A Wedding One Christmas was my first read by Therese Beharrie and won’t be my last, for sure. I discovered her this fall while browsing through the different Harlequin lines on their website and seen that she has quite a few titles under the Harlequin Romance line and I have a couple Kimani romances titled by her as well. I get very excited when I discover a new to me woman of color author writing for Harelquin, so I was so happy when their publicity team sent me A Wedding One Christmas by her.
This story takes place over the course of one day and is set in South Africa. Hello, location I’ve yet to read a book set in! I think setting a book that is over 200 pages in one day is a bold move, and I’d imagine hard to pull off. This is the romance between Angie and Ezra who meet after Angie coincidentally stops at a location she used to visit with her family prior to her father’s passing away and is dressed basically identical to the bridesmaids at the location for a wedding. She is constantly being mistaken for a bridesmaid, stops in a cafe and asks Ezra if she can sit with him and if he can go along and pretend that they are together.
What made this book work for me is that you don’t focus so much on the ‘time’ element because we spend a lot of time in the minds of the characters. We see them, in the words of my sister, ‘making it make sense,’ all their internal stuff! If you are an internal conflict person, this book delivers on that! Both Angie and Ezra have their ‘stuff,’ and we spend a lot of time witnessing the tug of war, back and forth that comes along with their attempts to rationalize this ‘stuff.’
At the core of this story is that on a random day, two people who have been battling their own ‘stuff,’ wind up at the same place and sitting apart from one another at a cafe. I think a ‘fake couple’ storyline lends itself perfectly to the story because it causes these two random people to spend a lot of time together which of course leads to conversation and them getting to know more about one another. Then there is the worry about ‘time.’ We’ve only just met, but I’m getting feelings and this doesn’t make sense! But it’s like, how do you deal with yourself tomorrow, after having walked away, and it hits you that you just walked away from your person?
It’s chatty and the chatter can make it feel slightly like the story is dragging but it’s one of those situations where I encourage you to just hold on! The author makes it make sense in the end.