Tuesday, November 1, 2016

#ARC Review || Left at the Alter by Margaret Brownley || Happy Release Day!

Left at the Alter by Margaret Brownley
Published: November 1, 2016
eARC via Publisher + NetGalley
Amazon || Goodreads 

Welcome to Two-Time Texas: 

Where tempers burn hot

Love runs deep

And a single marriage can unite a feuding town
...or tear it apart for good

In the wild and untamed West, time is set by the local jeweler...but Two-Time Texas has two: two feuding jewelers and two wildly conflicting time zones. Meg Lockwood's marriage was supposed to unite the families and finally bring peace. But when she's left at the altar by her no-good fiance, Meg's dreams of dragging her quarrelsome neighbors into a ceasefire are dashed.

No wedding bells? No one-time town.
Hired to defend the groom against a breach of promise lawsuit, Grant Garrison quickly realizes that the only thing worse than small-town trouble is falling for the jilted bride. But there's something about Meg's sweet smile and determined grit that draws him in...even as the whole crazy town seems set on keeping them apart.

Who knew being Left at the Altar could be such sweet, clean, madcap fun?

Welcome to the Wild West. Gunslingers and petticoats. Boston lawyers and jilted brides. Fierce female leads and..well..Texas.

Two feuding families were supposed to end said feud with the marriage of childhood best friends. When Meg is stood up, the new lawyer in town is there to witness it all go down. He’s also the legal representation for the jilter, and has the hots for the jiltee. LEFT AT THE ALTER is the tale of Grant and Meg, the town with two times, and overcoming tragedies.

I’m just going to start my opinions with this: this is what I needed. I miss my family and my books and my friends. LEFT AT THE ALTER is a good scoop of Blue Bell chocolate ice cream on a hot summer day. It’s comforting. Not something new, or fantastical. It’s not going to leave your earth shattered. What is it going to do? It’s going to make you remember sitting pool side with your toes in the water, when you can’t stay out of it because it’s hot AF outside, and the pool is way too cold to jump into. It’s going to feel a bit nostalgic with a good dose of family ties.

And while I say it’s not earth shattering, but, instead, supremely cozy, I mean it in the way that only some books can actually do. I was rooting for the characters, but not emotionally invested. I was expecting the best and I got to watch the twists and turns unfurl. It’s fun. And all over the place. And surprisingly girl power for the time period. I really want to hear Meg’s youngest sister’s story since she’s a suffragette, animal lover.

Then there’s the romance. I didn’t completely buy into it, and that’s pretty much why it’s a three-star and not a four-star. It’s cute in the way puppies are cute, but it just did not really work for me. I think the reason that it didn’t was because, while I do genuinely like the characters, I don’t really feel like I know them well enough for me to be in love. I like being in love, and with Meg and Grant, I just totally wasn’t.

Besides the romance, the actual plot follows the lawsuit Meg’s dad lobs against her jilter and how Grant deals with juggling his emotions and the case itself. He’s trying to find out what there’s to love about Texas, and how to not fall for Meg.

To rephrase Meg’s words, Two-Time is all about the people, the endless sky, and sea of bluebonnets. Those who love it stay forever. And Meg? She’s here to stay.

I liked LEFT AT THE ALTER. I read it in one sitting. And, if I’m in need of a quick pick-me-up, I’ll read it again.

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