borrow a bridesmaid book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

With an adroit mixture of comedy, romance and suspense, Borrow-A-Bridesmaid by Anne Wagener is a great example of chick-lit as it should be done. It’s hard to believe this is the author’s first book–it is so wonderfully well-written. The pacing is perfect, and the characters (even those you’d love to hate) will keep you entertained from beginning to end.

Piper Brady has graduated from college, with aspirations of becoming a writer (a real one – for pay!). Unfortunately, the market isn’t exactly overflowing with such positions. So, with the help of her guy pal roomie, Lin, she devises a Craigslist ad, offering her services as an experienced, professional bridesmaid. Not too far off the mark, actually, and what she hasn’t yet experienced, she can imagine.

And why not Criagslist? It’s become the ubiquitous ‘go-to’ place for every man – or woman – as the case may be. No matter what you think you want, – or need – chances are good you can find it there. If you’re careful, that is.

Of course, along with the two or three serious responses, she also gets a flock of totally inappropriate answers, to which anyone who’s ever placed an ad on CL can easily attest to. But she doesn’t need bunches of clients–just a couple in sequential order would do nicely. Her car is in need of some serious repairs, and she has only a part-time (mostly awful) job at the airport bookstore. In spite of herself, she’s rather intrigued by Kalil, the Muslim guy who drives one of the airport buses for employees. She imagines that he’s a much more logical suitor than Scott, the guy she’s just broken up with. But now that she’s lost her job, she may never see him again anyway.

The first bride with whom she connects is Susan, who has a dishy brother, Charlie, who really rings all of Piper’s bells–big-time. But then, sadly, he falls by the wayside, and using the experience she’s gained from her first bridesmaid gig, she discovers Alex. Alex, the gorgeous, who realizes she can’t go through with the wedding after all. But in the strange way of the world, Alex and Piper bond on another level and become best friends. Alex even offers her a job to make up for the one she’s lost.

Along the way, Piper is a better friend to her ‘brides’ than they ever imagined any bridesmaid could be. With nothing to lose, she is able to deliver home-truths better than the longest-lived friend could ever do, with less chance of everything blowing up in her face.

Through it all, Piper retains her spunk, her dreams, and determination. I seldom re-read a book immediately after finishing it, but this one drew me back into Piper’s life with its mix of poignancy, slapstick humor and actions, word games and so appropriate in this election year–politics! A major plus–I enjoyed it just as much the second time around!

First and foremost, Kelly is a reader, then a writer and editor. She adores Regency-set novels, and cozy mysteries. Every now and then, however, she finds something else to enjoy if it has a great premise with characters who belong in there, and fabulous writing! She writes under her own name, as well as her pen-name, Hetty St. James.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Anne Wagener. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.