'Try not tho wheel any dead bodies across the pavement when the brides outside, okay?'
When Marla Jacobs discovers that the vacant shop next to her Little White Weeding Chapel is to become a funeral parlour, she declares and all-out war on new proprietor Gabriel Ryan.
With an army of loyal supporters, she embarks on a campaign to sabotage his reputation and livelihood.
But when she finally meets Gabriel, she realises just how much trouble she's in. With his effortless charm and Celtic good looks, Gabriel begins to form alliances with her so called 'loyal' army and, reluctantly, she finds herself falling under his spell. And destroying him becomes the last thing on her mind....
I'd never heard of Kat French before I picked up this book, I was drawn to the cute cover design to start with and then was intrigued by the books blurb.
Undertaking Love was a fast past read but what's particularly liked about the book was that there was a handful of characters that you got to know really well other than the main two, Marla and Gabe.
Marla originates from America and whilst she all for everyone else falling in love and getting married, she doesn't feel the same applies to her own life, yet this doesn't stop her owing a quaint little chapel that plays host to a vast variety of weddings... Goth and barn dance included.
She has successful been running her business for a few years but goes into total meltdown when she sees the signs going up next door, indicating its to be a funeral parlour... Weddings and funerals eh?
Gabriel is an undertaker, and despite his family's successful funeral business back in Ireland, he's decided to go out alone. From the moment Marla walks in declaring he absolutely must vacate the building because weddings and funerals just won't work, he's smitten.
Over the course of the book there is very much a will they won't they scenario, almost like a Romeo and Juliet story, only with brides and bodies getting in the way.
Marla and her two friends who help run the chapel, Emily and Jonny, set up a petition to get Gabe to leave, from the outset it all goes wrong when Jonny won't let it drop and it goes viral online resulting in the window to the funeral parlour being smashed... There is then the clash of a wedding and funeral at the same time, the one thing they both agreed on trying to avoid.
It takes almost to the end of the book for you to know on whether they get together or not, although it's clear to the reader and the other characters they are mad on each other. Gabe will happily declare his feelings, but Marla refuses to allowe herself to trust her heart.
The sub-plots in the book are just as interesting which is enough to keep you gripped without losing sight that Marla and Gabes story is the real focus.
~Emily and her husband Tom are having troubles trying to conceive a longed for baby. Tom refuses to get help and would rather work away a lot, leaving Em feeling lonely. When Tom chooses work over being home for her birthday, she gets drunk with Gabes best friend, Dan, having a one night stand that leads to pregnancy.
~Dan a typical jack the lad!
~Jonny is very much a bright, loud yet loveable character. His witty one liners had me laughing out loud and it's clear his character is very protective over his friends, and although there's no mention of a partner, the way the book is written I very much felt he was looking for the man of his dreams.
~Melanie, Gabes receptionist, has a major crush on her boss and will quite literally do anything to win her boss over.. She's also the reason for Marlas heartbreak which leads to her getting that little bit closer to Gabe.
~And then there is Dora and Ivor. An elderly couple who are the heart of the little village with a fabulous love story to tell.
Ivor tends to the chapels gardens and Dora cleans for both the chapel and parlour, consequently becoming a go between for the pair!
Each of the sub plot characters all have a story to tell and at times the book had me unexpectedly crying, yet being set in a small village and only having a few characters I felt worked really well with getting their stories linked together.
Undertaking Love has all you would want from a book... Fun and laughter mixed equally with passion and desire, not forgetting emotion too.
A thoroughly good read that was enjoyed from cover to cover, I wouldn't hesitate giving another book by Kat French a read either!