15 May 2016

Book Review: A Wedding at Christmas by Chrissie Manby

"What comes to mind when you picture a wedding at Christmas? A gorgeous white dress accessorised with a thick velvet cape... bridesmaids in red velvet too? An arch of Christmas greenery: holly and ivy and boughs of fir. Candles and fairy lights. Snow!

Chelsea Benson has just twelve weeks to organise her perfect winter wedding. Her family and friends pitch in to help, but sisterly squabbling, issues with money and an Ice-Queen mother-in-law soon threaten Chelsea's plans for her big day. And that's without the firework fiasco...

Rescuing Chelsea's dream of a proper family wedding might just take all the magic of Christmas... "

Rating: 5/5

You can buy the book now.

Forgive me, please! I know this review is rather out of season considering we are well into Spring now, but I had a bit of a self-inflicted break from blogging earlier this year, but still want to make sure that some of the books I read back then are reviewed too! Although this is a festive title, it can certainly be enjoyed at any time of year, especially if you have read the other books in Chrissie Manby's 'Proper Family/Benson family' series so far. This is the fourth book in the series, and possibly my favourite one so far!

Chelsea Benson is finally getting married, and preparations are well underway for her wedding, much to the excitement of her family who feel like they have been waiting for this moment for a long time. She wants to get married at Christmas, and feels its the perfect time of year to tie the knot. But as usual for the Benson family, things don't always go to plan, and Chelsea finds her plans quickly unravelling. However, her sisters, parents and fiancé are determined that one way or another that Chelsea will get the festive wedding she's always dreamed of...

I've read the 2 previous books to this in the series before reading this one (somehow I missed the first book, I must try and rectify this!), and they do lead perfectly into this one. I feel like I haven't seen a huge amount of the youngest sister Chelsea Benson to date, so it was fun to have a book more set around her and less around her older sister Ronnie who took the reigns in the other two books I have read. In fact, I quite disliked Ronnie in this book, I wanted to give her a shake and tell her to grow up and stop being so jealous and spiteful! Chelsea is a great character, determined to be a good step-mum to her fiancé's little girl Lilly, and give her the wedding she has always wanted too. She is very considerate, kind and deserves to be happy after a little bit of unhappiness a few years previously.

The lead up to the wedding is of course hilarious, and there are quite a few mishaps that occur, several of which had me laughing out loud, although if they had happened to me I definitely wouldn't be laughing! Poor old Chelsea had a lot to contend with, but had a lovely supportive family, and this is one of my favourite things about these books. I love the love that these people have for each other, even through their ups and downs, and although their eldest sister Annabelle isn't as present as much in these books, I loved how she jumped to the task of looking after Grandpa, and what followed were some of the most emotional scenes in a book I've read in a while, and I'm not ashamed to say I was in floods of tears.

This book was a joy to read, and I enjoyed every page. I loved the festive feeling, the small touches that made it feel so Christmassy (works even better if you actually read it at Christmas time haha!), but the love story within was lovely, and I loved that the Benson's are such a realistic family - there's love but also jealousy, illness, sadness, joy and friendship going on between the generations. The inclusion of the young characters Jack and Lilly having their own plot was great for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the antics of these two younger Benson family members. This book can be read as a standalone but of course works best as part of the series , of which it is book number 4. A wonderful read, I loved it and wholeheartedly recommend it!

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