An emotional, at times gut wrenching, but wonderful story
Title: Don’t Kiss the Bride
Author: Carian Cole
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 1, 2021
Carian Cole. I've read other work by Cole and she always gets me right in the feels. In Don't Kiss the Bride, her new standalone, contemporary, age-gap romance, she had me crying within the first chapter. We meet Skylar - a sassy and sweet eighteen year old girl who's been dealt a really bad hand in life. Her home life is awful and she is basically on her own. And she is suffering from several health problems. Seeing how she has no health insurance, her situation is pretty dire. Jude, a contractor in his thirties, keeps coming to Skylar's aide - giving her rides when her car breaks down and bringing her to the ER when she faints nearby. When Jude sees the struggles that Skylar is facing, he asks her to marry him - a completely innocent, platonic, marriage of convenience - so that he can get her on his insurance and help her until she is on her feet. The two of them never plan for their marriage to turn real. Except soon, both of them start experiencing feelings for each other that are anything but platonic, and anything but convenient.
With age gap romances, there is of course the element of taboo - and oh no, what will people think? But Jude is a legitimately good guy who wants to help Skylar, and has only the best intentions. Yes, there are elements in his past that also drive him, but that doesn't take away from what he is trying to do. Skylar is desperate - but despite being desperate, she does her due diligence and considers his offer in a mature way. She doesn't just rush into his arms and call him her saviour. Neither of them intend to start having feelings for the other. It just sort of happens and their road is not an easy or quick one - but let me tell you, the slow build up in this romance is perfect. There is so much character development and time taken to showcase who this couple is, separate and together. Cole's writing is wonderful and heartfelt and all I wanted was more. If there is one book that you read that will really stick with you long after you put it down, it's this one. I loved Skylar, I loved Jude, and I really loved this book.
I guess you could say I was a damsel in distress, and he was my knight in shining armor.
But more accurately, I was a girl with a lot of bad luck, and he was a guy with a lot of muscles and tattoos.
Jude “Lucky” Lucketti wasn’t just a sexy, brooding construction worker. He was my own personal hero who seemed to be in all the right places at the right times. Like when my car broke down and I needed a ride home, and when I face planted on the sidewalk right in front of him and had to be taken to the emergency room.
Those weren’t exactly my best moments, but they were his.
We became friends, and it didn’t matter that he was sixteen years older than me. We had a lot in common—like our love of old rock music and vintage fast cars, and our aversion to relationships.
When he approached me with a crazy idea to help me out, I couldn’t say no.
The arrangement was supposed to be temporary. A marriage on paper and nothing else.
It should’ve been easy, but it wasn’t.
Because here I am, eighteen years-old, still in high school, and married to a man I was never supposed to fall in love with.
We had just one rule—no kissing the bride.
But we broke that rule, and it sealed our fate forever.
GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55309897
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Carian Cole has a passion for the bad boys, those covered in tattoos, sexy smirks, ripped jeans, fast cars, motorcycles and of course, the sweet girls who try to tame them and win their hearts.
Born and raised a Jersey girl, Carian now resides in beautiful New Hampshire with her husband and their multitude of furry pets. She spends most of her time writing, reading, and vacuuming.
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