Always a Bridesmaid
Author: Cindi Madsen
Series: Getting Hitched in Dixie, book 2
Publisher: Entangled: Amara (May 26, 2020)
Paperback, 400 pages
Romance, Adult Romance, Contemporary Romance
Violet Abrams has always been in love with everything love and weddings. Good thing, too, since she’s been a bridesmaid no less than seven times. Sure her turn was next, she’d been planning her own nuptials meticulously in a treasured three-ring binder…until her longtime boyfriend left her for someone else.
Fast-forward to the day of his wedding, an ill-advised match being lit to said binder, and the fire department getting called to her sister’s bakery. Violet’s always been a little impulsive and a lot awkward, but having to explain to the super-cute firefighter, Ford Maguire, why she was setting fire to a bunch of wedding dress photos? Worst day ever.
Except now her bridesmaid expertise has her helping Ford cover his “man of honor” duties in his best friend’s upcoming wedding. Ford may be a “bridesdude,” but forever is the last thing on his mind. And if there’s one thing a perpetual bridesmaid knows, it’s the importance of a happily ever after.
Always a Bridesmaid would make a really good rom-com movie. There are some really great moments, like when Violet tries to light her wedding plan binder on fire and the expression on Ford’s face every time the battered (and slightly burnt) thing makes an appearance, that would just be REALLY great in a movie. And I adore the whole vibe on tomboy Addie and her “bridesdude/man of honor” pulling down the high-brow tone of the wedding planning events like picking out the dress or deciding a color/flowers/cake, and Lexi just throwing her hands up in southern belle exasperation at them with Violet being a bridge for their group. Also, who doesn’t love a rom-com with some cute German Shepherd puppies in it? Wedding planning, puppies, a will-they/won’t-they relationship… It’s perfect! This whole book just has this great feel-good rom-com movie vibe to it and I need it to be a movie post-haste!
It’s not all fluff and frosting though – Violet and Ford have some fairly difficult backstories, and both need to deal with their dads (who have starring roles in said stories) throughout the course of the book. I appreciate the personal growth they both go through, though a couple of times I wanted to slap Ford upside the head because he was being an idiot. I do wish his plotline with his family had been a little more resolved. It’s awesome how many different relationships are navigated and the growth we get to see throughout this book, not just the romance between Violet and Ford but also Violet’s relationship with her sister and her father/stepmother and Ford’s friend group’s shifting dynamic as one friend marries outside the friend circle and another couple within the group connect romantically and what that means for them all. In addition to being an EXCELLENT romance, Always a Bridesmaid looks at what it means to be friends and family as well.
This is the second book in the Getting Hitched in Dixie series, but can be read as a stand alone. I really disliked the first book for some reason, and you don’t need it to get the full benefit of this next book in the series. Still, if you want more of Addie and Lexi (and the crazy dude-bro group of guy friends that includes Addie), check out the previous book in this series, Just One of the Groomsmen.
An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss+ for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.