I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Author: Leigh Duncan
Series: Hearts Landing #2
Publisher: Hallmark Publishing
Publish Date: June 2, 2020
This book is perfect for those that like: Enemies to Lovers, Close Dancing, and Grand Gestures.
You might not like this book if you aren’t into: Lying, Secret Identities, or Laptops That Don’t Sleep.
From Goodreads: It’s more than a charming small town― it’s a premier wedding destination. But will one journalist ruin Heart’s Landing forever?
Tara Stewart’s boss at Weddings Today magazine sends her to Heart’s Landing to debunk its romantic legends. This could devastate the many local businesses who cater to weddings, from Forget Me Knot Florist to Dress for a Day.
The locals convince Jason Heart, the handsome descendant of the town’s founder, to show Tara around the town. But can he persuade her to believe in the romance?
When I received A Simple Wedding, the first book in the Heart’s Landing series, I knew immediately I was going to love it. Why? Because the first page was a MAP. A map of Heart’s Landing was laid out for us on that very first page and it was that level of detail that told me the author wasn’t messing around. That there was a lot of thought put into building the world of Heart’s Landing for us.
And it was true. I fell in love with Heart’s Landing and couldn’t wait to get back to it in Book Two, aka A Cottage Wedding. It was like seeing old friends again and as corny as this sounds, with social distancing and all, getting to “visit” this little town again brought me immense joy. Don’t get me wrong though- just because this is a sequel and there are recurring characters, doesn’t mean you have to read the first book to understand this installment. You can absolutely read this as a stand alone.
Aside from being back with “friends” again, my favorite part of the book was Tara and Jason’s love story. Theirs could have easily been a story that stuck to the basic “secret identity” trope with the typical reveal in the third act. Instead, both characters were suspicious of one another and their respective motives, which added another delicious layer of tension to their relationship. A mild version of Enemies to Lovers, which you all know is my favorite.
The “big misunderstanding” was a bit of a dud for me as I’m not a fan of conflict that can be resolved with one adult conversation. This one had a big ol’ blinking sign saying JUST TALK TO ONE ANOTHER ALREADY.
I also would have loved to find out a bit more about Tara’s boss and her history with Heart’s Landing. And maybe even a scene where we SEE Tara fighting for Heart’s Landing? Where we get to watch Tara making her pitch for this town she’s proclaimed to love. To be sure, the ending was romantic and everything sweet that you’d like to see happen for these two, but I was kinda like, meh. It did help though that I kept picturing both Daniel Cudmore and Jason Dohring as Jason. ::waggles eyebrows::
In the end, I’m hoping this will be an extended series with each book focused on a new couple. There were hints at the end of this one that more stories could be coming but I guess we will have to wait and see. In the words of Jason Heart, “To be continued.” SWOON.
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