of Guest at the Wedding

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3 comments:

  1. I don't believe I ever have heard a shocking secret about a guest at a wedding, or even a shocking secret about the wedding party. :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nope, I've never heard a shocking secret about a guest at a wedding. Never. I've heard shocking secrets BEFORE a wedding, however. Like so and so is pregnant and HAD to get married! Or so and so was the sleeping partner of the groom at one time! Thanks for the interesting question. jdh2690@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Unfortunately, I have, and it was about a certain member of the bridal party hooking up with the Bride's sister in the limo just before the rest of the bridal party was picked up. Shame, Shame, Shame!

    ReplyDelete

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