~ Audiobook Review: A Lowcountry Bride (Brides of Lowcountry #1) ~

Published: June 1, 2021

Author: Preslaysa Williams

Narrator: Carmen Jewel Jones

Audiobook Length: 8 hours 50 minutes

A heartwarming Avon debut of love, forgiveness, and new beginnings set in the beautiful South Carolina Lowcountry.

Maya Jackson has worked for Laura Whitcomb, Inc, a renowned New York City bridal gown brand, for years and dreams of becoming Head Designer. She has the talent; she just needs a chance to showcase her unique style. Due to an illness, she’s always prioritized her career over her personal life until her father fractures his hip and Maya returns to Charleston, South Carolina. While home for only a few months, she’s thrilled to find an opportunity at the local bridal gown boutique, never expecting sparks to fly with its owner…

A military veteran and widowed father, Derek Sullivan hopes to save Always a Bride from bankruptcy in order to preserve the legacy of his mother. He also wants to reconnect with his estranged, twelve-year-old daughter, who is still recovering from the loss of her mother. The last thing he needs is a relationship with a beautiful, smart, complicated woman who will be leaving soon.

When Derek begins to fall for the lovely Maya, he knows there’s no future. But destiny has its own plans, and these two lonely people with big hearts discover that coming home to love is the best gift life can give. 

Find It On: Goodreads / Amazon

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A Lowcountry Bride is the first novel in the Brides of Lowcountry series, which focus on a different set of main characters within the same community in Charleston, South Carolina. The story follows biracial (Black and Filipina) Maya Jackson from New York who is going to Charleston, South Carolina to care for her father. Although she is the head bridal designer for Laura Whitcomb, she is unable to integrate her heritage or other ideas into her designs as they are not what Laura considers “mainstream.” There are some racist tones with their interactions, and I enjoyed how this played out on the page. It was integrated well to give it a realistic feeling. Maya has Sickle Cell Anemia, and it is estimated that she has about 10-15 years left. This does put a damper on the fact that this is a romance, though, as no matter how the story ended, there would be a final date to their relationship. While there are other triggers aside from terminal illness in this story, one that stood out to me is that there is a version of the 2015 mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church mentioned. While the shooting does not take place on page, the aftermath is explored.

Although Maya is given time off to care for her father, Laura only grants it without pay, which leaves Maya in need of funds. She ends up in a bridal shop, Always a Bride, owned by widower, single dad, and veteran, Derek Sullivan. After he inherited the shop, he is desperate to keep it open at all costs. Since he was away, his daughter Jamila was raised a lot by her grandmother. I had a very difficult time with Jamila as she seemed to run the show too much. While I love that she was involved and that as her dad, Derek, wanted to make sure she was always included, it seemed way too indulgent. I fully understand how Jamila would be wary of Maya and harbors some resentment to her dad not always being there for her, but her character went way beyond those and took it to the extreme. The writing made it seem that at this rate she would be horrific by the time she was an adult.

The writing contains a lot of narrative sentences, which seemed to come one after the other. I think this did the novel a disservice as it affected the flow while reading. While Maya’s personality is described through inner monologues and interactions, I had a difficult time picturing her as her main descriptors are her heritage and “beautiful.” The same can be said for Derek as his heritage is described and he is “handsome.” Other than that, I could not tell you anything else about their appearance, so I just had to create them, almost, from scratch in my head. As a reader, I do not need a detailed list about appearances, but I would have liked just some snippets.

While this is a romance story, I did not really buy into the romance between Derek and Maya. It has a sweet beginning, but I did not connect to any chemistry between them. The story is dual POV, but I feel there was still not enough depth to Derek and there is still a lot more to explore. As for Maya, I absolutely loved the representation for her illness! I also loved her heritage being included as not only a part of who she is, but also how she used it into her designs. The author has a lot of talent in writing with heart, but I think there was too much going on for her to properly accomplish everything in a single story. The novel itself is not even that long, so there were not enough pages to explore everything enough for readers like me. Other readers may love everything as-is, so I would suggest others try this story for themselves. Overall, this story was not for me and I am not quite sure about starting the next in the series, but I may one day give the author another shot in the future.

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