Series: Brides and Belles (Book 4)
Reunited at a Christmas wedding…
I do -- two words wedding planner Natalie Sharpe will never utter. The cynic in her doesn't believe in love…but the woman in her believes in lust! When a last-minute Christmas wedding reunites her with the bride's hunky brother -- Natalie's teenage crush and star of all her fantasies -- Natalie wants a second chance for their first time…
But Colin Russell isn't a teen anymore. He's all man. And his every touch has her thinking about the F word -- forever. Working with him on the wedding is more temptation than she can take. Will one long, hot kiss lead this reluctant bride down her own wedding aisle?
Very good book with some fun parts and some deeply emotional ones. Natalie is a wedding planner who is excellent at her job, but doesn't believe that love really exists. She has seen too many marriages fail, including those of her own parents. In her opinion it is all hormones and doesn't last. Lust is fine - indulge and move on. When she sees Colin again she would love a chance to fulfill her teenage fantasies with him.
Colin is just as attracted to her. The problem for him is that he isn't into casual flings any longer. He is looking for the woman that he can build a future with, and he can see Natalie in that role. He can't believe that she is so anti-marriage. He had been married once before, to another woman who hadn't wanted marriage, but he had convinced her. He didn't intend to do that again.
So, though the attraction is there, they agree to be just friends as they work together to give Colin's sister the best wedding possible. The whole wedding planning was very strange. Colin was determined to give his sister Lily a dream wedding, and didn't understand why she was so uninterested in being part of the planning, leaving it all in Colin's hands. It was very interesting to see the way that he ended up just going with so many of Natalie's recommendations.
Another thing that surprises Colin about Natalie is her anti-Christmas attitude. Once he finds out why, he understands, but he's determined to change that. He bets her that she will like Christmas by his sister's wedding or he will buy her tickets for a trip to South America. I loved the way he started out slow, but began to up his game bit by bit. It was fun to see her build new and better Christmas memories thanks to Colin.
Spending as much time together as they do, their attraction soon overwhelms their vow to stick to friendship. Both of them discover that their connection is deeper than just the physical, but what they do with that knowledge is an indication of their own personalities. Colin wants to believe that now that love has entered the picture, Natalie's opinion of marriage will change. Meanwhile, Natalie is afraid of the feelings Colin has raised in her, and that like the others she has seen, won't last, leaving her heartbroken in the end.
Colin made big plans to show Natalie how he felt, and they went quite well until that moment at the Grand Old Opry. Then he went too far, and I hurt for both him and Natalie. Natalie was too afraid to trust her feelings and his, and the only thing she could do was run.
They still had to face each other for the rehearsal and wedding for Colin's sister. While standing in for the bride at the rehearsal, Natalie finally begins to face her fears and realize what she really wants, but getting Colin to listen is a whole different problem. When it came time for the wedding, I wasn't at all surprised by what Lily did. I loved Natalie's big moment, and how she dealt with the wedding crisis. I saw it coming, but that didn't make it any less romantic.
I loved the epilogue and seeing where all four couples are a year later. It was an excellent wrap up to the series.