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Cart Before the Horse

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,261 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
Sometimes happily ever after doesn't start with "first comes love."

Gabriel Maguire thought he'd buried his past until the night he met Holly, only to lose the woman he cared about, again.

Holly Jacobs has always put the cart before the horse. A prodigy who shot to stardom in textile design, she never knew a normal life—and there's nothing she longs for more than to be norma
Paperback, 249 pages
Published September 30th 2011 by 5 Prince Publishing (first published September 26th 2011)
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She Belongs To Me by Carmen DeSousaThe Executive's Decision by Bernadette MarieUntil Darkness Comes by Melynda PriceA Second Chance by Bernadette MarieOpposite Attraction by Bernadette Marie
5 Prince Publishing
22nd out of 54 books — 6 voters
A January Bride by Deborah RaneyElly In Love by Colleen OakesWife by Wednesday by Catherine BybeeTaken by Tuesday by Catherine BybeeFiancé by Friday by Catherine Bybee
Wedding Bouquets
28th out of 54 books — 12 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,633)
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Jul 27, 2012 LolaLovesBooks rated it really liked it
Have you ever come across a book that you started reading and just couldn’t manage to put down? … Wanted to zip through the book like a speed-reader, but didn’t want the story to end? That’s exactly what happened for me with Cart Before the Horse by Bernadette Marie. I’ve definitely found a new (to me) author whose books will be on auto-buy status. Her writing style is beautiful; a true pleasure to read. Her characters are well-developed, very relatable, funny and compassionate. I could go on an ...more
May 25, 2014 Honeypie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
What can I say? I didn't really enjoy it. Sorry, Ms. Bernadette Marie, no offense. But I guess this time, this story is not for me.

I felt that there were too many events and emotions put in at the same time. There were moments when I was like, "Whoa, where did this come from?" (Not in a good way). There were also some inconsistencies. At first, the wedding dress was at the lead character's mom's place. On the next chapter, it was at the shop! Tsktsk. It may seem minor, but I still noticed.

I did
Sep 28, 2011 Antoinette rated it it was amazing
The Cart Before The Horse is a beautiful story about life. Sometimes life doesn’t always turn out like we think it should, and definitely not the way we always plan. This is a story that makes you fall in love with its characters. You’ll find yourself wrapped up in the lives of Holly and Gabe, rooting for love to conquer all! This story takes you through both of them learning to love for the first time, and learning to love again. Bernadette pulls you into the story, you won’t want to put it dow ...more
Jul 22, 2015 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
I wanted to like this... It sounded great but Holly was such a whiny arsed Debbie Downer it killed almost all enjoyment in this book. And that whole bit with the ethereal dead wife pep talks... nah. Not my cup of tea... But I felt that Gabe saved this from getting one star or less... He wasnt perfect and thats fine but he was sure dang close!
Jan 05, 2016 Al rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was supposed to be First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes baby in the baby carriage.

For Holly, most things happened backwards.
Carmen DeSousa
Jul 05, 2012 Carmen DeSousa rated it it was amazing
I love when I feel a character's passion--and pain. Though it seems the title gives away the plot of the story, it really doesn't. The author still managed to reveal surprises throughout the entire novel. The characters were likeable, even when I felt like yelling at them, as I usually do when I want them to get their act together. Always a good sign when an author has me fussing at her protagonists. There were several powerful and emotional scenes that had me cooing, crying, and hoping. Definit ...more
SNS Promotions and Reviews
SNS Review: 5.0

~~~~~~~~~~Tracy's Review~~~~~~~~~~

Wow, this book just was probably the sweetest book. The characters were so well developed and the story was just so complete that I don't feel their was anything missing. This story was one that moved me to tears many times over. I found myself feeling what not only our female lead but our male lead was going through. This book pulled me in and I didn't want it to end when it did, but only because I wasn't ready to say goodbye to Holly and Gabe.
Jun 22, 2014 Echo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rom-com
This was a light hearted, fluffy read to occupy a sunny afternoon in the garden.

Basically, everything in the MC's life is perfectly lovely - no money troubles, successful, job she loves, man she loves, man has a job that he loves, etc, etc.

However, MC finds ways to constantly worry, freak out or get anxious about everything. To say she has a chip on her shoulder where her mother is involved is an understatement.

So other than a complete inability to appreciate how lucky she is, the story was fin
Tracy Arnett
Nov 07, 2015 Tracy Arnett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Wow, this book just was probably the sweetest book. The characters were so well developed and the story was just so complete that I don't feel their was anything missing. This story was one that moved me to tears many times over. I found myself feeling what not only our female lead but our male lead was going through. This book pulled me in and I didn't want it to end when it did, but only because I wasn't ready to say goodbye to Holly and Gabe.

Holly finds out that on her thirtieth birthday she
Patricia Romero
Oct 09, 2015 Patricia Romero rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
Honestly I got this book because of the title. I had been immersed in Non-fiction for way too long and just wanted something light. I don't do romance novels but I loved the cover.
Holly has been putting the cart before the horse her entire life. A prodigy who did everything before most people, graduating from college before most start, having a successful career in the fashion/textile world, she had the perfect car, job, and home. The good girl who never did anything outside the lines.
Until her
Melody Cox
May 27, 2014 Melody Cox rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this read and I highly recommend it.

Holly is a prodigy who works hard and has no time or energy for a social life. Her co-workers convince her to go along with them for a night on the town and live a little. Live a little she certainly does in the arms of a stranger. Now she's pregnant and needs to find the man who fathered her child even though she doesn't know his name.

Gabe is a widower who owns a restaurant/bar. He is a lonely man since the death of his young wife and has not
Jun 06, 2012 Zoe rated it it was amazing
A nice, easy read full of emotions. This is a nice length and would make a great beach read, something that lets your mind relax and you don't have to think hard to enjoy it. The characters are sweet and shows that the love of two people can triumph over heartache in the end. Made my eyes quite watery at some points but also makes you smile too.
Jenny Miller
I'm sorry I just couldn't get into this - it was typical fluffy chick lit, but the characters got on my nerves..
HE was moody - too nice and then too angry - his mood swings seemed kind of unnecessary.
SHE was too mechanical - focused on career, but I didn't ever feel warmth from her - I'm not sure how these characters 'fell in love'.
Elizabeth Haysmont
Jan 07, 2012 Elizabeth Haysmont rated it really liked it
Truly liked the characters, especially Gabriel, although I occasionally found myself irked with Holly. The lost first love idea is generally overdone, but it worked okay here. Bit of a last minute twist at the end. Good writing overall. I recommend this book.
Jun 02, 2014 Becky rated it it was ok
Holly Jacobs always seems to do the opposite way things are suppose to be done, so when she discovers she is pregnant from a drunken one night stand, she sets out to find out who the father is. She doesn't feel ready motherhood or marriage. She is a successful textile designer and independently content and happy. Gabriel McGuire never thought of the evening as a one-night stand. He hasn't been able to get Holly out of his thoughts. So when Holly enters his swanky restaurant and announces she is ...more
Jennifer Brown
Oct 11, 2015 Jennifer Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The good, the bad and the ugly. . .

The Good: loved, loved, loved this story! The characters were relatable, the issues were real, their love was genuine. The kind of story you stay up late reading.

The Bad: Holly had every right to be angry about Gabe's "surprises" and I thought she should have been angrier at him longer instead of being made to feel guilty for it. Also, the ending felt rushed.

The Ugly: TRANSITIONS!!! Scenes changed from sentence to sentence. Days would end and start in a parag
Sandi Ramirez
I picked up this book a while back and finally decided to read it late the other night when I could not sleep. I like Reading books about weddings and bridesmaids so I thought this one would be pretty good one to try. This book was a good book, not a great book. Would I suggest it Yes. It is a little rough in spots but i never wanted to put it down and not finish it.
It is the typical girl has one night stand with a guy she doesn't know and get pregnant. Later she finds him and they decided to ra
Apr 29, 2014 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Holly is an uptight highly successful antisocial prodigy, who just happens to be pregnant from a one night stand. The man in question, she later discovers, is Gabe the local restaurant owner who is more a take life as it comes type of person. She comes from a small reserved family and he from a large boisterous close knit family. He decides to win her over and make them a family while she is determined to keep them friends with a baby, at least until she gets to know him.
This was a sweet book,
May 03, 2014 SL rated it it was amazing
Bernadette Marie does emotional stories so well. Her "Second Chance" is my fave of all her books, but this is a very close second.

Gabe and Holly each have dealt with turmoil in their pasts. Despite serious misgivings, Holly takes a chance on romance and love with Gabe. Their relationship unfolds letting both of them heal together while changing for the positive.

I really loved this couple and their journey from virtual strangers to happily ever after. Gabe's family was also delightful and really
Black Butterfly
Jun 20, 2014 Black Butterfly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YA
Recommended to Black Butterfly by: BOOKBUB
Shelves: romance
Apr 30, 2014 Tasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holly Jacobs has always put the cart before the horse. A prodigy who shot to stardom in textile design, she never knew a normal life—and there's nothing she longs for more than to be normal. Can she handle Gabe's tragic past and not let it destroy what they have together so they can raise their child together? I have read other books by this author before and I always give her books 5 stars because they are worth every single one of those stars. Her stories break your heart in to pieces just to ...more
Jan 19, 2016 Bee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fluff, owned
Free Ebook. Technically a 2.5 I'd say but always vote up with a .5

Overall this is a "cute" book. The story idea is cute, the characters are cute. The story is too tidy and easy but that isn't what you are looking for in these kind of books. Typically I'd say this was a 3, but I felt like the spring portion of the book (view spoiler) was rushed. I think flushing out more how they got used to (view spoiler)
Jamie Rhodes
May 09, 2014 Jamie Rhodes rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I got this as a free book from Amazon, and I am glad that I kept it. In this book it seems that Holly does everything backwards. She and Gabe had one night together. That night produced a baby. This is an amazing story of how two people fall in love. Gabe is a total sweetie!!! Sometimes he does things without thinking,but he always has Holly's best interest at heart. Dual point of view. No cliffhanger. Wonderful!!!
Penny Friday-Baker
Warm powerful storyline

A wonderful story full of past pain, changes, emotions, communication and strong love. Well written that had me grabbing my box of tissues. I cried so much at times I couldn't see the words.
Hope the author writes another on the Jacobs and Maquire families with Chandra and Tracy too.......still a lot of family history to cover as well as the happenings in all the characters lives.
Aug 01, 2015 Elaine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-challenge
Somehow this expression seems negative ...don't do it! But in this story that is exactly what happened to Holly and even though she fought it with all her strength, she had to admit that it opened up a new way of life for her.
Love, marriage , kids.... Instead it was getting pregnant, then marriage and love. Will it turn out well for Holly and Gabe?
A lovely heart warming story that will let you even shed a tear or two!
Troy  Dye
CART BEFORE THE HORSE by Bernadette Marie

CART BEFORE THE HORSE by Bernadette Marie

The writer explores the concept that many of our blessings are the things that we try to avoid. Like the lady in Pride and Prejudice the girl in this story realizes that she was wrong about everything. The rest of the story is a rehash of the first nine months of every couple expecting a baby.
Oct 15, 2014 Angel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 08, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am already a Bernadette Marie fan and having a paperback in my collection seemed like the obvious thing to do. Her stories are filled with believable characters and a warmth that stays with you long after you have finished her books. If you want a contemporary romance that's easy to read and hard to put down then read Bernadette Marie's :-D
Holly Jacobs, was different and had been made to feel different since childhood. She excelled in school, graduated at fifteen and completed a double major in college by age nineteen. At thirty she found herself pregnant from a one-night of drinking on her birthday and going to a hotel with a man. Because she did things out of order, Cart Before the Horse, she was upset because she could not remember the man or his name. This set the background for the story, until she finds Gabe, the father of h ...more
Carla Cabrera
Jun 11, 2014 Carla Cabrera rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: must-read-again
I loved this story. it is my kind of read. There is very little conflict and lots of romance. I loved how determined Gabe was to win the affection of Holly. He chemistry is great between them. I like how the story carried you through many significant stages of their relationship. I highly recommend this book and author. I will read this again.
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Notebooks and pens have been my obsession since childhood. Later it became books and stories others weaved into the perfect escape. The day I received my first typewriter was the day the passion for spinning a tale hit me – and it hit hard.

I was thirteen when I first sat down to write the great-American love story. I didn’t have much to say at thirteen. But over the years I did fall in love, get m
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