Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Unexpected Wedding Guest, or How to Write a Perfectly Flawed Heroine

"Surprised to see me?"
Getting caught in her wedding dress by her drop-dead-gorgeous ex-husband is Reese Michael’s worst nightmare. Especially when her perfect-on-paper fiancé then cancels their wedding!
Reese has spent years trying to forget how her marriage to Mason Hicks crashed and burned – yes, their chemistry was incredible, but a girl can’t live on lust alone! And what’s a jilted bride supposed to do when the one man she could never forget is back in her life, as irresistible as ever? Mason might be her own personal brand of Kryptonite, but surely life is meant to be lived a little dangerously…?
I resisted the pull of the Mills & Boon bride for so many years; my thought process being that I was far too young and independent to be interested in wedding stories, but once RIVA started telling stories of jilted grooms and fake fiancées I kind of gave in to the inevitable. So my excitement that four of Mills & Boon’s finest were working on a quartet together was tempered with the knowledge that it’s pretty damn hard to be original when it comes to weddings.

So The Unexpected Wedding Guest, Book One in The Wedding Season Quartet. How does it measure up, bridal-wise?

Well, firstly, the wedding gets cancelled. Reese is thrown a curveball when her ex-husband appears out of nowhere before her wedding, and then is horrified when her husband-to-be postpones the whole event. To be fair, if it’d been me I’d have stabbed them both with a centrepiece holder and then fled in Mason’s rickety old truck, but to give Reese her due, she’s more mature.

But why has Mason returned? It’s not to burst through the doors confessing his in an overly dramatic manner, but actually for closure. His therapist has told him he has to come and make amends, and then he’ll find himself able to move on with his life. Not your typical set-up. And I like the fact that the reason their marriage fell apart in the first place wasn’t due to some overwhelmingly tragedy, but rather that they messed up. Both were stubborn, both were really young, and neither knew what to do when they stopped communicating properly with each other.

It’s easy enough to do, especially when you’re still getting to know someone. One person’s silence can be mistaken for anger whilst one person’s argument is another’s debate (as I’ve discovered – my bf just loves arguing but sees it as healthy discussion. I see it as a pain in my derriere). So seeing these two characters interact with each other - years after it all fell apart - is actually really interesting.

And besides, Mason is fiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. As alpha males go, he’s right up there: strong … silent … a marine… It’s enough to make a girl swoon. Especially when he softens enough to tenderly care for Reese during her bout of illness. The chemistry? Clearly electric. And the dialogue’s pretty snappy. Plus I like Reese. She’s not sugar-coated and she’s nowhere near perfect – we get to see her realise that the failure of that original marriage is just as much her fault as it was his – and that’s nice to see. For those who say that Mills & Boon heroines are irritatingly perfect need to read this. I like strong, flawed female characters – case in point being that Becky Sharp, from Vanity Fair, is my favourite female character of all time and she’s a bitch – so yes. Good move Carson.

Aimee Carson herself is fairly new to me – I’ve only read one of her other books (The Best Mistake of Her Life from RIVA) – but I can’t wait for her new Modern Tempted (The First Time for Everything) to be released on the kindle. It’s going on my download list now…

Mills & Boon Boy 2: 
Matt G (aka Rasta Hagrid)

Reaction to Photograph Request: 
Nonchalant bemusement, followed by a dash to get the prettiest book cover.


  1. This will have me chuckling all day, and probably the rest of the week too: "To be fair, if it’d been me I’d have stabbed them both with a centrepiece holder and then fled in Mason’s rickety old truck..."

    And the picture? Perfection!

    1. Yeah...I'm not known for my patience, but a woman on the run for a double murder - that she's guilty of - just isn't the Mills & Boon way.

      I'm having a week of Mills & Boon boys - namely my friends coerced and/or tricked into posing. I'm enjoying it so much, I might make it a regular thing.

      Really enjoyed the book though, and like I said, can't wait for September 1st so I can download the eBook exclusives!

    2. A hearty "heck, yeah" to continuing with the Mills & Boon boys! Love it, absolutely love it. Happy to contribute gifts for bribes if necessary . . .

      And I'm so glad you liked the book!

    3. Well I've photos prepped for the rest of this week... Friday's in particular is brilliant. Mills & Boon Boy 4 (codename D'Artagnan) was a little drunk and got rather over-enthusiastic. The temptation to hijack all of my male friends, armed with vintage M&B, is a little overwhelming at the moment...

      It was really fun and a fab Happy Ever After - I like the idea that even massive screw-ups can turn out okay. :) You're usually a straight Modern girl, right? Or is Flo persuading you to come a fully-paid up member of the Modern Tempted brigade?

  2. I was bought by Flo and have been a die-hard member of the Modern Tempted brigade all along! Though a couple of my books have been released as Moderns.

    Can't WAIT to see the rest of the Mills & Boon boys . . .

    1. Love it! I was damn near devastated when Riva took a hiatus, so to see it reborn as Modern Tempted makes me so happy!

      They won't disappoint, I promise. And our very M&B Boy 2 has already said he's up for doing more every now and then. Win!

  3. Hah! Gotta have more M&B Boys! And of course, great review! Going in the TBR pile now...

    1. It's all about the M&B Boys!! And thank you, it deffo should - along with the rest of the new #ModernTempted!