REVIEW: Out of Practice by Carsen Taite
Attorney Abby Keane’s vacation is perfect, especially her steamy interlude with a beautiful stranger. But her newfound zen crumbles when her biggest client, a chain of bridal stores, leaves hundreds of brides without dresses. As if reentry isn’t bad enough, a new wedding blogger is doing her best to stoke the anger of the already unhappy brides, and has chosen Abby as the villain.
Roxanne Daly’s blog has finally hit the sweet spot, and her popularity is soaring. With a regular TV spot on the line, she’ll do whatever it takes to impress the network producers. Running point for a horde of angry brides against a hotshot lawyer seems like the perfect plan until her crusade collides with Abby, the woman she hasn’t been able to stop thinking about since she left her in a tropical paradise.
Legal Affairs: one law firm, three best friends, three chances to fall in love.
Dear Ms. Taite,
To be honest, I was looking for something different from wedding planner characters or jilted brides/grooms who end up going to their honeymoons alone themed books. From this blurb though, it seemed a mix of “Say, Yes to the Dress” vs “LA Law.”
After their unexpected meeting on board the airplane headed down to Puerto Vallarta – Abby to take a well deserved vacay and Roxanne to review three destination vacation spots for her wedding blog – there were plenty of times to explain what they were both doing and why Roxanne left so suddenly after only a few days. The way that “not” telling things which lead to misunderstandings was done made them seem realistic rather than contrived. This wasn’t the last time I was surprised that the standard path to Big Misunderstandings was either done differently or avoided altogether. I was also delighted that the blurb is slightly off in that Roxanne never deliberately goes out to tar and feather Abby over the actions of people who aren’t even Abby’s clients. Whew!
The gradual escalation of the romance was done well. Both women do start out only looking for and expecting a hot holiday fling. When they reconnect back home, the attraction is there but still, they’re not cooing that “I’ve found my soulmate.” I was waiting for the final conflict to rear its ugly head and had an idea how it would happen. But by then, Abby and Roxanne had enough actual interactions and conversations plus pondering what the other meant to them that the quick way the reconciliation was done still worked for me.
I did have some qualms about how Lawyer Abby juggled her case and her growing relationship with Roxanne who was kinda, sorta “the enemy.” Roxanne wasn’t, exactly, as she had no professional relationship with either the clients opposed to Abby’s client or the brides who were upset with the whole case but still it felt weird. I also didn’t care for Abby’s attitude to the women who were angry and fighting to get the dresses they’d paid for (including one interviewee who spoke of how she’d scrimped and saved to get the dress of her dreams). I understand Abby doesn’t like weddings because of her experiences with her mother’s many ceremonies and divorces but come on! these women are owed what they paid for and her casually dismissive words grated on me. The way the case is concluded also seemed more “candy coated law” than legal reality.
The romance and main characters are the reason to read this story as they not only outshine but are more prominent than the legal side. I do wish that Abby’s character hadn’t been made to be quite so anti-wedding as after a while, her protests against these ceremonies came off as unbelievable. Had she herself been left at the altar, I could have bought it but the explanation just didn’t justify her negative stance. But maybe she’s supposed to be a repressed romantic? I do like the way that the book avoided a few clashes and misunderstandings I thought I saw coming but there are a few aspects that did annoy me. B-