Thursday, May 28, 2020

Always a Bridesmaid by Cindi Madsen: Small-town Southern Charm Mixed With Giggles and Swoons

Always a Bridesmaid by Cindi Madsen
Published: May 26th, 2020
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
# of pages: 400
Tropes: Small-town romance
Heat level: As hot as Ford the firefighter
My rating: 4 stars
Acquired this book: From the publisher in exchange for honest consideration
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Buy: Amazon Canada || Amazon US || Indigo

Violet Abrams has always been in love with everything love and weddings. Good thing, too, since she’s been a bridesmaid no less than seven times. Sure her turn was next, she’d been planning her own nuptials meticulously in a treasured three-ring binder...until her longtime boyfriend left her for someone else.

Fast-forward to the day of his wedding, an ill-advised match being lit to said binder, and the fire department getting called to her sister’s bakery. Violet’s always been a little impulsive and a lot awkward, but having to explain to the super-cute firefighter, Ford Maguire, why she was setting fire to a bunch of wedding dress photos? Worst day ever.

Except now her bridesmaid expertise has her helping Ford cover his “man of honor” duties in his best friend’s upcoming wedding. Ford may be a “bridesdude,” but forever is the last thing on his mind. And if there’s one thing a perpetual bridesmaid knows, it’s the importance of a happily ever after.

A perpetual bridesmaid, a hot firefighter, and adorable puppies - oh my!

Always a Bridesmaid is a funny, feel-good book set in the small town of Uncertainty, Alabama. Violet comes to town to stay with her half-sister after a nasty break-up with her boyfriend of ten years. She’s lost her way and she’s determined to rediscover her passions, all while connecting with her half-sister and baby niece. Ford has a penchant for saving people - as a paramedic/firefighter/search and rescue team member, he keeps busy enough to outrun the demons of his past - namely his own family. Violet doesn’t need saving (except occasionally from herself), but Ford is the perfect person to help guide her back to the person she wants to be.

I loved Violet and Ford, separately and together. Violet was quirky, funny, and determined, and she had a big heart, despite having been hurt so much in the past. She had ADHD and I really appreciated the way it was portrayed and that we got to see how it affected different areas of her life and her relationships. Ford was this big, tough guy who was secretly a softie, especially when it came to Violet. They had one big thing in common: they were both escaping the ‘sins of their fathers’ so to speak - Violet was the product of an affair, while Ford’s family were known around town as no-good womanizers and alcoholics. Both of them had been pigeonholed by people because of it and it was hard to escape in a tiny town like Uncertainty. It affected so much of their lives and how they felt about love and relationships. Because of that, there was a lot of push and pull, will they/won't they, with plenty of hilarious banter and super hot chemistry. It was a lot of fun watching them fall in love and fight for a happy ending.

There were also a lot of really great side characters in this book. At first I was a bit overwhelmed by the number of characters and the fact many of them were referred to alternately by their first and last names. I had trouble keeping everyone straight, but once I got to ‘know’ the characters, I wanted to be part of their group and I enjoyed all the different dynamics and how they welcomed Violet. I also particularly enjoyed the friendship between Addie and Ford - there aren’t enough platonic male/female friendships, and this one was done so well.

Full of quirky characters and southern charm, Always a Bridesmaid was an entertaining read that’s perfect for summer.

Have you read Always a Bridesmaid? What did you think? Have you ever been in a bridal party? Have any fun stories to share?

*Please note I'm an Amazon affiliate, and some of the links in this review are affiliate links. All income made through affiliate sales goes directly back into maintaining Ramblings of a Daydreamer. Thank you for your support!  

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