Thursday, September 24, 2020

Why is everyone getting jilted at the altar?

Sometimes I put books on reserve at my two different library systems to see which will produce the book I want first, so when I saw a book with “Best Man” in the title had arrived for me at both libraries I thought erroneously it must be the same book.   It’s a funny coincidence they arrived the same day with identical jilted tropes!  It is odd how certain themes become popular at the same time!  There are multiple books with either the same title as these books or practically the same; I just happened to read these two.

The Best Man Plan by Jaci Burton (2020) 

Two days before her wedding, Erin Bellini is jilted by email.  Holding her head high, she insists on carrying on with the wedding reception at the family vineyard and decides she’ll console herself with the best man, her oldest and very attractive friend Jason, who was supposed to be the best man.   Jason is too ethical to take advantage of Erin when she’s had too much to drink, plus he doesn’t want to be a revenge fling, he wants her to care about him, not her inconsiderate ex Owen.  On paper, this book sounded as if it would be a lot of fun but it was very ordinary and repetitive.   Also, Erin seemed very immature: she recovered too quickly from being rejected right before her wedding day, she impulsively adopted a puppy and then ignored it.  I also felt the explanation for Owen’s decision not to go through with the wedding didn’t make much sense, and Jason was so appealing that no one would ever have preferred Owen in the first place!

This book had the jilted-at-the-altar theme and the friends-to-lovers theme and the three sisters who will each get her own book.  Just as there seems to be an excess of men standing up their brides at the altar, I also seem to have read multiple books about vets lately!  And families who run their own vineyards!  Lots of vineyards! And daughters who plan events at said vineyards!  Great cover but this book did not get high marks on originality or storytelling from me, despite Burton’s being a New York Times bestselling author.

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa (2020)

When Carolina Santos is left at the altar minutes before her wedding she’s furious with the groom but learns it was the best man who told his older brother not to go through with it.   Lina loses some confidence and concentrates on her career as a wedding planner, and several years later encounters the brothers again.   In order to secure a prestigious job, she has to develop a winning presentation with her one-time best man, Max, competing against her former fiancĂ©, Andrew!  Soon there is incredible chemistry between Carolina and Max, the man she thought she despised, and her friends urge her to have a fun fling with him.  Max is just as infatuated but neither wants to risk getting hurt, and they don’t want to cause a rift with Max’s brother (although he is a jerk, so got no sympathy from me).

The Worst Best Man had the jilted-at-the-altar theme and the enemies-to-friends theme.  While the competition gimmick that brought this couple together didn’t make much sense and I thought Max was too good to be true, this story was interesting because the heroine was a person of color, which is fairly rare, and she came from a warm, vibrant family of immigrant women who had built careers in their new country.  In contrast, Andrew, Max, and their mother seemed cold and dysfunctional (although the mother regretted that Andrew and Carolina had not married).  Also, at the end it seemed as if Max hadn’t urged his brother not to get married after all, so what was the point of that whole set up except to make Carolina dislike him?  

Why is everyone getting jilted at the altar?  I suppose so they can show resiliency and fall in love with someone better suited to them, all in the same story.  Sometimes this works well but both these books needed good editors and I don’t think I would try either author again. That being said, while I don’t remember who recommended these books it was fun to read something lighthearted after several dark mysteries.


Cath said...

I haven't noticed a jilted at the altar theme but vineyards 'yes'. All over the place... books set in vineyards, in fact I think I have several on my Kindle waiting to be read and I read one in the summer. And I don't even drink. LOL!

Marg said...

Interesting way to connect these two books! There are lots of Australian stories set in vineyards too!