ARC Review: Kat French’s Undertaking Love (+ a little haiku~)

Click on the image to open the book's Goodreads page.

Click on the image to open the book’s Goodreads page.

Title: Undertaking Love
Authors: Kat French
Publication Date: April 25, 2013
Publisher: Authonomy: HarperCollins
Format: eARC
Acquisition: Netgalley

Purchase at: Amazon

The moment love-phobic Marla Jacobs discovers that the shop next to her Little White Wedding Chapel is to become a funeral parlour, she declares all-out war.
Marla’s chapel in the sleepy Shropshire countryside has become a nation-wide sensation, but the arrival of Funeral Director Gabriel Ryan threatens everything Marla has worked for. She can picture the scene: wedding limos fighting for space in the street with hearses; brides bumping into widows; bouquets being swapped for wreaths.
Marla’s not going down without a fight. She enlists a motley crew of weird and wonderful local supporters, and the battle lines are drawn. But, as soon as Marla meets her nemesis, she realises just how much trouble she’s really in. His gypsy curls and Irish lilt make her stomach fizz – how is she supposed to concentrate on destroying him, when half the time she’s struggling not to rip the shirt off his back?


This is a free-for-all read on Netgalley, and because I love romantic comedies, I thought I would try it out. The cover seems typical for your typical adult romance novels. It reminds me a little of Sophie Kinsella covers. The synopsis made me think that this would be a fun, silly read where the main characters would make crazy attempts at upstaging each other from ruining each other’s businesses, but I think that the synopsis doesn’t really tell you everything. There is so much more to read in this book.

Undertaking Love is full of cliches with the author’s personal flair. I found it to be a little too predictable despite not coinciding with my expectations, but it is still fun to read. It reminds me of those cheesy chick flicks where there are a lot of characters involved who fall in love – New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, etc. – because that is how the story is told. It doesn’t just focus on Marla and Gabriel. It is written in a third person’s point of view where we also find about the stories behind Marla and Gabriel’s friends, co-workers, and loved ones. I think that that was a pleasant surprise because the other characters are just as lovable as the main ones. Kat French’s writing is funny and entertaining.

Due to the many players in Marla and Gabriel’s feud, there had been a lot of misunderstandings between them, but one thing’s for sure – they are definitely attracted to each other. Marla is the owner of the wedding chapel, and she simply cannot allow Gabriel’s funeral parlour to open right in front of her establishment so she tries to persuade the community to have it removed. However, Gabriel strongly disagrees. Marla carries a lot of baggage due to her parents’ divorce and continuous marriage attempts with so many different people. She thinks that she shouldn’t fall in love and shouldn’t get married because it would never end well. Although I think that’s quite stupid considering her best friend is happily in love and married for years. Couldn’t she draw inspiration from them? So I found her a little frustrating. Gabriel, on the other hand, is a sweet and sensitive Irish man. He keeps on attempting to make peace with Marla, despite the unsuccessful attempts. I just hate that he could be so obtuse sometimes, but he makes it up by being thoughtful towards Marla.

We also find the fabulous and funny gay man (Jonny), Marla’s married friends who are having a difficulty making a baby (Emily and Tom – I love them individually, they were definitely entertaining!), Marla’s sex therapist mother (Cecilia), Gabriel’s sexy best friend (Dan), Gabriel’s manipulative assistant (Melanie – I HATE her!), Marla’s questionable suitor (Rupert), and a couple more characters to amuse you.

And we also have Dora and Ivan. They are the little community’s ADORABLE elderly couple, and I love them. The other characters drew inspiration from their lifelong love and marriage. Although I wasn’t that moved by what happened with them even though I wanted to be. (Maybe it’s the shock) Either way, they were a lovely couple. What Ivan says about Dora:

“She is the rock that this lighthouse stands on.”

This reminds me of this one poem that my ex-boyfriend wrote for me way back when we were still a lot happier together. Love is a beautiful thing. It was written for me so I guess it is mine to do whatever I will with it, and I definitely want to share it. I personally like this little haiku, so enjoy~

My Lighthouse by the Sea

In darkness, I fell
But like a light shining bright
Your warm smile guides me

– Jose Lorenzo Guevarra, Feb. 3, 2012

What I did not expect to find in this book are the little lines of erotica. I know it’s normal for the author to simply imply that something happened between the characters for romance books like this, but not really blatantly say what happened. And then I found out that Kat French is also Kitty French who normally writes those kinds of things. I don’t really have anything against it. I was just really surprised.


OVERALLUndertaking Love was an enjoyable read, and I think that people who enjoy contemporary romances would like this book as well. And it helps that there is a sexy Irish man. 😉




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  • This is all based on personal opinion, and as much as I’m open to other people’s opinions, I hope you understand that this is based on what I feel. I avoid giving out spoilers as much as possible, too.
  • I do not own most of the images I use, and some may be subject to editing.

2 thoughts on “ARC Review: Kat French’s Undertaking Love (+ a little haiku~)

  1. This sounds like a book that I would enjoy. I haven’t been on Net Galley forever. I am trying to read the books that are already owned or at least already on my TBR list this year. I may have to grab this at the discounted price though. Thank you for your review.

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