A December Bride by Denise Hunter – A Festive Christmas Romance Novella

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source: Amazon Purchase
Publication Date: 2013
Find the Review elsewhere: 
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(This post does contain affiliate links. Read the disclosure page for details.)
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Romance, Novella
Series: A Year of Weddings 1 (One)
Rating: 5 out of 5

Layla O’Reilly is making lemonade out of lemons. Not so long ago, her life was perfect. Or at least she thought it was. She had a career path she loved as an interior decorator (or more specifically a stager of homes), along with an engagement to the man she thought she loved. Present day finds her without the ring and working hard to put her business in touch with the right contacts.

TV MOVIE REVIEW | A December Bride (2016) - Denise Hunter's Novella Starring Daniel Lissing

Enter Seth Murphy, the one man she never wanted to see again. You see, Layla holds Seth partially responsible for her broken engagement. And since he had a hand in introducing her fiancé to his new fiancée, Layla might have good reason. But when an invite to her ex’s wedding comes in the mail (an invite that has Layla’s cousin as the bride), Layla scrambles to find a date, and one white lie later, suddenly, Seth becomes her fiancé.

No matter how many of Hunter’s novels I read, I’m endlessly enchanted by each and every one. A December Bride is no different. The charm oozes off the page. For those of you who read Barefoot Summer, you’ll recognize Layla as the sister of its hero, Beckett O’Reilly. Though only a story in novella format, Layla still gets the deserved treatment. Nothing ever feels short-changed, and instead has an uncanny ability to read as if it were a full length novel.

The relationship between the leads starts off as a kind of love-hate (think Mr. Darcy and Lizzie Bennet) persona. This isn’t so much reminiscent because of the mistaken first impressions, but more because Layla distrusts (and sometimes despises) Seth. But fortunately for her, Seth loves her in spite of this, and I loved that we got to experience this from Seth’s POV. 

If A December Bride sounds familiar it might be because it was recently adapted as a Hallmark Channel film. The movie stars Daniel Lissing (When Calls the Heart), and goodness, was I impressed with his interpretation of Seth. Loved Movie Seth as much as Book Seth, and that’s no easy feat. 

Anyone looking for a sweet, and simple Christmas novella should look no further than this. It’s bursting with charm and comic situations which is precisely what lighthearted reading should be.♥

Synopsis: What started as a whim turned into an accidental—and very public—engagement. Can Layla and Seth keep up the façade in Chapel Springs this holiday season—for the sake of her career...and his heart?

Under normal circumstances, Seth Murphy—the best friend of Layla O’Reilly’s ex-fiancé—would be the last person she’d marry. But the news of their upcoming (and phony) nuptials convinces a big client that Layla may be high-society enough to work for his agency—a coup that would put her fledgling home-staging business on the map.

Seth has secretly loved Layla for years, even when she was dating his best friend. Maybe she’ll never forgive him for the way he hurt her back then, but he has to try. And Layla is willing to keep up their engagement farce until she’s landed her client.

For Layla, it’s the chance to save her career. But for Seth, it’s his last chance to win her heart. – Goodreads

Review text © Copyright Rissi JC and first appeared on Finding Wonderland (Dreaming Under the Same Moon), RissiWrites.com 


  1. I read this one the day the movie premiered on Hallmark and got to see it as well. I agree with you- the novel was great, and I loved how it did seem like a full-length novel! Plus, the movie was great, too, although a little different from the book. Love the picture on your sidebar! :)

    1. How fun. I try and read the books of movies I'm interested in before seeing the film/TV show too, Korin. It's sort of a "rule" I've made for myself. It seems to be working. :)

      Glad you liked both. I thought they were equally charming albeit in different ways.

      Isn't it great!? Gotta' love a sweet movie scene like this from A December Bride. :)

  2. Isn't it adorable?! Definitely one of my favorites of Denise Hunter's. I have reread and reread it often since my first read-through last Christmas. SO cute! :)

    1. It IS adorable. It's definitely one of those "easy reads" I can see myself revisiting for future Christmas reads. :)


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