If You’re Not the One,
by Laura Briggs
Publication: Bookouture; February 6, 2019
About the book:
Natalie isn’t a romantic. She doesn’t believe in true love, or destiny. She thinks that people are just plain lucky if they happen to find someone. It’s coincidence and nothing more.
As a wedding dress designer though, she knows she has to keep these feelings under wraps. Even if she’s suspicious that Harper, the bride she’s working with, might secretly agree with her. Because if Harper admitted she wasn’t sure about love, it might also mean giving up on a millionaire husband-to-be and the lavish island wedding of her dreams.
But, for Natalie, as her feelings develop for both her on-off boyfriend Chad, and for the boy-next-door Brayden, she starts to fear that her heart might not be as immune to love as she claims…
Could love have been there all along? And as the wedding approaches, who will find a happy-ever-after, who will find their way to themselves, and who will get left behind?
This title has been on my NetGalley shelf for a while so about a month ago, I decided I needed to read it. For some reason, I just could not get into it. However, I dug back into it today and am happy that I did. This was my first time reading Laura Briggs and I didn’t know until after finishing this that she had written previous books about two of the three main characters: Natalie, Tessa, and Ama. If You’re Not the One is Natalie’s story about their wedding planning business, The Wedding Belles, Natalie’s efforts to become a designer, and her revelations about Brayden who annoyed her with his crush since they were young. Thrown in with everything about Natalie are subplots about Tessa, Ama, and their latest client/bride-to-be, Harper.
First, I think I struggled with getting into this book because there was just so much going on. Plus, I didn’t realize there were previous books that would have provided some back-stories. Characterization is a huge element in how I feel about a book, but there were several times while reading this that I felt the reader was getting way more information than necessary to enjoy and understand the novels and characters.
It took some time for me to really feel invested in the characters, however, once I did – I was all in. Their lives were so cluttered and crazy with other careers separate from The Wedding Belles, romantic issues, family issues, and so on. Even secondary characters all seemed to have 2 or more jobs, plus tons of hobbies or obligations. With all of the details about every part of their lives, I think that’s why the novel felt overloaded and unnecessarily long. But anyway, once I warmed up to the characters and figured out what was going on, I found myself cheering them on, rooting for them, and celebrating with them as if I were a part of the story itself.
The best part of the novel for me was Natalie’s emotional growth. The more time she was around Brayden again, the more she began to not only soften but become more compassionate and less selfish. I wasn’t sure if I wanted him to tell her off for being such a bitch all of their lives or if I wanted them to ride off into the sunset together, but everything worked out as it should and I was happy not only with Natalie’s ending, but also with how things played out for Tessa, Ama, and Harper.
If You’re Not the One probably isn’t my favorite read as of late, but I truly enjoyed this book and am very glad I gave it another chance after giving up on it before. It’s not a quick read, but you will truly feel connected with the characters once finished and it will leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling!
*Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest review!