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Dearly Beloved

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Colleen O'Dowd manages a thriving bridal business with her sisters in Heaven, New Hampshire. After fleeing Manhattan and her cheating ex-fiancé, Colleen still believes in happily ever afters. But with a demanding business to run, her sisters to look after, and their 93-year-old grandmother to keep out of trouble, she's worried she'll never find Mr. Right.

Playboy Slade Harrington doesn't believe in marriage. His father's six weddings have taught him life is better as an unencumbered single guy. But Slade loves his little sister. He'll do anything for her, including footing the bill for her dream wedding. He doesn't plan on losing his heart to a smart-mouthed, gorgeous wedding planner, though.

When her ex-fiancé comes back into the picture, Colleen must choose between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now.

430 pages, Paperback

Published November 12, 2018

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About the author

Peggy Jaeger

47 books1,624 followers
Peggy Jaeger is the award winning author of the popular WIll Cook For Love series which includes Cooking With Kandy, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3... and A Match Made in Heaven Series, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4...

Peggy is a contemporary romance writer who writes #RomComs about #strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

#Family and #food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

Her #hobbies include #painting #crafting #scrapbooking and #decoupaging old steamer trucks that she then gives as gifts to her friends

As a lifelong diarist, Peggy caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at peggyjaeger.com where she's blogging about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go "What??!" daily.

She's a lifelong and avid #romance reader and writer, is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter

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5 stars
36 (55%)
4 stars
25 (38%)
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2 (3%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 44 reviews
Profile Image for lucia meets books.
232 reviews134 followers
January 13, 2019
I just checked and I'm the only person that has given this book less than 4 stars so I think I should start this review with the thing I hated the most about Dearly Beloved so I can get it out of my system.

The reason why I can't give this book more than 1 star is because I fuc**** hate our main character, Colleen. There's nothing that pisses me off more than when things like "anorexic looking" and "she looked as if she hadn't eaten for days" (These are exact quotes from the book) are used to describe anyone. How ignorant can you be to think something like that? People with anorexia aren't always the thin ones, that's an awful and dangerous stereotype. And even if those girls were anorexic you have no right to judge them because you don't know what the fuc* they are going through. I honestly thought we were over this but it seems we aren't and I'm furious.

She said similar things to EVERY. SINGLE. GIRL. that got remotely close to Slade, her love interest. And you know another thing I noticed? She doesn't have a single girl friend, I wasn't surprised when I realised that considering all the girl-hate she spread everywhere. I could go on and on talking about how messed up her mind was but I'm already angered just thinking about her.


I actually thought to give Dearly Beloved a half-star more due to Slade and his relationship with his younger sister. That relationship was one of the purest I've read for a while, Slade doing his best to help his sister to be happy, safe and to not worry about anything because he was there by her side and he could fix anything for her. It reminded me a lot about my own relationship with my sister, if you are an older sibling you know you always try to do your best but sometimes you make mistakes trying to protect your sibling. They relationship just melted my heart and I feel like a would be a good friend of Slade since we have so many things in common (except for the money 😂).


Moreover, I actually liked the sidecharacters. I would love to read a book from Isabelle, Mo or Charity's point of view. Even though we didn't get to know them deeply, I can still sense they have interesting secrets going on. Also, I feel like any of them would be a better main character than Colleen, if the following books are about them I might give them a chance otherwise this is over for me.

Like I mentioned before I thought about adding it a half star but I'm just so angry that I can't do it.

All in all, I wouldn't recommend this book due to its toxic main character and her thoughts, but if you think you can ignore it, there were a couple of interesting things that you may like.
Profile Image for N.N. Heaven.
Author 6 books1,780 followers
December 5, 2018
Colleen has a successful wedding planning business. Little did she know when she agreed to plan socialite Isabella’s wedding, her life would change forever. Upon meeting her brother, billionaire playboy Slade, Colleen fell for him and fell hard. The chemistry between them are white-hot yet it can’t go anywhere, can it? He’s told her over and over how he’s never getting married. But he keeps popping by where she least expects it. Is it a passing fling or is Slade her own ever after groom?

I love wedding romances. There’s something so kismet about couples who meet while planning a wedding. Dearly Beloved is a heartfelt romance with a loving family, humorous dialogue and two independent people who appear to be wrong for each other (he lives in NYC and she lives in Heaven, NH) yet it feels so right. Both hero and heroine have obstacles to face not to mention walls built around their hearts. It takes a great deal to tear those walls down but when it comes to love, nothing can stand in its way.

What makes this a must read? Peggy Jaeger’s immense talent for dialogue and emotional depth. I found myself reading Colleen’s inner dialogue, laughing hysterically and thinking to myself how Colleen sounds like me. Emotional depth is in each character and the more I read, the more I understood a character’s motivation. The backdrop of Heaven, New Hampshire is simply delightful and could be any small town in America/Canada. The minor characters are not flat, quite the opposite in fact. They create a family atmosphere I found irresistible to read and can’t wait to read more in this series.

Confession: I got so caught up in the last 20% of the book, my husband came come from work to find me sitting in the dark reading. Yes, I couldn’t stop for a moment to turn on a light.

Fans of Susan Mallery and Jamie Beck will love this romance!

Favorite Character/Quote: "Is orgasmalicious a word?"

My Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

This review first appeared: https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/si...
6,675 reviews79 followers
May 30, 2019
This is a well written book with strong characters and an entertaining story line. It's instant attraction and sparks fly when Colleen meets Slade. But she's busy with her business and family and he's happy with the carefree single life. So where does that leave them? The author does a great job bringing the story to life with her descriptive writing and pulls you in with her detailed scenes. She paces the story fluidly and captured and held me from start to finish. I enjoyed and would recommend this book.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book. All opinions in this review are my own and freely given.
Profile Image for Sandra.
329 reviews4 followers
May 4, 2019
This is a well written tale which draws you into this small town story. Colleen our h is a strong, independent woman in her mid 30's. Escaping from NY due to a cheating fiancé & quitting her job she takes her wedding planning business back to her hometown where her nan is aging.
One of her wedding involves Isabella, whose brother Slade is paying for her wedding. They clash on a few aspects involving money & family. However he is drawn to this feisty woman.
There is a slow build & definite chemistry between these two. However when her ex comes back into the picture it causes some friction. There are also Slades issues with his parents & their multiple marriages to contend with.
Then there is question of how a distance relationship with a city/country couple will work.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review. 4.5*
Profile Image for Charlotte O'Shay.
Author 13 books363 followers
June 13, 2019
The best thing about a Peggy Jaeger book is sinking into her warm circle of strong, smart women and their swoon worthy men and living for a short awhile inside their vivid world. The worst thing is that eventually one has to finish the book. I can’t tell you how many times I was glad I still had a little more to read. Ms. Jaeger’s books are all superbly written, richly detailed and told in her own unmistakable voice. Dearly Beloved is no exception.
I was immediately drawn to Colleen O’Dowd, successful business owner and the glue of her family of sisters. I ached for the heartbreak that had her starting over back in her hometown after the brutal breakup of a ten-year relationship and the loss of her sister. Her spirit and her work ethic had me rooting for her from page 1.

Enter Slade Harrington. Our hero is so not a believer in happily ever afters with his family history but he loves his sister and with that small morsel of goodness on display Colleen is smitten in spite of herself. Slade is drawn to Colleen’s intelligence and truth telling, smart mouth. Pretty soon, as Colleen plans Slade’s sister’s wedding, sparks turn into a brushfire of attraction.

I cheered for Colleen and Slade as they fought and loved and worked toward their happily ever after.
Then there’s Nanny Fee. What can I say but that I was rolling with laughter on the subway every time Nanny entered a scene.

I highly recommend this entertaining read. Take it to the beach, on a plane or just sink into an armchair for a sweet escape.

Profile Image for Rhonda Gilmour.
163 reviews3 followers
November 30, 2018
I truly enjoyed this frothy, low-angst tale of romance between a hilarious, snarky wedding planner and a cool, controlled businessman. Talk about opposites attract! When these two connect, kapow. For wedding junkies, there’s lots of description of beautiful settings, food, and all manner of nuptial magic, all set in an idyllic town: Heaven, New Hampshire.
Even though Slade Harrington doesn’t believe in marriage, an understandable position considering his father’s marital track record, he wants to gift his beloved sister with the wedding of her dreams. Sparks zing between him and the mouthy wedding planner he’s hired, complicating their temporary partnership.
Smart, practical Colleen O’Dowd, age 35, still clings to hope that she’ll have a family of her own. Sexy Slade is clearly not a candidate, so why waste her time indulging in their attraction? If only he weren’t so protective, so generous, so dreamy…
It was a pure delight watching these two sympathetic characters dismantle each other’s defenses. Jaeger’s humor adds just the right spice, making the perfect literary treat for the high-stress holiday season. I loved the warmth between Colleen and her sisters, but the crown jewel of the story is their 93-year-old grandmother, a feisty Irishwoman with no compunction about flinging her opinions around like confetti. Granny Fee is an absolute hoot.
I look forward to reading more of the O’Dowd sisters’ adventures. Highly recommend!
Profile Image for LJT.
1,213 reviews2 followers
November 26, 2018
I am a huge fan of stories that have a wedding theme. So after reading the book blurb, "Dearly Beloved" became a must read for me. This is the first book from author Peggy Jaeger's A Match Made In Heaven series, and it can be enjoyed as a standalone.

Colleen O'Dowd is a successful wedding planner in her small hometown of Heaven, New Hampshire. She lives with her ninety-three year-old grandmother, who is quite spunky and outspoken at times. Her two sisters live close by and they are all very close. Colleen loves her job and works very hard to create the perfect wedding for every bride that hires her. Colleen's love life finally takes a turn for the better when she meets Slade Harrington, the older brother of one of her brides. Slade is a extremely successful businessman and is footing the bill for his sister's wedding. Due to his father's six marriages, Slade does not believe in commitment.

This is both an angsty and passionate love story. The author perfectly combines drama and seduction into this fast-paced romantic read. I immediately connected with both Colleen and Slade, and I cheered them on as they discovered their feelings for one another. Colleen's grandmother is a real hoot, due to her scrappy personality. Overall, this is a nicely-written book with a happy ending that will leave a smile on your face.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Profile Image for Tena Stetler.
Author 23 books499 followers
December 3, 2018
Dearly Beloved by Peggy Jaeger 12-3-18 – Five Stars

I really enjoyed this fun, at times hilarious, romance with an interesting cast of characters. You never knew what snarky wedding planner Colleen was going to say, even when she tried not too especially in the company of cool, calm and collected (mostly) Slade Harrington. She does get under his skin on occasion, which I found refreshing.
Slade and Colleen met when his sister hired Colleen to plan her wedding.They were from two different worlds. Slade is extremely wealthy and is footing the bill for his sister’s wedding. Colleen is the pay-check-to-pay-check kinda gal. When the sparks fly….Oh baby.
Scene where they are both caught in the rain and she observes how unfair it was that though he was as soaking wet as she, he dried out looking unaffected, hair and all while she was a frizzy haired mess. I can’t tell you how hard I laughed!
Then you have the 93-year-old Irish grandmother, Granny Fee, who is simply a hoot! Colleen must get her inability to keep her mouth shut from her scrappy grandmother, who has no reluctance about hurling her opinions around regardless of who is in ear-shot which creates hilarious situations.
I highly recommend Dearly Beloved and look forward to the next book in the series.
Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Profile Image for Katie O'Sullivan.
Author 27 books162 followers
February 7, 2019
Peggy Jaegar has done it again with what I sincerely hope is the start of a fresh new series. The setting is small town New Hampshire, lovingly portrayed with all its natural beauty and inevitable small town quirkiness. The story centers around a wedding planner, her two sisters and their firecracker of a grandmother (my favorite sidekick character, hands down!)

The main character, Colleen O'Dowd, narrates in first person as she navigates professional and personal challenges including the unprofessional feelings she's having for one of her clients, Slade Harrington. He's not one of her grooms-to-be (thank goodness) but rather her client's older brother, a Titan of New York finance and the one signing the checks for his baby sister's wedding.

Sparks fly from the first meeting, but Colleen's insecurities keep her over thinking every interaction, which makes for lots of amusing internal monologue as well as witty banter between Colleen and Slade.

The dialogue is fast and fresh, the situational humor keeps the pages turning, and the characters are endearing. Family and forgiveness are huge themes here, and the author draws in the reader with humor and heart. A great read from one of my favorite authors. 5 sparkling stars and totally recommend for a fun, fast totally enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Kelly-Jo Sweeney.
989 reviews12 followers
November 20, 2018
I love a good romance book and this is a good romance book. Told from the point of view of Wedding planner Colleen, who hasn't been so lucky in love herself, this is the story of her meeting Mr Right.

Wedding planning is a serious full-on business, I hadn't realised that there was so much to it. With things like rehearsal dinners and the like, something that I'm glad hadn't made it across the pond when I got married. I think you'd need a wedding planner to sort it all out. Fortunately for her brides, Colleen is super organised and manages to make everything go off without a hitch. If only her own life were so easy.

Slade is the brother of a bride to be and the one footing the bill for her coming wedding. He has no interest in getting married himself, ever. But, he can't help but be drawn to Colleen and perhaps one or both of them will need to change their views.

I liked Slade, (despite his name, couldn't help but think of Noddy Holder, unfortunately) he was all that you want in a romantic lead. Strong yet caring, arrogant but with a cuddly inside. Colleen falls hard and fast for him and who can blame her?

I really enjoyed this book. The other characters, from Slade's sister Isabelle to Colleen's grandmother were brilliant too and really added to the overall feel. I can see that we might have a few more stories in the pipeline with something brewing between Maureen and the policeman perhaps, Colleen's assistant and her photographer and surely there must be someone for Colleen's older sister too? I'm just guessing, but I'm looking forward to reading more of the Match Made in Heaven series when they come out.
Profile Image for Jean Grant.
Author 9 books296 followers
August 26, 2019
This is the second book I've read by Peggy Jaeger and she continues to not disappoint! I loved the polished voice in this book...it was fresh, flirty, and just so easy to read and keep turning pages. I found myself chuckling a bit here and there with Colleen's euphemisms; her personality shot off the page. The characters were well-developed and genuine and I loved the romance. I'm a New Englander so the small-town feels were all there. Admittedly I'm not keen on the millionaire hot guy love stories but this was good, good, good! Slade (the hero) was a well-rounded hero with assets and flaws and came off true and likeable. I adored the secondary characters. I also enjoyed Colleen's personality, realness and relatability (being dumped by an ex and afraid to move on). Overall, a great story. I read this one in a couple sittings and couldn't wait to finish. Looking forward to more books by this author. I highly recommend.
Profile Image for Susan Hutchinson.
Author 2 books11 followers
June 2, 2021
Great start for the series!

I just love the way Peggy Jaeger writes! I will admit that I started this series in the wrong order, reading the last book first. Doesn’t really matter, that book made me buy the first two. Win for me!

Dearly Beloved is the story of middle sister Colleen, wedding planner extraordinaire. For a woman who deals with love and happily ever afters in her professional life, she hasn’t had much luck in her personal one. Slade is the brother of one of her clients and is a walking, talking cynic when it comes to marriage thanks to a never ending rotation of step-mothers. Despite their differences, however, their chemistry is off the charts. Can they survive the burn if it all blows up?

Jaeger is a master storyteller. Believable plots, wonderful characters, splashes of humor, and a healthy dose of the feels. Do yourself a favor. Get every book in this series. You deserve these feel good stories!
Profile Image for Becky Burciaga.
1,426 reviews14 followers
December 1, 2018
Dearly Beloved (A Match Made in Heaven #1) by Peggy Jaeger

A delightful start to what promises to be a winning series...with a myriad of moving parts...characters and their individual stories...that the author has seamlessly woven together into a story with emotions that will surely resonate with readers. The characters are remarkably and realistically portrayed with unique personalities, the dialog is intelligent (other that the over use of trendy colloquialisms) and fast moving...and last, but certainly not least, the accurate portrayal of off the charts chemistry between an unlikely, yet compatible couple. I look forward to see what is store for the residents of Heaven.

This ARC book was complimentary, provided by the Publisher and NetGalley. I am voluntarily providing my honest review.
Profile Image for Kari Lemor.
Author 30 books152 followers
December 14, 2018
I've read quite a few books by this author and this one did not disappoint. The heroine is a wedding planner with a past she's trying to forget. She's planning the wedding of this rich young lady and when she meets the older brother, who's paying for all of it, sparks fly. One of the best things about this book is the way the hero loves his sister. It's so real and heartfelt and you know he'd do anything for her. Truly lovely to see. The other thing that perked up the story was the heroine. Her personality was so fun. Take charge but in a self-deprecating way. She reminded me of Junie B. Jones (children's book), only as an adult. An adult who has finally got her act together. The author definitely has a winning combo here. And since this looks like the start of a series, I can't wait for the next book!
1,201 reviews4 followers
November 30, 2018
This is the first book that I have read by this author and I found it to be very entertaining. I think it was a great book to start this series with. Colleen is a wedding planner who has never been very lucky at finding love and then she meets Slade. Slade is the older brother of one of her brides. Slade really does not believe in love but he is paying the bill for his sisters wedding. Lets me just say that I loved Slade and Colleen together. This book was so much fun to read. I laughed out loud so many times and I never lost the smile on my face the whole time I was reading this book. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series. Thanks Net Galley. I voluntarily reviewed this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Treena.
1,341 reviews78 followers
November 22, 2018
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC of this book. The review below is entirely my own.

3.5 Stars

I love these kinds of stories. I think Peggy Jaeger did a great job fleshing out the characters. Slade and Colleen felt like friends I'd totally get along well with. Their love story had a bit of everything --- fun, banter, some angst, and heat. Reading this book kept me company as I waited for my kid today. It was entertaining and engaging.

I'm looking forward to reading more from this series. I hope Maureen's story is next!
Profile Image for PoshTomes.
386 reviews1 follower
December 5, 2018
This was my first book by this author and I LOVED it! The characters were so well developed and I didn’t feel like the only thing they had in common was in the bedroom. Slade took time to really get to know Colleen and I loved how he slowly fell in love with her. It was so obvious, but not to her. Nanny was hilarious and I can’t wait to read more!
65 reviews
March 8, 2019
Wonderful story!

The characters are described so vividly that you get to feeling like you know them personally - not only the main characters, but the "background" ones, too. Lovely family, and the relationships between them is endearing. The love story develops in such a way that it makes you laugh and cry. I couldn't stop reading to find out what happens next.
387 reviews
August 13, 2019
A great romance!

Loved this book! It was exactly what a fantasy romance novel should be. Our H/h developed feelings for each other but it was not all hearts and flowers. A few rocky moments with an ex, some miscommunication, etc., buy no traumatic drama. It was sweet with a HEA the heroine so richly deserved!

However, I would like to be a fly on the wall when a pre-nun was discussed. LOL
3,623 reviews19 followers
May 27, 2019
Colleen has giving up hope on finding Mr. Right after her cheating ex so she along with her sisters run a wedding planning business. Slade a wealthy businessman has promised his younger sister the wedding of her dreams and that is how Colleen and Slade met. They have an instant spark but he has no intentions of ever getting married after watching his father marry so many times. They can't seem to stop themselves from butting heads and then you have her ex showing up causing more conflict.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
176 reviews1 follower
January 9, 2020
Small town wedding planner meets big city hottie (who happens to be her client's brother, oh no!). As much as she fights it, a spicy relationship between them ensues. Good, quick read with characters you want to get to know more!
Profile Image for Laura.
2,556 reviews
November 27, 2018
This book will keep you reading long into the night. If you are looking for a great book, then you need to read this book. I am looking forward to reading the next book by this great author.
Profile Image for Angie Morgan.
Author 7 books101 followers
January 21, 2019
Absolutely loved this book! Colleen and Slade had the best chemistry, and the small town New England setting drew me right in. Really looking forward to more in this series!
785 reviews4 followers
August 16, 2019
4 Stars

Loved the story of Colleen and Slade and their rocky road to a happily ever after. The family, and especially Nanny were very entertaining.
Profile Image for Joyce Black.
1,018 reviews4 followers
November 4, 2019
Very Well Written - Great Use Of Alliteration!!

Great writing, show casing a good command of the English language. A delight to read this lively romance. Highly recommended reading.
Author 40 books75 followers
June 6, 2020
This is a fast-paced romance full of quirky characters, family love, conflict, and lots of romance! I have enjoyed every one of Peggy Jaeger's books immensely! She's an auto-buy author for me!
Profile Image for Jacki.
1,040 reviews4 followers
May 3, 2019
Cute and fun

What I liked:
The writing style
The characters
Part of a series: A Match Made in Heaven

I look forward to reading the next book in this series.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC from Booksprout.
Profile Image for Joanne Guidoccio.
Author 13 books398 followers
August 17, 2019
So much to like here…delightfully flawed protagonists, a feisty 93-year-old grandmother, witty banter, and wedding drama all set against the beautiful backdrop of small-town New Hampshire. Ms. Jaeger has outdone herself in the writing of this HEA romance. I strongly recommend setting aside large blocks of reading time. You won’t be able to put this book down.
Profile Image for Majanka.
Author 81 books410 followers
December 10, 2018
Book Review originally published here: http://www.iheartreading.net/reviews/...

In Dearly Beloved, main character Colleen manages a thriving bridal business along with her sisters. Despite having had a bad break-up courtesy of a cheating ex-fiancé, Colleen still believes in true love. Still, with a business to run, a grandmother and siblings to look after, she doesn’t have much time to look for the right guy.

Then, she meets Slade Harrington, a man who has no desire in being in a relationship and thinks the single life is just as well. But when Slade meets Colleen, it could be a match made in heaven… But then the ex-fiancé comes back into the picture, and Colleen has to make a choice that will change her life forever.

I don’t want to give out too much spoilers, but I loved this! Colleen is amazing. She’s charming, fun, kind and generous. And the way she interacts with her family is simply adorable. Slade too is intriguing, and he has a mysterious side to him that the reader instantly wants to know more about. I was also very fond of the writing style, which was easy to read but brought just the right pacing to a book in this genre. A great read for those cold winter nights!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 44 reviews

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