Without a Hitch by Avery Maxwell
“A wedding is the beginning of the end.” —Lochlan Blaine
Look, I’ve seen firsthand what marriage does to a man. I’m not interested. You want to take the leap? Fine. But have the decency to elope. Leave me out of it.
And then I see her. The happily-ever-after-loving bridesmaid at the wedding I couldn’t get out of.
This flower-wielding bombshell is all wrong for me. But one night together is enough to convince me that she could be the answer to my problem. All I need is three weeks with her…
“Weddings are magic.” —Tilly Camden
I love love. And weddings. That’s how I land the best job in the world: professional bridesmaid. Brides hire me to make sure their big day goes off without a hitch…usually while dressed in taffeta.
I can’t wait until I find the one. The cranky, three-piece-suit-wearing Adonis who smirks at the idea of happily ever after is definitely not him. Lochlan Blaine has “heartbreaker” written all over him.
I should know better. But when a panty-melting one-night stand turns into an offer I can’t refuse, what’s a bridesmaid to do? It’s only three weeks. It’s just business.
I can’t possibly get my heart broken. Can I?
Without a Hitch by Avery Maxwell was a grumpy hero – sunshine heroine trope where she thought marriage meant happily ever after and the hero thought love and commitment were more than enough.
The two met at a wedding where Lochlan couldn’t seem to take his eyes off her. And her heart too throbbed when she looked at him along with other parts of her anatomy.
One steamy night together followed by a second meeting at another wedding made Lachlan propose an outrageous contract with her which would make their passion come alive along with give her the boost-up in her new business.
There were a couple of side plots from both the main characters’ personal lives, which were interesting to read as they unfurled.
This was my first romance by this author, and I found myself soon getting pulled into the lives of Tilly and Locals and their attraction for each other.
The book maintained the hot steam of attraction in most of its pages, with love knocking in the latter half of the book.
Though said to be standalone, it had a plethora of characters from the other books of this author, who would all be confusing to keep track of. At least, I had a hella time remembering how they were connected to our main characters.
My friend being a keen romantic had the generosity of the heart to lend me this book.
Trigger Warnings: most of the book was about weddings and bridesmaids.
That could also be the hook compelling you to get into the story. I felt that compared to all the other romance books I had read in recent times, this book gave the right amount of light-heartedness along with hot steamy bedroom scenes.
The author had kept the right balance in the book to keep my interest in the book from beginning to end. So, I would say most of my expectations from this book were fulfilled.
Since I used to be like Tilly until life and betrayal made me more like Lochlan, I would say I cared for both characters equally. They were dear to my heart as I agreed with both of their beliefs. Tilly, like the younger me, was a romantic who believed that if you put a ring on it, it would mean the guy would never leave her. So not true.
Lochlan believed love and commitment were enough. And a piece of paper could not validate those emotions. I totally agreed with him. With both the characters having a different concept of love and forever, it was nice to see their emotions going through the highs and lows, making them believable.
When lust was added to this, it made the book go up in flames. Some of the scenes had the fire burning even in a public place. It sure was fun to see them find their nooks and corners, including a public library to make love.
It was basically a romance where the two characters wanted something different in a relationship, but both believed in fidelity and love. So it had them moving toward and away from each other like the waves of the ocean.
The side plots had some inconsistencies. The revenge plot was kept to the end when it could have been given to the cops right at the beginning since that was a white-collar crime and they had solid evidence for all of them. But it was kept for the finale for the dramatic effect.
A stronger reasoning for both’s past stories would have convinced me of their choices. But all these were minor points, since this was supposed to be a fluffy romance with lotsa steam.
The book had the atmosphere of weddings in most of its pages, rather than of love. But unless you were cringy about it, the setting of the book would take you along with it.
There were a few things that made the book slow in the first few chapters, but as soon as the story concentrated on Lochlan and Tilly and their relationship, it managed to gain momentum.
The style of writing - The Prose
The author’s writing was great. She managed to give both the main characters their distinctive voices. I could see myself in both of their beliefs.
The emotions too were embedded in the pages, and I was absolutely pulled into their lives once the book moved on from the rocky beginning.
The book projected the true, warm feelings of romance in the entire book with the heart making its presence known.
How it made me feel
I loved the book. There was something refreshing about it. The warmth of friendship and sisterhood that Tilly and her group of girlfriends projected was spot-on.
Lochlan too had his trusted group, though he had to keep to his demeanor of being grumpy throughout the entire book with them.
But there were a few niggles. The book was a standalone but it had so many characters popping into the story that it became a herculean task to keep track of them. Most of the time, I didn’t know or care to remember how they were connected to the main characters. The author surely had a hangover from her previous books that she couldn’t seem to help adding them to this book. But sooo many…? Why?
Then came the Lochlanisms. The words that Lochlan used in the entire book. They were supposed to be hot or humorous or cute or something like that. I didn’t think so, and I definitely didn’t need an index explaining them. If I could remember the many characters in the book, I could understand the meanings of his words.
Also, apparently, Lochlan never wore jeans or tracks and t-shirts. His only attire was either three-piece suits or a birthday suit. Ah, to be rich and naked. I meant rich and powerful. Or maybe not.
Do I recommend this book?
Of course, it was complete fun if you didn’t analyze it deeply.
Read it as a light fluff with heart and a good amount of smut, including public spanking.
I borrowed the paperback version of the book from an online retail, and this is my journey down its pages, straight from the heart. STRICTLY HONEST and UNBIASED.
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Great review–always, Shalini. But romance–weddings and bridesmaids? Sorry, no can do.