Series: Carlton Square #1
Published by HarperCollins UK on April 7th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Romantic Comedy, Holiday, Clean & Wholesome, Humorous, General
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‘Full of fun...I loved it’ Cathy Bramley ‘A funny, feel-good romcom... the perfect read to curl up with’ FABULOUS magazine
A heartwarming, cosy romance from Sunday Times bestselling author Michele Gorman, now writing as Lilly Bartlett
When Emma’s boyfriend Daniel pops the question with a ring the size of a small country, she suddenly realises just how different they are. She’s the Eastenders to his Made in Chelsea. She wants a low-key wedding with close friends and family in Uncle Colin’s pub, while Daniel’s mother is expecting a society do that their high-brow guests won’t forget!
How on earth can Emma put together a celebration fit for Lords and Ladies on a shoestring budget? Not to mention the fact her cross-dressing Uncle Barbara wants to be a bridesmaid, her best mate Kelly can’t stand Daniel’s best friend Cressida, and her dad is too proud to accept any help from Daniel’s family towards the costs.
There’s three months to go until the big day. Will Emma’s happy-ever-after end in disaster?
Michele Gorman is one of my favourite authors, so when it was announced she was Lilly Bartlett, Harper Impulse’s newest author, I had to read The Big Little Wedding In Carlton Square. I don’t know why she went with a pseudonym as this book wasn’t much different to her other rom-coms, so there was no big genre change which is what usually brings about a name change. Maybe she just fancied a change? IDK. However, I loved The Big Little Wedding In Carlton Square – it was so much fun, I loved Emma as a narrator and I love even more that this is the first in a series, with the second book due out in June (huzzah!).
First though let’s get the slight negative out of the way: This book is about a wedding, Emma comes from East London, her family are on the bread-line, whereas Emma’s fiance Daniel comes from West London (I mean are there NO poor families in West London or rich families in East London?) and is rich. Obviously there’s a divide, obviously there’s clashes and obviously Daniel’s mother Philippa has all these outlandish ideals for the wedding, whereas Emma wants to keep it small, sixty people, no more, etc. THAT’S FINE. What bugged me, however, was the fact that Emma’s dad blatantly refuses help with paying for the wedding, which seems a tad silly since they clearly struggle anyway, day to day, since Emma’s dad has MS and her mother has to look after him. I understand pride is a thing, and a father generally pays for the wedding (although it’s that archaic? Don’t couples generally pay for it themselves nowadays?) but it just came across like he was cutting his nose off to spite Emma’s face, which probably makes no sense but his refusal to let Phillipa pay for anything meant that Emma had to scrimp and save and lie and cut corners and surely a father would want his daughter to have a good wedding, regardless of who paid for it? I dunno it just bugged me. If someone says to me, “Leah, here’s £5000” I would bite their hands off. But that’s me.
Apart from that, which isn’t a criticism of the book, because people ARE like that, this book was brilliant. I loved the East/West divide, even if it seemed as if it was amped up a bit, and to see them mixing together made for some brilliant scenes. Honestly, it was comedy gold. And I loved Emma and Daniel. I loved that they’d been together a while, Daniel proposed, they wanted to get married ASAP and there were no ex-girlfriends coming out of the woodwork to ruin things or stupid fights and the wedding never got called off, it was refreshing to see a grown up relationship that was grown up. They were together, they loved each other, they wanted to get married and it just made me so happy. Sometimes you don’t want fights and break-ups and you just want a relationship that makes you happy sigh the whole time.
There was a lot to love about The Little Big Wedding In Carlton Square – Emma’s Uncle Barbara was a highlight, and I loved that everyone just accepted the fact that he loved to wear dresses but wasn’t transitioning, I loved how everyone in the East End came together like an episode of Eastenders to make this wedding happen, there was a really big feeling of family in the book and it was amazing, I’m really looking forward to The Second Chance Cafe in Carlton Square with more of Emma, Daniel and their massive, extended East End family. I felt like I was part of it all and Michele Gorman once again cements her status as one of my favourite Chick Lit authors.