Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: February 2004
ISBN: 0-425-19513-9
Format Reviewed: Trade Paperback
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Genre: Romance – Contemporary
Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Kristin Johnson
Reviewer Notes:  Reviewer Kristin Johnson released her second book, Christmas Cookies are for Giving, co-written with Mimi Cummins, in October 2003. Her third book, Ordinary Miracles: My Incredible Spiritual, Artistic and Scientific Journey, co-written with Sir Rupert A.L. Perrin, M.D., is now available from PublishAmerica.

Always the Bridesmaid
By Whitney Lyles

      As engrossing, amusing, and surprisingly heartfelt as Trista and Ryan’s Wedding and with not nearly as much pink, Always the Bridesmaid makes the satirical point that in our Pottery Barn society, where Britney Spears’ fifty-five hour marriage is gleefully dissected in detail, we’re more concerned with the veil and the boutonnieres than with our actual vows, as the near-50 percent divorce rate proves.

      But we don’t want to watch a bride go down the aisle in a trash bag. Just ask the millions who tuned in to watch Trista and Ryan tie the knot in near-royal splendor. That is, unless you can carry it off like “professional bridesmaid” put-upon clueless-about-love heroine Cate Padgett. Cate, like Trista and Ryan, turns a potentially embarrassing situation (a guy in our culture says on national TV that his future marriage is more important than the delights of a dominatrix stripper, and his fiancée actually forgives him instead of getting out the voodoo doll—what a concept) into a triumph as she sheds her Marilyn Monroe costume to literally become “white trash.”

      Cate can’t do the same thing with absentee boyfriend Paul, who is beyond the help of even the Fab Five from “Queer Eye For the Straight Guy,” unless Carson and Co, want to haul his always late always-thoughtless behind out of the closet. A character makes the obvious statement that Paul may be gay, otherwise he’s a bona fide jerk and Cate’s willingness to put up with him just tests the reader’s patience. Do we really need to be reminded that we’re commitment-phobic and that there are plenty of sweet, romantic guys out there like Cate’s endlessly patient more-than-friend Ethan Blakely?

      Yes, considering that most of us convince ourselves after the Pottery Barn casserole dish has acquired a tad too much stuck-on food that we’re bored with the nice guy/girl we married, who picks up the kids and still remembers the name of our favorite teacher back in grade school. Yes, considering that we tuned in to see Trista and Ryan happily wed. Just say “I do” to Cate’s finally getting a clue.