Review: Always a Bridesmaid by Cindi Myers

Friday, May 25

Title: Always a Bridesmaid*
Author: Cindi Myers
Series:N/A
Genre:  Contemporary Category Romance 
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Format: E-book
Date/Year:  April 23, 2012
Reviewed by: DD

*This book was provided to the reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Summary from the publisher:

She's sworn off weddings…

After two failed relationships and six stints as a bridesmaid, Stephanie Ludlow is convinced she’s man-poison. So when her hormones point due south to her sexy—but not so charming—new landlord, she can't help the sparks that fly. It’s a good thing she’s declared a strict "no sex" policy, because Mike Brubaker might as well have “it’s not happening” tattooed across his delectable chest.

He's sworn off love…

Spurned single dad Mike has learned the hard way women are the source of all evil and should be avoided at any cost. And that definitely includes his gorgeous new tenant. But when they're thrown together in the wedding party from hell, both will stop at nothing to fight the heat building between them. Giving in is not an option for either of them.

May the best man—or woman—win.

My Musings:

Stephanie Ludlow works at her dad's heating and AC business while finishing up her business degree. He has a couple close friends and a great relationship with her dad. But she, like most, has been unlucky in love.  Similar to the popular movie, 27 Dresses, she has bridesmaid dresses in every hideous design and color. Hence the "Always a Bridesmaid" moniker.

Mike Brubaker is a guy's guy coming off of a recent divorce. He is a gifted home builder and has a young son, Ryan. Since his wife decided she wanted something better, what is left behind is a house full of empty bedrooms. Mike rents out the rooms to fill the rooms and the silence.  Little does he know he is about to meet Stephanie, a coworker of one of his housemates.

Stephanie and Mike's characters are realistic, that much is for sure. But there is a difference between relatable and so realistic it's boring. It's a fine line. Unfortunately, this story just fell flat for me.  I didn't feel any real chemistry between the characters despite the love scenes.  Basically they meet each other and are really attracted, but they both feel things are too 'complicated' and 'messy' with their realities to really make a go of it.  Frankly it seems apathetic and Lazy, and who wants an indifferent couple to read about?

Mike's character did manage to touch on some issues about dating after divorce and how to balance a personal relationship and fatherhood with an emotionally vulnerable child.  He also has a few sad moments where he realizes he may not be his son's only father figure forever.  Mike really is trying to take care of his young son and have a life for himself.   He does touch on the fact that is is difficult to introduce another adult into a child's life that is still dealing with a  recent divorce. Mike handles this well and probably like a lot of good dads would. He has a lot of positive aspects. That being said, I just don't feel that his struggles were written poignantly enough to endear him to the reader or make him a lovable hero. Although his interactions with his son are sweet, and those are some of the better moments within the story, he just isn't that interesting of a character.

Stephanie was an OK character, but not very well rounded.  I really can't even describe her because after reading this twice I don't have a great grasp of her. She loves her Dad with her whole heart and she enjoys working with him, although she longs to work in other businesses and see the world which is mentioned a few times.  I just don't have any feelings for her as a heroine. She is sweet to Mike's son Ryan and really just eases her way in as his friend by helping him with a science project and I did like that part. Stephanie seems like every young lady in America trying to find a place for herself.  I feel like she and Mike are at two different places and while this can sometimes work with other stories it doesn't work here.  The passion to throw caution to the wind and indulge their attraction doesn't happen fast enough, or for that matter convincingly.

Stephanie's best friend and now housemate Justin is the common friend between the two. Justin suddenly gets married to his foreign girlfriend to keep her in the country and not only that but he is written like a 13 yr old. The whole "If you hurt her you'll answer to me" conversation is tiring. I’m not so sure adults even have those types of interactions. I didn't get any enjoyment from Stephanie and Justin's banter. I just felt it was juvenile and lacking warmth,  which pretty much sums up how I feel about this book.

There were a few moments that I wanted to be funny that just turned awkward. To me it’s again a problem with the development of the characters and their individual personalities. I wanted to love it. I don’t like to give negative reviews because if I wrote a book and it got a negative review my feelings would be smashed, but I have to be honest with this review. The love scenes were good, but not great, and you wanted them to hurry up...not because you’re excited for Mike and Stephanie to express their lust, but because you’re bored. The characters weren't passionate and I didn't "feel" the love story because there wasn't enough background or history to overcome the other flaws. The conflict isn't really a conflict at all if you’re in love,  and I didn't feel this story had enough tension to make a HEA anything but anticlimactic.

Ratings:

Overall:  2 Stars (I respect all authors because I couldn’t write a book. It was cute, but  really didn’t do it for me. I can see the talent, and I want Cindi Myers to write to her full potential.)
Sensuality level:  3 Stars (There were a few  steamy scenes. They were well executed but I didn’t feel the emotion.)

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2 Comments:

lorimeehan May 25, 2012 at 7:12 AM  

Thanks for the FYI on this book. It sounded like a good story plot. I'll gave to fund out for myself.
lorimeehan1@aol.com

Ali May 25, 2012 at 2:47 PM  

Enjoyed the review :)... I might have to give it a try, though

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