“Destination Wedding” by Deanna Lynn Sletten
Blurb: Life is full of surprises…
Claire Martin’s life is perfect, or at least she tells herself it is. She owns a successful clothing boutique, has a steady, dependable boyfriend, and a beautiful grown daughter who is about to be married. Sure, Claire’s husband of twenty years left her for a younger woman four years ago, but that is all in the past. Now, Claire is looking forward to her daughter’s Bahama wedding and spending a week in paradise. The only thing Claire dreads is her ex-husband and his wife will also be on the island. Claire is determined to make the best of it, though. What Claire doesn’t realize is ignoring her ex-husband for the week is going to be impossible.
James Martin’s life is a mess. His wife of less than four years has made him the most miserable man on earth and now they are in the middle of a messy divorce. He’s happy that he can forget her for a week as he goes off to the Bahamas to attend his lovely daughter’s wedding. Jim is embarrassed to admit to his daughter and his ex-wife, Claire, that he made the biggest mistake of his life when he left her for another woman, so he makes up a story as to why his new wife didn’t come along. When he and Claire are unexpectedly forced upon each other, Jim soon realizes what he’s lost and he begins to wonder if he can find a way back into Claire’s heart.
When I first saw the cover of “Destination Wedding,” I knew I had to read it. After I finished the first chapter, I was instantly hooked on Claire’s story, and I was curious as to how it would play out. I really like Claire’s character, but at times I thought she was a little wishy-washy, especially when it came down to dealing with Jim and Steven. However, the more the story progressed, I understood why she was that way. I even felt a little sorry for her. For a cheating ex-husband, I enjoyed Jim’s character, too. He knew he messed up, and it was kind of nice to see how, and if he could, win Claire’s heart again. As for Steven, the moment he was introduced, I didn’t like him, but I’m thinking that was the point.
From Claire and Jim’s sleeping arrangements to a few revelations, it was quite comical to see Claire and Jim get along after all they’ve been through. Another thing I liked was how the author gave mystery at the end, I’m happy to say that I think Claire made the right decision. No, no spoilers. :)
Overall, this book was a wonderful, quick read. If you’re looking for a quick page-turner to read this summer, I recommend “Destination Wedding”.
I give “Destination Wedding” 5 stars!
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They all walked down to the dock and that was when Claire noticed Jim for the first time. He came bounding down to the dock and wrapped Mandy into a big bear hug.
“Dad! Finally,” Mandy squealed. Father and daughter hugged, which made Claire’s heart swell. True, she wasn’t thrilled he was here, but she was happy he was here for Mandy.
As they hugged, Claire discretely looked around for Diane. Claire wondered where she was hiding.
“Hello, Claire,” Jim said, coming up beside her. They hugged awkwardly, more for show than from affection. Claire felt how solid and in shape he was.
“Hi, Jim,” was all Claire managed to say.
Jim went around the group saying hello, shaking hands with Craig and his parents, and giving out hugs to Lisa and Kaylie. Glen slapped him on the back as a good natured greeting.
“So, old man, how are you doing?” Glen asked. Both men were of almost equal height and equal age and both had easy-going personalities. When they were married, Claire and Jim had always had a fun time visiting with Glen and Lisa.
“Old man, eh?” Jim replied, grinning at Glen. “You’re just as old as I am, so watch it.”
Claire frowned as she watched the two men interact. She suddenly realized just how much she missed family get-togethers like this, and it made her sad that they weren’t the same anymore since the divorce.
“Just like old times, isn’t it?” Lisa said to Claire as she came up beside her.
Claire smiled over at her sister-in-law. Lisa was the same height at Claire, but her hair was dark brown and cut at chin length for ease of style. Lisa lived the San Diego lifestyle to the fullest when she wasn’t working as a paralegal in a law firm. She ran every day and played tennis and surfed. Her lean, muscular body showed how much work she put into it.
“Yep. Just like old times,” Claire said, wrapping her arm around Lisa’s waist in a hug.
A ferry worker announced that they’d be leaving in five minutes. The wedding group came together at the end of the dock to board.
“Daddy? Where’s Diane?” Mandy called out to her father. Claire looked up in time to see an odd look cross Jim’s face. He walked over closer to Mandy. Claire inched over toward them to hear what he was saying.
“I’m sorry, honey, but she decided not to come,” Jim told her quietly.
Claire almost clapped her hands in delight, but then decided that wouldn’t be appropriate and stayed still.
“Why not?” Mandy asked, apparently not willing to let the subject go.
Jim took a deep breath. “Well, sweetie, I just think she didn’t feel comfortable spending an entire week with our family.”
“That’s ridiculous,” Mandy shot back. “We’ve done everything possible to make her feel welcome. What more does she want?”
Jim stepped closer to Mandy. “Don’t let it upset you, dear. It’s not about you, believe me. Let’s not let her ruin our good time here, okay?”
Mandy nodded then turned toward Craig and walked away. It was obvious she wasn’t happy with this new development. Claire understood how she felt. After all, everyone, Claire included, had been kind to Diane despite the situation. How dare Diane act as if she were the persecuted one.
Jim just stood there, looking lost. For some unknown reason, Claire felt badly for him. She walked over and spoke quietly. “I’m sorry Diane isn’t coming.”
Jim turned to Claire and tossed her one of his rakish grins. “Are you? Really?” he asked. Then he winked, turned, and followed behind Mandy and the rest of the group.
Anger rose inside of Claire. Here she was, trying to be nice, and he had the nerve to question her sincerity. And with that damn grin of his. No man, especially one his age, had the right to look so damn cute when he was pissing her off. He was intolerable.
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**About Deanna Lynn Sletten:
Deanna Lynn Sletten is a bestselling and award-winning author. She writes women’s fiction and romance novels that dig deeply into the lives of the characters, giving the reader an in-depth look into their hearts and souls. She has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime.
Deanna’s women’s fiction novel, Widow, Virgin, Whore,made the top 100 bestselling books on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble in 2014. Her romance novel, Memories,was a semifinalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Books of 2012. Her novel, Sara’s Promise, was a semifinalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Books of 2013 and a finalist in the 2013 National Indie Excellence Book Awards.
Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her northern Minnesota home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd or relaxing in the boat on the lake in the summer.
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