Discover the scintillating new novel from the bestselling author of Pictures of Lily and The Longest Holiday!
Sometimes you have to step out of the light to see clearly again…
Bronte never expected to see Alex after their one night together, but she never stopped thinking of him. So when she arrives at work one day to find that Alex is a new colleague, she is secretly thrilled. The only problem is that Alex is now engaged to Zara, the girl he was on a break from the night they met.
Determined to move on with life, Bronte becomes a part-time wedding photographer, alongside her day job. Surrounded by loving couples, warring couples, tearful bridesmaids, mischievous pageboys and interfering mothers-in-law, she tries to navigate her way through wedding after wedding while her heart is being torn apart.
As Alex's own wedding day draws ever nearer, Bronte and Alex's chemistry becomes harder to ignore, and Bronte must decide whether to fight for the man she loves, or to let him go forever.
Thirteen Weddings by Paige Toon is certainly a page turner! I devoured the book within 2 days and at many times, particularly towards the end it had me on the edge of my seat. It's going to be hard to write my review without giving it all away.....but I shall try!
Thirteen Weddings appears, early on, to be great chick lit and a big love story where the leading lady is torn between two men, but this book has a deeper, grittier side to it as well as it deals with homosexuality and betrayal.
Bronte is our leading lady and we first meet her on her friend Polly's hen night. We also meet Alex on the same night. Alex goes on to be not only a major love interest but also a work colleague. Bronte met and had a one night fling with Alex on the night of the hen do, not expecting to see him again, but obviously falls for him. A twist of fate brings them back into contact, but Alex now has a fiancee to complicate matters. Early on we also meet a number of Bronte's friends and work colleagues, all of whom help develop the storyline.
Bronte has an aversion to weddings, yet starts to work with Rachel assisting her in taking wedding photos at weekends. This gives us some light comedic moments, but also helps draw out some of the grittier reasons that she hates marriage. It's at one of the weddings she, and the reader are introduced to Lachie, a fellow Australian who is there providing entertainment. Lachie is portrayed as quite the hottie who attracts a lot of female attention, including Bronte's although for much of the book I found it hard to tell if she was genuinely attracted to him or not.
It was interesting for me to see which of the love interests I was backing. Initially I was team Alex, thinking that it was just misfortune and that they should work it out. I felt like Lachie was just a player who would break her heart. However, towards the end I totally switched teams.
We know something isn't quite right from Bronte's childhood as snippets of information emerge at various times, but we don't get to find out exactly what happened until towards the end of the book. When we do it is handled really sensitively and well by the author.
I do seem to really like books where, whilst there are one or two main roles, there are a group of others. There was no one I disliked so enjoyed reading about their trials and tribulations. I liked the way the characters blended in and all bought their own issues to ponder.
I really loved this book and almost didn't want it to end. I liked the pace of the book. It was always moving and changing. I was surprised at just how serious the last third of the book is. It really transformed for me from light hearted and fun into a story that explores the past, love and touches on some serious topics. I had read some reviews saying that they found the middle slow going but I didn't find this. Paige Toon has a style of writing that I really click with and I find it easy to engage in her stories. The book had lots of moments that made me smile and laugh but also some touching emotional moments, so it has a lot of everything. The ending really touched me and hope you will enjoy it as much as I have.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster UK Ltd for providing a copy of this book via Netgalley in return for an honest review.