REVIEW: Wedding Date with the Best Man by Melissa McClone
Dear Ms. McClone,
Two things interested me about this book and got me to try it. One – several people had mentioned your name as a Harlequin author I should try and two – this is the last book in a series in which I had already read and enjoyed another one. Unfortunately, though I would be willing to try another book by you, this one didn’t work so well for me.
Jayne Cavendish’s broken engagement might have lead to happy romances for her three best friends but seven months later she’s still single in San Diego. A chance encounter with her former almost sisters-in-law leads to Tristan MacGregor, best friend of Jayne’s former fiance, checking up on the woman he’d been attracted to from the first moment he saw her. Despite Jayne’s protestations that she’s “fine” Tristan feels she needs to get out and live life so he decides to take her out some. A few dates in between his free lance photography assignments around the world will help her and give him a chance to be closer to her.
But as he gets to know her, Tristan discovers she’s even better in real life than he imagined. However, the two of them have such different life goals and life styles, both know that this will only be a short fling. Or will it?
And that right there is the main thing which keeps me from believing in this book. You spend almost the entire book, and I mean right up until the end, spelling out just how different Tristan and Jayne are in what they want from life. Tristan wants travel, lives out of a suitcase in a hotel and has already tried the “stay at home suburban husband” thing and it made him miserable. Miserable enough for a divorce. He doesn’t think he wants permanent, the thought of a wife and children seems to hold little appeal and he easily counters Jayne’s arguments for buying a house or anything else that smacks of settling down.
Meanwhile Jayne has lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle while growing up as a military brat and seems to want nothing so much as sinking deep roots in a community, staying put and never opening her suitcase again. Tristan might light her fires, at least once she gets over her initial wariness and distrust of him as her cheating former fiance’s best friend, but she doesn’t let this sweep her off her feet – at least until the page count is running out and the plot demands it.
Two other things bothered me. The book starts with me getting the impression of Tristan being portrayed as a man pretty much already in love with Jayne yet shortly after that and for a long time, he suddenly changes to a man only physically interested in her yet having no interest in all in committing to her. Jayne has already done the speedy engagement thing one time and now questions her judgment in men yet at the end of the book, she’s done it again and said “yes” to Tristan’s proposal. Both things added to my feelings of unsettlement about this relationship.
I had mentioned in my comments about my review of “Inconveniently Wed!” that opposites attracting could be a fun plot if it’s done well enough for me to believe it. Here it’s just not. You set up these two as polar from each other in what they seem to want from life and I just don’t buy that by the end of the book, they are ready to toss all that aside and get married. Their HEA doesn’t seem plausible to me, at least not yet, and their wedding seems like nothing so much as a big mistake. Which isn’t how I want my romances to end. I really wanted to like this one and cheer for Jayne to find someone worthy while Tristan could finally get the woman he’s obviously cared for but that didn’t happen. Sorry but this one gets a D from me.