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When her little sister gets engaged, Violet Matthews decides she needs a date to the event and hires a matchmaker.  Violet hasn’t had the greatest luck when it comes to men and things seem to be getting worse when she meets her match.  She’d gone to college with Jackson Stratford and he’d made her miserable.  When Jackson admits he also needs someone for an event, they concoct a plan to pretend to date just long enough to get through them.  But the more time they spend together, the more they realize they like the other.  Can Jackson convince Violet that he’s not the same guy he was in college?  Can Violet trust her heart to a man again?

Violet and Jackson sucked me in right from the start.  Once she lets go of her animosity to him, they complement each other wonderfully.  Violet’s a little unsure of herself and Jackson does a fantastic job of cheering her on, helping her evaluate what she wants and move forward.  And as much as Jackson seems to have everything together, he’s got issues of his own that make him doubt himself but spending time with Violet causing him to do some re-evaluating of his own.

Daughety also gives readers a couple of B-stories full of compelling supporting characters.  One involves Violet’s friend Reagan and the possible deterioration of her marriage.  The other is a teen who’s come to live with her grandparents after the death of her mother.  Both add extra depth and heart to an already touching story.

A Wedding Date in Hot Springs, Arkansas is an amazingly sweet book about letting go of the past, being true to yourself, and embracing your future.

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