by Cindi Madsen
Series: Getting Hitched in Dixie #2
Published by Entangled Amara on May 26, 2020
Sub-Genre/Theme: Contemporary, Firefighters
Format: ARC, Ebook
Source: The Author, The Publisher
Buy: Amazon, B&N
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I received an advance copy of this book from The Author, The Publisher.
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.
Always a Bridesmaid by Cindi Madsen is a fun, feel-good read. Take a seven-times bridesmaid with a broken heart and match her up with the firefighter who just won’t settle down, then watch the sparks fly.
Violet Abrams is back in the small town of Uncertainty, Alabama, after her no-good longtime boyfriend cheated on her. After years of being strung along waiting for a someday wedding that never came, she has now sworn off men.
Ford Maguire comes from a long line of ne’er-do-wells, but he’s worked hard to be different. Besides being a firefighter, he also trains search and rescue puppies and serves on the search and rescue team. When it comes to women, though, Ford keeps them at arm’s length. The last thing he wants is to end up like his split-up parents, so he focuses on every other aspect of his life to find fulfillment.
Violet and Ford have a meet-cute when Violet accidentally sets a fire at her sister’s bakery. But there are clearly sparks between the two of them, which turns a flirtation into a friendship, then something more.
But Violet’s only in town temporarily, plus she’s got a lot of baggage–family drama, not to mention the whole cheating ex situation. Ford is never looking for something serious, but the two of them can’t deny their attraction. As Ford prepares to serve as man of honor at his BFF Addie’s wedding, Violet’s penchant for wedding planning gives Ford pause. Can these two overcome their hangups and take a chance on love?
I really enjoyed this easy, feel-good romance. Small-town romances can be tough because they’re often unrealistic, but I feel that the author made a conscious effort to diversify her characters (the supporting ones, mainly), which I appreciate. I also enjoy how the aspect of community is a main focus–how the town comes together for each other in tough times.
Violet and Ford are a cute couple. There’s a lot of playfulness to their friendship and flirtation, but there’s also some good steam to the romance, too. I appreciated how the more dramatic subplots are handled with seriousness, but never to the point of angst. It’s a good balance of levity and gravity. In addition, there’s a great grovel on Ford’s part and I am always in favor of a hero’s grovel.
As a whole, I found the story enjoyable, but there were moments when I got a lot of the supporting characters confused. The majority of Violet’s and Ford’s friends in Uncertainty are coupled up, and I kept mistaking who was who for a while. That being said, the book still works as a standalone, despite being the second book in the Getting Hitched in Dixie series.
Overall, this is a great read and I’m interested to read the other books in the series.
Rating: 4 stars