Synopsis: Megan planned to live her life free of men and the faulty relationships they cause, intending to get IVF to have a child and raise it alone. But after her cousin’s bachelorette and a lot of liquor, Megan wakes up married. And the biggest surprise: he refuses to get a divorce.
Cover: The image on this book is bright and energetic; I love it. Harlequin Kiss’ logo bar in an eye-catching fuchsia contrasts nicely with the orange, lime, and aqua tones of the photograph. The blond, giggling girl beside the proverbial tall-dark-and-handsome man gives it a great sense of flirty fun.
Publisher: Harlequin may not be one of the “big six” in publishing, but it is the leading company for women’s fiction –particularly romances. The company has over a dozen lines, from non-fiction to inspirational to teen to paranormal to… You get the idea. But as of February of this year they are rolling out a new line called Harlequin Kiss with bold, fresh, contemporary novels.
Writing Style: The tone of this book was very much like a conversation with your gal pals; it has a vibe not unlike getting together with your besties for coffee. There were moments of clichéd speech between the hero and heroine, but for the most part the novel really did have a “fresh” feel to it while still maintaining the usual overall aesthetic that you find in a Harlequin.
Hook: A drunken wedding in Las Vegas that the bride doesn’t even remember, and a groom who wants to make the marriage work.
Plot: Even though there has probably been more than one person to get married on a whim in Vegas, I didn’t find the storyline to be at all believable. The novel seemed to skim the surface of the story; I felt there could have been more scenes to help it flow more cohesively into a well-rounded tale, as well as pull the reader in with greater emotional depth.
Character: Jeff, who is Conner’s best friend, comes across as rather flat and interesting at the same time. Admittedly, I don’t remember much from the beginning of the novel having not had a chance to read for nearly a week, so there may be more about Jeff that I’m not recalling. Jeff was not a major playing in the book, mostly being a phone call here and there, but he ended up playing a pivotal role towards the end of the story. Due to his lack of presence Jeff doesn’t have much depth, but by the same token it allows him to be a mystery that you want solved. In the aforementioned scene, the guy is caring and intriguing and humorous and sensitive and smart and… you get the idea. Basically, you want the guy to have his own story just so you can get to know him better.
Unfulfilled Promise: Megan’s cousin, Gail, and the other two bridesmaids—Jodie and Tina—seem like they would play a bigger role in the story, but only appeared three times. Once to kick off Megan’s drunken marriage, the second time at Gail’s wedding and are being nasty to Megan, and finally for some arbitrary reason on a video chat with Megan towards the end of the book. I think there was the potential to push these characters into being more involved in the plot, rather than just being pulled in when the author needed a device to move the main characters along in their tale.
Romance: Conner’s and Megan’s pasts –and their reasons for having reservations about relationships in general—seem a bit contrived, but did give the couple a reason for marital obstacles to overcome. I did quite like how Conner wants to put an effort into making the marriage successful, trying to work past all of Megan’s uncertainties, and not allowing the small things to grow into a divorce.
Quote: And she felt… free. Safe. As if maybe fairy tales come in varieties she hadn’t known existed. And this one was hers.
The Verdict: For all my previous negativity, I did enjoy reading this book. It is light and fluffy, making it perfect for relaxing after a stressful workweek. If someone is looking for a book to help them unwind, I would suggest it, but it’s not a story that is so amazing I’d go out of my way to recommend it. I prefer novels to grab me a bit more, forcing me to invest myself into what happens, and this just didn’t do it. I don’t regret reading it, but I doubt I’d read it again.