Addicted to Love by Lori Wilde
Series: Wedding Veil Wishes #3
Also in this series: Once Smitten, Twice Shy
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: October 1st 2008
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Growing up in Valentine, Texas, can make anyone believe in happily ever after. But newly declared recovering romantic Rachael Henderson has decided that love stinks. After having not one but two grooms ditch her at the altar, she announces her disenchantment in an uncharacteristic act of rebellion. She feels liberated...until she's arrested by Sheriff Brody Carlton.
Once upon a time, being hauled against the taut, rippling body of her first crush would have had Rachael planning the wedding of the year. Now it spurs her to created Romanceaholics Anonymous, a twelve-step program for love addicts. Soon all of Valentine is divided as die-hard romantics clash with antilove cynics. But when Rachael starts fantasizing about a lust-filled affair with Brody, she goes against everything the program stands for. Should she protect her fragile heart...or find a way to have her wedding cake and eat it too?
This is the 3rd book in Lori Wilde‘s Wedding Veil Wishes series about 4 friends who find a magical wedding veil that has the power to offer one wish to the person who owns it (see my review of book 2, Once Smitten, Twice Shy here). Despite the magical undertone of the veil, however, this is not a paranormal romance – nor does it have paranormal undertones. It’s just a fun, straight contemporary.
I think that blurb does a pretty good job of summing things up, so I’m just going to go right into my review without writing a synopsis.
I really liked Rachel’s character. Although she’s been left at at the alter – twice – she isn’t really bitter about it. It’s more that she’s lost faith in herself and her ability to choose men who aren’t losers. So her reasons for giving up on love and starting Romanceaholics Anonymous actually really works. I was afraid when I started this that Rachel would turn out to be one of those man-hating women, but that wasn’t the case at all.
Brody was more complex than Rachel, I think. He’s suffered through real tragedies in his past. He was in the World Trade Center when the towers collapsed and he lost his best friend there, which prompted him to join the armed forces. While on tour in Iraq, he lost his leg and his wife left him. He settled in Valentine and ran for sheriff, but struggles to keep his injury (he has a prosthetic leg) from hindering his job or causing the town citizens to think he isn’t capable. I liked that he had concerns about being with Rachel, but didn’t let that stop him from pursuing her anyway. I also felt that though he suffered in his past, he didn’t let that color how he viewed the world now. He didn’t let Rachel get away with anything, either. He really called her out when she was about to fall into a bout of self-pity.
There are actually two other stories that run parallel to the main story – that of the town mayor and his opponent and that of Bree’s parents, who are separated after 20-something years of marriage. I found both to be extremely well done and I couldn’t decide which story I wanted to read more of first. In the end I think the three balanced each other well and worked in the theme of the book.
I did have a few issues. I don’t want to spoil it, but something happened that was never explained or resolved (involving Rachel’s dad) and it left a really bad taste in my mouth. I really disliked his old high school flame, too. She was just annoying. Actually, now that I think about it, I didn’t really like the whole situation with her dad at all. Although there were flashes of good in him, and I was rooting for him and his wife to get back together, there were of things left open in that storyline. There were also a lot of characters introduced, which I understand since it was set in a small town, but I think it was almost too many.
Otherwise it was well done. A light, fun novel filled with humor and romance.
4 out of 5