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Feature book: From Bridal Designer to Bride

7 April 2021

From Bridal Designer to Bride by Kandy Shepherd

Subgenre: contemporary
Release date: 17 Mar 2021
Publisher: Mills & Boon
Format: ebook and print
Length: 160 pages
RRP: $5.99 (ebook); $16.99 (print duo)

You can always rely on Kandy Shepherd to introduce a cute animal into her romance, and she does so here with Daisy, a rescue dog being fostered by high-end bridal designer Eloise Evans. Daisy pops in and out of the story and totally ups the adorable quota, which I’m thankful for. Pets always make a story better. They manage to bring out the best in people—and sometimes the worst, so of course you know who the villains are when they’re horrible to the animals. Thanks Kandy, keep the animals coming; I love them. Your special touch.

From Bridal Designer to Bride is the beginning of the linked ‘How to Make a Wedding’ series. The second book, From Tropical Fling to Forever by Nina Singh, is coming out in May 2021. I’m very keen to read it, as it features an intriguing secondary character from FBDTB, a wedding cake baker/designer called Victoria Preston, from Boston.

Back to our bridal designer, Eloise, who works in Double Bay, Sydney. Unbeknown to Eloise, Josh Taylor, a billionaire tech entrepreneur, also from Boston and a friend of Victoria, has come to Sydney to—well, find Eloise. To hopefully casually bump into her and get to know her a little, on Victoria’s request (or Tori, as she’s known). He and Tori have known each other for years, and Josh is happy to help his childhood friend out. He was in Australia on business, so why not combine business with—um—a secret person-finding mission?

So he’s lurking around Eloise’s atelier, drinking lots of coffee in a nearby cafe and nervously trying not to act like a stalker, hoping she’ll make an appearance so he can somehow work out a way to meet her.

Intrigued? You bet I was. Sound awkward? Absolutely! Once you learn the reason, though, you’ll fully endorse Josh’s lurking behaviour. Trust me, it’s not creepy or anything, but it’s quite intense for him, knowing how much it means for Tori. Kudos to Kandy Shepherd for pulling off all this awkwardness—and, of course, she uses dear little Daisy to entangle Josh and Eloise in a cute meet when Eloise takes her for a walk.

What Josh doesn’t expect is to fall hook, line and sinker for Eloise from the moment he sets eyes on her. His intense reaction takes him completely by surprise; this doesn’t usually happen to him. He wants to behave honourably, given the reasons for seeking Eloise, but from that first meeting—their first coffee—their first meal together—and then their first kiss, which is such a wonderful, sweet-to-unexpectedly-steamy first kiss—he is lost.

Meanwhile, Eloise is oblivious to anything but a nice, accidental meeting with Josh (thanks, Daisy). She’s totally charmed by him, but a little wary and reserved after having a bad run with her last relationship. She doesn’t want to experience that again, but their attraction is undeniable.

It’s interesting to watch Josh respond with respect and interest to her passion for her business, and to watch Eloise realise Josh is a huge international tech name. Their high regard for each other as professionals is wonderful; they meet as equals.

There’s a lot of back story in this book I’d rather not reveal because it would wreck the twist surprise for readers. May I suggest diving in ASAP before reading too many spoilers; the story will grab hold of you straight away. There are lots of twists and turns before the end, and some shocks and revelations that are gasp-worthy.

The other gasp-worthy thing are the frocks! Kandy describes the wedding dresses and the other frocks with such detail I could easily visualise them. The sensual fabrics, the details, the lace, the sparkly bits, the beautiful lines, the swish, the allure, the glamour! They’re all divine. And there’s an absolutely gorgeous wedding in Bowral we get to attend. It sounded like bride heaven, loving and wonderful, featuring—naturally—some of Eloise’s stunning creations.

There’s so much emotion here, you’ll be cheering for Eloise and Josh, even when all seems lost. Now I can’t wait for Tori’s story.

Reviewed by Malvina

A review copy of this book was provided by the author. ARRA members who leave a comment by 28 April 2021 will go into the draw to win a copy.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. leo1962 permalink
    10 April 2021 4:42 pm

    What a great storyline and with a billionaire who respects the heroines skills and business.

    I love the idea and now am intrigued on Tori’s reason for the subterfuge. Long lost sister? Needs a body part donated? Really thinks these two should get together?

    Trust Kandy (and Malvina) to tease us to well!

  2. 7 April 2021 10:29 am

    Love the cover, a wonderful blend of Sydney and fashion.

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