A Waterfront Wedding
by Leigh Duncan
A Heart's Landing Novel - Book 3
Publisher: Hallmark Publishing
Release Date: April 20, 2021
Reviewed by PJ
It’s the wedding of the year…
But who will get to host it?
In Heart’s Landing, Evelyn wants to prove she’s a good manager of the Captain’s Cottage by the bay—a favorite place for weddings. Meanwhile, Ryan has invested his life savings to remodel the town’s old boatworks into a brand-new wedding venue.
When a Marine and his bride win the Wedding in a Week contest, they have seven days to put together a romantic, all-expenses-paid event. It’ll be written up in Weddings Today magazine. But will they choose Evelyn’s cottage or Ryan’s boatworks?
The rival business owners cozy up to the bride and groom, helping them plan their military wedding. And even though Evelyn and Ryan both grew up in Heart’s Landing, they learn they never truly knew each other until now. But can they trust each other when only one of them can win?
If you enjoy feel-good Hallmark movies, you are going to love this book. Leigh Duncan brings the town of Heart's Landing, in all its wedding-themed glory, to vibrant life. I don't need to be getting married; I just want to spend a week there soaking up the atmosphere. And by atmosphere, I mean dinners at the Italian restaurant on Bridal Carriage Way, tastings at I Do Cakes, horse-drawn carriage rides, and bicycling along the shore. Then there's the award-winning, premiere wedding venue at the Captain's Cottage. But, wait, there's a new kid in town and it looks like his waterfront wedding venue just might give the perennial favorite a run for its money.
This book was an absolute delight. I love a good friends to lovers romance and this one gave me that, plus more. We have childhood friends who are reunited when Ryan returns to town, but now they're business rivals who each are determined to be the venue selected by the special couple chosen to receive an all-expenses paid Heart's Landing wedding. When Ryan and Evelyn are forced to work together to guide the couple through the week-long series of events, they begin to rediscover friendship as adults, a friendship that gradually starts to deepen into more. But always underlying those feelings is the knowledge that one of them is going to lose out when the couple makes their venue choice. And for Ryan, that could mean not only the end of a dream but the end of his business before it even has a chance to get off the ground.
One of my favorite parts of this book is the community Duncan has created. I love how she weaves relationships together - family, romantic, and business - without ever being confusing or overwhelming. By the end of the book, I felt as though I knew these people and was part of their community. Ryan and Evelyn's romance is sweet but with a solid depth of emotion. I was cheering for them. And I thoroughly enjoyed the secondary romance between the couple who won the contest. It was fun to get to know them a bit, both individually and as a couple.
I don't know if Duncan plans any more books in this series but I would happily return to Heart's Landing if she does. I wouldn't mind seeing these characters brought to life on the Hallmark Channel either!