Wedding Planner Colleen O’Dowd hasn’t had the best couple of years. From the moment she finds her fiancé in bed with one of her co-workers, to the diagnosis of her younger sister’s terminal breast cancer, Colleen’s life has done a 180 degree turn around from where it should have been at this time in her life. At the age of 32 she expected to be married, have a few kids, and be climbing the success ladder at work. Instead, she is alone, childless and embarking on a new career path.
With the breakup of her soon-to-be wedding, and her decision to leave a job she loves as one of the editors at a top bridal magazine, Colleen heads home to Heaven, NH to a family still grieving the loss of a sister, and a new business venture with her remaining sisters. Since Colleen has spent so many years in the bridal industry and knows most of the movers and shakers, she decides to open her own wedding planning business and pulls her sisters in with her. Her older sister is a lawyer and a Justice of the Peace, so she officiates at the non-religious ceremonies Colleen plans. Her younger sister owns a thriving Inn where many of the out of town wedding guests stay, and where some of the receptions take place.
Colleen will tell you she is made of strong, Irish stock, and that when life gives you lemons, it’s up to you to make a tangy Lemoncello with them. I love her ride or die spirit. The move of her fledgling business from NYC to a tiny New England town should have shouted its demise. It has done just the opposite because Colleen was quick to realize that out of town destination weddings where everything is included in one package was the “next big thing” in the bridal industry. Her business not only didn’t die, it’s thriving.
And even though the man she loved for over a decade cheated on her, Colleen is still hopeful she’ll find her Mr. Right, even if she has to wade through the Mr. Right Nows surrounding her.
Colleen’s gumption, sense of herself as a can-do-it girl, and her soft heart make her one of my favorite characters ever to write. She’s snarky, witty, self deprecating, and wickedly organized – all things I wish I was. As far as a heroine you can root for and feel connected to, Colleen O’Dowd is the girl for you.
About the Book:
Colleen O’Dowd manages a thriving bridal business with her sisters in Heaven, New Hampshire. After fleeing Manhattan and her cheating ex-fiancé, Colleen still believes in happily ever afters. But with a demanding business to run, her sisters to look after, and their 93-year-old grandmother to keep out of trouble, she's worried she’ll never find Mr. Right.
Playboy Slade Harrington doesn’t believe in marriage. His father’s six weddings have taught him life is better as an unencumbered single guy. But Slade loves his little sister. He'll do anything for her, including footing the bill for her dream wedding. He doesn’t plan on losing his heart to a smart-mouthed, gorgeous wedding planner, though.
When her ex-fiancé comes back into the picture, Colleen must choose between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now.
I stared at him for a moment, mulling over how I wanted to ask him what I’d been dying to ask since we’d been in my office.
Finally, because there was no other way to get around it but bluntly, I said, “I feel like we need to discuss your father. Come to a decision about where he fits in the wedding.”
When the warmth in his expression shifted to ice, a weaker-willed person might have stopped there. Since I’m not weak and my parents have always told me I have a real problem with knowing when to quit, I pushed on. “It seems to me as if Isabella wants him to be included. Whether in a father-of-the-bride role, or simply as a guest, I really do think she’d like him to attend, but, for whatever reason, she’s reluctant to press you on it.”
Did I say ice? What’s colder than ice? Because whatever it is, that was the expression floating in Slade’s eyes right then as he glared at me.
Warning bells blared in my head, but that thing about me not knowing when to quit? Yeah, it’s real.
“I think Isabella’s afraid of upsetting you if she tells you how she feels or asks your permission. She loves you so much and respects your opinion.”
“You don’t know anything about my sister. Or me.” He lowered his hands from his hips, kept them fisted at his sides. “Or our relationship with our father.”
“True, but I get the sense—”
He barreled over me as if I hadn’t said a word.
“You’ve been hired to do a job, Miss O’Dowd. I suggest you do it and keep your thoughts about my family to yourself. You’re a wedding planner, not a family counselor.” His voice dropped a level, deepening as it became softer. The cadence became clipped, the tone more...lethal.
If this was the way he acted in business, it was a wonder he hadn’t been convicted of corporate homicide yet.
“Look, I’m not asking simply to be nosy,” I said, my voice rising in opposition to his. “I really do have to plan all this out. There’s still the rehearsal and the dinner after it left to deal with. Then there’s the reception seating. Plus, if he is included, I’ll need to make sure he has a room, a tuxedo, and find out if he’s bringing a guest.”
“What aren’t you understanding about this, Miss O’Dowd?” Slade asked, taking a step toward me. If he’d thought to intimidate me with his height, he’d miscalculated. Retreat wasn’t a word in my lexicon. I simply lifted my chin and stared right back at him.
“I understand a lot more than you think, Mr. Harrington. About all sorts of things. Arrogant and pigheaded men included.”
When he continued to stand like a plank of wood in front of me, his mouth turning down and creasing the sides of his jaw, I knew—knew—I should stop.
Wild Rose Press : https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/6294-dearly-beloved.html
About the Author:
Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes about strong women, the families
who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.
Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.
Tying into her love of families, her children's book, THE KINDNESS TALES, was illustrated by her artist mother-in-law.
Peggy holds a master's degree in Nursing Administration and first found publication with several articles she authored on Alzheimer's Disease during her time running an Alzheimer's in-patient care unit during the 1990s.
In 2013, she placed first in two categories in the Dixie Kane Memorial Contest: Single Title Contemporary Romance and Short/Long Contemporary Romance.
In 2017 she came in 3rd in the New England Reader's Choice contest for A KISS UNDER THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS and was a finalist in the 2017 STILETTO contest for the same title.
In 2018, Peggy was a finalist in the HOLT MEDALLION Award and once again in the 2018
A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, she is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00T8E5LN0