The Wedding Date Disaster (Harbor City)

The Wedding Date Disaster
by Avery Flynn
Release Date:  August 25, 2020
Publisher:  Entangled
Book #4 in the Harbor City series
Number of pages:  233
Kindle Edition
Source: MCL
Contemporary Romance M/F
Rating: R
Read 2/16/21 to 2/18/21

I can’t believe I have to go home to Nebraska for my sister’s wedding. I’m gonna need a wingman and a whole lot of vodka for this level of family interaction. At least my bestie agreed he’d man up and help. Too bad he had to catch a different flight than me. Then, his plane got delayed. And finally—because bad things always happen in threes—instead of my best friend, his evil twin walks out of the airport.

If you looked up doesn’t-deserve-to-be-that-confident, way-too-hot-for-his-own-good billionaire in the dictionary, you’d find a picture of Grady Holt. He’s awful. Horrible. The worst—even if his butt looks phenomenal in those jeans. Ten times worse? I told my family I was bringing my boyfriend with me…

Now I have to spend the week pretending to be madly in love with the big jerk. Ugh, and share a bedroom. It’s only gonna be a week. I can last that long without killing him or blowing my cover. Maybe. A whisper of a prayer. Oh God, this week just might kill me or I might kill him—either way, this is not going to end well.

I cannot recall all the different reviews I read about this book last fall, but it seemed to be pretty popular when it came out. This is a new-to-me author, but the premise seemed right up my alley. I love a fake boyfriend story. Throw in some forced proximity and enemies to lovers and it seems like the perfect story. It’s quite possible I set my hopes too high with all of those amazing tropes. While I enjoyed this story for the most part, there were quite a few things that either fell flat or just rubbed me the wrong way.

First, let me say that I just discovered this is actually part of a series. Which I did not pick up on at all while I was reading. I may be wrong, but I have a feeling this isn’t a series in the sense of seeing the characters show up in each other’s books very often. More of a series about people who live in a certain place, Harbor City. That was the first thing that bugged me. It’s quite obvious, at least in this story, that Harbor City is New York City. It really made me wonder why the author didn’t just use NYC? Luckily, they didn’t spend a lot of time there. But it was still mentioned enough that it always took me out of the narrative when the city was mentioned. I’m fine with fictional cities and towns, it’s that this was so obviously New York it would stand out to me each time.

Hadley actually had me on the hook from the start. I really enjoyed the first chapter immensely. The author did a fantastic job of pulling me into the story. The sparks between Hadley and Will were flying everywhere and the situation was a perfect set up for the rest of this story. That’s why this book got confusing for me. Not the storyline. But how at times I was fully immersed and engaged, and other times I was pulled out and often had to scratch my head.

There is no denying that the scenes where Will and Hadley are connecting, be it to argue or to tease or to give into their emotions, are on point. These two have a beautiful connection and just don’t want to admit their feelings. But when it comes to their families and their thoughts and discussions and actions, that’s where things tend to fall apart.

It is expressly stated in the first few chapters that Will’s grandmother died and left him and his twin as the only people left in their rich family. The heirs to a fortune. Yet there are many, many other times later in the story where Will references his grandmother who seems to be alive and well. That is just not something that is easy to ignore, especially for someone who is a stickler for details like I am. How has nobody caught this issue and fixed it?

I said earlier that I really like Hadley. And I did (do?). But the way she acted toward her sister once she got back to Nebraska for her wedding just didn’t fit her personality. So maybe it’s not that I stopped liking Hadley, but I didn’t feel the author was being true to the character. After all, Hadley went home for a full week to “help with the wedding”, yet didn’t seem to be doing anything to help. Or even having a heart to heart with her sister, who was obviously conflicted about her upcoming wedding. It didn’t make sense that Hadley, who I found to be kind and compassionate, wouldn’t be overly concerned about her sister’s obvious distress.

That all being said, I know this sounds like quite a negative review. Yet, like I’ve mentioned, this story kept reeling me back in. It was like there would be two or three chapters where I was all in, then something out of character or that didn’t fit the narrative would happen and pull me out of the story. Very annoying.

I’ll probably give this author another chance, though. There was more positive than negative and I’m generally one to give an author a few tries, especially when I can see the potential.

2.5 stars

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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