Brides and Bouquets at Cedarwood Lodge by Rebecca Raisin

In brief: Back to Cedarwood Lodge for Part 2 of this delightful trilogy as Clio and Amory organise a bridal expo at the lodge as Christmas comes closer.

The good: As always, Rebecca Raisin’s books are heart-warming and loads of fun.

The not-so-good: Oh Kai. Why did you go?

Why I chose it: Love Rebecca Raisin’s books – thanks HQ Digital for the eARC!

Year: 2016

Pages: 102

Publisher: HQ Digital

Setting: Evergreen, USA

My rating: 9 out of 10

I always say this about Rebecca Raisin’s books, but they are just delightful. Think chocolates without the calories, or any kind of indulgence. It’s like slipping into another world of warmth, where you just know that good will triumph over evil. After 2016, it’s the kind of book we need!

Brides and Bouquets at Cedarwood Lodge is part 2 of a trilogy and I would suggest that it’s a good idea to read the first book (Celebrations and Confetti at Cedarwood Lodge) first to gain maximum love for this series. Then you’ll be familiar with Clio’s problems – bringing Cedarwood Lodge back to its glory days even though her mother refuses to set foot in the place, the reappearance of her (newly single) first love and Kai, the master builder who has left for the west coast. Clio’s best friend Amory is a strong presence in this book as she takes a sabbatical at the lodge (read: dodging her boyfriend after an unexpected proposal). The girls are on to their next project for the lodge – a bridal expo to showcase the possible role of the lodge for that dreamy winter wonderland wedding. Of course, things don’t go to plan when the local council refuses to let the brides into the chapel, citing structural issues. This is where Clio needs Kai back in her life and reluctantly, she calls him. It’s a glimmer of hope for Clio that he helps out so readily – maybe Kai feels the same way she does? But then there’s her first love Timothy who is suggesting he’d like to get to know Clio again and her mother refusing to give up the secrets of the lodge…it’s all too confusing!

We meet in this instalment Amory’s boyfriend, Cruz who is a hotshot on Wall Street but has a former life as a chef. When Clio’s chef bails to join a cruise ship, she turns to him in desperation and Cruz definitely delivers! It also makes him consider his career in a new light and changes Amory’s thoughts on him. Could there be extra love blossoming in the kitchen?

I loved the multiple plot threads going on in this novella, but we’re still left on tenterhooks as to the fate of Clio and Kai. Will she be bold and tell all? Or will she explore a new relationship with Timothy (and his scary children)? It’s a wonderful, fun read just right for the holiday season.

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