Left at the Altar series
Genre: Humorous contemporary romance
Publisher: Uncial Press
Number of pages: 201
Word Count: 61,000
Cover Artist: Judith B. Glad
Dani Dipietro has always considered herself an ugly duckling in a family of swans. She’s the bridesmaid her friends count on, but never the woman any man wants for his bride. So she plays the funny girl and guards her emotions, and her secrets, closely.
When Zach Morrison was dumped at his wedding, Dani was there to help him through the humiliation. A year later they meet again and once more Zach needs her help. To fend off the unwanted attentions of his former fiancé, he asks Dani to pretend to be his girlfriend. They play their roles a little too well, and make believe turns into reality. But their relationship comes crashing down around them when Zach’s trust issues cause him to accuse Dani of cheating. Telling the truth means Dani will betray a friend, something she will never do. But keeping her secrets means she may be destined to remain a bridesmaid forever.
Reading the book blurb, Always a Bridesmaid promises some predictable tropes: the ugly duckling surrounded by swans and the good old situation comedy drama where Dani and Zach pretend to be an item to fend off his over zealous ex-fiancé. Cue chaos and laughter. If you’re not a chick-lit or romantic comedy fan exit left. For the rest of us proud rom com lovers, I think you’ll agree the difference between good and bad rom com isn’t necessarily the plot, but the way it’s executed.
Always a Bridesmaid executes strongly, delivering romance believably with humour that flows naturally. Dani and Zach are both likeable main characters and their attraction is enjoyable to read.
This is the second novel I’ve read by Jana Richards and because of that I wasn’t surprised when the book delivers characters (and a story) beyond the standard rom com or chick-lit genres. Richards has a knack of developing characters with real depth, something which the genre often fails to do. We watch as Dani and Zach chart trust issues as a result of a friend’s predicament. We also journey with Dani as she struggles with her sense of identity surrounding her body issues. Richards depth in her characters also extends to the supporting cast, which is another reason her novels engage more than the blurb would suggest.
Had I not have read another contemporary romance by Jana Richards, the cover design on this one would have made me pass it by. Sadly, I don’t think the cover does this writer the justice she deserves, or demonstrates the professionalism reflected in her writing. Richards has proven herself as a competent and engaging contemporary romance writer to me twice over, which is why it’s always worth remembering that old saying, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover.’ If you can see past that, this is an enjoyable romantic read for lovers of the chick-lit/rom com genres.
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About the Author :
When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.
In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg with their Pug/Terrier cross Lou and several unnamed goldfish. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at http://www.janarichards.com
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/janarichards
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