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I Always Cry at Weddings

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Ava Larson is going to bring all the other brides to tears.

Engaged to a wealthy NYC socialite's son, Ava is ready to set the city abuzz with her glamorous wedding. At least until she realizes her relationship isn't what it should be. Then, in a move as daring as a red satin dress, she does the unthinkable - she calls it all off and makes a promise to God that from now on, she'll save sex for marriage.

She's convinced the future is hers for the taking, especially when an undercover cop promises a new romance...and an unexpected friendship with the homeless guy under her stoop brightens her days.

But when her carefully balanced life teeters out of control, weddings aren't the only thing to make her cry. Ava has to figure out what life she really wants to live... and what is the world love really means.

354 pages, Paperback

First published September 15, 2015

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Sara Goff

1 book9 followers

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Displaying 1 - 29 of 29 reviews
Profile Image for Dale Harcombe.
Author 14 books318 followers
November 12, 2015
This is an amusing read that carries an underlying important message or two wrapped into the story. One of the issues that it raised was the amount of emphasis put on the wedding day and getting all the details right and yet so little thought to what marriage is really all about. My mind almost went into shock at the amount of money being tossed around for the planned wedding day of Ava and Josh. It took Ava six chapters to come to the conclusion I could have told her she needed to make before the end of chapter one. It also raises a point which goes very much against the picture the world constantly bombards us with, that sex before marriage and living together is the norm and the expected thing. Ava discovers by choosing that route with fiancé Josh, she has missed out on something precious.
The characters are quirky and interesting. The tone of this story is witty, although I think the plot does require a suspension of disbelief at times, especially in regard to the homeless guy who has set up camp under Ava’s stoop. This Aussie had no idea what a stoop was. A set of stairs maybe?
Set in modern day New York, this is a refreshingly different piece of Christian fiction. I admit it took me a little while to settle to it. To begin with I felt like knocking a few of the characters’ heads together, Ava included. But then I got into the spirit of the novel and settled down to just enjoy it. It does raise some issues about how we view and judge others and also how people refuse to listen and hear only what they want to hear. This is a fun read. A portion of profits from sales of this book go towards Lift the Lid, which is a non-profit organisation founded by Sara that raises money for schools and promotes creative writing. Thanks to the author for my copy of this book to read and review.
Profile Image for Christine Lindsay.
Author 9 books106 followers
September 18, 2015
What a breath of fresh air! This is a wonderful romantic comedy for those of us who are tired of Christian romances that always seem to be set in pioneer days, dude ranches, or Amish communities. I’ve watched many a romantic movie set there. So, reading I Always Cry at Weddings felt like that---being inside a contemporary romantic comedy taking place in the Big Apple.

Ava Larson is a young woman like most of us, or like our grown up daughters or granddaughters---she makes mistakes. Big mistakes that accumulate a frightening amount of debt in a short period of time, all for making the right decision. Ava decides to not marry the rich man she’s been engaged to for the past five years and receives the bill for her high society wedding that will never take place. Ava then starts a journey of self-discovery that adds problems on top of problems, that have her squeaking pretty close to losing everything and facing the terrifying prospect of becoming one of New York’s homeless.

But Ava finds that all is not as it seems. Like who is that really cute guy that lives on the street just outside her apartment? How can this seemingly homeless guy appear to have his life in control while hers is spinning out of control?

This story has brow-raising but plausible twists and turns if you read it keeping the average young person of today in mind. Financial security is a thing of the past. Life can change on the spinning of a dime.

So while this book resonates with the honking horns of 5th Avenue, car fumes from New York cabs, the bright lights of Broadway, the thumping of the dancing shoes in night clubs, it still comes across as a breath of fresh air in Christian romance. The steadfast sweetness of Christianity is brushed into the novel with the lightness of a feather, enough to uplift you, as the flawed characters find strength and truth in ageless faith.
Profile Image for Dina Sleiman.
Author 10 books268 followers
October 28, 2015
This is really one of my favorite books that I've read in years!!! It's witty and urbane but still presents a strong spiritual message. Imagine (if you possibly can stretch your mind that far) the Christian version of Sex in the City with a missional theme, and you'll begin to get a feel for this wonderful book. It's truly an original, but you'll love this thought-provoking romantic comedy and won't want the ride to stop.

(Yes, I was an editor on this project, but I was so excited about finding this book, I want to share it with everyone that I can.)
Profile Image for Tracy Krauss.
Author 75 books96 followers
November 29, 2015
I Always Cry At Weddings by Sara Goff was not what I expected and I mean that in a very positive way. Based on the title, I was expecting a cliché romance. What I got was a sassy, smart, somewhat ‘Sophie Kinsella’ esque story with three dimensional quirky characters, unlikely heroes, and an unexpected storyline that doesn’t fit into any boxes. Add to that the fact that I could literally picture the locations in NYC and I was convinced. Sara Goff is the real deal. She unapologetically tackles the realities of contemporary relationships, warts and all. This is not a Cinderella story; instead we are swept into the drama that is Ava’s life as she makes one of the hardest decisions of her life: to walk away from what she thought was true love. Disappointments abound, but there is triumph too, as she learns to love herself and begins to see others through different eyes. I would not class this as a ‘Christian’ book, per se, but there is a strong faith element present. That aside, it is one solid read and I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Henrietta.
207 reviews24 followers
October 5, 2015
Heartwarming, captivating and inspiring, I Always Cry At Weddings explores not only the desire for love but also the meaning of true entitlement to life passion. I had a great time escaping into the world of Ava Larson. An easy-to-like character, Ava is generous, caring and kind-hearted. I particularly admired her tenacity to keep going even when things didn’t turn out as expected. The ending wasn’t exactly something I foresaw but I enjoyed the sweet, uplifting note where it concluded. Definitely a story I heartily recommend.


A copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Janet Sketchley.
Author 12 books76 followers
March 7, 2017
What if your dream wedding was fast approaching – and you suddenly realized it was a huge mistake?

Ava breaks her engagement and gets stuck with an enormous bill. The stress affects her performance at work, and her only supporter, her mother, is fighting cancer. Ava was with Josh for five years. How will she even begin to look for true love?

Desperation prompts some risky choices, and Ava has some narrow escapes. She's drifted a long way from God, although she's trying to find her way back to faith.

Set in the whirl of New York City, I Always Cry at Weddings is the story of one woman's attempts to find out who she really is, and to follow her dreams even when it looks like her life is falling apart.

This is Christian fiction that reads much like a clean mainstream novel. The faith element is sprinkled in small doses, and Ava is clearly a seeker, not an example of mature Christianity. She feels like a real person, and while I sometimes had trouble understanding her actions, I was definitely rooting for a happy ending.

I Always Cry at Weddings is a skilfully crafted novel with an appealing voice. Author Sara Goff is the founder of Lift the Lid, an organization which supports underprivileged schools and encourages young people to exercise their creative expression through writing.

[Review copy provided by the author.]
Profile Image for Wendy Macdonald.
115 reviews32 followers
September 22, 2015
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. I can honestly say this book was hard to put down. Although I prefer more sweet and innocent type romances, the edginess in the main character's behavior made her more believable. I found myself caught up in Ava's life and wanted her to make better choices and have a happy ever after ending. This novel has twists and turns I didn't see coming, and it had the ending I hoped for. Well done, Sara.
4 reviews
October 7, 2015
I must first say that I edited this book, then I want to say what a delightful read! The characters are the "real" kind that makes a story so much more enjoyable. The pace is excellent, setting too. There's just nothing I don't like about this story. And you'll love it too!
Profile Image for Susan.
Author 2 books5 followers
October 9, 2015
I loved this book and can't wait for the next book by Sara Goff.
Profile Image for Katherine Jones.
Author 2 books74 followers
February 9, 2018
I don’t usually go in for romance novels, but I Always Cry at Weddings is not your usual romance. For starters, there’s the twist of the chastity vow. I was intrigued to see how it would work within this genre. As it turns out, I liked how it worked–how it prompted between the characters some honest and real conversation about faith and fidelity.

I did have to stick with Ava long enough for her to dump her fiancé {no spoilers here, it’s at the top of the back cover copy}, and it did make me question her sanity that she would consider this guy a good marriage partner for more than 2 seconds. But dump him she did, and then things started looking up.

The city setting was fun, the plot well-paced, and the characters out of the ordinary. The author also provided enough possibilities on the horizon that the ultimate romantic outcome was, while hoped for, less than predictable. All in all a remarkably clean and uplifting romance, ideal for a breezy weekend read.

Thanks to the author for providing me this book free of charge. All opinions are mine.
Profile Image for Suzie Waltner.
Author 8 books119 followers
December 12, 2017
Ava seems to have it all. A dream job at an upscale department store, a New York apartment to herself (even if it’s not in the most desirable location and Ava sleeps on a futon), and an upcoming society wedding. But what her heart desires is to feel loved—something that is blatantly lacking from her fiancé—so she calls off her wedding.
From there, Ava’s life hits every obstacle on her path. Just when something seems like it might take a turn toward success, something else throws her off course. She’s a bit naïve and too trusting when it comes to a few areas of her life, but a friendship she forms with a homeless man outside her building becomes the one good thing in her life.
There is quite a bit of heaviness and problems throughout this book. In fact, it’s not until you’re almost to the end when things start to take a lighter turn, but Ava learns that love is found in more than one place, that friendships can survive difficult times, and that life goes on.
Sara Goff takes readers on walks through some New York City districts and contrasts the successful and less-than-successful citizens of The Big Apple.
Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Profile Image for Sandra Orchard.
Author 43 books267 followers
December 7, 2015
I Always Cry at Weddings could easily be a movie. Sara’s novel is set in NYC and begins with the heroine canceling her upcoming wedding. Since I visited NYC for the first time this past summer, I had lots of fun re-visiting it through the story. This is not your typical romance. In fact, for a good part of the book, I wondered if it was a romance. Not to say it wasn’t interesting reading. It was! Sara’s done a great job of showing Ava making tough choices. Ava is a woman who abandoned the values she’d been raised to live by, but who admirably doesn’t take the easy route out when she comes to her senses and realizes she’s not living the way she wants to live and is not really in love with the man she’s supposed to be marrying.

Many women couldn’t walk away from a man with as much going for him as her fiancé for fear of never finding someone else, let alone never recovering financially. So from the outset, I admired Ava’s courage. There were times when I wanted to knock her up the side of the head for subsequent choices, as realistic as they were for a young woman struggling to find her way. The characters are fun and there are great twists.
Profile Image for Karen Rees.
Author 4 books13 followers
March 15, 2016

This is an engaging Christian romance complete with humor, a variety of fallible characters and a spiritual lesson or two. The main character, Ava, throws away a secure future when she breaks her engagement to her emotionally-distant fiance shortly before the wedding.

As she begins building a new life, she is determined that, this time, it will have meaning and any future love relationship will be authentic.

Ava's new life is quickly filled with difficulties and new romance possibilities. When handling them, she sometimes makes good decisions, other times she doesn't. In this section of the story some scenes felt a little implausible, others were all too real.

I especially enjoyed the detailed description of New York City where the story is set. Not only was I introduced to the city's sights and sounds, its high life and low life, I also was treated to its various odors and got to vicariously sample its diverse, if not always appetizing, cuisine.

I read it twice – and enjoyed it both times.

Profile Image for V. Palmer.
Author 3 books127 followers
June 23, 2016
Ava grew up learning about God, but like so many of us, she's started doing her own thing. But the lessons she learned stick with her. In a seemingly crazy move, Ava changes her life and tries to seek God's will - whatever that is. This leads Ava all over the place in this Christian mainstream novel.

For awhile Ava looks for love in all the wrong places. (Cue the Out of Eden song here.) There is a romance in the story, but it is not the focus. The focus is on the journey Ava takes. Yeah, there are times you want to shake some sense into Ava, but that's the point. The journey. The journey that thousands of young women are taking right now. And sometimes you have to walk through the mud to get to the bookstore. ;)

I'd recommend this story to pretty much anyone, but especially those who like a true to life story. Sara Goff does not shy away from uncomfortable topics like a lot of Christian novels do. I loved I Always Cry at Weddings! Great job Sara Goff!
438 reviews16 followers
January 25, 2016
Ava Larson is about to marry as expected when she takes a different road and ends up with the life of her dreams, an "If Only" life that she once thought impossible. Her adventures, triumphs, and disasters are believable, honest, and completely engaging. I couldn't put the book down, eager to see what she would do next. The supporting characters are strong, vividly drawn, and real. I don't think I have ever read a better depiction of New York City, a powerful and compelling character in its own right, with all its wonders, filth, and possibilities. Ava's story is original, wonderfully told -- don't miss it!
1 review1 follower
October 18, 2015
Sara's story about Ava Larson and her journey of finding love in New York City is a romantic comedy about what matters - and what really doesn't - in life (and especially in the Big Apple). It's contemporary, real and full of honesty and, on top of all that, also very well written. Sara's first book is a great fun read that I would imagine doesn't speak to any one genre but will find a home with anyone looking to lose themselves in a great book, be inspired, and fall in love with life once again.
Profile Image for Brenda.
95 reviews3 followers
January 7, 2016
I cry at weddings too!

I'm not a city girl but I really liked Ava and Phoebe,especially since they kept being friends after the wedding was called off. Marrying the wrong man,just to keep his mom as a friend isn't good but Ava found her courage and managed to not do the wrong thing and still be friends with Phoebe and fall in love for real with Chris. I've visited New York City once and would love to again but reading this book was like a quick trip there. Will definitely be looking for more to read from Sara!
Profile Image for Ann.
733 reviews17 followers
December 10, 2015
What a wonderful debut novel! The book is a combination of romance, humor and faith that resulted in a story that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was a delight following Ava, the main character, on her sometimes rocky journey to discovering God's plan for her life, and the setting in New York City also added much to the story. I definitely recommend this book to the reader who enjoys good Christian fiction and I certainly look forward to reading more by this author.
Profile Image for Catherine Leggitt.
Author 8 books123 followers
May 2, 2016
Well written romance. Sara Goff has penned a believable every-woman's journey to discover not only love, but what's important in life. I laughed and cried for this poor girl. She made a LOT of really stupid decisions and I chided her for them--aloud. The characters are fresh and so real. Inspires me to follow my dreams. It's never too late. Sara Goff, thank you for that.
Profile Image for Carrie Rye.
1 review
July 18, 2016
A quick, light read that is perfect for the beach. Cute young character figuring out her relationships in life.
Profile Image for Fyrephoenix .
346 reviews12 followers
May 5, 2016
Blah, just boring. Maybe this genre just isn't doing it for me. Sorry it just blah
Profile Image for Becky Smith.
341 reviews6 followers
June 1, 2017
This is an interesting, easy read where the main character Ava is a strong, but yet vulnerable woman. I couldn’t help but be relieved when she realized that she was wrong to live with her fiancé before marriage. And I was really cheering her on, as she realized that marriage wouldn’t be able to change a person, so she needed to step back and discover what love really was. But it was also a great story showing that one can’t always judge by appearances or by assumptions. Things aren’t always what they seem to be. An interesting line was: “Fear is unlimited and runs wild. Suffering has a beginning and an end.” And I loved this line: “we are most complete when we are giving something away.” Life, love, choices, change, inspired to realize one’s potential, unconditional love shown through example & acceptance, and faith are all great topics in this book, mixed in with some humor and some surprising twists! Thought-provoking But Easy Read!
Profile Image for Kirsten Staller.
26 reviews2 followers
May 20, 2017
Some spoilers, though vague.

Wow. I knew this book would be good because Sara Goff spent so long perfecting her task, but I never realized that I would be so engrossed, becoming one with Ava. I can see every turn in the book where Goff went through her own life struggles, from having a Christian agent, to working at a soup kitchen, to meeting the person who would change her life at the kitchen. The fact that this turned out to be a romance enhanced the book. Normally, I'm not one for a romance, but this gripping book had me feeling the pain of debt that Ava went through, and the unfairness at being forced to pay for the extravagant bills once she called off.
Goff is right, there is really no one genre to adequately put this book under. I can truly say that I have a blooming of hope in my chest that maybe too, like Ava, I can help bring a change.
Profile Image for Amanda  H.
655 reviews26 followers
November 20, 2017
This book wound up being totally different from what I was expecting, and I mean that in the best way possible! I enjoyed getting to know Ava, as she went through a lot over the course of the story. I didn't always agree with her choices, especially with Julian, since things could of ended badly, but I thought she was a very real character as she tried to change her life around after setting on a new course. This is an excellent story by a talented writer. I look forward to reading more of Sara's books!
I received this book from White Fire in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Lynn.
130 reviews20 followers
March 8, 2017
Wanted to like this one so badly, but just couldn't connect with the story, the characters, or any of it. I'm not necessarily saying it was a terrible book - just definitely not for me.

*I received this book for free and was under no obligation to review either positively or negatively.
Profile Image for Paula Vince.
Author 11 books100 followers
September 17, 2015
Ava is trying to please herself by pleasing others in New York City, but everything seems to fall apart. Her mother is dying, her job as buyer for a handbag company leaves her cold, and with just a few weeks until her marriage, it dawns on her that she and her cynical fiance, Josh, are a bad fit for a life together. Their attitudes about showing love are poles apart. But making the right move in the nick of time leaves her saddled with a $70 000 debt for a massive wedding which never was. There is also tons of disapproval to face, and she may soon be evicted from her apartment. Could things get any worse?

Many people are giving her conflicting advice, all of which sounds wise, making it confusing to figure out what to take on board.
Her father says, 'The very nature of routine is that it works.'
Bucksley, her boss, says, 'Your career deserves more attention than you've been giving it. It defines you and determines your lifestyle.'
Phoebe, Josh's mother, says, 'I'll never forgive you for the hurt you've caused. How can you treat people this way?'
Her own mother says, 'Go and find somebody more like yourself.'
Chris, the young homeless guy who lives outside her apartment building, takes his dog, Chickpea's philosophy on board. 'Any day with food in your bowl is a good one.'
No wonder Ava herself delivers a desperate line of her own. 'Pros and cons are shape shifters!' What is she to do?

One of the novel's themes is the concept of 'The One.' Is it reasonable to hope for a soul mate, or can you make a fair enough match with anyone? Ava discovers that whether or not her true love really is out there, there are plenty of duds who don't fit the bill and need to be thrown back in the sea. (It's satisfying to see her figure this out and tell them so.) I found the ending highly romantic, and I'm sure many readers will cheer, as I did, and wonder why the truth took so long to dawn on her. What a fascinating Mr Right.

Sometimes Ava comes across as an innocent lamb in a fold of wolves and scavengers, but she never passes through regrettable incidents without gleaning plenty of wisdom. That's one of the best takeaways from this book, that mistakes are valuable, because without them behind us to draw from, we may never be in the position to recognise a perfect fit when it stares us in the face, whether it comes to marriage partners, work or lifestyle.

I'd recommend this to any lady who feels that things may never look up, or thinks too much time may have passed to pursue her dream, or would just enjoy a good story set in what I imagine to be the rom-com central of the world, New York City, even though I've never been there. That might cover pretty well any lady.

Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy.
Profile Image for Margie.
922 reviews
November 10, 2015
When you read the synopsis you know that Ava calls off her wedding. So I thought that would be the down part of the book and you would see Ava work her way out of a bad relationship into a good place. Well, it did happen, but it took almost the whole book before the good stuff happened.

I didn't think Ava could have anymore trouble or make any more bad decisions, yet another came along. I was starting to think no one person could have this many bad things in their life.

Slowly and I do mean slowly Ava figured out who she was and what she should be doing. I thought end was very good, it just took a long time to get there.
Profile Image for Ane Mulligan.
Author 14 books190 followers
August 31, 2016
I thoroughly enjoyed this book!! It's well-written and the story draws you in and holds you tight!
Profile Image for C.B. Cook.
Author 6 books203 followers
August 26, 2017
I wanted to like this book, but in the first few chapters, I was just really turned away by Ava. I guess I didn't connect with her, and I didn't agree with the choices she was making. I know from the description that she changes, but I didn't feel invested enough to continue. Also, the content level was pretty high (sexual), so I would say this is definitely geared for adults more than teenagers like myself. The dialogue also felt weird for some reason, kind of forced. Mostly, though, this just wasn't my cup of tea.
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