Monday, July 8, 2013

I Do (But I Don't) by Cara Lockwood

Skeptic scale: ♥♥♥

She: Junior wedding planner with a terrible hag of a boss

He: Firefighter

Conflict: Hmmm... not really sure it was a conflict. More like a "omg, I really like him, does he like me too?" Cue: series of misunderstandings that keep H & h apart for much of the story.

What I liked:
1) This is the exact kind of book publisher blurbs call "beach reads" and that's exactly what it was - lighthearted, easy peasy fun where I didn't have to think too hard

2) This is a weird thing to call out, but I really liked the fact that the story was set in a city other than NYC/LA or Generic Small Town in the Heartland. Instead, it was set in Austin, Texas - a nice sized, interesting city that we don't get to see all that often in these books. The NYC/Generic Small Town thing always leads to these caricatures of Big Bad City Gal/Perfect Wonderful Heartland Folk that have begun to really irritate me. And the Big City romances always show this bitch/career woman pairing that I find tiresome and unfair to career woman, nay ALL women. So this was nice.

3) First person was used well. You get enough of an idea about the H because of their conversations and we were not at all left in the dark about his motives, wants and hopes. It was generally entertaining to get to see the romance unfold through her eyes. Having said that though, I need to mention that Kristen Higgins does such an amazing job of first person that everyone else's looks like watery porridge next to hers. Still it wasn't terrible.

What was meh:
1) What would you think if I told you that this was a story about a wedding planner who has a crush on this dude but it looks like she might be planning his wedding thereby making their love impossibly impossible? 

Right? Obviously. J-to-the-Lo co-opted this story and even if this book came out before the movie did (not sure if it did), the inescapable truth is that this is the image that popped into my mind the second I figured she was a wedding planner. Unfortunately, my regard for Ms. Lopez does not extend to her acting skills, so this was a terribly unfortunate image lurking around in the background.

2) You can't base an entire story on a series of misunderstandings. You just can't. I think readers just want more. When the entire "conflict  can be solved with a single conversation/voicemail, I feel like it's a little silly that the Scooby Doo stuff continues for so long. 

*Spoiler* In "I Do (But I Don't)" it's cute in the beginning but then the h & H spend a whole weekend together and it never once comes up that "hey pretty lady, I'm not the one getting married, here's my deal and we're free to get it on?" *End of Spoiler*

Lack of communication is bad for relationships. Dr. Phil would be so disappointed.

3) I thought it was weird but cool but then weird again that the hero is described as being Too Good To Be True (and what did our mom's tell us about things that look too good to be true?) Turns out that this hot, amazing dude is also SUPER nice is because he used to be fat. Oh, I know it doesn't say that explicitly! It's more like the h wondering, hmm HOW COME this guy is so awesome? And then she find out this fact about his prior chunkiness and then it all makes sense and she's like oooooh, he must be for real then. 

Shorthand way of saying he's nice because he was insecure once and doesn't inflict that shit on anyone else. You see? It's nice. But kind of also weird.

Final word: Nice, time pass book, with some amusing bits and and ok setting/premise. Just be warned that it's pretty heavy on the cliched storylines and characters, but I didn't hate myself after reading it.

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