I’m dipping my toes into romantic comedy with the first of the Misfit Brides of Bliss by Jamie Farrell, narrated by a perennial favorite, Karen White. A Midwestern small-town with big pretensions is the setting…..
Bliss is a small Illinois town, dubbing itself the “Bridal Capital” of the Midwest. So much so that Main Street is The Aisle, and a huge annual celebration, the Husband Games, is the highlight of the social year, set to promote all things married and wedding.
Natalie is back in Bliss, after a horrendous marriage, and is now running her late mother’s bridal shop (one of six in town). Because the Husband Games were important to her mother, she is willing to go to great lengths to make this, the 50th anniversary of the games the best ever in her memory. If only.
CJ is a native boy, but has traded in the small town in favor of adrenaline after the death of his wife during her deployment. He’s not at all interested in anything to do with the ‘games’ or any person trying to push him that way.
The characters: complete with a totally distasteful “Queen General” who spends her life upbraiding, downgrading and bullying everyone into towing her line. Noah, an adorable and scene stealing four year old, son of Natalie. Kimmie, known for her strange dreams and proclamations of the future and you can’t forget CJ’s family – all of them named for herbs…..
The plot – a bit of traditional romance, perhaps a few too many smart-funny moments that distracted from Natalie and CJ and their steps toward a relationship. They both have plenty to overcome after their marriages ended, and with Natalie’s struggles to stand up for herself and speak her own mind, it was frustrating at times. All of the good and bad in a small town was highlighted here, particularly with the long-held reputations from childhood combined with the “you are from here so this must be important to you” attitudes. A few moments of unrealistic situations were balanced by the actual laugh out loud moments, if perhaps overshadowing the lack of solid ‘grab onto this’ moments of development and discovery.
Narration from Karen White was a highlight, she manages to not go headlong into the slapstick moments that appeared without losing the humor and often wry self-depreciating tone from Natalie. Clear and present, she gives the humor a moment to shine, while trying to bring the best from the characters at all moments.
An interesting start to a series, sure to please those who want a lighter and often sillier listen.
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 5 Story 3
Author: Jamie Farrell
Series: Misfit Brides of Bliss #1
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Narrator: Karen White
Published on: 10 June, 2016
Audio Length: 11 Hours: 35 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ Book Depository
Welcome To Bliss, the Bridal Capital of the Midwest!
She's an out-of-place single mother...Natalie Castellano didn't have the wedded bliss experience typical of her hometown, but that won't stop her from ensuring this year's bridal festival goes off without a hitch. Even if it means she has to play nice with the man who broke her fairy tale.
He's a thrill-seeking widower...World adventurer and reluctant local hero CJ Blue doesn't want to be in Bliss anymore than Natalie wants him here. But family obligations have brought him back, and now, Natalie is using every trick she has to rope him into helping save a tradition he'd rather forget.
And their fun is just starting...Despite their rocky past, these two wounded souls have more in common than they expect. They've both loved and lost, they've both tried to move on, and now they've both locked up their hearts. But by joining forces for the sake of Bliss, they might find the courage to risk love one more time.
A copy of this title was provided via Author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.