Series: Brides of Lowcountry #1
Published by Avon on June 1, 2021
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
About A Lowcountry Bride
Maya’s dream is to be the head designer for bridal designer superstar Laura Whitcomb. She’s in the running for the job when her dad breaks his hip so she returns to the Lowcountry in SC to help care for him. Maya needs a way to earn money during her unpaid leave so she visits a local black-owned bridal shop, hoping to sell some of her wedding designs.
Derek is trying to keep the doors of Always a Bride, the shop his mom started, open. But as a widower with an almost teenager on his hands, there’s already a lot in his life.
Maya wants to find a way to honor her heritage by using the sewing techniques her mom taught her. Derek wants to honor his mom’s legacy of a black owned and supported business.
My thoughts about A Lowcountry Bride
As someone with a chronic illness, Maya, with sickle cell anemia, was thoroughly relatable. Worrying about when or even if to tell employers, coworkers, dates is difficult. People do treat you differently and some are uncomfortable being around a chronically ill person.
Maya and Derek’s grief felt very real to me. Maya wants the head designer in part because she and her mom, who’s passed on, shared a bond over sewing. Her mom shared Filipino and West African techniques that Maya works into her bridal designs.
Derek’s wife was killed in a church shooting. He’s dealing with his grief as well as his daughter Jamila’s.
The plot handles difficult subjects like racism, grief and loss, and chronic illness with a soft touch. Preslaysa Williams treats her characters gently, knowing they’ve already suffered a lot. But she’s also made them strong. Instead of anger or resentment in the face of racism or other setbacks, Maya and Derek are full of determination and grit. They’re willing to fight for what they want.
The romance is sweet, chaste and gentle. I enjoyed seeing all of the characters attending church events.
In Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert, the main character is also dealing with a chronic illness. There’s definitely more steam but bot main characters wrestle with things like to tell or not to tell people about their illnesses and how their health affects the way people treat them.
First Comes Like by Alisha Rai also has a diverse cast and a main character who loves fashion and is pursuing it as a career. First Comes Like also features a gentle romance. Read my full review.
A Lowcountry Bride is a heartwarming own voices story with likable and relatable characters. It’s about unexpected loss, grieving and taking steps to heal and still having the strength to pursue your dreams.
Thank you NetGalley and Avon and Harper Voyager for the ARC.