by Paige Toon
Published by Simon & Schuster U.K.
Genre: romance, literature
3.5 / 5
Perhaps my biggest pet peeve as a reader is when I invest myself emotionally and in a book – when I give it all of my time and attention – only to experience the main character betray herself at the end. It feels disingenuous, like I’ve taken part in a lie.
Such is my problem with this book.
The first three quarters – the first four fifths, for goodness sake – is fantastic. Bronte comes to London for a hen night, meets the gorgeous and alluring Alex, and they rock the headboard. She goes back home to Australia, he heads back to his life, and all’s right. Each has recently broken up with a significant other, they provide succor and sex to one another, and they have given themselves some hot memories.
A year and a half later, Bronte is in London for a new job. Joining her, equally new to the company, is Alex. Neither can forget the passion and chemistry they shared, but now there is a teensy little problem: Alex is engaged to the girl from whom he was broken up when he and Bronte got together the first time.
The thing is, their attraction to each other is just as strong as it was when they met in the bar. Their attempts to fight it off only seem to strengthen it. Sure, Alex has a fianceé, and Bronte soon has a boyfriend of sorts in Lachie, a fellow Aussie who has come to England as a sort of budding wedding singer. Lachie is every bit as hot as Alex is, and he cares deeply for Bronte. But her heart belongs to Alex.
The thirteen weddings are those at which Bronte works as a photographer. If you’re interested in the nuances of wedding photography, this is the book for you. Each of those weddings – Each.One . – is detailed and discussed, sometimes to the detriment of the story’s pacing. You’ll be on a roll with Bronte and Alex, and then you’re at a wedding.
Bronte, Alex, and Lachie are an entertaining threesome. Bronte has a sweetness to her, but also a sharp edge. A childhood experience scarred and scared her away from religion and marriage, but she is willing to open her heart to Alex and Lachie. It’s in there – her hope in love and fidelity – but she has to trust herself before she’s willing to tear down the obstacles she faces.
Alex is presented as an honorable guy. He’s engaged to a woman he’s been with for ages, and he feels tremendous loyalty to her. Yet she has become an obligation and not a life partner, even if Alex clings to closely to duty to see it. Lachie, on the other hand, is a traveling troubadour of sorts. He’s fun, and he’s interested, and he’s the salve to Bronte’s torn heart and ego.
Does she use him? I think she does. She’s given her heart to someone else, and as much as Lachie gives to her, she takes, even when it appears she is giving in return.
The ending … well, I won’t say anything because you need to read the book. But the ending ANNOYED THE HELL OUT OF ME. It isn’t that I expect hearts, roses, and happy Hollywood endings. But I do expect that the ending will remain true to the characters I’ve enjoyed. And this ending seemed to smack that loyalty and disregard it completely.
Read it, come back, and hit me up in the comments. I’d love to know what you think. I’d also have loved to give this five stars, but the ending left me angry.