RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: The Bridesmaid by Julia London


Title: The Bridesmaid
Author: Julia London
Publication Info: Sourcebooks Casablanca October 2013
ISBN: 978-1402283871
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book The Bridesmaid This RITA® Reader Challenge 2014 review was written by Josie H. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Novella Romance category.

The summary:

Getting her to the wedding on time is the least of his worries…

Kate Preston just moved to New York, but she has to get back to Seattle in time for her best friend's wedding. Joe Firretti is moving to Seattle, and has to get there in time or risk losing his new job. But fate's got a sense of humor.

Kate goes from rubbing elbows on a plane with a gorgeous but irritating strange (doggone armrest hog) to sharing one travel disaster after another with him on four wheels. Joe thought he had his future figured out, but sometimes fates has to knock you over the head pretty hard before you see what opportunity is standing in front of you…in a really god-awful poufy bridesmaid dress.

And here is Josie H.'s review:

This was a lovely quick and enjoyable read. I am a fan of the road romance and I thought the author did a good job creating a believable romance in the shorter, novella format.

Kate and Joe begin the story as strangers, brought together after a series of complications throws their travel plans into disarray. This was done well and with some genuinely amusing moments.

I admit to having my doubts in the first few chapters of the story though when the ‘cute’ antics of Kate brought on a mild case of the eye rolls. Kate is in her late twenties, works as an assistant book editor in New York (a job she loves), and has the requisite quirky family.

She is also capable of being supremely annoying…

“You were supposed to get on 45. Why didn’t you get on 45? The sign said Houston; I don’t know how you missed it.”

“I wasn’t the only one who missed it! You said left.”

“Did I?” she said breezily.

Joe sighed and began to look for an exit to turn around.


“I need a bathroom,” Kate said.

“Oh my God,” Joe muttered. “I thought you went at McDonald’s.”

“I did! I have a small bladder.” She smiled sunnily, as if she were proud of it.

However, once we are well under way on our journey, she becomes a much more likeable character – as does Joe, who at first comes across as cranky and a bit of player (despite his odd use of the word ‘derriere’ when contemplating Kate’s arse). I like Joe a lot though. It can be hard to flesh out characters fully in a novella, but through their conversations and interactions I felt like I got a really good sense of who he was, and it was a likeable and decent guy.

“…I mean the marriage thing. Have you ever gotten close?”

“Umm… no,” she admitted. “Never”

“Okay. That’s surprising, too.”

Kate could feel herself blushing. “Not really.”

“Yes it is. You’re very pretty,” he said, and Kate felt the heat begin to creep into her cheeks. “And you’re smart. And, bonus points, you’re a trouper.”

Both are in a race against time to get to Seattle for legitimate reasons – Kate to act as Maid of Honour at her cousin’s wedding and Joe to start the career opportunity of a lifetime – and I did find myself cheering for them to make it in time despite the hurdles in their way. Affection blossoms amidst the chaos and by the time they arrive in Seattle at Kate’s parents’ house, the romance is developing and the stage has been set for the real obstacle to present itself… If Joe is starting a new job there and Kate is settled in New York, what will this mean for them?

Joe had the hazy thought that this was what it was supposed to be like, that the times before Kate had been nothing, just diversions, a passing of time… he could only think that this was right, this was so right. So right that it was screwed up.

I was pleasantly surprised with how the author resolved the issue regarding the distance between them and still managed to keep the ending believable. The epilogue was cute, a nice end to a story that, while not particularly memorable, was an easy and fun read.

This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Kobo | All Romance eBooks

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  1. 1
    Misty says:

    I took would have given the B grade simply for how short it was. This book could have seriously rocked had it been a full length. Over all I think it was really enjoyable.

  2. 2
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