So I have been more diligent about reading samples before buying a book. I also need to start checking the book length. This one was just a little over 200 pages. 200 pages is not long enough to resolve some of the many messy plots in this book. Everything felt rushed. It didn't help that the author decided to have things magically get resolved because of love or something. I relayed the plot to a friend last night and she was the one who called it the Jerry Springer show. She's not wrong. Disappointed because the cover and premise sounded cute and I hoped I found another read to read that wouldn't bankrupt my purse.
"The Wedding Shop on Wexley Street" is about wedding planner Maria Mallory. Maria is apparently the go to wedding planner in Westfield. That is until she is left at the altar by her rich and famous fiancee Darcy Burgess. Moving in with her best friend Cassie, Maria is trying to keep her business from folding after many people start to avoid Maria and her business. The book follows Maria, Cassie, their love interests, and even Darcy.
Maria wasn't my cup of tea. I thought the situation she got herself into was up there when I used to watch Days of Our Lives and Marlena somehow was pregnant or possessed by the devil. I hated that Dove just didn't have Maria and Darcy actually talk. The whole freaking book is people telling Darcy to stay away from Maria and not let them talk about why he left her at the altar. I was so annoyed. It didn't help that Dove hints at the real reasons why Darcy did it and why he feels bad and it gets completed brushed away because you are supposed to be rooting for another love interest. It just left a huge plot hole in the story. Darcy bad, Maria good, is not that interesting to read about. Dove doesn't even go into how Maria and Darcy met. Marcy can't apparently do anything (and I mean eat, take care of herself) without someone rushing to her rescue. It got old after a while.
Cassie was much more interesting. A very good attorney who is reluctant to date anyone long term, she meets a guy (Tucker) who isn't going away no matter how many times she pushes him. Cassie is of course worried about her best friend and is doing what she can to keep Darcy away from Maria.
Dove made a mistake IMHO when she included Darcy, James, and Tucker's POV's in this. There's another character too, Mark, but I don't want to get into spoilers. The whole book was just too many people and I started to get irritated with us taking segues into another characters it felt like every 5 pages. Jill Mansell can juggle multiple people, a main storyline (couple) and side characters very well. I compared this to the last Mansell book i read and felt like this was lacking in every way.
The writing wasn't that great either. I think because Dove has you just jump into the wedding day, leaving at the altar, and Maria going out with Cassie and trying to run her business that you don't get a chance to just settle in. She also leaves out characters like Darcy's mother, father, and sister (you hear about them via Darcy, but no scenes) that would have made the story a lot more believable. I already said that Dove made a mistake by just having Maria avoid Darcy the whole book. There had to be something lovable about him and Dove should have shown that.
The flow was bad from beginning to end. Dove just skipped whole months to get to the ending that she apparently wrote first before writing the beginning of the book.
The epilogue actually made me laugh. If only we could all be so well-adjusted (eyeroll).