Cover Design: Natasha Snow
Length: 100,000 words approx
Nicholas Herald had one job to do for his big sister’s wedding. ONE. So of course, he forgets all about promising to book the harpist he knows for the elegant reception. With only a week to go, and his options running out fast, he resorts to asking a busker he finds performing on the city streets to step in and help save the day.
As it turns out though, this guy Fynn is pretty amazing with his guitar, and he has the most beautiful eyes – not that Nicholas is looking. But it becomes quickly apparent that finding a musician is the least of Nicholas’s problems. Between last minute cancellations, wayward family members, and a cat with a serious vendetta against happiness, he knows he’ll be lucky if they all make it to the big day intact.
He just doesn’t have time to fall in love, let alone with a boy However, like almost everything else in the week to come, he may not exactly have a choice…
A stand alone, New Adult romance with a happy ending.
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A Ballad of Confetti, Cake and Catastrophes is a sweet, low-angst story about a guy discovering his sexuality while his sister is planning her wedding (and all doesn't go to plan!).
I'll start with the positives because I have the tendency to get bogged down describing the negatives in my 3-star reviews. For me, 3-stars means I liked it but I had issues with it, which is the case with this story.
Helen Juliet did a nice job writing a cute story that will appeal to a lot of readers. It is a new adult story, but it feels VERY young adult (more on that later), so it will appeal to people who like the innocence and sweet aspect of YA.
I really liked lots of parts of the story, especially the zany plot line and the supporting cast of interesting and varied characters. I also appreciated the fact that we have a POC MC and other queer spectrum characters making appearances in the story. It is also endearingly British-feeling, and I immediately got into the vibe of the story. And who doesn't adore a meet-cute story? I know I do! I think the the book had been tweaked in a few areas I would have easily given it 4-stars. However, I kept getting caught up on things that bothered me.
My first issue with the story was the length. At nearly 400 pages, it really dragged at parts and I had trouble focusing on the story. I think it could have been tightened up a good deal, or at least the pace could have been worked on because a story of that length has to be fabulous to hold my attention.
I also mentioned that the story felt YA, and that's very true. We have characters here in their 20s but they act much, much younger. Nicholas was really strange about sex and sexual things. I know he was just coming to terms with his sexuality, but I got the feeling that sex was icky for him, which was odd to me. There was not a lot of sex content in this story, but what was there felt a bit awkward. There was also the stumbling around relationship talking and the blushing and shy interactions that made the book feel very young.
However, my main issue with the story, and this might just be personal preference, was that I couldn't stand Nicholas's many insecurities. He put himself down constantly throughout the story, saying that he wasn't good enough or good-looking enough or everything-enough. A little bit of self-deprecation can be endearing, but a whole book of Nicholas putting himself down was exhausting. It was everything, from his desperate text interactions (chill, dude) to his body insecurities and facial insecurities and his comparing himself to Fynn... I just was tired of it by the end.
I liked the book overall, and I think it was a sweet story, but it wasn't a home run for me. I know that fans of YA and those looking for a break from all of the heavy stuff will like this one.
*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
Author BioHelen Juliet is an M/M author currently living and working in London. She’s been writing stories since she was young, and got her start publishing fanfiction of sites like Wattpad. Fifteen years and over a million words later, she discovered the world of M/M fiction and found it was just as good as the fanfiction she was reading. She fell head over heels in love with the genre and became determined to try her hand at a book herself. On December 31st, 2016, she rang in the new year by publishing her first original novel, and hasn’t looked back since.
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