Mini Reviews: Road Trips, Weddings & A Problematic Twist

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Three Little Words (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #3)
by Jenny Holiday
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Publisher: Forever Romance
  

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads: Gia Gallo is officially in bridesmaid hell. Stranded in New York with her best friend’s wedding dress, Gia has six days to make it to Florida in time for the ceremony. And oh-so-charming best man Bennett Buchanan has taken the last available rental car. Looks like she’s in for one long road trip with the sexiest – and most irritating – Southern gentleman she’s ever met…

Bennett’s pretty sure that if there was ever a woman to break his “no flings” rule, Gia would be it. Sure, she’s stubborn. She’s also funny, smart, and the attraction between them is getting hotter with every state line they cross. While Bennett doesn’t do casual, Gia doesn’t do “relationships.” But if they break the rules, this unlikely pair might discover that their impromptu road trip could turn out to be the best ride of their lives.

 

*I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

The Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series has finally come to an end and can I just say that Jenny Holiday has saved the best story for last. I’ve been anxiously awaiting Gia’s book for months now because I knew her story would leave me an emotional mess and I was totally right and I loved every minute of it! 

Gia Gallo is determined to not screw up her best friend’s wedding, but the weather has other plans as she finds herself stranded in New York with a wedding dress and no methods of transportation. But she’s not alone in her troubles as Bennett Buchanan, the groom’s best man, is also stranded in New York. The two don’t hit it off on the right foot, but Gia knows that if she wants to make it to the wedding on time, she’s going to have to suck it up and work with Bennett. After many miles and many hours of bickering back and forth, the annoyance these two feel for one another starts to turn into something elsesomething neither one was expecting and something neither one can resist.

It wasn’t love at first sight when I first started this series but I’m really glad I stuck with it because I ended up falling in love with these characters and their stories. Seriously, if you love romances with strong female friendships then keep reading this review because you’ll definitely wanna give this series a read! In the final book in the Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series, we get to learn more about Gia: the model who seems to have it all together on the outside but on the inside it’s a different story. Gia’s whole story broke my heart. She’s a model who is kind of aging out and she fears that she won’t be able to make a living. She’s also struggling to find her place in life now that all her friends are married and she feels lost. This lack of control triggers her eating disorder and I just found Gia’s struggles to be very relatable and I thought Holiday did a really great job at handling such a heavy topic. Then we have Bennett: a chef who is trying to find a way to improve his restaurant to better help the less fortunate people of his community, but at the same time he’s dealing with demons from his past that he has yet to move on from. Bennett truly has a heart of gold because he loves helping others and I also loved the fact that he wasn’t afraid to say he was a guy who preferred commitments instead of flings. It was like a role reversal considering most heroes are the total opposite and I liked it! I really loved this romance! It’s angsty, it’s emotional and it had me shedding some tears. One thing I really appreciated was the fact that Bennett didn’t judge Gia for her disorder and he never forced her to eat either nor did he expose her secret but rather he helped her create a more positive relationship with food. I think it’s kind of perfect that Gia ended up with a love interest who is a chef and Bennett ended up with a woman who was able to make his vision of helping others a reality. A match made in heaven that’s for sure! All in all, Three Little Words was the perfect wrap up to a fun, heartwarming and just all around great series and I highly recommend giving it a read! 

 

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The Matchmaker’s List
by Sonya Lalli
Publication Date: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Berkley Books

Add to Goodreads || Buy on Amazon  

Rating: ★★½

Synopsis via Goodreads: One devoted modern girl + a meddlesome, traditional grandmother = a heartwarming multicultural romantic comedy about finding love where you least expect it

Raina Anand may have finally given in to family pressure and agreed to let her grandmother play matchmaker, but that doesn’t mean she has to like it–or that she has to play by the rules. Nani always took Raina’s side when she tried to push past the traditional expectations of their tight-knit Indian-immigrant community, but now she’s ambushing Raina with a list of suitable bachelors. Is it too much to ask for a little space? Besides, what Nani doesn’t know won’t hurt her…

As Raina’s life spirals into a parade of Nani-approved bachelors and disastrous blind dates, she must find a way out of this modern-day arranged-marriage trap without shattering her beloved grandmother’s dreams.

 

*I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

It may be too early to call, but I definitely feel like 2019 is gonna be the year for brown girl romances! I’ve been adding romance books written by brown women featuring brown heroines to my TBR left and right and it makes me so excited to read romance books about girls just like me. The Matchmaker’s List was one of those books on my list and I had really high hopes for it. Too bad it didn’t end up living up to my expectations and I’m pretty bummed about it to say the least. Let’s get this mini rant of a review started!

At twenty-nine, Raina Anand is tired of her family constantly badgering her about when she will find husband and finally settle down. So she decides to let her Nani play matchmaker as she sets Raina up on numerous dates with men who are deemed “husband material”. Failed date after another, Raina is ready to throw in the towel and claim the single life for good. But when a blast from the past comes waltzing back into her life wanting a second chance, Raina finds herself having to make some tough choices that could either make or break the relationships with the ones she loves.

When I first picked up The Matchmaker’s List, I had a hard time putting it down because I was really enjoying it. The whole story of Raina feeling pressured to find a husband and settle down is something I related so hard too because I’m literally going through the same thing right now. I swear, brown parents are okay with you being single until you reach a certain age and then they just want to you get married already. I loved seeing the Indian culture in this book and I especially loved Raina’s relationship with her Nani. Her Nani was so sweet yet sassy and she’s was definitely my favorite character in this book. So I was pretty much enjoying this story until about 40%—basically that’s where shit hit the fan as the plot twist was introduced and I was so not here for it. Raina doesn’t have the courage to tell her Nani that she is back with the ex that broke her heart, so the avoid being set up on anymore dates, Raina lets her Nani believe that she is gay. Like we really out here playing the fake gay card as a plot twist? In 2019?? Like who even approved this because y’all out yo damn minds if you thought a plot twist like this would sit well with readers! As for Raina, she is the worst because she let’s this lie play out to the point where a secondary character confides to her that he is gay too and looks to Raina for help to come out to his parents. Like this isn’t a cute look and we shouldn’t be using sexuality as a twist like this. Honestly after that mess, I just hated Raina and I didn’t really care for who she ended up with. The romance itself is just a whole mess because I didn’t feel like Raina had any actual chemistry with any of the love interests we were introduced to. It was just awkward as a whole and even the way the story concluded left me confused. I think one of the major issues I had with this book besides the problematic plot twist has to be the way it is being promoted. This story is being promoted as a romantic comedy but it’s anything but. This reads more like women’s fiction and not a good one at that. The Matchmaker’s List had the potential to be such a good book but I can’t overlook the problematic twist which is why I won’t be recommending this book to anyone.

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I'm Ari, a local NYC bibliophile and a forever daydreamer. You can usually find me with my nose buried in a book and my head up in the clouds. I am also a coffee addict and a chocolate connoisseur. I fell in love with the romance genre about three years ago and I haven't been able to stop reading about happily-ever-afters, which is ironic because I'm a bit of a cynical romantic in real life, haha. I hope you all enjoy my blog and fangirling with me about all the smutty reads!

7 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Road Trips, Weddings & A Problematic Twist

  1. I read the novellas and Three Little Words, and I just bought one of the older Bridesmaids books. I am really enjoying the series, and Gia’s book was fabulous. Gia’s story was moving and I loved the way she found an outlet for her passion, but it was Bennett’s story that got me emotional, and that whole walk through his past he took during their road trip was worthy of some sniffles and a tear or two. I adored his, by the way. The way he understood Gia’s needs and how he knew when to push or retreat was great. Great ending for this series.

    Liked by 1 person

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