Always a Bridesmaid
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Pages: 134
Goes well with: Japanese buffet, aromatic pastries, a plate of cookies and black coffee

Coconut Springs is a small town, and Troy is its sheriff. He was engaged to Bree back in his misspent, bad-boy youth, but then he got her best friend, Meg, pregnant, and they eloped. Later, Meg died, leaving Troy with a beautiful daughter and a broken heart. Is Bree still carrying a candle for Troy, and Troy for Bree? Troy struggles to heal from past hurts, without risking the love of his child, but Bree’s nonchalant exterior hides struggles and hurts of her own.

Elaine Hopper creates a delightful sense of atmosphere in Always a Bridesmaid, peopling the town with intriguing three-dimensional characters and comfortable dialog. Reading the book is almost like relaxing in front of a movie.

As Bree sits in her room, pondering the past, the scene is peaceful, mournful and complete. But forgiveness is more than words, blame more than excuses, and betrayal more than the guilt that meets the eye—as she soon learns.

I loved the ranch. I loved the scenery. And I loved the wealth of people gathered for the Bree’s sister’s wedding, even match-making big sister, zany clowns and serious dad. But as the story progressed, I grew to love the wisdom of Troy’s mother-in-law with her call for old ways and old forgiveness, for a hope that looks forward, not back… and the wisdom of a young woman called Bree who finally learns that healing is more than skin deep.

Always a Bridesmaid wasn’t the story I was expecting—it was better. It was a fun, crazy ride, with sadness just below the surface, and hope eagerly waiting to bubble through—a fine mixture for an excellent (if slightly long) lunch-time read.

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