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
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.
Format: .mobi (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
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.
* Purchase Links:
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* Using the purchase links on this blog allows me to see a small percentage of the sale. It will help sponsor future giveaways.
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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