Synopsis

Always the wedding planner, never a bride, Elliot Lynch is famous for orchestrating the splashiest weddings in Charleston, South Carolina. When her father’s sloppy management practices leave them on the brink of bankruptcy, Elliot will do whatever it takes to save the family business. When asked to appear on “The Marrying Type,” a reality TV show about the people behind the scenes as couples exchange I dos, she says yes to the invasion of privacy (and the hefty paycheck that comes with it).

With a camera crew capturing every detail of her life, Elliot faces her most challenging contract yet: planning a wedding where her ex is involved in every part of the process. Add in a lazy assistant, liquor-loving bridesmaid, and rival planner encroaching on her turf, and Elliot’s wedding season goes from high-end to high-stress.

Forced to confront her past, Elliot must live out her troubled present on national TV if she has any hope of saving her future.

 

Excerpt

Her cell phone rang. Distracted by the reasonably priced moo shu pork and the rumbling in her stomach, she answered thephone. “Engagements, Elliot speaking.”

“I’m in trouble, and you’re my only hope.” Perching the phone between her ear and shoulder to keep her hands free so she could continue sifting through the papers, Elliot waited for her cousin, Marissa, to continue. “My TV show concept was green-lit, and we’ve been asked to shoot a full first season.”

“Congratulations,” Elliot answered without dropping a beat. “Which one?”

“It’s the one about wedding planners.”

“Which one?” Elliot repeated. When Marissa had brainstormed possibilities for her small production company’s next reality program, she’d come up with at least half a dozen ideas surrounding wedding planners. Elliot hoped the network hadn’t gone withthe one that pit a bunch of wedding planners against each other to land a date with a handsome millionaire. It seemed too desperate and degrading.

“It’s the one that follows four wedding planners from across the country to document the ups and downs of the business for a summer,” Marissa said.

Elliot released a breath of relief on behalf of planners everywhere. “I remember that concept.” She’d given her cousin a little background on the wedding industry to develop the pitch.

“Do you need more information on the latest trends?”

“Actually, yes, but that’s not all.” Marissa paused, and Elliot stopped sorting while she waited for her cousin to ask for another favor. It didn’t take long. “There’s something else.”

Elliot shook her head in amusement, nearly dropping her phone in the process. “What do you need?”

“We have three planners lined up. One in Manhattan—he’s sassy and fabulous, and I love him. We found someone in L.A. She’s a mean little wench. People are going to love hating her. We have a cute old couple in Chicago. Their story is freaking adorable.” Marissa cleared her throat. “We need a planner from the south, and I figured . . .”

“No.” Elliot turned her focus back to sorting. “You cannot follow the Engagements team for the summer.”

“Come on. Our Dallas planner dropped out, and we need someone from the south.”

“Charleston and Dallas aren’t interchangeable,” Elliot said.

“It’s still a southern city.”

“A small southern city. They’re hardly the same.” Elliot dumped a stack of old wedding announcements and programs in a box to archive. “Besides, I’m not sure our gentlemanly forefathers would like to be put in the same category as cowboys. Find someone in Atlanta or New Orleans.”

“The network adores the idea of setting one of our planners outside of a major metropolitan area. When I told them about your family . . .”

“I appreciate you considering Engagements, but now isn’t the right time.” Elliot doubted her father or sister would ever agree there was a right time to air their dirty laundry on a reality TV show. Still, family was family, and she didn’t want to disappoint Marissa. Angering her cousin would undoubtedly make next Thanksgiving more than a little uncomfortable. “I can put you in touch with a few of my contacts.”

And that was as much as she would do. With Walter’s retirement, Elliot would be far too busy figuring out the transition with her sister. Negotiating the company’s future would pose plenty of its own challenges. While Libby had been quick to support their father’s announcement at dinner, she hadn’t been as fast to offer any business management ideas. After a nasty divorce,

Libby had devoted most of the last year to spending her paychecks rather than earning them.

Marissa pressed on. “I don’t have time to win over a complete stranger. We have to start filming in one week—two at themost. The execs want you.”

“Again, thank you, but I’m sure you can find someone a million times more interesting than us to film. We’re simple people. Boring, simple people.”

“We’ll provide a hefty lump sum for everyone who participates,” Marissa continued on, ignoring Elliot’s protests. “We have serious advertisers on board. They’re willing to pay big bucks for wedding-related entertainment.”

Elliot had no doubt. Weddings were a lucrative business.

While Marissa continued to spout out details about her TV show, Elliot found yet another shoebox filled with envelopes and receipts. Barely avoiding a grimace, she removed the lid. Her brow creased. Second notices. Third notices. Still balancing the phone, she reached for a calculator and tallied up the figures. The past due amounts grew higher and higher.

Why weren’t these bills being paid? The most recent carried yesterday’s date. Something was not right. Surely their accountant settled these bills promptly, or at least he’d better have a good explanation.

 

Review

I received an ARC of this book from CLP Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review and as part of the book’s blog tour promotions.

There was a time when I was a fan of the chick lit genre. I still am a fan until now, but my books these days tend to lean more toward the darker, more erotic stories. The Marrying Type is like a breath of fresh air for me. It was easy, uncomplicated, enjoyable.

We have a hero and a heroine who had history, one that was serious enough to lead to an engagement. Unfortunately, things did not work out for them in the past. Now, they are forced to work close together in coordinating a beautiful wedding for the hero’s sister, with the heroine as the wedding planner.

I liked this book. It has a very clean romance between the hero and the heroine. There were times when I felt like the book dragged a bit, but it was still as entertaining. Laura Chapman has managed to write a wholesome love story that leaves readers with such a good and happy feeling.

 

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