Thursday, 28 May 2015

Book review: Always the Bridesmaid by Lindsey Kelk


My edition: Paperback, published on 7 May 2015 by HarperCollins, 400 pages.

Description: Maddie Fraser has never been anything other than the girl in the background: golden boy Dan’s little sister, crazy Shona’s minion, workaholic Sebastian’s ex and now she’s also the girl in the middle of her warring best friends.

Lauren has announced she’s getting married – just as Sarah’s husband asks her for a divorce. Nothing in Maddie’s career in event organising has prepared her for this particular combo of planning and real pain. The news that her ex is also tying the knot is the final straw. While the magazines say she should be leaning in, all she wants to do is sleep in.

But whether she likes it or not, everything is about to change for Maddie. For better or worse, this grown-up bridesmaid is taking centre stage…

Rating:



Those who have read or even glanced at my blog before will know that I adore author Lindsey Kelk ever since I was first introduced to the I Heart series by a friend of mine back in 2011. I have since read every book Lindsey has written (under her own name, at least, as apparantly there are some ghostwritten teen books floating around too) and reviewed several of them, including About a Girl, I Heart Christmas and What a Girl Wants. I have even had the amazing privilege to celebrate the publications of several of her novels at the London Cocktail Club, Biscuiteers and, most recently A Fabulous Night In with Lucy Robinson and Lucy Holliday (write-up to follow), which was part of the book launch shenigans for her latest novel; Always the Bridesmaid

Lindsey already writes two very successful rom-com series and so it's always equal measures exciting and nerve-wrecking when a favourite author releases a book that is a stand-alone. Exciting because it's a new book from a favourite author, period, nerve-wrecking because what if I don't like the new characters or storyline? Luckily for her fans, Lindsey has written another hilarious read filled with brilliant characters you'll want to be friends with.

As this delightful rom-com's title may give away, the story focuses on a girl, Maddie, who feels like she is always the bridesmaid; second best to her friends, sister and even at work she just muddles along without any real ambition. It has worked well for her so far, but she does start to wonder if there's more to aim for in life. This changes when one of her best friends is getting married and she's roped in, once more, to be the bridesmaid and basically be the person organising everything behind the scenes. It's not that she doesn't want to help her friend, she does, but Maddie starts to realise that perhaps the people around her take her too much for granted and she can be far more than just a bridesmaid in the background.

While I want to party with I Heart's Angela and Jenny Lopez, and go on an exotic holiday with About A Girl's Tess, Maddie is the character by Lindsey's hand I feel is most relatable to me personally. Sure, she ended in some ridiculous slapstick moments at times, but that was hugely enjoyable to read and underneath the laugh-out-loud moments there were some real issues dealing with someone being unappreciated at work, among friends and trying to find that magical one true love (something which most people can relate to at one point or another in their lives!).

Lindsey has always had a flair for writing characters that feel like real people dealing with similar things that are happening in my own life, and in Always the Bridesmaid in particular it has been spot on. Though perhaps the situations the fictional characters end up in are heightened for comedy purposes, they are still fellow 30-somethings struggling with love, work and finding their place among their friends and in life, which really resonates with me. Yes, her books are brilliantly written, a hoot from start to finish and a brilliant escape from my own hectic life, but they also confirm that my worries and struggles are similar to those of other (fictional) people my age and that is incredibly reassuring.

I'm not sure if Always the Bridesmaid was intended as a standalone or more books with Maddie will follow, but I for one would love to read more about her and her friends Lauren and Sarah! My only (minor) niggle with this novel was that it felt too short as didn't want to leave these characters just yet. While there is a Christmas title in the works for the About a Girl series first (yay!) I really hope we haven't seen the last of Maddie and the gang. Always the Babysitter, anyone?!

You can purchase the novel from Waterstones, Amazon.co.uk or your own preferred retailer.



Would you like to know more about the author? You can connect with her online at:

Website: lindseykelk.com

Twitter: @lindseykelk

1 comment:

  1. Always a Bridesmaid sounds terrific and it is the first time I am seeing it. I am adding it to a list for the spring when I am planning on reviewing a series of books related to wedding stories/ covers. Thank you for reviewing it.

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