There was a moment after finishing my event management post-grad program that I considered getting into wedding planning. It was a brief moment. I realized I just wasn't cut out for dealing with the brides nor did I want to give up every summer weekend. But that doesn't mean I'm not still interested in the whole wedding thing. So, when Laura Chapman asked if I would review her latest novel, The Marrying Type, I jumped at the chance to see what one of my favourite authors would do with the popular wedding planner story.
Here's the synopsis:
Always the wedding planner, never a bride, Elliot Lynch is famous for orchestrating the splashiest weddings in Charleston, South Carolina. When her father’s sloppy management practices leave them on the brink of bankruptcy, Elliot will do whatever it takes to save the family business. When asked to appear on “The Marrying Type,” a reality TV show about the people behind the scenes as couples exchange I dos, she says yes to the invasion of privacy (and the hefty paycheck that comes with it).
With a camera crew capturing every detail of her life, Elliot faces her most challenging contract yet: planning a wedding where her ex is involved in every part of the process. Add in a lazy assistant, liquor-loving bridesmaid, and rival planner encroaching on her turf, and Elliot’s wedding season goes from high-end to high-stress.
Forced to confront her past, Elliot must live out her troubled present on national TV if she has any hope of saving her future.
There is so much going on in this book but that is what makes it so good. Chapman expertly weaves together every storyline and everything flows and fits together perfectly. Yes, there is a drunk, out of control bridesmaid and a reality TV show and family drama and an ex who is back in town BUT The Marrying Type would not be the amazing novel that it is if any one of those elements had been left out. It's wedding season in the south. Of course it's crazy! :)
I loved Elliot. She's one of those characters who is just flawed enough at the beginning of the story that she's not annoying and you know she's going to get herself on the right path by the end. It's not that she was imperfect, exactly, it's just that she was totally realistic. She had her issues and hang ups like anyone else does and that was refreshing. I really enjoyed reading about her life and I was rooting for her throughout the entire novel.
I can't finish this review without mentioning the romance in this novel. Even though I knew Elliot's ex, Eric, would be showing up (thanks to the synopsis) I had no idea how or when he would arrive back in Elliot's life. I was constantly surprised by what happened in their relationship and I loved that. They had some major obstacles to overcome but I really wanted a Happily Ever After for the two of them because they just seemed so perfect together!
Fun fact: The Marrying Type is a bit of a modern take on Jane Austen's Persuasion. I absolutely loved that. It's a bit of a subtle homage but Chapman does an amazing job of updating the classic story while still making this novel all her own. And if you haven't read Persuasion yet, get on it. *makes note to reread the novel as soon as possible.*
I loved loved loved The Marrying Type. I actually read it while on vacation on a cruise ship and I hate that I couldn't tweet or message Laura to tell her how much I was loving it! It's such a great story about a twentysomething wedding planner trying to figure out her career and solve all her family's problems. Bonus, there's an amazingly sweet love story too! So far I've loved everything Laura Chapman has written and I absolutely cannot wait to see what she comes out with next!
*A copy of this novel was provided by the author in exchange for review consideration. All reviews are honest and my own.*