The Accidental Newlywed Game
by Jaci Burton
Release Date: June 28, 2022
Book #3 in the Boots and Bouquets series
Number of Pages: 336
CW: talk of cancer
Ages 16 and up
What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas, when one night out turns into a wedding that neither newlywed can remember, from New York Times bestselling author Jaci Burton.
Wedding planner Honor Bellini is in Las Vegas for a work convention when she runs into her sister’s ex-fiancé, Owen Stone, who’s also in town for his craft brewery business. They’re both glad to see a familiar face from home…until a night of drinking leads to waking up in bed together—and a marriage certificate from a wedding that neither of them can recall.
Horrified, Owen suggests an immediate annulment. Honor agrees, but when they spend the day together, their chemistry is overwhelming. Plus, Honor has a flash of memory of their steamy wedding night, and she definitely likes what she remembers. They decide to wait before cancelling the whole marriage thing, though they both head back to Oklahoma determined not to tell anyone at home what happened in Vegas.
The problem is, Honor and Owen can’t seem to stay away from each other—or keep their hands off one another. The longer they keep their secret, the harder it gets to deny how they really feel. Even worse, this huge secret has the potential to hurt someone they both care about. They need to get an annulment before this accidental marriage turns into love.
It cannot just be me that has noticed I now have a different lens when it comes to pregnancy in books. Ever since the Dobbs decision overturning a person’s right to make decisions about their bodies here in the US, anything to do with pregnancy hits differently. That being said, this book was published in June just days after that decision, meaning the author had no way of knowing when this went off to her publisher what would be happening. Not that I know her mind either way, but it has been making me wonder if these authors would have used different phrasing for certain scenes, or even gone a whole other way.
So that all being said, it may be obvious that there were things in this book that put me on edge. Honor and Owen get drunk married in Vegas and decide the easiest way to remedy the situation is to get an annulment…unless she’s pregnant??? What difference would that make? They aren’t, at this point, even claiming to be in love. They both are stating it was a huge mistake. Owen is Honor’s sister’s ex-fiancé. He took off on Honor’s sister days before their wedding. (I won’t put any spoilers in case you haven’t read her sister’s book, The Best Man Plan, yet, but it is all worked out and everyone is now friends. There were reasons and they were good ones.) It’s not 1950 and they don’t come from the types of families that may expect marriage if there is a baby. It just didn’t make sense to me when there were a thousand other snafus the author could have used to delay their annulment other than waiting to see if Honor would have her period. I would be reading along enjoying the story, and there would be a reminder that this is what they were waiting for and it would just annoy me and take me out of the story.
When it came to Honor and Owen interacting, spending time together, and falling in love, I enjoyed this story. When the outside influences came into the picture, a possible baby, her family’s reaction to the marriage, and their wishy-washy decisions with each other, the story would lose me.
All and all I had fun with this series as a whole. This book ended the series on a bit of a flat note, though. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as good as the others.