Title: Never a Bride
(At the Shore #3)
Author: Caridad Piñeiro
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 350 pages
Publisher: Caridad Piñeiro
Publish Date: January 21, 2020
Setting: Jersey Shore
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Reedsy Discovery for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
This is a story of love, for someone that never thought they would be able to find someone to love them. Dedicated to that person who thinks they would never find their happily ever after.
Our main female character Emma starts to feel like she will lose her two best friends after they start finding loves of their own. As the title mentions, Emma has never been the bride in these situations, and when people start to find their loves and start families of their own, people start to lose their friends and others in their lives. Part of it is growth, which is okay, but it could hurt friendships if there’s no balance between the two. Emma is also a wedding planner, so she is able to see behind the scenes of what happens before the happy couple says “I Do”. With some of those weddings and marriages that she’s had the privilege of witnessing behind the scenes, the idea behind this kind of love has been soured and has also stopped her from finding her own kind of love.
Then we also have our main male character Carlo de Costa. He understand where Emma is coming from, but also doesn’t understand how she can also do her job as a wedding planner well. This makes sense, as it is harder to believe someone that does not believe in the product that they are selling, even if this isn’t common knowledge among her customers. Being in Emma’s life has given him an insight into her true thoughts, based on her nonverbal cues when she seems him with his family. There may also be some romantic feelings between the two that aren’t completely obvious to both parties.
This was an enjoyable short contemporary romance novel that helped bring some sunlight into the world today. Emma is the kind of character that learned how to harden her heart from experiences that weren’t specifically hers to handle. Even if she doesn’t believe in finding her own love, she does her best to make everything perfect for the couple of the hour. She doesn’t let her own thoughts get in the way of her job, but that still must be hard for her to compartmentalize between the two feelings.
On the other hand, I really enjoyed Carlo for being the kind of friend that Emma could appreciate in her life. I think it also works well that they have been in a good relationship, both as friends and as work partners, for several years because they are able to understand each other in different ways from others. It’s also really nice that Carlo wanted to make sure that Emma had the time to really think about what she wanted in life, and I really appreciated that Carlo was able to stay patient waiting even if that meant forever. While I wouldn’t have been okay if Emma took advantage of that situation, it still was up to Carlo and I respect what he did in this novel.
Jersey Shore has never really been a setting that I’ve seen portrayed in a novel before, and this was a fun setting to choose.