Saturday, August 20, 2011

WEDDING MAGIC by Patricia Coughlin

WEDDING MAGIC – Patricia Coughlin
Berkley Sensation
ISBN: 978-0-425-24123-3
August 2011
Paranormal Romance

Rhode Island – Present Day

Wedding planner Sophie Bennett’s life is all about weddings and happily-ever-afters with the family business, Seasons, providing the show. Unfortunately, her own life doesn’t currently include a Prince Charming. When one of the potential clients wants to be married at a local oceanfront mansion, Sophie knows that if they land this account, it will provide a big boost to their business. However, there’s one possible hitch in the plan: the mansion is currently owned and occupied by a reclusive author named Owen Winters who makes it clear from the first moment Sophie approaches him that he’s not interested. Nor is the ghost who inhabits the mansion…

Many years ago, Ivy Halliday, the late resident of the mansion affectionately referred to as the Princess House, was engaged to marry the love of her life, but the groom failed to show up for the wedding. Her heartbreak echoes throughout the house as a ghost, and Ivy is firm that no wedding will take place in her home. But Sophie is one determined woman, and when Owen abruptly changes his mind to let the wedding take place there, her victory is short lived. First she has to agree to Owen’s demands, including the stipulation that Sophie move into the mansion during the wedding preparations. Then Sophie has to contend with one irritated ghost. But when there is a will, there is a way.

Owen may be a wealthy and successful author, but his real life is steeped in tragedy. His only child was killed in a car accident, and Owen feels guilt for not always being there for his daughter. Owen is against the interruption the wedding would provide, yet something about Sophie brings out the “yes” in him. Living in close quarters with her will surely bring him out of his shell. Of course, if they didn’t have to deal with an ornery ghost, things would go a lot smoother.

With WEDDING MAGIC, Patricia Coughlin has penned a tale that runs the gamut from funny to serious. In between, you’ll grab a hanky as Owen and Sophie fall in love. Owen thought the strange activities in the house were coincidences until Ivy materialized in front of him, all pissed off at him because he was occupying her house. With Sophie temporarily living with him, he begins to slowly open up and explore the uniqueness of sharing a life with someone, albeit a relationship that starts out platonic. For Sophie, she has her own demons to face, notably getting past being jilted by her ex-fiancé and being left feeling she doesn’t deserve her own happiness. Then there is the Cinderella likeness of the WEDDING MAGIC—two older step sisters (whom Sophie nicknames the J’s) and her being pushed aside to do the mundane tasks while they bask in the glory and fame while running Seasons. Is there a bit of fairy tale magic at work? Or is fate ensuring that Sophie will be the one who wins Owen’s trust and love?

A very likeable, contemporary romance with a splash of paranormal, WEDDING MAGIC is one of those reads you can’t go wrong with if you want something that leaves you feeling good. I’ve never read Ms. Coughlin before, but after reading WEDDING MAGIC, I’ll be sure to check out her backlist.

Patti Fischer

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