Author: Dani Collins
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
Piper Tierney is busy wrapping up the school year and planning the music for Marietta’s Wedding Of The Century. She does not need one of her parents’ backpacking hippies under foot. Except the guy they let stay in their house is so much more than the California couch-surfer he resembles. Before she knows it, she’s making time to make time, even though he’s only in town for a couple of weeks.
Taking a break from working on his doctorate in political science, Sebastian Bloom wants to reassure himself his sister isn’t making another mistake with her upcoming wedding to a Marietta rancher. He’s definitely not looking for a bride for himself. Marriage and family are a trap. But Piper is cute, funny, and wants to move on from her ex.
They agree to a no strings affair, but will they wind up tying the knot?
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
I picked up His Blushing Bride by Dani Collins at NetGalley on a whim. I’m a huge fan of formulaic romance in all it’s sub genre’s, but to be frank, I’d never picked up a book by this particular author before, and I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into.
I’ll admit, my first impression wasn’t positive. Whether it was my recent burn out on contemporary romance, my lack of coffee, or the inconvenient way the first page left me in the narrative with the impression that Piper was possibly a student rather than a teacher, I had a hard time getting into the story. For the first chapter or two I skimmed, and then re-skimmed… and then Bastian showed up on Piper’s doorstep.
The chemistry between Bastian and Piper was sizzling, and the author didn’t shy away from steamy scenes in general (thank you! all I’ve read recently was clean romance, and I missed it!) It was hard not to fall in love with Bastian as a male lead. He was charming, sexy and had a personality that made you want to snuggle with him—the best kind IMHO. Piper was his polar opposite. Sure, she was sexy, but it wasn’t intentional. Piper’s priorities were on her job, not on her sex life. It was nice to see a female lead so down to earth… even if sometimes her anxiousness made me want to shake her. Both of the main characters were flawed; Piper’s flaws were literally front and center for the world to see, but Bastian’s flaws were a little better hidden… and a whole lot more serious.
As far as the technical aspects of the story, the writing was excellent. The story got off to a bit of a slow start—I wasn’t engaged right away—but the pace picked up in later chapters. My copy was an ARC, and as such, it had numerous typos (mostly, words ran together and the formatting was wonky) but let’s be clear… it was an ARC, and ARCs often have formatting and typo errors that are weeded out in publication, so I don’t take them very seriously. None of the errors I ran across were glaringly obvious or obtrusive.
My only real nitpick was the ending, which moved a little too quickly for my tastes. The couple went from a benefits-only relationship with a very clear expiration date to rings and white dresses in an exceptionally short period of time. I have nothing against formulaic romance, in fact, it’s one of my favorite kinds of romance… but it was disappointing to see yet another book that wrapped up in what seemed like a heartbeat, complete with epilog of marriage and pregnancy announcements. It’s a romance genre trope that’s been done to death.
Overall, I liked the book. It wasn’t genre-breaking by any means, but it was a quick, pleasant afternoon read with just the right amount of sizzle and spark. If you enjoy contemporary romance and you’re looking for something to fill a few hours of your weekend, this is a great book to pick up.