Beatrix’s fiance, Will, skipped out just days before their wedding to become an archaeologist. While he was digging for King Tut, convinced Beatrix didn’t love him enough to go to Egypt with him, she was nursing a broken heart and trying to recover a sense of normalcy. Six years on, she’s finally managed it. She’s engaged to another man, she’s spent a delightful last summer as a single woman, and she finally thinks she’s moved on. Then Will comes back, in search of money for his dig, but winds up sidetracked by the fact that he still hasn’t gotten over Beatrix. As he slowly begins to destroy the facade of a life she’s built for herself, she has to wonder whether she’ll have anything left when Will chases his dreams back to Egypt again.
This was such a sweet book. I’d never read a romance by Laura Lee Guhrke before, but I was sure I’d heard she was good, and whoever said so was clearly correct. This was a light, easy read that still managed to tug on my heartstrings as I followed the unexpected second romance that blossomed between Will and Beatrix. I seem to like these romances that focus on old loves; I think it’s easier to feel a couple’s relationship is likely when you know they have a lot of history together. Guhrke does a great job of showing it here, mixing a lifetime of memories in with the present to make a fully rounded love story.
Beatrix’s true problem is that she’s been raised to be slightly too cautious. Her father was extremely overprotective, but because she loved him, she followed his rules without complaint. Her fear has held her back from getting much of what she wanted. Her struggle to overcome those barriers, to take risks and seize what she wants, was I thought a surprisingly inspiring theme. It’s not just her desire for Will that motivates her, it’s everything she’s dreamed about in life that she never thought she could have. It’s such a different theme than the prevailing trend of sweeping passion and dangerous boys – which isn’t exclusive to novels labeled with “romance”. There’s passion, yep, but also more.
I also liked the setting, which seemed unusual in the current world of historical romances. I mostly stick with Regency England, although admittedly I don’t read very much romance these days. This is set at the beginning of the twentieth century, before World War I and the death of the aristocracy. Beatrix has a car and goes “motoring”; parts where her fiance warned her about going 40 miles an hour made me laugh out loud. It’s those little touches that brought the world to life for me. Even though there are balls and princesses and fancy dresses, the world is changing, and it’s rare to find that sort of feel in a romance, at least it has been for me.
Wedding of the Season was a surprisingly satisfying romance novel, and I’d eagerly recommend it to any other romance reader, especially if they’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary.
I am an Amazon Associate. I downloaded this book for free from Netgalley for review.