Series: Montana Born Brides #4
Published by Tule Publishing on May 25th 2015
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Wedding fever has hit the little town of Marietta…
As the whole town goes crazy over the celebrity wedding event of the century, Melanie Richards decides she's tired of blending in. It's time go after what she wants. Her to do list: Get a sexy dress A little liquid courage Lose that pesky virginity
Luke Shuller can’t believe his eyes when he walks into Grey’s and sees his best friend trying to pick up some drunk cowboy. Melanie wants to start hooking up? She can practice on him. At least he’ll keep her safe. And as a bonus, their pretend relationship will help him deal with a family crisis.
But when pretend gets real, Melanie can’t tell where the charade ends and reality begins. When the dust settles, will she get thrown back into the friend zone, or will she finally get the man of her dreams?
It took me a while to realise this is the continuation (sort of) of Nicole Helm’s ‘Bride by Mistake’, and that Luke Shuller’s story runs concurrently with his sister Kaitin’s one. ‘Finally His Bride’ focuses on Luke’s own storm in a teacup as he deals with the fallout from the double whammy of his best friend’s supposed betrayal and Kait’s pregnancy by the same bad boy. But he further muddies the cesspool he’s found himself in by sleeping with his best friend Melanie under the rather delusional rationale of needing to keep her from meaningless hook-ups as she seeks to gain control of her own life and lose her V-card.
Given the brevity of the book, I’m pleasantly surprised at how much depth Maisey Yates manages to squeeze into the pages as she draws you closer into her characters’ backstories and carefully uncovering their thoughts and feelings in a way that’s vivid and revealing. So much so that I thought that Melanie was the star of the show (much more than Luke) when she emerges as a born survivor, and I found her extremely likeable for the sheer grit and awareness she shows in admitting her own flawed thoughts regarding sex and relationships and later, for putting herself out there when all Luke wants to do is remain in denial.
As far as novellas go, ‘Finally a Bride’ takes the easy way out to its HEA; it isn’t particularly revelatory or terribly atypical when it comes to its characters. Yet, I could appreciate the slight subtleties and nuances that Ms Yates has injected into its pages (or maybe psychoanalysis somehow turns me on) and for that alone, I’d call it an hour (that was all it took to finish it) well spent.