Title: A Wedding to Die For
Author: Xavier Mayne
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 250 Pages
At a Glance: Once again, Xavier Mayne has won me over and entertained me
Blurb: A Brandt and Donnelly Caper: Book Three
When a high-profile gay celebrity couple asks two of the city’s most established vendors to provide cake and flowers for their wedding and they refuse, a resulting boycott threatens to shut them down. It’s up to the next generation in the family-owned businesses to save them from ruin. Justin Capella, baker’s son, and Roman Montgomery, floral scion, work together to plan the gay wedding of the year.
Justin and Roman haven’t seen each other since that fateful day in third grade when a single kiss shocked Justin and sent Roman to boarding school. As fate would have it, Justin and Roman rediscover love while working on the wedding. But disaster might pry them apart again.
Troopers Brandt and Donnelly are working with a statewide task force for the rights of LGBT citizens—all while searching for a killer wedding planner. As guests at the “wedding of the year”, they are the first responders when all hell breaks loose. In investigating, the troopers are led to a shadowy figure they believe seduced Roman into doing his bidding. But the real murderer will cover his tracks at all costs, including Roman and Justin’s lives.
Review: With a plot taken directly from headlines around the country, Xavier Mayne has brought to light some of the issues marriage equality has brought to our attention. One thing that doesn’t get a lot of attention in the media is the group of people in the LGBT community that don’t want marriage equality any more than the strictly conservative faction do.
The story begins with a proposal, two young professionals, who have their whole lives in front of them, are in love. Since they are both rather big names in the community, they want their wedding to be THE event, so they set out to get the best cake, flowers and wedding planner in the city. This is where the beautiful story of their fairy tale wedding begins to go south. They go to the best florist and baker in town, but these businesses refuse to be party to something so “unnatural”, claiming their religious beliefs. As it should, this sets the couple on a course of legal battles and Twitter wars and boycotts.
Being high profile in their own way, Brandt and Donnelly are brought in to try to smooth the ruffled feathers by trying to talk the baker and florist into doing the wedding. Thankfully, the next generation of Capella (the baker) and Montgomery (the florist) realize that they have to bring their families’ businesses into the 21st century if they don’t want to lose what they have built for generations. With both of them agreeing to do the wedding, it also brings the two men back to one another. Justin and Roman have been separated by their families since third grade, but the time seems irrelevant once they rekindle their attraction.
What would a Brandt and Donnelly story be without a mystery, right? Well, there is a doozy of a mystery in this one. When the big wedding day comes, everything goes well until the entire wedding party and the guests are poisoned. With Brandt and Donnelly on the case, there are definitely twists and turns and a ton of laughs. All of my favorite characters made an appearance in this book, and some great new ones also. The two troopers, of course, get the bad guys, and all while planning their own wedding and meeting every crazy wedding planner in the city.
When the crime is solved there are some secrets and lies revealed that could threaten Justin and Roman’s future, as well as cost them the love and support of their own families.
Once again, Xavier Mayne has won me over and entertained me. Parts of this book were darker than I am used to from this author, but it was definitely one of my favorites of his so far. There is a very real portion of the LGBT community that believes marriage equality is not necessary, and they don’t support the change. I would definitely hope these people wouldn’t go to the extremes portrayed in this book, but the reality is out there. It was eye-opening to me and gave me another point of view I hadn’t thought of before.
No matter how heavy some of the subject matter of this book got, though, it was still very entertaining, and the love story between Brandt and Donnelly is still there and getting stronger all the time. I hope this isn’t the end of their journey because I could read about these two for a long, long time.
You can buy A Wedding to Die For here: