AUTHOR: A.L. Michael
PUBLISHER: Carina UK
PUBLICATION DATE: August 22, 2016
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Sometimes, Happy Ever After is where the real trouble begins…
Chelsea Donnolly wasn’t supposed to amount to anything. But if there’s one thing the bad girl from the estate liked better than trouble, it was a challenge. So, to the amusement of her best friends Evie, Mollie and Ruby – and the disbelief of her teachers – this bad girl turned good.
These days, Chelsea is the kind of girl people are proud to know – and, after a surprise trip to Venice, she has a ring on her finger to prove it. But to get there, she’s had to learn to keep her deepest secrets from everyone – even her fiancé. And when wedding preparations threaten to blow her cover, Chelsea can’t help but wonder: in her battle to the top, might she have left the best parts of herself behind?
Nice Day for a White Wedding is the second book in the House on Camden Square series, and this time tells the story of Chelsea and her boyfriend Kit. I really loved what I’d read from both these characters in the first book of the series and Chelsea’s past was already something I was intrigued by so this book ticked quite a few boxes for me. Nice Day for a White Wedding realistically draws upon the ways many people feel about their past and their upbringing and how no matter how hard you try to avoid thinking and talking about it, secrets from the past never stay hidden for long.
I found Goodbye Ruby Tuesday took me a little time to get into and it was the same here with this book, but the thing I love about A.L. Michael’s books is that her characters are so vibrant and interesting, they never fail to engross me in her stories and turn her novels into one-sitting kind of reads. Here, at the beginning of the book Kit and Chelsea feel really happy and content with each other. In fact, Kit has very romantic plans in place for the two of them but unfortunately that means Chelsea meeting his parents for the first time, and everything goes severely downhill for them from then on.
The life Kit’s family have makes Chelsea feel very uncomfortable and I could understand why. His mum, Jemima, was an absolute nightmare, probably close to the worst potential mother-in-law you could imagine. She was nasty and judgemental and took any opportunity to criticise Chelsea and interfere in her relationship. The whole family lived a very expensive lifestyle and it was so different to everything Chelsea knew. I could really feel for Chelsea and her struggle throughout their visit to Kit’s family, and I’m not sure there were any better ways to cope with it than she did. Kit’s family weren’t all bad though, and I really loved his younger sister and the way she handled everything. Alistair, though, who worked for Kit’s family was my absolute favourite.
Nice Day for a White Wedding’s conflict revolved around Kit and Chelsea discovering how little they knew about each other’s lives. Whilst this was true, I loved how A.L. Michael explored both their lives and the things from their pasts. Getting to know both characters had me hooked and there were surprising things to learn about both of them. I think because we’d already seen how good they could be together that this made me root for them even more, and even when they both did questionable things, I still found myself wanting to bang their heads together and find their happy ending!
The further I got into this book, the more I loved it. One of my favourite parts was the flashbacks to Chelsea’s youth, and the time she spent with Ruby Tuesday. In both books of this series, I love how we really get to know Ruby even though she’s no longer alive – her character is just as big a part of the series as Chelsea, Evie and Mollie. Briefly seeing some of the characters reunited from the previous book was a highlight for me too as The House on Camden Square series is blessed with great characters. Nice Day for a White Wedding is a very entertaining read full of the highs and lows of family life – and it is a story I really didn’t want to put down, or see come to an end, but then again I did love that ending!