cover image Marry Me

Marry Me

Melissa Brayden. Bold Strokes, $17.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-63555-932-3

A bride-to-be falls for her wedding planner in this smoking hot, emotionally mature romance from Brayden (What a Tangled Web). Dallas schoolteacher Allison Hale knows she should be thrilled to be engaged to Brett Carmichael, “the most eligible bachelor in Texas.” Though they come from different worlds, their relationship has always been comfortable, albeit passionless. When Allison hires and immediately clicks with high-profile wedding planner Megan Kinkaid, however, she begins to feel brand new emotions—lust chief among them. Megan’s built her reputation on being aloof and unflappable, but her instant attraction to chatty, unpretentious Allison manages to ruffle her feathers. After Allison’s attempt to break their connection by firing Megan leads to an unforgettable kiss, she comes clean to Brett, who sets her free to explore. Allison and Megan approach their relationship with an endearing mix of excitement and nerves, but their happiness is threatened by Brett’s vindictive father and Megan’s inability to voice her feelings. Brayden is remarkably generous to her characters, allowing them space for self-exploration and growth—so much so that, after the delicious emotional nuance of the bulk of the story, the inevitable act three drama feels both rushed and a bit contrived. Still, the sizzling love scenes and feel-good ending make this a winning romance. (Nov.)