As part of a “A Year of Weddings,” I read A January Bride. The second book in the series, this novella tells the story of author Madeline and widower Arthur as their friend, a spry octogenarian affectionately known as Ginny, plays matchmaker.
Madeline’s house is being renovated, which doesn’t suit her need for peace and quiet while she’s writing. Arthur has a bed & breakfast that sits largely empty while he works as an English professor. When Ginny calls on Arthur to let Madeline use his house while she recuperates from a sprained ankle and tries to beat a publishing deadline. Competing schedules keep the two from meeting, but they exchange almost daily notes, getting to know one another from afar. The only catch is they’re both greatly misinformed about the other – they both think they’re talking to someone Ginny’s age, when the reality is that they’re both barely middle-aged. Even more complicated is that they’ve actually met one another and didn’t even realize it.
I found the story absolutely entertaining. While their interactions are not face-to-face, they are genuine and serve to give more depth to the characters. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in the pair’s notes to one another. One more than one occasion, it appears that they’re close to figuring out the truth behind the notes and then … nothing. It borders on frustrating in the most appealing way.
Raney also provides significant — and very necessary — back stories for each without bogging either character down more than necessary. Their backgrounds are a huge part of their misconceptions about one another, but also show how much of a match they are. This novella is well-written and is definitely an easy read. I highly recommend it as it is a solid addition to the “Year in Weddings” collection.