Here Comes The Bride
by Pamela Morsi, historical (2000)
Avon, $6.99, ISBN 0-06-101366-8

Here Comes The Bride is definitely one of the most elegantly simple yet romantic titles I've come across in a romance. It sure conjures up image of a nice, cozy romantic hour of reading. And the stepback art just make me swoon. I can't resist - grab, grab, grab!

Thankfully the story more or less lives up to the wonderful packaging. It misses a little, but it hits the right spots more often than not. And it's only a "Friends first" romance, my favorite sort.

Augusta "Gussie" Mudd is a very shrewd businesswoman who runs an ice business. She has her life planned out. She may be over 30, but she has her eyes set on Amos Dewey, whom she has been dating for three years. But he seems content to let things go slow-mo as they are, when Gussie wants a family and a baby or two now. And since she is good at her economics, she realizes that the only way Amos can feel the urgency to marry her is when he faces a competition for her.

Here is where sloppy, unposh, and naughty Rome Akers, her employee comes into the picture. If he will pretend to court her, she will offer him half of her company in a form of a partnership.

Don't groan (I did at first) - it's not as bad as it sounds. Rome is a fun guy, and he comes off as a noble man instead of a deluded martyr when he strives hard for Gussie's success even when her success means he losing her. He did bring in mind Gus Pike, the charming fiddle-playing down-in-his-luck guy in my favorite TV show The Road To Avonlea come to think of it, and Gussie reminds me a lot of snobby, know-it-all Felicity King.

The romance is nicely paced at a leisurely manner amidst everyone picketing for better sewers (don't ask). Both characters start off as typical sorts - the clueless shrew, the stuffy bore suitor, the rakish dude, etc etc - but as the story paces forth, things start becoming enjoyable. And the ending brings a nice touch to the whole fanfare of a romance.

Here Comes The Bride is a nice, entertaining romance between good people who deserves every bit of their happiness. It's also, I'm happy to report, more on par with Morsi classics such as Wild Oats and Courting Miss Hattie than the rather boring books Miss Morsi seem to be churning out of late. And it makes me want to build me my own kissing booth.

Rating: 87

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