Book Review: Always the Designer, Never the Bride by Sandra Bricker

It’s taken Audrey Regan years to establish herself as a wedding dress designer, and to date she’s been roped into creating dresses for nine of her girlfriends. Request #10 follows her vow to “Just say no!” and comes from her very best friend. She can hardly turn Carly down!         

Audrey arrives in Atlanta early to perform all of her maid-of-honor duties along with final fittings for a one-of-a-kind dress. But Carly’s wedding is nothing short of an event, complete with Prince Charming, and the festivities make Audrey question whether there’s a prince of her own anywhere in her future.  

Enter the groom’s brother and best man. Shaggy-haired, tattooed bad boy J.R. Hunt couldn’t be any more different from Prince Charming if he rode in on a Harley Davidson.  Oh, wait. He actually did ride in on a Harley!

Release Date: April 1, 2012
Age Group: Adult
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Source: NetGalley
Other Books in the SeriesAlways the Baker Never the Bride, Always the Wedding Planner Never the Bride 

Sandra Bricker has done such a great job with this series.  The books are full of emotion, with positive relationships between friends and lovers.  It's good to read about friends who build each other up!  It's also good to read about people in love who have a respectful relationship---one with no drama.  I love that about her writing.

Audrey is a wedding-dress designer (doesn't that sound like a fun job?) and has committed to make her best friend Carly's wedding dress.  Audrey's business is failing and she fears that Carly's dress will be the last one she ever makes.  She arrives in Atlanta for Carly's final fitting and subsequent wedding and that's when everything gets really interesting.  Carly's fiance's brother, J.R., shows up and there is an instant connection between Audrey and J.R.. 

I'm no fan of love at first sight but I did enjoy the relationship between Audrey and J.R.  Things between them move more slowly than most love-at-first sight stories, which I appreciated.  When relationships progress too fast, they just don't feel realistic. 

There are many things I love about Sandra Bricker's writing.  I love that her books are thoroughly researched.  For example, I could tell that she did some intense research on fashion design before writing Always the Designer Never the Bride.  The details around the design portion of the book were so well-done.  I appreciate that in an author---nothing bothers me more than inaccurate information in a book.  I also love Bricker's attention to detail.  Her writing is meticulous, with details added in to add depth to the story.  Each minor character is very well fleshed-out.  Lastly, I love that the faith element to her books is done with a light hand.  Christian fiction can feel heavy or forced to me, so I like that the characters do have a relationship with God and do pray, but it is handled in a way that feels very realistic. 

If you are new to Christian fiction, Sandra Bricker would be a great author to start with.  Her books don't have the most intriguing summaries, but they are really great reads!

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