Jenny Holiday comes to the blog today with the first in her Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series, narrated by Angéle Masters.
One and Only
This is a fun series, set up with four friends who are sharing their weddings, and being bridesmaids for one another. In this book, Jane, the YA Fantasy writer, a bit more sedate and quieter from her friends, not breaking the rules, and generally the best ‘time manager’ they have in their group. She’s also more than willing to support her friend Elise and her groom-to-be Jay, with everything. From hand stenciled invitations to cocktail inventions, the DIY aspect of the wedding day all seem to play into her fears, and she wants to help, but hates crafty things. Fortunately, there is one problem, Jay’s younger brother Cameron and his ‘wild child’ reputation, back from a stint in the Army that didn’t end well, and discovering his girlfriend is having an affair – it’s slowly shown that his reputation may not be entirely of his own making. And, who better to keep him on the straight and narrow but Jane. Responsible, steady and always good in a crisis Jane. It doesn’t hurt that at first, Cam just sees Jane as yet another ‘girl’, and not one he’s interested in.
But quickly the lightness of the story is blended with several issues of more import, with Jane’s own childhood guilts that keep her contained and constrained, with Cam’s PTSD and his grief, both from the war and from his relationship exploding, not to mention he really does feel guilty about the disappointment he thinks he’s brought to his family. Slowly, after dealing with Cam’s outright dickish behavior, these two start to come to grips with the situation they’ve been thrust into, and as their acquaintance grows, their trust and communication follows. Soon, the quiet and reliable Jane is doing very un-Jane-like things: standing up for herself, taking chances, being more adventurous, and, you guessed it, falling for Cam. The writing here developed both characters with a HUGE twist shared at the end from Jane, the story felt plausible and carried some depth with the fun. And, bonus points for setting it in Toronto (if you’ve not been – go – it’s a lovely city) with lots of ‘touristy’ moments that just shine.
Narration for this story is provided by Angéle Masters and it was a solid performance without overworking moments, emotions or humorous moments. There were plenty of characters that added to the story, from the friends and the laughs while crafting, sly moments of teasing (that bordered on pushy and obnoxious) Jane about her ‘steadiness’, and some lovely moments where both Cam and Jane open up and share difficult events and emotions, allowing their relationship to develop and grow.
Stars: Overall 3 Narration 3 Story 3
Title: One and Only
Author: Jenny Holiday
Series: Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1
Also in this series: It Takes Two
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Comedy
Narrator: Angèle Masters
Published by: Forever, Hachette Audio
Published on: 27 February, 2018
Source: Hachette Audio
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 50 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible
Miss Responsibility meets Mr. Reckless
With her bridezilla friend on a DIY project rampage, bridesmaid Jane Denning will do anything to escape - even if it means babysitting the groom's troublemaker brother before the wedding. It should be a piece of cake, except the "cake" is a sarcastic former soldier who is 100% wicked hotness and absolutely off-limits.
Cameron MacKinnon is ready to let loose after returning from his deployment. But first he'll have to sweet talk the ultra-responsible Jane into taking a walk on the wild side. Turns out, riling her up is the best time he's had in years. But what happens when the fun and games start to turn into something real?
A copy of this title was provided via Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: