Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

REVIEW: Wrong Dress, Right Guy by Shirley Hailstock

Dear Ms. Hailstock,

book review I have to admit it was the beautiful cover of “Wrong Dress, Right Guy” which caught my eye followed by the blurb. Yeah, I’m a sucker for weddings too as long as I’m not the one running the last minute errands or having to spring for any more of those expensive, yet ghastly, bridesmaid dresses anymore. Thank goodness I’ve never dealt with a Bridezilla! But poor Cinnamon Scott has to deal with someone almost as bad. Is there a term for brother-of-the-bride-zilla?

Though once Mac gets over his snit that he catches Cinnamon trying on his sister’s ‘mistakenly delivered to Cinnamon’s house’ dress I got to like the guy. He’s a gentleman, handy around the house (never discount that!), cleans up after himself as well as being an intelligent political journalist. I enjoyed seeing scenes of him at work in D.C. as well as how tied into the local Indian Falls community he is.

Cinnamon is the type of heroine I love. She doesn’t take any nonsense from her hero, calls him on his stupid assumptions, doesn’t swoon with lust – though she does enjoy his presence as arm candy – just because she’s within 10 feet of him. She’s also intelligent and has a sense of humor. I like that you’ve given her one of the most interesting jobs I’ve seen in a romance novel, as a meteorologist with the NWS, but wish that we’d actually gotten to see her at work instead of her still not having started her new job yet.

Mac and Cinnamon aren’t people just randomly stuck in D.C. in order to give the book an urban setting. Both have family and ties to the area in the form of a small town just outside the Beltway. And if Indian Falls, VA doesn’t exist, you make it seem like it should. Though I admire Cinnamon’s mother’s decorating daring, I have to admit I’m a traditionalist like Cinnamon.

I can understand Mac’s reluctance to have anything to do with weddings.
After all, being stood up by your bride in front of 300 of your nearest and dearest plus work colleagues would be no fun. I think his decision to enjoy life, date lovely ladies, make sure both he and they have a nice time, then say good-bye in the morning is realistic. So why does he claim Cinnamon as his fiancee at his best friend’s wedding?

I was somewhat confused over your description of Cinnamon as alternately someone who’s looking for her knight in shining armor while always having dreamt of her perfect wedding and a woman who’s scorning marriage after having been burned by a past love in Boston. And for such a decisive woman in all other things, she certainly doesn’t put a stop to all the merchants in Indian Falls basically planning her nonexistent wedding. I can see her enjoying the humor of it and wanting the merchants to get some publicity but after a while, it seems like these two intelligent people let themselves basically get railroaded into planning a wedding.

However what really has me blinking and flipping back pages to reread is the final reconciliation. Cinnamon goes to Mac’s journalism lecture and flat out hears him state that he’s not going to get married and isn’t going to fall in love. Ever. Then Mac comes to her house and tells her he loves her. She throws him out and he leaves without explaining what he said earlier. Then he comes back, both admit to love everlasting and that’s it? Then why did he say what he did at the lecture? Doesn’t Cinnamon want to know? Because I sure do.

I kept thinking I was missing a scene in my MS lit ebook. I still feel I’m missing a resolution of his fears about marriage. And considering how crucial that is to a HEA, this one gets a B-


This book can be purchased in mass market from Amazon or Powells or ebook format.

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.


  1. Anji
    Jun 07, 2008 @ 13:43:15

    Oh, this sounds intriguing – and Cinnamon sounds like a heroine I can really root for. I’m off to look for the ebook version!

  2. REVIEW: The Right Wedding Gown by Shirley Hailstock | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary
    Jun 17, 2009 @ 11:39:39

    […] finding love with persistent Joshua for months now – well, ever since Samara’s sister Cinnamon’s book. But, alas, I’m afraid it didn’t live up to my hopes for […]

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