Thursday, December 25, 2014

Book Review: Temporary Bridesmaid by Lu Ann Brobst Staheli

Temporary Bridesmaid, by Lu Ann Brobst Staheli
2014, 242p, Clean Contemporary Romance
My Rating=3.5 Stars
Source: Received a copy for an honest review

Jenny Grant has given up on men, and therefore her dream of ever getting married. But when James Cox comes to work in her building as a temp, she has to convince herself to stay true to her new conviction. All around her, everything is falling apart in her life. She’s been asked to be the Maid of Honor for her best friend’s wedding—leaving Jenny the last single in her group—her mother’s forgetfulness has progressed to a level that might prove dangerous, and the raise and promotion Jenny longs for may not be within her reach. When a man who looks like James steals her wallet her distrust of men rests on his shoulders.

James Cox has no idea why he has given up his position as a California CEO to move to Salt Lake City, but he’s certain it isn’t to find a bride. When the call comes for a temp position at a computer programming company, he figures this must be why. But his co-workers are not always easy to get along with, especially the fiery-tempered woman named Jenny Grant. If he didn’t find her so beautiful and interesting, it might not matter. Except that it does.

Jenny Grant is frustrated. She's 39 and still single. Her last single friend is getting married and has asked her to be her Maid of Honor. Jenny has given up on marriage, is worried about her mother and is trying to get a raise and a promotion. She hears about the new temp at work, James Cox, from her co-worker, Tiara, who wants to set them up. She's not interested and when they do meet, they don't leave a good impression on each other.

We also learn about her friend, Stephie, who got married and moved back east. Her marriage isn't going well at all and she's feeling lonely and stuck. I liked Stephie and felt bad for the situation she was in and hoped she would have the courage to leave. I didn't really see how her story fit in with Jenny's since they didn't have any interaction throughout the book but it was an interesting side story.

Jenny was apparently going through a difficult time and wasn't too likable throughout the book. I found myself wondering what James saw in her that kept him interested. He was told she wasn't acting like herself so maybe he decided to wait until she started behaving better. James was a nice guy and I liked him right away. There were some funny scenes between them that seemed over the top to me at times. The ending felt rushed to me and I didn't feel the romantic connection between them so the ending didn't leave me completely satisfied.

Even though I didn't feel a strong connection with the characters, I was entertained and interested in knowing how it would all end. This is the first book I've read by this author. I did enjoy her writing style and am interested in reading other books she's written.

Lu Ann Brobst Staheli got her start as a celebrity paparazzi-stalker-chick, which led to her award-winning career as a ghostwriter for celebrity memoirs. A masochist at heart, she taught junior high school English for 33 years, and once spent two weeks of summer vacation backpacking through Europe with 15 of her students. She has won three Utah Best of State Medals—two for writing and one for teaching—but refuses to wear them all at the same time because she’d hate to be known as a show-off. She is the true bibliophile, with something in excess of 1,000 books in her personal home library. After having donated the nearly 1,000 books in her classroom library to the other English teachers in her department, Lu Ann moves this year to a new position as the school librarian, where she can be surrounded by books and share her passion for reading with the entire group of students and faculty. Her published works include A Note Worth Taking, a MG/YA novel; When Hearts Conjoin, the story of the conjoined Herrin twins; Psychic Madman about mentalist Jim Karol; One Day at a Time: Teaching Secondary Language Arts; Books, Books, and More Books: A Parent and Teacher's Guide to Adolescent Literature, as well as numerous newspaper and magazine articles. Lu Ann is a Senior Editor with Precision Editing Group, where she works with clients on both fiction and non-fiction manuscripts.


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