July 9, 2015 20 Comments

Synopsis: When image becomes everything, it’s up to love to refocus the heart.

Photographer Jenna Harrison wants every bride and groom to look picture perfect on their special day, putting her heart into every wedding to give the couple memorable images of their love. But her own heart is still broken, the unworn wedding dress hanging in her closet a reminder that relationships aren’t always as perfect as they look through her camera lens. But Jenna has faith that she will find true love. Until then, she must be patient and trust in God’s plan and His perfect timing.


Attorney Ashton Vance is the one that got away. When an embarrassing Photoshopped picture of put an end to his political aspirations, he blamed Jenna. So what if the photo led to his being offered a dream job and changing his life for the better? Jenna betrayed his trust, and two years later, Ashton’s heart still hasn’t recovered.

It was me. His younger sister’s three words turn Ashton’s world upside down. He must ask Jenna’s forgiveness, but can he risk his heart a second time? Even if Jenna can forgive him, dare he hope for a second chance at her love? – Goodreads 

Picture Perfect Love, by Melissa McClone | Book Review

‘PICTURE PERFECT LOVE,’ BY MELISSA MCCLONE. A wedding photographer reconnects with the one that got away. All text © Rissi JC

Novellas are a tough task to get right speaking only from a reader’s perspective. It almost never works to have the couple go through the motions of a meet-cute, family shenanigans plus create the right mood for falling in love. This is why in order to work, nearly all novellas need to have an already established backstory that took place “off-screen,” otherwise the story is a tough sell. This sweet little novella was the first I’d read from the author (an author who mainly writes in the mainstream market) and also the only story I’ve read in Zondervan’s “Year of Weddings” collections (this book being in the second such series).

Our two characters, Jenna and Ashton, are a nice couple to hang out with for the 112 or so pages their story takes place in. First, I love their names, partially because they are unusual, and secondly, they’re interesting characters because their personalities aren’t as outgoing as other books. The latter is likely stinted or suffers reserved personalities because of the length. But for the story, I think this restraint is appropriate and perhaps even needed. Jenna’s voice is perhaps the strongest because we sympathize with her the most. Or I did. Much as I liked Ash, his inability to trust (again) is one quality he will clearly have to work on turning into something positive or else he and Jenna might not find that happy ending. 

Fans of this novella collection will delight in yet another sweet addition to the series. There is some unique background to this relationship, and if I’m being honest, one that could have made a fabulous full-length novel. Between Ashton’s apparent incapability to trust the woman he loves, his sister and father (jerk alert!), Jenna’s business and their history, this had the makings of something beautiful. Something that would have been lovely to experience fuller. I loved the photography angles and the opportunity to read a fresh voice in contemporary fiction. Picture Perfect Love is exactly as it sounds. A darling wedding story that deals in emotional disturbances of the past, ending in such a way that promises a brighter future.  

About the Book:

Author: Melissa McClone
Publisher: Zondervan
Source: Litfuse Publicity
Publication Date: 2015
Find the Review elsewhere: Amazon ǀ Goodreads
Find the Book Elsewhere: Goodreads
Series: Year of Weddings 2, 7
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Novella
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 

Sincere thanks to Litfuse for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Janine July 9, 2015 at 2:38 PM

    This is such a great book

    • Rissi July 10, 2015 at 12:45 AM

      It's a lovely, quick and sweet read. No doubt about it. :)

  • Michele Hayes July 9, 2015 at 4:59 PM

    This sounds like a great book.

    • Rissi July 10, 2015 at 12:46 AM

      It's a really sweet, quick kind of read that's perfect for the summer months. :)

  • bn100 July 9, 2015 at 10:36 PM

    sounds interesting

    • Rissi July 10, 2015 at 12:52 AM

      It's really cute. Really, it could have been an amazing full-length story. :)

  • alyssa zech July 10, 2015 at 1:56 AM

    I'm starting this one tonight! *crosses fingers for a good read* I'm listening to the first Year of Weddings collection on Audible as well.

    • Rissi July 10, 2015 at 11:37 PM

      I've heard great things about Audible but never tried them – or really any audiobooks for that matter. Hope you enjoy this and the rest of the collection, Alyssa. :)

  • Diana Tidlund July 10, 2015 at 4:02 PM

    not read it yet but love Melissa

    • Rissi July 10, 2015 at 11:38 PM

      You'll likely really enjoy this then, Diana. Happy reading. :)

  • Julia BookReader July 10, 2015 at 4:12 PM

    Amazing review!! Thanks for sharing it

    • Rissi July 10, 2015 at 11:39 PM

      Thanks for reading, Julia. :)

  • dstoutholcomb July 10, 2015 at 8:21 PM

    nice review of a great story

    • Rissi July 10, 2015 at 11:40 PM

      Thank you for reading the review – and I'm glad you liked the story, too. :)

  • Angela Mccabe July 11, 2015 at 12:27 PM

    Visited and this, I can't wait to read!

    • Rissi July 13, 2015 at 10:22 PM

      Fun! Hope you wind up enjoying the novella, Angela. :)

  • Amanda Holmes July 11, 2015 at 1:20 PM

    You summed it up perfectly! I think their more reserved personalities worked well with their back story.

    • Rissi July 13, 2015 at 10:24 PM

      Thanks for reading, Amanda. I would agree. Especially since there was a lot of not-so-good feelings of their past. Seems like a fresh start was what they were going to enjoy. :)

  • C. Monroe December 7, 2017 at 10:48 PM

    This novella wasn't my favorite in the series because of Ashton's inability to trust Jenna. But I did like Jenna's character (I related to her a lot), the photography and the author's writing style. Nice review.

    • Rissi December 22, 2017 at 3:33 AM

      I don't remember much of this one, but I do recall it not being a "forever favorite" kind of story. That said, what I did like about it was cute story – because I'm a fangirl for fun romcoms. :)

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