Title: Always A Bridesmaid
Author: Elaine Hopper
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
PublicationDate: 24 March 2010
Ebook: 144 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Review Copy
Reviewed by: Laura
RATING: 5/10 – take it or leave it
Hell has finally frozen over. After nine long years, Breanna Parker has come home to be her sister’s maid of honor. Just her luck that the first person she runs into is her ex-fiance, Troy Youngwolf—the man who eloped with her ex-best friend and broke her heart. Now a widowed father and sheriff of their Florida home town, sexy bad boy Troy wants another chance and won’t take no for an answer. However, every time Breanna looks at Troy or his little girl, her heart breaks anew. She can hardly wait for her sister to get hitched so she can escape back to her urban family in Ft. Lauderdale. The risk is too high that Troy may discover her most closely held secret, one with the potential to destroy them both…perhaps this time forever.
When you pick up a book called ‘Always A Bridesmaid‘, you pretty much know what you’re going to get. At 144 pages it’s a short book and I read it all in one sitting in the space of a couple of hours.
The book tells the broken love story of Bree and Troy. Nine years ago, they were desperately in love and engaged to be married; true soul mates. Then Troy accidentally got Bree’s best friend Meg pregnant and thinking he was doing the honourable thing eloped and married her, devastating Bree.
Fleeing her home town, her family and past, Bree has not been home since. Not even returning for the funeral when when Meg was killed in a horrific car crash four years later.
Now her sister is getting married and Bree returns home to help with the wedding, meaning that Bree has to face her past and finally come to terms with it.
The premise of this book is a bit of a tough one to reconcile with. Simply because as the reader you too have to forgive Troy for his mistakes in order to become fully engaged in the story. I did find myself thinking would I forgive him if I were in Bree’s place. To my mind Troy’s was a huge betrayal and I had to put this to one side in order to read the book.
Despite their flaws both Bree and Troy are likeable characters. You feel their sadness and pain for their mistakes and at the beginning wonder how they will work through them to reach the ultimate happy ending.
Essentially, this book is as much about forgiveness as it is about love, and as it develops you do find yourself forgiving Troy as you begin to understand his regret and personal suffering for everything he has put Bree through. And watching Bree you know that she will never truly happy without Troy in her life.
Surprisingly for a romance there is barely half a sex scene in this book, this didn’t necessarily bother me as I didn’t think the story needed it, but this may disappoint some readers.
Also because it was only 144 pages long, there were parts where I wished the author had taken more time to tell the story.
Some more background detail around what happened in Troy and Bree’s past would of helped with the story development, but this was not included. You never find out exactly what happened with Troy and Meg, to understand truly why Troy cheated.
There were a couple of convenient jumps forward in time that were needed in order to move the story along in such a short novel. But because of this some of the more complex developments were skirted over, which I actually found dissatisfying. I wanted to understand why the characters had made certain decisions and what they were thinking and feeling at the time. It also meant that some of the sub plots surrounding Bree’s sister’s wedding were very under developed.
Finally, everything was a little too easy in the end. While I do expect and enjoy that in romances everything is tied up nicely when it concludes, I do need that ending to be realistic and it just seemed incomplete and rushed.
‘Always A Bridesmaid‘ is a short and sweet love story, but it does have some problems. I think if the author could have taken more time to write this story it would of been so much richer, allowing the reader to understand the characters more and to help overcome the difficult background.
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