Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tuesday Review: Not Another Wedding

Not Another Wedding
By Jennifer McKenzie
Publisher: Harlequin (Superromance)
Release Date: October 1, 2013

Poppy Sullivan made a rare choice to leave her partner in charge of an event their Vancouver events planning company was responsible for in order to head to her hometown, Naramata, BC, ostensibly to attend the wedding of one of oldest friends. In reality, Poppy hopes to stop the wedding. She’s no anti-Cupid. Even though her own love life is nonexistent at the moment, her parents were high school sweethearts who settled into a happy marriage in the town where they grew up, a pattern her sister and brother-in-law repeated. But Jamie Cartwright has known his bride only two months, and Poppy doesn’t believe a relationship of such short duration is a sound base for a happy marriage. She hopes that if she can just talk to Jamie alone, she can persuade him to stop and think before he jumps into matrimony.

Beck Lefebvre allowed himself to be guilted into serving as his cousin Jamie’s best man, but he’s not happy about it. Not only does he find it difficult to take time away from the family business just as negotiations for the company’s sixth hotel are ongoing, but Beck is skeptical about love, marriage, and happily-ever-afters. His attitude is hardly surprising given the example of his much-married parents, who, to Beck’s dismay, seem to be headed toward their third attempt at being married to each other. Making matters more complicated is his mother’s plan to match him with the younger sister of the bride. The only bright spot in Beck’s situation is his auburn-haired high school girlfriend whom he hasn’t seen in a dozen years.

Poppy can’t believe Beck is flirting with her. She wants nothing to do with this man, a prime example of the one who never called. He apologizes nicely, but a mere apology is not enough to make her forgive the man who disappeared without a word the day after he became her first lover—not even if he is even hotter now than he was then. But when Poppy finds it impossible to catch Jamie alone for a serious conversation, Beck proposes a deal she can’t turn down: he will see that she gets time with Jamie if Poppy will be Beck’s date for the wedding events and save him from his mother’s matchmaking. Soon Beck and Poppy are falling heart over head. Sometimes life offers a second chance at love when you least expect it.

Not Another Wedding combines humor, family dynamics, and some sizzling chemistry into this story about a hero and heroine who are not looking for love when it finds them. I have a soft spot for reunion stories, and this one was a bit different. Poppy and Beck are credible as young, contemporary professionals. Their families provide context and contrast as well with Poppy’s happily married parents with stable lives rooted in Naramata, and Beck’s parents with their varied, troubles past. All of these details make the story more interesting.

I did find Poppy’s determination to interfere in her friend Jamie’s life difficult to understand. But perhaps this is a generational difference since it is a plot point I have observed in a number of contemporary romances over the past year or two. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a quick, fun, easy read, this one is worth checking out.

Would you try to stop a friend’s wedding if you thought the friend was making a mistake?

Note: I responded to Jane’s comment yesterday with an acknowledgement that I remember reading a Superromance with a Canadian setting. Not Another Wedding is actually the second of Jennifer McKenzie books I’ve read, both set in Canada.  That Weekend (January 2013) is the other.

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