Here Comes the Best Man by Angela Britnell
Being the best man is a lot to live up to …
When troubled army veteran and musician Josh Robertson returns home to Nashville to be the best man at his younger brother Chad’s wedding he’s just sure that he’s going to mess it all up somehow, but when it becomes clear that the wedding might not be going to plan, it’s up to Josh and fellow guest Louise Giles to make sure that Chad and his wife-to-be Maggie get their perfect day.
Can Josh be the best man his brother needs? And is there somebody else who is beginning to realise that Josh could be her ‘best man’ too?
Josh is the ‘black sheep’ of the family. He is a military veteran with twenty odd years’ service behind him, that combined with issues from his past have kept him away from home. We discover that he and his father have always had a turbulent relationship, but he promised his brother Chad to be at his wedding.
Louise works for Audrey, an elderly but feisty art collector who is also god-mother to the bride. Louise has her own issues with family, as well as relationships. Like Josh, she guards her emotions and keeps them securely trapped behind a high wall.
Several chapters after I started to read this book, I wondered if I’d missed something. I couldn’t immediately put my finger on the problem, so I put it away for a couple of days, and then started at the beginning again. I quickly realised what had tripped me the first time. With most romances we are used to things happening in a certain order, and that has been true of most of the books I’ve read recently. The order may have variety, but its there nevertheless. What the author has done here is move almost immediately in to an area I had expected to come later.
When Josh and Louise meet for the first time there is a clear and obvious spark between them. Rather than spend chapters on navel-gazing angst or regurgitating all the reasons why they must avoid each other, we go straight away to the building of their relationship. This was where I stumbled, but it is artfully done by the author, and in fact quite realistic. I’ve known several couples who met and married in less than a year.
Josh being the type of guy that doesn’t play games, decides what he wants, and goes for it. He may hesitate occasionally, he may doubt himself from time to time, but his hope and longing for what his younger brother has, beats it all away.
Louise cannot help but be captivated by Josh. She too sees the radiant love between Chad and Maggie, and wishes she could experience the same for herself. The reaction she has every time Josh is near, starts to jolt her out of her trepidation regarding romantic entanglements. By helping Maggie achieve the wedding she really wants, Louise finds her emotional barriers breaking down, and slowly lets Josh woo her.
Considering the time-scale, their relationship moves fast. They both believe in having to be honest, and not having secrets, and the scenes where they share their romantic ordeals are heartfelt. The come-uppance toward the end is an air-punch moment. I’m pleased the sex scenes stayed behind closed doors. Louise’s feeling and fears made it necessary, otherwise I might have felt a little voyeuristic.
While Josh and Louise are fabulous characters, the others in this book are equally wonderful. Audrey, Grandma, Josh and Chad’s parents, Chad and Maggie – they all give sterling performances. I laughed at the honkytonk trip; cheered at Louise stepping up to claim her man; and loved the ‘southern charm’ feel of it all, though I think the author could have done a bit more to bring both Cornwall and Nashville alive for readers like me. I don’t really know Cornwall I prefer other places much further north, and I’ve never been to the USA, let alone Nashville.
This, I have discovered since reading it, is part of a series, but to be honest you can read it as a stand-alone. I enjoyed the story immensely and will certainly acquire some of the author’s other books, (heaven alone know when I’ll find time to read everything). In the mean time, its great and certainly worth the four stars I give it.
Read and enjoy.
Angela grew up in Cornwall, England and returns frequently from her new home in Nashville, Tennessee. A lifelong love of reading turned into a passion for writing contemporary romance and her novels are usually set in the many places she’s visited or lived on her extensive travels. After more than three decades of marriage to her American husband she’s a huge fan of transatlantic romance and always makes sure her characters get their own happy-ever-after. Over the last twelve years she’s published over 20 novels and several short stories for women’s magazines. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Romance Writers of America and the Music City Romance Writers.
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