Gift Wrapped In Her Wedding Dress (Sydney Brides #1) by Kandy Shepherd
Purchase link: Amazon
Purchase link: Amazon
I'm a huge fan of Kandy's writing since they are invariably sweet and romantic. I was really looking forward to reading this but I ended up with a bad bout of a stomach virus and I think being sick didn't do the book justice. Note to self: never read when you're sick. Stick to YouTube videos and Facebook!
First off, I was confused by the title and the blurb. I guess it's my fault because I didn't read the blurb properly (I was sick, remember?) and I got surprised by the fake engagement, and let me tell you, I love fake engagement stories. I think I did a little hop of glee in my head when I found out about the fake engagement.
Then there was Andie. I liked Andie for the most part. She is bright, fun and kind. She's come from a safe, secure and loving family even though she has suffered a terrible loss and know what true heartache feels like. For the better part of the book, I felt like she was being unfair to Dominic. First by believing the hype and thinking he was a Scrooge and then by comparing him to her ex. Of course, no one can compare or measure up to her ex since her first love was her ideal love. Fortunately for Dominic, he's such an imposing personality and such a unique character in himself, there's no comparison.
As for Dominic, my heart ached for him through pretty much all of the book. He's gone through so much and he is so misunderstood. I wanted to wrap him up in a big hug and cuddle him, tell him everything will be all right when things weren't going his way. Dominic is such a private man and in a way, he's his own worst enemy because of it. I can understand why he's so private and why he keeps so many secrets, but it's also keeping him from connecting with the people around him, particularly Andie. Dominic has some real trust issues and even though he's decided to trust Andie, one mistake shatters that and well, I don't think he reacted well at the time.
I think it was very bittersweet that both Andie and Dominic didn't think they'd find love again in their lives. Andie because her first love was so perfect and nothing could compare, and Dominic because he had been hurt so much in his past and he didn't dare open himself up to loving and trusting again, fearing he would be betrayed.
I have to admit at one point I caught myself holding my breath wondering if Andie and Dominic were ever going to be able to truly connect with each other. Andie with what she had lost and Dominic with all the pain from his past. Really, I shouldn't have worried. This is a romance and it's a Kandy Shepherd romance at that! I should never have doubted you, Kandy!
Watching Dominic soften and open himself up to love was a wonderful sight. I'm glad Andie was able to show him that it's possible to love with getting hurt. That real love is healing and beautiful.
And the wedding scene and the next Christmas ... ugh, it made me all sappy and weepy. :-) This is a good thing!
I enjoyed this story, being sick not withstanding. I'm looking to reading about Gemma and Eliza next.
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