(★★★½) MEMORABLE QUOTE: "...Anna Carter organising a wedding is going to be one of the single most terrifying things I have ever witnessed—or experienced—and may in fact bring about the end of the world as we know it..."
MARRIED BY CHRISTMAS was my choice for a GR group holiday challenge. Embarrassingly like the main character, Anna Carter, I picked it for a couple of sensible reasons—namely, Scarlett Bailey was NTM, pre-existing interest (I already had it), and the promise of humor (due to "pesky inconvenience" used in the blurb). And like Anna, I got much more than I expected—I laughed, I snorted, I wanted to slap some of them upside the head a few times, but most of all, I really enjoyed the self-deprecating humor in this heart-warming book.
Maybe I needed a full novel after a diet of quick holiday shorts during the past few busy weeks. Maybe it was my affinity for British humor, or that I love Manhattan during the holidays. Maybe it was, quite simply, serendipitous (to help offset a sick child and clients ruining my week off). Whatever the reason(s), MARRIED BY CHRISTMAS hit pretty much all of my buttons at time of reading. Most especially because it addressed this question: What do you do when you finally have everything that you thought you ever wanted and worked for, only to realize that you want something entirely different?
I admit that I had some doubts at the beginning but very quickly, I was drawn into the distinct British humor and phrasing. All of the characters were well-drawn and so relatable—quirks, insecurities, and all—that I had a real face to go with each of them. (But I won't reveal who the OCD Anna and meddling mum are in my life *snicker*
). Although I was a bit apprehensive about the major hiccup to the perfect marriage (because really, what would you think about a groom-to-be suddenly having a wife?), the author handled it quite cleverly and used that aspect to highlight and contrast the broader storyline.
MARRIED BY CHRISTMAS was a pretty fast read for me, largely due to the engaging storytelling. It certainly helped that it was well-written, with POV switches well-defined and correctly done for the most part. The fact that the ultimate outcome was very predictable (I guessed it way before the 50% mark) didn't matter because unlike some other books, the fun of this one was in learning how
everyone got there.
I highly recommend MARRIED BY CHRISTMAS for anyone seeking a humorous romance about friendship and love and everything in between, with heart-tugging moments, a well-meaning but TMI mum, and a most definite HEA.