Book Reviews

Book Review: The Wrong Bridesmaid by Lauren Landish – The Parrot Gets the Best Lines

I received this book for free in a promotion on Goodreads. This is my honest and unbiased review.

I am not one who will normally pick up a romance novel to read. It’s just not my thing. They are typically very predictable and filled switch flawed people who are redeemed through love, giving the false impression that if you just love someone enough they will change for you. Doesn’t happen that way in the real world for the most part, but it’s worked to keep the patriarchy in power for many years. Am I getting too deep for something that’s supposed to just be a lighthearted, fun romance? Probably.

Two chapters in, I knew how The Wrong Bridesmaid was going to end. Actually, it was probably sooner than that. In the end, I was right.

Wyatt Ford is the oldest son of the Ford family and sort of a black sheep, having rejected his upbringing and left the family and the town he was brought up in. He hasn’t been back at all, but his younger brother is getting married and he sent his brother a note with the invitation to the wedding asking him to “please” attend. The “please” was what got to Wyatt.

Hazel Sullivan is the maid of honor in her best friend’s wedding to Winston Ford, Wyatt’s younger brother. She’s lived in the town of Cold Spring her whole life, dividing her time working in her mother’s bakery and her aunt’s bar/restaurant. She knows what the Ford family is about. Only Winston seems to get a pass since he seems passionate about making her friend Avery happy for the rest of her life.

Jed Ford is Wyatt and Winston’s uncle. He’s a master manipulator and largely responsible for Wyatt’s departure in the first place. He’s trying to get the town rezoned and force people off of farms that have been in their families for generations so he can build McMansions and bring “new life” to the town. The only problem is the town doesn’t think it needs “new life.” Still, Jed is seeing dollar signs and pressures his brother, Bill, who is the Mayor, to go along with his plans.

Wyatt comes home and finds a place very different from what he left. His father was beloved as the mayor and now the Ford family seems to be hated by the town. He’s not sure what’s going on, but one trip to Puss N Boots with Winston, and he’s clued in. He also meets Hazel.

My nipples perk up and my ovaries stretch from their long slumber, hopping up like a pair of joyful jelly beans, both of them demanding a little extra attention.

Who writes this stuff? Yeah, it’s lust at first sight between Hazel and Wyatt, despite the fact that her Aunt Etta was once engaged to Uncle Jed but found him bonking her best friend right before the wedding. Despite all of the reasons they shouldn’t be together, it’s pretty predictable what’s going to happen.

As terrible as that sounds, I did enjoy some of The Wrong Bridesmaid. This was primarily due to two characters: Grandpa Joe, Avery’s elderly grandfather who is at the age where he says what he wants and damn the repercussions, and Lester, the bawdy parrot Hazel inherited from her grandmother. He has the best lines in the whole book.

If you like romantic books, I think this is likely one you’ll enjoy. For those of us who only like romance as a side to other stories, it falls flat. I like historical fiction with a dose of romance. I like science fiction with a side of romance. I like romance as part of another story. Romance books on their own aren’t my usual thing. There were no surprises in The Wrong Bridesmaid. It’s not a book that compels me to read more by this author.

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