Romance novels are meant to make the female-dominate audience long for the fairy tale romance every woman fantasizes about, whether she openly admits to wanting it or not. Unfortunately, many of the romance stories out there only focus on the lustful aspects of the relationship, thus eliminating the story itself, therefore, taking away the enjoyment from readers who are looking for an actual plot along with the romance. There are, however, a few romance novels that are published that contain both the romance as well as an intriguing plot to the story itself. One such intriguing novel was actually self-published through Amazon by indie author Stephanie Bond as a romantic comedy titled Stop the Wedding!.
Divorce attorney Annabelle Coakley receives a call that bothers her immensely: her widowed mother is getting married to a man she has barely known for two months. Not only is Annabelle distraught at the short-term relationship, but also because the man her mother plans to marry is the old actor, Martin Castleberry, who has been married five times already and his past wives have all been of a young age. Clay Castleberry, Martin’s son, is not thrilled about his father’s newest engagement either. Both children respect their parents’ wishes and travel to see the wedding. However, what the parents do not know is that, upon meeting one another, their children begin a collaboration to stop their parents’ wedding from even happening.
Bond’s writing style is to be commended for she has a beautiful way of writing that is wonderfully balanced in both descriptive detail and dialog. This balance of detail and dialog flows very well together, allowing readers to enjoy her romantic comedy to its fullest. Not only is her writing balanced, but her characters share a similar balance. Stop the Wedding! does focus mainly on Annabelle Coakley and Clay Castleberry as a couple (as it is meant to), but it also focuses on the characters who are actually getting married: Belle Coakley and Martin Castleberry. This is a breath of fresh air for romance novels have a tendency to become trapped in the pitfall of only developing the main romance couple.
Along with the beautiful style of writing and the balance found within multiple elements of her story, Bond has created a fun-to-read romantic comedy that many different types of readers may enjoy. It contains just the right amount of romantic misunderstandings that would have made Oscar Wilde proud. And any readers who are fans of relationships that begin with arguments and border-line hatred between the man and woman protagonists will be deeply satisfied with the relationship that very slowly buds between Annabelle and Clay.
It will be clear to readers as they read through Stop the Wedding! that Bond put much thought into creating her story. It is intriguing, clever, and a quick, but very enjoyable romance. It is not a story for every type of reading audience out there, but it most certainly will reach out to more readers than other more cookie-cutter romance novels. Along with a beautiful writing style, Bond must also be commended on her excellent editing. Another pitfall many self-published authors can become trapped in is the lack of editing, which can break the magic of a story for readers who become invested within it. Stop the Wedding! is a breath of fresh air that focuses more on the whole story of a blossoming romantic relationship rather than just on the sexual appeal.
Originally published at www.examiner.com on June 8, 2016.