The blurb for Amy Lynch’s new Bride Without A Groom says the story is about Rebecca, who is sort of secretly booking a honeymoon and choosing the perfect dress, even though her long-term boyfriend, Barry, has yet to propose. I really expected to love this book. With a premise like that, you’re just guaranteed to have a great proposal scene and a great wedding, right?
And I did like some of the girls-night silliness, but mostly this was a flop.
What frustrated me the most about this novel is that I was led to so many opportunities for character growth and change, and then nothing. For example, Rebecca hates her job, and almost never makes it into the office, and is constantly one doctor’s cert away from being fired. Basically the only thing she cares about, besides her wedding, is volunteering at a pet shelter. She even goes to a charity do for dogs… so by the laws of chicklit, she’s going to find a new position rescuing abandoned pets, right? No, actually she still has her crappy job and no ambitions.
She also has two best friends, Emma who has everything together, and Pam who is a complete mess. I expected to see the cracks in Emma’s perfect marriage and realize Pam’s secret strengths, so that the girls can grow and change from one-sided tropes. We do find out that Emma’s perfect husband slept with a hooker, but whatever, Emma forgave him, and there’s weirdly not a lot of character growth for anyone. And Pam’s new boyfriend seems great, or at least, he might be great and Pam might be growing into a new stage of life, if we ever got to see her as more than a sidekick trope. That’s just, like, the laws of chicklit novels.
Rebecca and Barry’s relationship was one missed opportunity for change after another. Barry, after insisting he didn’t want to propose and that Rebecca was making him nuts with her hinting (Hinting = booking a honeymoon on his credit card, tee hee), proposed and then she makes him nuts with her engagement party and wedding planning (Planning = an engagement party for 200 on his credit card, tee hee). Rebecca gets close to growth and change, and then decides to order takeout and obsess over her wedding again.
And after all that talk about weddings, there’s no wedding scene. The novel stops before the Bride Without A Groom actually gets married… she doesn’t gain independence and decide not to get married, she doesn’t throw over the whole wedding industry and decide to elope, the novel just ends before the wedding. I slogged through so many pages of Rebecca’s shopping sprees and never got the wedding scene!
I received an ARC of this novel to review, and as you can see, ARCs don’t influence my reviews and opinions.