Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Book Review: White Wedding

By Sara Steven

Take one lavish holiday wedding. Add one evil ex and his bridezilla. And toss in a smoking-hot chef from the past. It’s a recipe for disaster.

Victoria Blackwood has spent years trying to redeem herself after falling victim to a blackmail scheme that cost her father thousands. So, when he insists she coordinate a big Christmas wedding at her family’s winery, she can’t say no. Even if the groom is her ex, and the caterer just quit.

For Rafael Sanchez, a last-minute call to cater a huge society wedding is a golden opportunity. If he can prove he’s up to the challenge, his brothers might entrust him with a larger role in the family catering business. But when he meets Victoria, he can’t believe his eyes. Five years ago, they had a passionate fling that rocked his world. Until she left him with only a fake name to remember her by.

To pull off the perfect wedding, Victoria and Rafael can’t afford to get caught up in the past. But keeping things professional won’t be easy, not when the attraction between them burns hotter than Christmas in July. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

I loved White Wedding! I hadn’t anticipated how quickly I’d finish the book--in one day--but from the get go, I was instantly hooked on Victoria’s story, and I had a really hard time putting it down. I couldn’t believe that Victoria had been forced into being the wedding coordinator for her ex fiancée and his new fiancée. I couldn’t stand her father. But I could also tell that the dynamic between Victoria and her father was one of constant need for approval; she never felt like she measured up in his eyes, and it was obvious she was willing to do whatever it took to make him proud.

When Rafael and Victoria meet up again after not seeing each other for so long, it was a perfectly awkward scene! I loved how Carla Luna set up the moment when they first laid eyes on each other, because it set the stage for everything going forward. Both characters have a lot on the line when it comes to the wedding. Victoria seeks redemption and eventually, freedom. And Rafael seeks approval and eventually, trust. If there are any slip-ups, they could lose a lot. 

While I appreciated the connection between Rafael and Victoria, what I loved the most was the transition Victoria goes through while attempting to mature and get out from under her father’s thumb. There were so many moments where I wanted to yell at her, to tell her to stand up for herself, and not let him get to her or treat her the way he does. And I wanted to yell at her father, too. I felt really emotionally invested in Victoria’s struggles, and I’d hoped to see where things would end up for her and her familial relationships, as well as where things could potentially go with Rafael.

This is my first book in the Blackwood Cellars series, but I want to read the first two, because this one was just so good! A definite five-star experience!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Carla Luna writes contemporary romance with a dollop of humor and a pinch of spice. A former archaeologist, she still dreams of traveling to far-off places and channels that wanderlust into the settings of her stories. When she’s not writing, she works in a spice emporium where she gets paid to discuss food and share her favorite recipes. Her passions include Broadway musicals, baking, whimsical office supplies, and pop culture podcasts. Though she has roots in Los Angeles and Victoria, B.C., she currently resides in Wisconsin with her family and her feisty Siberian cat.

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