Bridesmaids Behaving Badly Series by Jenny Holiday | Series Mini Reviews

Hello everyone,
First of all, I want to thank Estelle from Forever Romance for introducing me to Jenny Holiday's Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series. I requested a book from Forever and she surprised me with a copy of One and Only, then It Takes Two. Forever/Estelle then did the #OneandOnlyHoliday read-along in June which finally motivated me to pick up One and Only (during my summer trip to Boston, actually, so that trip and the series will forever be linked in my memory).

Okay, so the title of this post is somewhat inaccurate because I'm not sharing my thoughts about the entire series, only the two novels and the [as of yet unpublished] novella. The third novel in the series, Three Little Words, won't be out until next year in January.

I am going to be reviewing the books in the order I read them so that my thoughts can flow naturally and I can be halfway coherent.

With that said, here are my thoughts for this fabulous series...

Publisher: Forever
Release Date: February 27, 2018 >> Out now!
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1
My Rating:

Synopsis
Miss Responsibility meets Mr. Reckless

With her bridezilla friend on a DIY project rampage, bridesmaid Jane Denning will do anything to escape - even if it means babysitting the groom's troublemaker brother before the wedding. It should be a piece of cake, except the "cake" is a sarcastic former soldier who is 100% wicked hotness and absolutely off-limits.

Cameron MacKinnon is ready to let loose after returning from his deployment. But first he'll have to sweet talk the ultra-responsible Jane into taking a walk on the wild side. Turns out, riling her up is the best time he's had in years. But what happens when the fun and games start to turn into something real?


One and Only kicks off the Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series which, at its core, revolves around four best girlfriends: Jane, Wendy, Elise, and Gia. One and Only is Jane's book and it is set during the days leading up to Elise's wedding. 

Elise is obsessed with making her wedding Pinterest-perfect so she had her best friends doing all sorts of Pinterest-y activities and crafts. Not Jane's idea of fun. So, when Elise's fiancee's bad boy half-brother, Cameron, comes to town--Elise was convinced he will get into shenanigans that will somehow ruin her wedding--Jane volunteers to babysit him. 

Soon Jane, who had always been the responsible, careful one, is stepping out of her comfort zone and taking risks she never in a million years thought she would thanks to Cameron. But, fun and games aside, the biggest risk may be to taking a chance on an unexpected love. 

One of my favorite things about One and Only was how Jane and Cameron's relationship evolved. I liked that their initial impression of each other wasn't in the most positive light. And it was only when they started really talking and getting to know each other that a real friendship formed. It was this true friendship and companionship that developed first that sold their HEA for me because the timeline of their meeting to the 'I love yous' happened in about a week and a half. Usually I'd be complaining about inta-love, but they were together everyday and A LOT did happen both externally and internally in the 1.5 weeks. Their shared experiences, a true friendship, and helping each other face their past sold their much deserved HEA in the end.

There's a lot to love in One and Only. One, I liked that the author gave us a plus-sized heroine in Jane, and while she wanted to lose a couple of pounds for the wedding, she was otherwise confident with her body and her weight was not the driving force behind her character development. Two, I love that it's set in Toronto and Canada-centric, which is a nice change and it was so fun having the character go to real-life places. I love it when authors incorporate real-life places because then I can google them and get a visual, which fuels my imagination. Three, the female friendship between Jane and her girlfriends is #goals. I want to be part of their group of four and make it a quintet.

My only issue with One and Only was Cameron's whole I'm-not-good-enough-for-Jane-I'm-going-to-stay-away-and-let-her-live-her-life-but-if-I-can't-have-her-because-of-my-hang-ups-no-other-man-can-have-her-either. Ugh, Cameron. Really?! I get very annoyed with heroes who does this and Cameron was no different. But, in the end he groveled and came through.

One and Only is a solid start to a fun yet heartfelt contemporary romance series, introducing us to a group of women who may have different different outlooks on love and sex, but are there for each other and support and love one another just the same. I was so happy have Elise's novella and Wendy's book on hand so I can keep spending more time with the foursome.




Publisher: Forever
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Source of my copy: author
Series: Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #0.5
My Rating:

Synopsis
The story of how interior decorator Elise Maxwell and accountant Jay Smith met.

*NOTE: I received an early copy of Once Upon A Bride (novella) because I participated in the #OneandOnlyHoliday read-along hosted by Forever Romance in June. The author very kindly gifted this novella to all participants of the read-along. This title is not added on Goodreads yet (it will be in September) and it will be available for purchase on October 9th.


I am so happy that Jenny Holiday wrote a novella about Elise and Jay. We first met them in One and Only, which was Elise's friend Jane and Jay's half-brother Cameron's book. We only got to see them through Jane and Cameron's eyes. Since One and Only was set in the days leading up to Elise and Jay's wedding, Elise was in her preoccupied let's-do-ALL-these-awesome-crafts-I-saw-on-Pinterest bridezilla mode. I still loved Elise, though, because she just wants the perfect wedding of she envisioned and she did come through for Jane in the end.

As for Jay, Jane likes him well enough, but she doesn't quite know how her vivacious and elegant interior decorator friend Elise ended up with boring accountant Jay. But, it was hinted in One and Only that Jay might be hiding a sexy beast beneath his staid persona.

In Once Upon a Bride, we go back to the time Elise and Jay first met. Elise just got out of her rich father's controlling thumb and starting her interior decorating business and he hired her to decorate his office building. It was fun reading about Elise and Jay first hand, rather than through other characters' eyes. I love having that switch in perspective and it was great learning more about their background and how they intertwined with the other characters we already met.

Even though Once Upon a Bride is a novella, it was still as satisfying and wonderfully written as One and Only. It's an excellent addition to the Bridesmaid Behaving Badly series and a must-read if you're following the series. I can't wait to read more about Elise and Jay in their upcoming novella set, if I remember correctly, 6 months after their wedding.



Publisher: Forever
Release Date: June 26, 2018 >> Out now!
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #2
My Rating:

Synopsis
All's fair in love and war

Wendy Liu should be delighted to be her best friend's maid of honor. But after years spent avoiding the bride's brother - aka the boy who once broke her heart - she's now trapped with him during an endless amount of wedding festivities. Luckily she's had time to perfect her poker face, and engaging Noah Denning in a little friendly competition might just prove that she's over him for good...

Noah Denning is determined to make his little sister's wedding memorable. But it seems Wendy is trying to outdo him at every turn. Challenging each other was always something he and Wendy did right, so when she proposes they compete to see who can throw the best bachelor or bachelorette party in Sin City, Noah takes the bait - and ups the stakes. Because this time around, he wants Wendy for keeps. And when you're fighting for love, all bets are off.


After finishing Elise's novella, Once Upon a Bride, I immediately jumped into It Takes Two, which is somewhat unusual for me because I very rarely pick up books in a series one right after the other. I often needed a break from the characters or else I'd get a reading slump.

Not so in the Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series. I wanted to keep going and keeping hanging out with Jane, Elise, Gia, and, our heroine in It Takes Two, bad-ass defense lawyer Wendy Liu. She is paired with Jane's older brother Noah Denning who is also a lawyer but working in New York as an Assistant US Attorney. Like One and OnlyIt Takes Two is set during the days leading up to a wedding--this time Jane and Cameron's wedding 😁😁.

We quickly learn that Wendy, Jane, and Noah grew up together, and when Wendy was younger she had biggest secret (her best friend Jane didn't know) crush on Noah, who was a couple of years older. But, when Noah unknowingly broke Wendy's heart on prom night, a heartbroken Wendy made several promises to herself that changed the course of her life as well as provide the perfect excuse to avoid Noah over the years whenever he's in town to visit his family.

Unfortunately, Wendy cannot avoid Noah this time as he's home for Jane's wedding and she couldn't just up and leave the country (her usual MO when it comes to Noah's visits) as she's Jane's maid of honor. Almost immediately, sparks begin to fly between Wendy and Noah. For Wendy's part it was antagonistic sparks, but for Noah, arguing with Wendy was nostalgic and invigorating--no one can give it to him like Wendy can. These two are the kind of couple that gets off on their back and forth and one upping each other almost like a form of foreplay. Childhood-friends-turned-enemies (at least on Wendy's part) -turned-rivals (they're competing for who can plan the best bachelor/bachlorette party) -turned-secret-lovers and partly set in Viva Last Vegas. I ate it up! 

As much as I was entertained by Wendy and Noah's antics and sizzling chemistry, there were times when I wanted to reach into the book and give Wendy a good shake and yell at her to just tell Noah the decade-long grudge she had against him. Yes, she had her issues but she's a grown-ass with a successful career. She needs to let go of something that happened in high school, especially since she had an insight on why Noah did what he did.

It Takes Two is another wonderful addition to the series. The author crafted a fun contemporary romance filled with not only humor but also emotions and heart. I love that we get not only a romance story, but also strong friendship between Wendy, Jane, Gia, and Elise that really shine through just as strongly as the romantic plot--I love that we get that equally. With this series, I came for the romance but stay for the friendship. I can't wait to read Gia's book and once again hangout with my favorite girls.


Happy reading,
Michelle

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