Thursday, 19 December 2013

Confessions of a Bad Bridesmaid, or How to Nail a Debut Novel

She should never have agreed to be a bridesmaid!
Bridesmaid Olivia Matthews has arrived at her best friend’s glamorous society wedding – and stepped into her worst nightmare! From her cleavage to her attitude, nothing about Livvie is welcome – and before she knows it she’s won the disapproval of everyone there.
The only silver lining is best man Edward Winchester. He might be a bit uptight, but he’s also gorgeous and kisses like an X-rated dream... So Livvie decides there’s only one way to redeem this wedding from hell: persuade control freak Edward to cut loose and have his wicked way with her. If only he’d stop being so chivalrous...!
Jennifer Rae’s debut Mills & Boon novel is charming from the very first paragraph.  Opening with:  “It wasn’t just cold.  It was bones-aching, tits-freezing cold.” Her vivacious voice and ability to capture places and people caught me too.

Olivia is not perfect.  She gets unbelievably drunk at her best friend’s wedding weekend, flirts with all the wrong guys (including some creepy rahs who could have walked straight off the Made in Chelsea set) and wears dangerously high stiletto heels in the depth of a British winter.

But I like that.  I have a fairly bad habit of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, and genuinely can’t help replaying those cringeworthy moments again and again and again – I still have nightmares about things that happened at primary school.

So Olivia is the kind of character who I can identify with.  She reinvents herself, forces herself out of her comfort zone and goes for everything with all she’s got.  And I love her for it.

Edward’s just the right side of uptight.  He’s sweet and kind, and is fighting what he sees as an inappropriate attraction so hard that when it finally culminates in a kiss, it’s fairly mindblowing.  Rae captures the “we don’t talk about that” aspect of the British family so well.  And to those who argue that it’s a cliche – bull.  It’s totally true.  Unbelievably so.

And aside from all this well-developed and in-depth characterisation, she delivers on a romance that makes your toes curl with the lushness of it all.

An incredible debut, and I can’t wait to read her next book!

And our Mills & Boon Boy Tony is impressed with her debut too:

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