Thursday, November 15, 2012

Review: Secrets of a Wedding Night by Valerie Bowman

Lily had one grand love affair in her life and it ended badly -- and she's been married and widowed and that also ended badly.

The Season is about to start and her younger sister, Annie, is about to make her debut and Lily doesn't understand what all the excitement is about -- she's been there and done it and it left her heart broken.

Then she reads an engagement notice in the newspaper: her former love has found a bride and she refuses to stand by and watch another girl risk heartbreak and disappointment -- so Lily pens an anonymous manuscript that details what awaits young brides after the wedding, and she called it "Secrets of a Wedding Night" --

When Devon's bride cries off, citing "Secrets of a Wedding Night" as the reason for her rejection, Devon vows to prove to the author that a wedding night could be delicious and delightful if it's with the right man and he plans to be the man to prove it.

Five years is a long time but it seems that what Lily and Devon feel have far deeper roots -- and they cannot help but experience the same tingle and excitement when they are together. But so many questions remained unanswered in their past -- and so many new questions beg to be answered in their present.

When interest in the identity of the author builds among the ton and a wager about Devon and Lily is made in the books at Brooks, Devon and Lily must figure out how to escape their scandalous situation without ruining Lily's reputation.

The story begins in medias res, Lily has written the manuscript and has sent a copy of Devon's fiance -- who then called off the engagement. Devon is knocking at Lily's door, demanding to speak to her after five years.

This was one of the best debut novels I've read this year.

What I love about it is how organic the development of the story is -- it moves and progresses naturally and it didn't feel like the author was heaping on plot twists and tropes with every chapter.

Considering that so much is happening, Bowman is able to present, quite clearly, the story she wanted to tell. Two characters who are wary of love and don't really believe in second chances -- but are still given another chance to find an ending to their story.

This is one of my favorite encounters in the story:

"You don't frighten me, Colton. I'll stay. But do not speak to me. I'd like some peace and quiet."

Her only answer was a puff of smoke and then, "It was both peaceful and quiet here before you arrived."


"How have we managed it, Colton? Five years in the same town without seeing each other?"

The smoke puffs stopped. "I've seen you. I just haven't spoken to you."

Lily smiled in the darkness. "The same for me," she admitted with a sigh.
- p. 78

I really just love how Bowman moves the story forward -- I kept on reading and reading, trying to find a good place to stop and then kept on reading some more -- I stayed up fairly late and ended up finishing this book in one sitting.

Secrets of a Wedding Night is Valerie Bowman's debut novel and the first book in her Secret Brides Trilogy. The second book, Secrets of a Runaway Bride (Annie's story) will be released on March 26, 2013.

To find out more about Valerie Bowman and her books, visit her website. She's also on Facebook.


  1. Thank you so much for reading Secrets of a Wedding Night, Tin. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Hi, Valerie!

    Thank you for dropping by!

    I'm very excited for the second book! Can't wait for 2013! ^_^

    Congratulations on the wonderful debut!



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