Laura Briggs comes to the blog today with her latest book – a story of three friends and their successes and struggles in
One Winter’s Day
Tessa, Ama and Natalie couldn’t be more different or more similar, and their skills in their new and struggling wedding planning business work neatly together. Ama is of Indian descent, but all she really wants to do is bake fine pastries and find a man who will sweep her off her feet, not just a marriage to a man picked by her family. Natalie’s heart is in fashion and design, and really isn’t all that interested in romance. With her boisterous Italian family always being involved in every step of her life, and none quite understanding her casual approach to dating, she’s stuck between finding the courage to break out with her own label, and trying to keep the ‘neighbor boy’ from completely inserting himself into her life. Lastly there’s Tessa with her bad history of falling too fast, with a major crush on their ‘handyman / fourth partner Blake’ after a kiss rocked her world months before. But she’s desperate that things don’t change or get any more awkward, and frequent battles with Blake’s true love of restoration and renovation with purpose clash dramatically with Tessa’s need for ‘artistic expression’.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect here – and while I got a solid sense of everyone’s struggles with romance and relationships – most prevalent with Ama and Natalie whose families and parents were omnipresent and occasionally tone-deaf to what the women were trying to say. Ama had the worst of it by far: as she lives and works with her siblings, aunt and parents and while she’s trying to respect their more traditional aspects of life, she’s obviously got viewpoints and dreams that don’t fit with their expectations of what her life should become. Natalie’s family is omnipresent even though she has her own space – the calls, the requests for help or to come to meals, that overbearing expectation of a family that loves you to bits but doesn’t understand your own desire (or perhaps even doesn’t listen), all wrapped up with a childhood friend that everyone (including him) sees as a match for you. Tessa was a bit of the ‘tough girl I’ve got everything handled’ until I get in the presence of Blake and then I go into teenaged girl blushing – I was expecting her to punch his shoulder at any moment. She’s also worried about the future of her new partnership with the girls and their wedding planning business, not wanting to go back to the children’s party circuit with her first boss – all concerns she hasn’t shared with the others as she’s the ‘business head’ in their group – and it is she who manages the money and bills.
Honestly I was confused for most of this story as there wasn’t any real conclusions for anyone – each was mired in their own struggles with their dreams and families, and when you added in the wedding that they are planning with two very disparate mothers of the bride and groom – the funniest parts of the story were the interactions and reactions from the mothers and the mishaps that led up to the wedding. There was little to no growth for Natalie, while Ama actually finally found someone who has potential, even as she hasn’t told her family the whole story yet. Tessa – well we left her drowning her sorrows about Blake in icecream and cocoa on her mother’s sofa. No real resolution or forward progress for any but Ama, and even her progress was miniscule as her own guilt and need to please her parents was overriding her own desires. The writing here was okay, and while I could clearly imagine the smells, tastes and sights, it was the heart and the sense of determination for each of these three women that was harder to access or see.
Title: One Winter's Day
Author: Laura Briggs
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Holiday Themed
Published by: Bookouture
Published on: 9 October, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound
Spontaneous kisses, love at first sight, unpredictable sparks — the dreams of the hopeless romantic at heart. These things just didn't have a place in Ama’s world…
Ama’s been baking ever since she can remember. Desserts, cakes, cookies – anything sweet, delicious and sinful.
Secretly she yearns for a different sort of passion in life though. And as she starts work on the biggest cake she has ever made – for a couple’s magical winter wedding – she realises just how much she too dreams of falling in love.
But when Ama meets a motorcycle-riding bad boy who sets her pulse racing, she knows it can never be, because he’s her very traditional parents’ worst nightmare…
Do her family know best? Or can she trust her heart? And, as the snow begins to fall, will she ever find out what really does go into the recipe for true love?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: