Thursday, February 14, 2013

Review: A Wedding Date in Hot Springs, Arkansas by Annalisa Daughety

Book Cover and Synopsis:
Sometimes there’s a thin line between love and hate. . . 

Violet Matthews has always been unlucky in love, but it never bothered her until her little sister’s wedding. The idea of facing the event alone is more than she can stand, and she’s determined to have a date. Online dating, speed dating. . .she doesn’t care what it takes. And when that fails, she hires a matchmaker. Leave it to a professional, right? 

Wrong. When Violet arrives for lunch with her match, she is horrified. She’s been paired with Jackson Stratford, an old college classmate. She didn’t like him then and she doesn’t like him now. But Jackson has a plan: he’ll be her “boyfriend” at the wedding if she’ll be his “girlfriend” at his high school reunion. And no one will be the wiser. 

As they go on a series of dates designed to make them look like a real couple, they’re surprised by how much fun they have together. But when the past rears its ugly head, Violet and Jackson find themselves on shaky ground. 

Can they turn their faux relationship into something real, or are there some wounds that cannot heal?

My Thoughts:
I'm generally a sucker for fake relationship scenarios that turn into something more, so I was thrilled to get my hands on this! Violet and Jackson are old college enemies, but they're about to discover each other is the solution for getting their respective families off their backs about not being in a relationship.

The point of view shifts between 4 characters, with Violet being the most "main" character. Violet is very unique, but I liked her a lot. She has an eclectic sense of style and a love of vintage things because they remind her of simpler times. Her attachment to her aging dog is very bittersweet and definitely something I could relate to.

Jackson originally struck me as being kind of a jerk, but as time went on I started to warm to him. Later on, I actually found it hard to believe he was the same character as the "jerk" I perceived in the beginning. He actually became somewhat sweet, and the casual interaction between him and Violet was fun to watch.

Shadow really surprised me by being a very likable character. As a troubled teen with a tragic past, she starts off with an attitude, but gradually she comes out of her shell. I enjoyed watching her progress and growth. I actually feel like she would be a good candidate for a book of her own.

Reagan's story was my least favorite; perhaps it's where I am in life, but her various problems (taking care of 4 kids, not having time for herself, worrying if her husband is still committed, etc) didn't really interest me. I felt like she was always nagging at her husband, which is something that really rubs me the wrong way. Overall I felt her part of the story was a bit cliché, and the book as a whole would have been quite fine without her part.

Occasionally some of the dialogue felt a bit stiff...I find that real people generally don't talk quite so precise or formal....however, it certainly wasn't enough to hamper my enjoyment of the story. This is the first book by Annalisa Daughety that I've read, but I definitely wouldn't hesitate to pick up another of her works. Recommended!

My Rating: 4 stars

Thanks to the publisher (Barbour) for providing me with this e-book for review via NetGalley.  

1 comment:

  1. Despite her having the characters "grin" way too often, I really liked Annalisa's debut series. The cute scenarios made up for the flaws. Glad you liked this one, Val. :)