Honeysuckle Bride
By Dottie
Jan 23, 2015 - 8:59:59 AM

LA celebrity chef Jenna Monroe grew up in foster homes where she learned the advantages of being able to cook. There she met her best friend, Carrie. Now years later, Jenna, who has her own cooking show, is devastated when Carrie suddenly dies. In her will, she names Jenna as guardian to her precious twin daughters, Bridget and Abby. Jenna has no idea how to be a mom and fears that she will not get it right. But she also has another problem. A tabloid reporter has been following Jenna and when she tries to evade him, her two wards in tow, he nearly runs over one of them. When a friend, who lives in Crescent Pointe, Florida, advises her to bring the girls and move near her so she can help, Jenna takes a two week break from her show to get away from the threat and the stalker while she takes time to evaluate the area and decide if she should make the town her new home. But during an outing at the beach, Jenna encounters a man she cannot forget.

Charter boat captain Wyatt Hamilton is still grieving the loss of his young son and blaming himself for the accident. Six months after the child's death, Wyatt's wife left him, hoping for a career in Hollywood. Since the loss of his child and his wife, he has closed himself off from everyone, his friends as well as his family. During his solitary walks along the beach with just his dog, Wyatt comes to the rescue when he hears a young girl screaming and sees another one thrashing around in the water. He reaches the drowning child moments before the beautiful woman he believes to be the girls' mother. The young girl, Bridget, clings to him and he stays by her side until she lets go, advising Jenna in a few abrupt words before stalking off.

Jenna is left shaken, but fuming over Wyatt's words. But when she discovers the loss he has suffered, she and the girls pay him a visit, offering homemade cookies as a thank you for saving Bridget. Although it takes time, Wyatt soon begins to find comfort in speaking with Jenna, but he is not interested in getting involved with anyone and risking his heart. It hurts too much when he ends up losing them. But while Jenna attempts to make some decisions about her life now that she has the two young girls to consider and her priorities are changing, she finds herself falling for Wyatt. Can she convince him to give love another chance?

A heartwarming tale, HONEYSUCKLE BRIDE, the third book in author Tara Randel's THE BUSINESS OF WEDDINGS series, is a poignant, heartfelt contemporary romance that is sure to touch the hearts of readers. Wyatt has trouble listening to the condolences of his friends and family, but Jenna has suffered her own loss and he finds her words comforting. There is so much chemistry between these two grieving people, one that will not be denied. The two young girls also add appeal, depth and innocence to this story as they suffer their own grief over the loss of their mother and their worry that Jenna will also leave them. I loved the way that the author shows that each of the twins has her own distinctive personality and the way that they interact with each other.

This story can be read as a standalone, but if you enjoy this story, you may want to also check out the previous two novels in this series, MAGNOLIA BRIDE and ORANGE BLOSSOMS BRIDE. The main characters from these books also make appearances in HONEYSUCKLE BRIDE, which should delight many of the fans of the series. That is one aspect that I enjoy about a series. This is the first book I have read by this author but I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more.

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