Sunday, November 19, 2006

Nearlyweds, Beth Kendrick

Yes, I know this is "Veterans and Rookies" month. Yes, I know that Beth Kendrick is not actually a 'rookie' author, yet she may not quite be a 'veteran' to some of you, yet. But so what. This is MY blog (well, it's Charity's too, but this is MY review, so there!). And if I feel like telling you about Nearlyweds, then you're going to have to trust me.

If you read my other blog, you know that I really like the authors over at The Literary Chicks. I've met a few of them, and they are a really classy group of ladies. Yeah, Lani might snort at that, but hey, again, my blog, I get to say whatever I feel like saying. I found the site through The Cherries, and I started buying their books. But I've got an admission to make. And this is just between the few of us, ok? I was already a Beth Kendrick fan before I ever heard of The Cherries, or The LC. Of course, I didn't really know who she was. I knew only that I really, I mean really, liked her book, My Favorite Mistake. Not surprising at all, is it? I mean, hey, she's one of The LC. Of course I liked that book. But this review isn't about that book. It's about this one, right here, with the cute lil doggie on the cover. So let's get to it, shall we?

Casey, Erin and Stella are all recently married. They've managed to land their dream men, and their newly married lives are just starting out. Casey has Nick, the man she's fantasized about since high school. Erin has David, her sweetie from college. Stella has Mark, and a picture-perfect jet-set life. However, before the ink even dries on the marriage certificates, things start to look troubled for these three women.

For starters, Nick has a bad problem with seeing anything through. He didn't finish law school, he never actually proposed, and, oh yeah, he's not quite sure he wanted to even get married. David is wedged, literally as soon as the honeymoon ends, between the two women in his life - his wife...and his mother. Mark gets caught in a rather important misunderstanding on his wedding night that ends in an early finish to the honeymoon.

Now, after finding out that marriage isn't all it's cracked up to be, these three women discover something even more disturbing - they're not even married. Can you see that giant, mushroom-shaped cloud presiding over Massachusettes? That would be the fallout from the explosions going on when these ladies must decide whether to walk down that aisle again, or walk away from their dreams.

I could ramble on and on about the plot in this book, about how these characters were so fresh and funny, about how I could see every single situation actually happening (hey, I've had a mental breakdown at the Clinique counter, ok?). I could tell you all about how Ms. Kendrick weaves this amazing spell and sucks you right into the center of the room for all of the heartache and angst and laughter. I could try to dazzle you with how the story unfolds in such a way that you really don't know who will work and who will flop until the very end. I could attempt to describe the dog, that big, burly, black hulk of a canine that manages to perform what each of the women only dream of doing. I could... but I won't. Because you can go over to the LC and read that, or you can head over to Ms. Kendrick's site and figure it out.

What I will do is this... I will tell you that I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed every single second of the 3 hours and 27 minutes it took me to devour it. Yes, I bought it Wednesday night. I headed home from the bookstore and did some writing. I put the kids to sleep and snuggled up in my big empty bed, and just sank into this story. And yes, as soon as I was done, and I finished beaming, I ran right down here and decided to tell you all about it. So. There.

I don't know Beth Kendrick. She's not one of the people I met in New Jersey. I've never hugged her or shared e-mails with her. She'd probably think I was a scary stalker freak if she met me. But I do know one very important thing about her - this woman can write! And for all of you out there wondering... YES, I will toss my copy of Nearlyweds into the contest spoils. Not because I don't like it and won't read it again. But because I like it so much that I'm going to order another copy, and I think someone else should share in my joy. (Oh come on, you knew this was coming... )

Keep turning those pages!
- dee

(ps - if you caught the slightly snarky tone of this review, bear in mind the time. Now think about how little I sleep when my husband is out of town. Now remember that he's been gone since Sunday. Go ahead, add up those days. My sleep consists of catnaps while the kids zone in front of "Cars" right now, and I just don't feel like being light and fluffy. But I really loved this book, so don't hold my nasty 'tude against Beth, or the book. It's really so much better than I incompetently described in my sleep-deprived way, and you'll really be missing out if you don't read it. 'Nuff said.)

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