Borrow-A-Bridesmaid by Anne Wagener

Those years right out of university for Liberal Arts majors are often difficult, bringing home the memory of parental unit refrains of “what will you do” and looks ranging from disbelieving to disdain.  And surely, there is a piece of truth to the fact that careers are not always clear-cut and what will I be questions linger longer for some than others.  Anne Wagener takes all of the soul-searching, angst, humor and growing pains to display them in her debut novel,


Piper is living  “The Dream” if that entails subsisting on PB&J, a dead end job pushing books to uninterested travelers at the airport,
a car that is fast approaching the junkyard and a narcissistic ex who is now on the radio in heavy rotation with his band.  With a bank balance that toes the line between not enough and zero, her roommates offhanded comment about selling herself leads her to list herself as a Bridesmaid for Hire.

All of the usual weirdness ensues: inappropriate responses to her advert, email addresses that hint (some more directly than others) to the personality of the bride, and desperation toss Piper into the bridal melee, and the story is off and running. Piper is funny, clever and empathetic, allowing her to be solidly supportive. She truly WANTS to be liked and accepted, which occasionally makes her appear spineless and her lack of a solid sense of her own worth: could have devolved into maudlin immature moments, but that humor and positive hope that she solidly grabs with both hands saved her from the emo cliché.

With brides that range from delightful to delirious, Piper navigates the demands and make friends, even as those demands lead her into an ‘insider’s perspective’ to save her first bride’s brother from a terrible mistake.  A flirtation and tentative relationship that goes silently pear shaped, a leap from a balcony to escape a date gone horridly wrong and the wonderful interaction with her best friend / roommate Lin and his new love interest, the story moves forward quickly with plenty of humor and laughter. While you hope for a happy ending as Piper learns, grows and finds a love to call her own, it is the journey that wanders forward, circles and leaps about like a cat with catnip: always amusing and fun to watch, with a few moments of downtime to regroup.

Wagener’s sense of the absurd yet plausible situations, her humor and knack for character development and voice make this a wonderful debut romantic comedy novel, giving readers a new author to look forward to reading.

Borrow-A-Bridesmaid by Anne Wagener

Title: Borrow-a-Bridesmaid
Author: Anne Wagener
Published by: Pocket Star
ISBN: 9781501107382
Published on: 8 June, 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 292
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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When life hands you lemons, make lemonade—or, in Piper Brody’s case, make a Craigslist ad offering yourself up as a hired bridesmaid! A hilarious, touching, coming-of-age novel from debut author Anne Wagener.

Piper is a recent college grad who decides to sell her body on Craigslist—as a hired bridesmaid. Her airport bookseller job just isn’t bringing home the turkey bacon, and no one’s going to pay her to analyze Milton’s poetry. Turns out, having an English literature degree from an upstanding university isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Piper’s Craigslist endeavor soon picks up steam, netting her clients such as Southern peach Stacey, whose interracial marriage causes a family feud, and Alex, a bride-to-be who’s so type A she’s type A-plus. Between fighting off matching T-shirt–wearing teams of “bustle bitches” at gown sales and learning more about fondant than the Cake Boss, Piper falls for Charlie Bell, the brother of a client. A fellow aspiring writer, Charlie’s the only person recently who’s encouraged Piper to follow her dreams. Not to mention, he’s pretty darn cute.

But when Charlie turns out to be the groom in one of her gigs—and set to marry the craziest bridezilla of them all—Piper must band together with her newfound friends and stop Charlie from making the biggest mistake of his life.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Anne Wagener

I'm a serial bridesmaid, amateur ukulele player, and dessert addict currently living in western New York. My first novel, Borrow-A-Bridesmaid , will be released in June 2015 from Simon & Schuster/Pocket Star.

Borrow-A-Bridesmaid was partially inspired by my experiences bridesmaiding throughout my 20s. In total, I've been a bridesmaid 10 times, in 6 different states (and England!). In the book, my main character is paid to be a stand-in bridesmaid. Just to clarify, none of my friends hired me, unless you count chocolate fountains and delicious gourmet food as payment...

Beyond bridesmaiding, I found being in my 20s to be confusing as $#&!. One of the reasons I wrote this book was to explore some of those experiences in hopes of connecting with other people in their 20s (and beyond—graduating to a new decade hasn't cleared up much of my confusion) about things like career angst, awkward work situations, and LOVE, my favorite topic of all time.

When I'm not writing, I'm watching too much Netflix or reading.

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