Publication date: May 6th 2014
My rating: 4 stars
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SHE KNOWS BETTER THAN TO SAY “I DO”
After a humiliating end to her engagement, investment banker Sidney Sinclair is done with commitment-phobic men. But when her sister winds up engaged after a whirlwind courtship, she’s thrown in to close contact with exactly the kind of sexy playboy she wants to avoid—the gorgeous best man. She’s stuck with him, for better or worse, until her sister walks down the aisle, but that doesn’t mean she has to give in to his smooth advances, no matter how tempting they are…
BUT HE MAKES IT HARD TO SAY “I DON’T”
Special Agent Vaughn Roberts always gets his man on the job and his woman in bed. So Sidney’s refusal to fall for his charms only makes him more determined to win over the cool and confident redhead. Only what starts out as a battle of wills ends up as a serious play for her heart. Because the one woman who refuses to be caught may be the only one Vaughn can’t live without…
It Happened One Wedding felt a little different from Julie James’ previous novels. I think there was serious tone that wasn’t in the other stories, and it really clicked with me.
Sidney is back in Chicago starting a new job after leaving New York, and a ruined relationship. After discovering her fiancé was cheating on her, Sidney feels she’s wasted three years of her life. She should already be married and starting a family, something Sidney really wanted at this point in her life. At thirty-three she doesn’t want to waste time on good-time guys, and commitment-phobes. Sidney wants to find a man that wants the same things in life. It’s not that she begrudges those men, it’s their right to live life as they wish, she just wants nothing to do with them. So when Vaughn makes a pass at her, Sidney brushes off his advances seeing him, knowing exactly the type of man he is:
“For men as attractive as you, this city is one big candy store, filled with so many shiny treats, you couldn’t possibly choose just one. So instead, you run around with your obviously healthy ego, sampling as many of the goods as you can get your hands on—simply because you can.”
Not my idea of an attractive prospect, and definitely not Sidney’s. Vaughn can’t believe Sidney would reject him, even though she was spot on in her description of him, he still doesn’t like the smug way she nailed him. But seeing as they’ll never lay eyes on each other again, oh well, right? Wrong. Just so happens Sidney’s sister, Isabelle is marrying Vaughn’s brother Simon, and they are to be thrown together not only because they’ll soon be in-laws, but because they’re both in the wedding.
Just because Sidney and Vaughn realize they are not right for each other because of their very different dating goals doesn’t mean they’re not intensely attracted. Being thrown together they end up getting physical, and Sidney justifies it as having some fun with “Mr. Right Now” while waiting for “Mr. Right”.
Sidney’s past, from her breakup to her relationship with her father made me feel so bad for her. She’s not bitter, just has a sad, resigned acceptance of what happened and how things are. I think this most of all that lent the serious, somber aspect to It Happened One Wedding more than anything. As Vaughn and Sidney connect more emotionally, and become friends in addition to bedmates, some of that sadness lifts for Sidney and Vaughn starts to feel desire for more than just a good time. I was thrilled when these two started to realize that their connection was more than just sex.
I was happily surprised Vaughn never had eyes for anyone else after Sidney came into the picture. I was fully expecting some flub-up that would’ve made it hard to fully fall for him. Instead, in spite of the time it took Vaughn to honestly acknowledge his feelings, I fell for him. His actions spoke louder than his words, and his inner denials.
Sidney was my favorite character. I just wanted to wrap her up and protect her from any more hurt. I think Vaughn felt the same way. I definitely wanted to slap her loser ex-fiancé after hearing the full story! A-hole! Her father was no prize either. *insert disapproving frown* Even when her sister’s wedding planning reminds Sidney time and time of her setback, she always puts her sister’s happiness above her own. Sisterly love and loyalty always get to me!
Julie James is the queen of class when it comes to romance stories, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a hefty amount of sizzling scenes, as well. It Happened One Wedding was no exception. Any fan of Julie James or smart, classy contemporary romances will not be disappointed.
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