Cindi Madsen’s latest should not be missed!
Dakota Halifax loves to be in love. In fact, as one of Las Vegas’s premier wedding planners, she’s built a whole career around romance. Which is why her own wedding has to be nothing short of perfect. And then her fiancé jilts her. While she’s waiting in her wedding dress. On a cruise ship already out at sea.
Once back on dry land, Dakota tries to pour her heart into her business and weekly wedding advice column, Get Ready to Wed. But how can the heartbroken celebrate others’ true love? When she reconnects with her childhood best friend, surprisingly sexy and all-grown-up casino bouncer Brendan West, Dakota wonders if maybe she can fall back in love with being in love. But then her ex reappears, begging for another chance and suddenly Dakota questions if she’ll ever understand love. Can someone once-burned and twice-shy ever find her way down the aisle again?
This was another so-fun-to-read book; I’m having a real run of good luck lately. A perfect summer, in other words 🙂
First person POV, when done well and with an interesting character, can really make a book–and that’s exactly what we have here. Seeing everything from Dakota’s perspective is what makes this book so entertaining. Her color-coded to-do lists, both for work and for her personal life were a riot–and perfectly demonstrated her need to be in control of everything. Some examples of items on her list:
get over my bitterness toward love
I supposed I’d try extra hard not to punch her (Dakota’s witchy-with-a-B coworker). Even make it a goal on my to-do list and everything
attempt a decent conversation (with same coworker)
Get clothes from Grant’s (the ex who left her on the altar–er, beach), and start to get closure from him
Stop being scared of a real relationship with Brendan and just let it happen
I loved her lists. To make her life even more manageable, Dakota also used color coding, which she explained to Brendan at one point:
“Code Fuchsia?” he asked, and it took me a second to realize I’d brought it up, and that of course he didn’t know what it meant.
“It s-started as a joke,” I stuttered. “For bridal meltdowns. Like the terror code alert, but fancier colors. The brighter the color, the more dire the situation. It sorta seeped into my daily life, too. I even color code my to-do list. Keeps me on top of the high-action items.”
He nodded like it wasn’t an odd thing to do, but his twitching mouth said he was fighting the urge to mock me for it.
“The full code is actually Fanatic Fuchsia, Temperamental Tangerine, Wary Canary, Cautious Cobalt, down all the way to Low-Key Lime. Although sometimes Lime is just a level of shock that appears low-key but is masking Tangerine or even Fuchsia.”
“No purple?” Definitely mocking me now, a sexy smile curving his lips.
“Not on the code scale, but there’s Purple Passion of course. So something I or my bride care a lot about, but there’s not the meltdown factor involved. It’s more like good job, there’s some Purple Passion going on over there.” I shook my head. “I can’t believe I just told you all of that.”
“I can’t believe I’ve missed out on Purple Passion all my life.”
The lists, color coding, and her “Ready to Wed” newspaper articles are woven throughout the book, showing just how out-of-her-control Dakota’s life is at the beginning and how hard she’s trying to wrestle it back into submission as the story continues. It was a definite benefit here not being able to see things from either of the guys’ POVs–we’re in the dark just as much as Dakota is about their feelings and motivations, which kept me turning the pages, as anxious as she was.
Well, almost as anxious. I didn’t assign any colors to my emotional state. 😉
Ready to Wed has a definite chick-lit feel to it, but since I love well-written chick lit, this was nothing but a giant plus as far as I’m concerned. I adore flawed characters who admit their flaws (because already knowing you’re crazy puts you a step above those who think they’re “normal”, am I right?) and manage to figure out a way to make things better for themselves without depending on others to do it for them.
Throw in a book-boyfriend-worthy, supportive hero, and I’m a goner.
Such a fun read–I’d give it three thumbs up that were possible 🙂
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Cindi Madsen is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.
Author Website: http://cindimadsen.com/
Author Blog: http://cindimadsen.blogspot.com/
Author Twitter: @CindiMadsen
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CindiMadsenBooks
Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1029223.Cindi_Madsen
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