Author: Robin Bielman
Series: Book #1 in the Secret Wishes series
Release Date: 13 May 2013
Publisher: Entangled Publishing - Bliss imprint
Number of pages: 230 pages
Source: ebook copy provided by publisher through NetGalley
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, B&N, Kobo, iBookstore
Grade: 5 stars
Goodreads appetizer: Kissing her best friend's brother never felt so right…Sela Sullivan is resolved to be the best maid of honor ever, even if it means tolerating the best man. Insufferable, too-handsome Luke Watters is not only the guy who humiliated her at a kissing booth in high school, but he also happens to be her best friend’s older brother. Positive he’s the same arrogant jock, Sela vows to focus on her duties and steer clear of the frustrating—and frustratingly tempting—Luke.As a world-renowned extreme-sports photographer, Luke is used to undertaking life-risking adventures. But risking his heart for the beautiful Sela Sullivan, who clearly still hates him for his rejection all those years ago? He didn’t see that coming. Sela inspires a passion he’s never known, and the more time they spend together, the more he craves her. But can he prove to the maid of honor he’s become a man of honor?
My Thoughts: You might remember that one of the best revelations of 2013 was discovering Robin Bielman when I read her short novella, Yours at Midnight. I loved her captivating writing style and was very much looking forward to her next novel, which I'm doubly happy to report is here since not only is it part of a series (yay!) but it is also a wedding romance, a sub-genre I just love! (double yay!)
Kissing the Maid of Honor is the first in the Secret Wishes series and it is the kind of story I would LOVE to see made into a movie!
The story opens with our heroine, Sela, making a wish to survive the next couple of weeks and the wedding of her best friend without having to spend much time with the older brother of said friend due to a mortifying crush and the most memorable high school humiliation she had to suffer thanks to him. But Lady Luck not only doesn't grant Sela her wish but makes everything in her power to thrust Luke, who is even more handsome and irresistible than ever, in Sela's path.
Seriously I loved everything about this story. Sela was so lovable, kind and relatable, the kind of heroine I wish I had as a best friend, while Luke was simply irresistibly sexy and sweet. Not only was he handsome, but he was tender, thoughtful charming and warm-hearted, the lethal combination lol ;-) Their chemistry was terrific, Robin Bielman sure knew how to up the sexual tension between these two, the air was sizzling nonstop whenever they got together either through their bickering or because of their attraction. I just loved their playfulness :-D
“You…” Sela pursed her lips together and shook her head.
“Me what?” He moved around her and took an apple out of the fridge.
(You look too good for words and smell like heaven and I want to run my fingers through your hair and press my body against yours and ask you to do things to me no one has ever done before. )
“... You’re annoying.”
“That’s the best you’ve got?”
I especially loved that the development of their romantic relationship was realistic and credible.
How had she let this happen? How had she let her heart get involved? At first she’d been lured by the vulnerable side he’d shared with her at the hospital. She’d defy any girl not to be smitten with that. Next had been the banter that turned from annoying to playful to flirtatious. The scorching looks across the room. He’d helped her be more adventurous, and she had helped him get over his accident. The connectivity between them had snapped her wariness and made her uncontrollably crazy about him. But the kicker was his apology and how he’d admitted to feelings for her, too.
But trust me when I say that besides Sela and Luke there are so many other things to appreciate in Kissing the Maid of Honor, like the crazy, adorable and quirky secondary characters:
“I can take it from here.” She exchanged her helmet for the gasoline container in his hand.
“I’m sure you can, but what kind of gentleman would I be if I left you alone on the side of the road?”
“Do not play that chivalry crap with me. We both know the only thing I need to worry about at this time of night in this town are the nosy neighbors.”
“Does Mrs.Finnegan still patrol?” The seventy-something great-grandmother had been the first female police officer in Cascade and even though she’d retired years ago, she’d always taken it upon herself to keep an eye out for “riffraff.”
“She never leaves her house without binoculars around her neck, a water gun in her pocket, and a mug of hot tea in case a stakeout is required.”
the fluent and captivating writing style, Robin Bielman's chuckle-out loud humour:
[He] pressed the buzzer for Sela’s apartment. He tightened his hold on the brown paper bag in his arm.
“Hello?” One word and his muscles grew taut.
“Hey, it’s Luke. I’ve got a special delivery.” She didn’t know he was coming and he hoped that enticed her to let him up even if she was busy.
“Luke who?” He smiled like a damn teenager.
“Luke, omigod, Luke, don’t stop, Luke. Ring a bell?” The door buzzed.
and the heart-warming affection and love between the tight-knit community of family and friends. Cascade was a small town I wouldn't mind living in, especially if I got to meet these characters in real life ;-)
Amidst applause and shouts of good wishes, she met Luke in the middle of the dance floor. He kissed her like no one else was in the room. “Damn you’ve got an irresistible mouth,” he said, coming up for air. That mischievous gleam sparkled in his impossibly green eyes. “You should hold it against me more often.”
Verdict: Kissing the Maid of Honor was a lovely start to Robin Bielman's new small town romance: it was heart-warming, sweet and funny, the only complaint/request I have is that it could have been a bit sexier (after so much tension and sizzle between Sela and Luke I would have enjoyed to see the explosions ;-) ). With characters you'll fall in love with, a romance that will make you sigh, Kissing the Maid of Honor is a novel not to be missed!
Characters: 10/10 - I just loved them!
Writing: 9/10 there was a lot of sexual tension between Luke and Sela and I would have liked to read more about how those sparks ignited
Ending: 8/10 - It was cute, though happened a bit quickly
Cover: 10/10 - just perfect!
Kissing the Maid of Honor was a lovely introduction to the series and I can't wait to read the next ones, another keeper from Robin Bielman!