Michael and I were married on the last Saturday of July in 1976, the year of one of the UK’s most memorable heat waves. The sky was a cloudless, vivid blue until half an hour before the ceremony when a freak shower dampened the dust and freshened the roses beside the path to the church. Otherwise everything went to plan and we had a lovely wedding day.
So you can imagine my pleasure when I found that 300 Bridesmaids by romance novelist, Jenny Worstall, was set in that glorious summer of 76. For years I’ve enjoyed Jenny Worstall novels and short stories and thought I’d read them all but somehow I’ve missed 300 Bridesmaids so was quick to get it for my Kindle.
Piano teacher Rosie Peach starts a new job at a convent school where she soon falls for fellow music teacher, David Hart. But Rosie takes too much notice of her friend and colleague, Grace Browning, who advises her against getting involved. David is complicated but the situation is made worse by the interference of another of Rosie’s suitors, Tristan Proudfoot. Despite several attempts by the nuns to help things along, the course of true love is bumpy but – spoiler alert – ends happily ever after.
300 Bridesmaids has all the elements of a good romantic novel. If you agree with author Jody Hedlund’s analysis of what constitutes a “sigh-worthy romance”, then 300 Bridesmaids ticks all the boxes. But what I really like about this, and Jenny Worstall’s other romantic novels, is the extra dimension of originality that comes from their setting in the world of music particularly choirs.
Jenny Worstall is a writer and musician who plays the piano and sings in a choir. Her writing reflects her love of music and she has honed her craft as a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Consequently, 300 Bridesmaids is a well written romance which, even though the reader knows where the journey will end, has a good few twists along the way.
In addition to a good plot, the novel has excellent characterisation. The main performers are completely believable and the intricacies of their relationships well developed. The novel has a good supporting cast who complement the main action and add variety and interest.
There’s a touch of the St Trinian’s about school trips and the exploits of the Head Girl and her side-kicks. The nuns are worldly and down-to-earth and the school they run should be a blue-print for secondary education.
All in all, 300 Bridesmaids is a charming, light-hearted, nicely escapist romantic novel which was a pleasure to read. It’s in KindleUnlimited and, amazingly, only 99p to buy.
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