Author: Robin Bielman
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Copy: ARC via Entangled Publishing
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: Sela Sullivan is resolved to be the best maid of honor ever, even if it means tolerating the best man. Insufferable, too-handsome Luke Watters is not only the guy who humiliated her at a kissing booth in high school, but he also happens to be her best friend’s older brother. Positive he’s the same arrogant jock, Sela vows to focus on her duties and steer clear of the frustrating—and frustratingly tempting—Luke.
As a world-renowned extreme-sports photographer, Luke is used to undertaking life-risking adventures. But risking his heart for the beautiful Sela Sullivan, who clearly still hates him for his rejection all those years ago? He didn’t see that coming. Sela inspires a passion he’s never known, and the more time they spend together, the more he craves her. But can he prove to the maid of honor he’s become a man of honor?
Sela Sullivan would be happy if she never saw Luke Watters again. When her best friend, Vanessa, announces her brother is now is the best man at her wedding, Sela makes a wish at the town’s wishing well: to keep Luke away from her. Luke is recovering from an accident and he’s between photography jobs when he agrees to stand in for his sister’s fiancé’s best friend. When Sela walks into a family breakfast, he can’t keep his eyes off her. Sela isn’t disappointed to learn he doesn’t remember her, but in the back of her mind she can’t help but think back to the incident that ruined her reputation. Ten years ago, Luke announced to the entire school that she “kissed like corpse,” and since that painful event she can’t help but wonder if other men she’s dated think the same thing. Circumstances bring them together and soon they are spending more time in each other’s company. Will Sela be able to forgive Luke or will the past continue to come between them?
I adored Robin Bielman‘s Kissing the Maid of Honor. I’m a big fan of second chance romances because there are always unresolved issues at hand and not to mention the underlying chemistry between our protagonists. Character development is strong and a few secondary characters will become favorites. Sela’s brother, Shane, is funny and I can’t wait to see if anything develops between him and the waitress. Luke’s younger sister, Erin, is a sweetheart and she lights up the page when she appears. I know Sela is best friends with Vanessa, but somehow I didn’t quite feel they were close. I felt Sela’s friendship with Erin was more genuine and maybe it’s the way Bielman set up the plot, with Vanessa playing a minor role as the bride to be and therefore wasn’t around for key scenes.
I rolled my eyes a few times when Luke would interrupt Sela talking to other men, but not because of annoyance. It was due to the fact that he was fighting his attraction to her. It didn’t help when Shane would interject and tell him Sela was off limits. I wanted Luke to have a discussion with him about the possibility of dating her, but at the same time, I can respect the unspoken code between best friends regarding dating siblings. I have to high-five Shane because he does lay the guilt trip regarding the kissing booth scene and he wanted to defend his sister, but he respected her wishes. It takes a lot of effort to be friends with someone who hurt a sibling, but in the end, I believe their friendship works because Luke ended up leaving town shortly after that incident.
I like a good grovel scene and while we didn’t have one, we had a touching scene with Luke confessing his feelings rather public. I really enjoyed the town’s blog and the poll regarding Sela and Luke. At the same time, I felt bad for Sela because she had already been humiliated publicly and no doubt the town remembers what Luke announced to the entire school. I worried for her because here she was in the limelight and she didn’t ask for it. I loved the scenes between Luke and Sela and particularly enjoyed how their romance developed. You can feel Sela’s unease being around Luke, but I liked seeing him make amends. It was nice to see a friendship develop between the two even if Luke scared off other men. I have a few favorite scenes, but loved the scene when Shane tells Luke how dirty Sela is and what she bought for Vanessa’s bachelorette party.
If you’re looking for a great romance that will keep you up all night, I highly recommend Robin Bielman’s Kissing the Maid of Honor. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.