One Funeral (No Weddings, Book 2) Review
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In No Weddings, the first book in their contemporary romance series, authors Kat and Stone Bastion offered a new perspective on chick lit. In the follow-up, One Funeral, they tell a more traditional kind of love story as the characters continue to build their relationship and their business.

The second book in the series picks up immediately following No Weddings—only, this time, it’s seen through Hannah’s eyes. Despite the heartbreak in her past, the lonely baker has decided to take a chance on her handsome (and persistent) business associate, Cade Michaelson. But when she panics on their first date, they decide to move forward in an exclusive non-dating, no-pressure relationship.

Meanwhile, as Hannah struggles to let go of her past, she also works to grow her business—with help from her ambitious employees and Cade, who’s finishing up his MBA. And, thanks to some extra help from a thoughtful new therapist, it looks as though things might finally be looking up for Hannah—both personally and professionally.

One of the things that made No Weddings such an unusual romance was its male point of view. One Funeral loses that fresh, innovative twist by switching to Hannah’s perspective. But in going back to the standard female perspective, the story returns to romance readers’ comfort zone, toning down the f-bombs and innuendo and double entendre to focus on Hannah’s more reflective road to recovery. Of course, that’s not to say that the macho stuff isn’t still here. Cade is always quick to add his very male perspective to any conversation—but, without his running internal commentary on Hannah’s various attributes, the storytelling feels a little more honest and natural.

At the same time, as the authors continue to develop the characters, readers will become even more comfortable with them. Cade still has his caveman-like tendencies—and his possessiveness can be frustrating—but he softens a bit as he builds his relationship with Hannah, becoming more thoughtful and supportive. And while Hannah spends an awful lot of time in her head, she also shows her strength and her drive to succeed.

As in No Weddings, One Funeral develops the characters and their relationship gradually. While most romances dive into steamy love affairs faster than you can say “soul mates,” this one takes its time, allowing the characters to live their lives and deal with their emotional baggage before jumping right in. And, in the process, it teases readers, slowly building the tension between the characters while building to an explosive conclusion. It may be frustrating for those who just like to read the steamy parts—but those who prefer character development and story will appreciate the more realistic approach.

It may not have the same original, male-centric twist as No Weddings, but One Funeral is an honest and enjoyable romance—one that will leave readers eager to pick up the next book in the series, to see what’s next for this cautious couple.

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