Thursday, 1 December 2016

Review and Excerpt - Brides and Bouquets at Cedarwood Lodge by Rebecca Raisin

Anyone who follows my blog will know that I've already read a number of fabulous Christmas books this year. The latest festive story I had the pleasure of diving into was Brides and Bouquets at Cedarwood Lodge by Rebecca Raisin, which was simply divine. It most certainly kept my spirits raised and left me with a smile on my face. 

Within this book we are transported to Cedarwood Lodge in the run up to Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year for many. At the lodge which Clio hopes will become known as the ultimate and most desirable wedding venue, Clio is working hard to ensure that everything is perfect for the bridal expo that is going to take place there. Whilst things don't always go as planned leaving Clio feeling rather stressed and suffering from sleepless nights, she is supported by her best friend Amory along with many more unforgettable characters. Between them all will Clio's hopes and dreams become a reality or are they destined to fail?

One thing I can say is that Rebecca has amore than achieved her aim of creating characters with big hearts who care about relationships and who you can see yourself being friends with. Clio was undoubtedly one of these characters, who despite having more than her fair share of issues to deal with cared very deeply about and always looked after her friends. I wished she was real as I would definitely appreciate having a friend as wonderful as her in my life! 

Brides and Bouquets at Cedarwood Lodge is the second book in the Cedarwood Lodge series and I thought it was magical. Despite not having read the first book in the series I had absolutely no problem getting stuck into it, something which was undoubtedly thanks to Rebecca and her wonderful way of writing. From very early on I knew that I was reading a very special book, it was captivating and really set the scene for the reader describing everything in perfect detail which allowed me to create a perfect picture in my head of Cedarwood Lodge. 

This was the first of Rebecca's books that I've read and one thing I can guarantee is that it will not be the last. Upon finishing this book I was super excited to see that there is to be a third instalment of this series which I didn't hesitate to pre-order. Either devour Brides and Bouquets at Cedarwood Lodge in one go or savour it by reading it in multiple sittings but don't let it pass you by as the story is every bit as stunning as the gorgeous cover! 


Blustery winds lashed at the windows, rattling the shutters, and a draught raced up the staircase in an eerie woo. December had well and truly arrived, bringing with it icy winds and sheeting rain and the urge to snuggle by the fire. But there was no time for that with only a few days until our bridal expo, and Christmas to plan too.

“Tell me this place isn’t haunted, Clio,” a wide-eyed Amory said, clutching a loop of silver tinsel to her chest like a safety blanket.

“With the ghosts of boyfriends past?” I teased, warming my hands by the fire. It crackled and popped, a comforting soundtrack to frosty nights with us holed up in the lodge, working away in one room or another. While the main renovations had been done, there was always something else that needed some attention. From polishing paint-smudged finger-printed balustrades, to excavating the debris from a musty unused cupboard we’d missed the first time around.

She grinned. “You wish.”

“No I do not wish. Men complicate everything!”

The creaks and moans of the lodge didn’t bother me any more. I was used to the grand old dame making her presence felt in the whispers of wind, and shivers of brocade curtains. And if the ghosts made their presence felt then who was I to judge? I hadn’t mentioned it to anyone, but sometimes I awoke with a start, and had the feeling I wasn’t alone. Which was all sorts of crazy and I put it down to fatigue and erratic dream-filled sleep.

“Speaking of men,” Amory said falling into a plush wingback chair that we’d rescued from the basement and rejuvenated. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I was thinking back to a few weeks ago – the night I arrived actually – and I could be mistaken; did I interrupt you and Kai? I wasn’t paying attention at the time, but I’m sure you were in his arms like… lovers.” Her eyes twinkled mischievously and it was all I could do to keep my expression neutral.

Damn it! I had tried very hard to forget all about Kai and the spontaneous kiss under the moonlight. He had left before I was up the next morning, and I hadn’t heard a peep from him since. He’d probably forgotten all about me and Cedarwood by now, and thus there’d been no point confiding in Amory about my brief clinch with the bronzed, blond, surfer, yogi, Australian project manager – just to describe him briefly – who’d helped shape the lodge back into the beauty of its halcyon days. Without him here, the work days lost some of their shine, for me anyway.

“In his arms?” I said doubtfully, as if she was silly to suggest such a thing. “God, no. We had been discussing the… the cleanup. Probably why he hotfooted out so early the next day.” I lifted a shoulder as if it was nothing, but the mention of Kai and that kiss still had the ability to make me woozy. What could I say, it had been a long time since I’d been plagued with thoughts of a man in the romantic sense – it jolted me, those long dormant feelings.

Not fooled, Amory narrowed her eyes and said breezily, “Oh, my mistake, this postcard must be for someone else then…” With a playful smile she waved the postcard in front of me.

With a shriek I snatched it from her, and held it to my chest. “Did you read it?”

She faux gasped, “I would never do that!”

“You liar!” I laughed, and lobbed a cushion at her.

Even if Amory had read the postcard, which I had no doubt she had, I wanted to read it alone and savor it. I peeked at the festive picture on the front of a snow covered park with a line saying: wish you were here. Of course, I instantly read too much into it…