left at the altar book coverReviewed by Bethany Kelly

Left at the Altar, written by Margaret Brownley, isn’t your typical romance novel. Not only does it have a unique setting – a town with two time zones – but it also has a very ‘innocent’ type of romance.

In a town with two warring families, two time zones, and everyone forced to take sides, a single marriage can’t make a difference…can it?

Meg Lockwood has been friends with her fiancé Tommy Farrell since she was a child, and their union is supposed to unite the town under one time zone, finally ending the feud between their two families. However, when Tommy shows up late to his own wedding, telling Meg he no longer wants to be her husband, the whole town wonders what she did to push him away.

To complicate things further, Meg’s dad files a breach of promise lawsuit against Tommy, making Meg the town pariah. The only thing that could possibly make matters worse is Meg’s attraction to Tommy’s lawyer, Grant Garrison.

Grant decided to start a law office in Two-Time, Texas to be with his twin sister. But when he gets there, he finds out that she died during childbirth. The only reason he decided to stay was to experience the love for the city as she described in her many letters. The only issue is, now that he’s in Two-Time, he can’t figure out what she loved so much about it. Not to mention, the only case he’s managed to get is the ‘jilted bride’ case as everyone is calling it, and he so happens to be smitten with the jilted bride.

Will Meg find love now that she’s seen as damaged goods? Will Grant be able to focus on the case and not on Meg’s beautiful eyes? Will the feud that’s separated the town for years ever end?

The premise of the book sounded interesting when I read the synopsis, and it turned out to be cute. I honestly had no idea that until time was regulated in the early 1900s, issues with choosing a time to use was common. I also had no idea that breach of promise suits was a thing, but it was. If a man promised to marry a woman, she could indeed sue him if he decided he no longer wanted to marry her. I was impressed with the level of research that went into finding out all of this information just to build the proper setting for this novel.

Other than that, Brownley is a talented writer. She is a simple writer and doesn’t have any frilly writing or unnecessary verbiage, which is something that I love! When it comes to the basics, she has definitely got them down.

This book has a very basic and innocent love story at its core. There aren’t any scenes in the book that go past a kiss. Grant and Meg seem to fall in love with each other’s personality and the idea of each other more than anything else. I thought that the scenes they had together were well-developed and thought out. They were maximized to the point of where it doesn’t seem weird that their feelings developed quickly for one another.

The one thing that I didn’t care for in this novel was the lack of depth in Meg’s personality. I would’ve liked to see her a little more developed, and I would’ve liked to know more about her. I felt that way towards all of the characters, to be honest. Kind of like Brownley didn’t know them as well as she should have.

All in all, this was a cute book, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a low-key romance that’s light on the physical aspect of romance novels.

Bethany Kelly is currently getting her MFA at Goddard College and has a BA in English. She is a writer, editor, and stay-at-home mother and wife who spends her spare time (when she has some) reading and cooking.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Sourcebooks Casablanca. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.