When Marla Jacobs discovers that the vacant shop next to her Little White Wedding Chapel is to become a funeral parlour, she declares all-out war on the new proprietor Gabriel Ryan.
With an army of loyal supporters, she embarks on a campaign to sabotage his reputation and livelihood.
But when she finally meets Gabriel, she realises just how much trouble she’s in. With his effortless charm and Celtic good looks, Gabriel begins to form alliances with her so called ‘loyal’ army and, reluctantly, she finds herself falling under his spell. And destroying him becomes the last thing on her mind…
Marla Jacobs is quite happy with her lot in life. She is the successful owner of the Little White Wedding Chapel and runs her business with two of her closest friends Jonny and Emily. She has a lovely home, lives in a different country to her mother (which she definitely does class as a ‘good thing’) and is happily single; the only man in Marla’s life is her dog Bluey.
However, Marla’s life is turned upside down when she realises that the bakery which was proposed to move in to the vacant shop next door is not a bakery at all. Oh no. It’s a Funeral Directors. Now, gaining a few pounds through excessive cup cake eating Marla could cope with, but having her brides bump into coffins and grieving widows on their big day is something which she is not prepared to put up with.
Marla is determined that she, along with her loyal neighbours and friends, will put a stop to the funeral directors setting up shop next door. But when she meets the proprietor of the biggest threat to her business imaginable, Gabriel Ryan, she suddenly realises that saving her business is going to be the least of her worries… Firstly, he’s drop-dead gorgeous, has a heavenly Irish accent and behaves infuriatingly decently. It’s not long before everyone starts to warm to Gabe, and despite her best protests, Marla finds herself rather warming to him too…
Kat French is probably best known as erotic romance writer Kitty French and Undertaking Love is the first romantic comedy she’s released and I desperately hope that it is the first of many because I adored this book so much!
Brilliant idea for a storyline, you’ll never quite know whose side to be on when things first get going. Of course you can understand Marla’s distress; we’re talking two businesses at opposite ends of the spectrum, you couldn’t choose a worse neighbour if you tried. But then there’s Gabe. Not only is he hot (which is quite frankly, always a bonus…) but he’s reasonable and willing to work with Marla so their businesses can run harmoniously alongside one another.
One of my favourite things about this book was how Kat French got the balance between humour and upset spot on. I was laughing my head off one minute, and then crying the next. I always think that this is something which is really tricky to get right in novels but Undertaking Love is the perfect example of how it should be done.
Whilst I loved Marla and Gabe and was of course DESPERATE for them to just admit their love for one another and rip each other clothes off etc, I also really fell for the supporting characters in this novel too. I found the way that their stories progressed alongside Gabe and Marla’s to be brilliantly done, especially Dora and Ivan’s. These two were another pair responsible for making me laugh and cry simultaneously. Marla’s friend, Jonny is such a fun character (who I want to be my own best friend) and then half way through the book we’re introduced to Marla’s Mum, the legendary Cecilia. She will make you laugh and cringe simultaneously, but she is fantastic.
Undertaking Love would make the perfect Rom-Com, it’s got everything required. Fantastic story, superb array of characters, witty dialogue, knicker elastic snapping passion, romance, weepy moments and plenty of laughs…There wasn’t a single thing I disliked about this book. Kat French…please write more very, very soon!
A huge thank you to Avon UK for sending me this book to read and review.
Kat was born and raised in the heart of the Black Country, where she still lives with her husband, two little boys and the oldest cat in the world.
She grew up with a healthy obsession for books, and several years ago she promised her husband she would write novels if Santa gave her a macbook for Christmas. It’s a promise she is very glad to have kept.