The Wedding Date by Zara Stoneley
Publishing Date: 20th April 2018
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 400
Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction, Romance
One little white lie.
When Samantha Jenkins is asked to be the maid of honour at her best friend’s wedding, she couldn’t be happier. There are just three problems…
1) Sam’s ex-boyfriend, Liam, will be the best man.
2) His new girlfriend is pregnant.
3) Sam might have told people she has a new man when she doesn’t (see points 1 and 2 above)
So, Sam does the only sensible thing available to her… and hires a professional to do the job.
Actor Jake Porter is perfect for the role: single, gorgeous and cheap! Sam is certain it’s the perfect solution: no strings, no heartbreak and hopefully no chance of being found out.
But spending a week in the Scottish Highlands with Jake is harder than she imagined. He is the perfect boyfriend, charming, sexy and the hottest thing in a kilt since Outlander! And his dog Harry is quite possibly the cutest things Sam has ever seen!
As the wedding draws closer, Jake plays his part to perfection and everyone believes he is madly in love with Sam. The problem is, Sam’s not sure if Jake is acting anymore…
Sam (also Samantha but never Sammy!) has been asked to be the maid of honour at her best friend’s wedding in Scotland, and this includes a week full of activities in a castle! So far, so good but there is one problem – Sam’s ex – boyfriend is going to be the best man, and moreover, he’s going to be there with his new girlfriend – a VERY pregnant girlfriend. So Sam must not only look gorgeous but she needs a new boyfriend, pronto. Desperate needs call for desperate measures, so Sam decides to hire this new boyfriend. Enters Jake, incredibly handsome and lovely actor but as it turns out with his own baggage – now he only has to prove that his acting skills are really well. Or are those acting skills at all?
Being a huge fan of Zara Stoneley’s and her novels, I couldn’t be more excited to see her new book on NetGalley. However, I was a little surprised, as the blurb to “A Wedding Date” sounded very different to her other books, and the cover – well, it is a nice cover but it is light-years away from the other covers. I know, I know, they can’t all look the same but still… Nevertheless, I think it was a really brave move to write a book with such topic and such a title – next to a film titled “A Wedding Date” there are many novels with the same premise as this story and to add something new and original to it couldn’t be too easy. But well, who has said that it will be easy, right? However, I must admit, that the story didn’t take me completely by surprise but don’t get me wrong here, guys – Zara Stoneley’s idea of what could go right or wrong did take the book to another, very high level of entertainment!
There was one thing that bothered me through the whole book – I just didn’t have the feeling that it is a story by Zara Stoneley. It reminded me of so many other rom – coms, which basically is not bad, because of course it had a unique touch to it as well, but Zara Stoneley has already proven many, many times that her stories can be exceptionally brilliant, poignant and funny. And this time I just missed this final touch, this “something” that would make me immediately recognize, without you showing me the author, that it is a story by Ms Stoneley.
Sam was so very easy to like, and she was so relatable with all her problems. She was worrying about her weight all the time and then going out to eat pizza (sounds familiar. Very familiar), about her work, friends and life generally. She was also one of the very best friends in the world and well, she wore her heart on her sleeve. It was a bit sad that she was defining herself through her weight but on the other hand who doesn’t do it, right, so I really did get where she was coming from, and basically, I got our Sam. I warmed to her immediately, and I laughed at her antics, and I liked that she was just so down to earth and believable.
And how lucky you must be to find a guy – moreover, a sexy as hell actor – that would agree to your plan of faking a relationship, right? I think it was that that didn’t sit with so much, and add to that that he was perfect, how convenient was it? Don’t get me wrong, I liked Jake, but knowing that he’s hiding the true reasons while he’s going along with the charade just made me keep the distance a little and probably this is why I just didn’t get fully into the story. On the other hand, I completely understood Sam, oh hell, I’d probably try finding a fake boyfriend myself if I were Sam!
And guys, it wouldn’t be a Zara Stoneley book if there weren’t animals involved! As usual, she introduced some animal characters to us and added a scene or two including horses, and what can I say, they were hugely entertaining, and Harry the dog would give me grey hair.
But altogether, “A Wedding Date” was a funny, uplifting story It ticks all the boxes to be a great summery read – it was a great rom – com with enough drama, comedy and romance, introducing us to vivid, colourful characters and brilliant setting. It was easy, uplifting and light – hearted with plenty of entertaining scenes. The humour and narrative in this book were flowing so effortlessly, unforced and it was a joy to read it. It was full of energy and sunshine and friendship. Yes, I liked other Zara Stoneley’s stories better but it doesn’t mean that “A Wedding Date” wasn’t a good read – because it was and if you haven’t read other Ms Stoneley’s books (not possible I assume) that you can easily start with this one. Highly recommended!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Born in a small village in Staffordshire, Zara Stoneley wanted to be James Herriot, a spy or an author when she grew up. Writing novels means she can imagine she is all these things, and more! Zara’s bestselling novels include ‘The Holiday Swap’, ‘Summer with the Country Village Vet’, ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ and the popular Tippermere series – ‘Stable Mates’, ‘Country Affairs’ and ‘Country Rivals’. She lives in a Cheshire village with her family, a naughty cockapoo, and a very bossy cat, and loves spending time in sunny Spain.
You can find Zara Stoneley here:
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