No Weddings (No Weddings, Volume 1) Review
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You don’t have to be an avid reader of chick lit to know the standard formulas—or to know how a story will end before it even begins. After all, the genre isn’t exactly known for its originality or its unpredictability. But author Kat Bastion and her husband, Stone, offer a fresh take on the same old chick lit in No Weddings, the first book in their new contemporary romance series.

No Weddings is told from the perspective of the guy: bar owner and MBA student Cade Michaelson. Despite his already hectic schedule—and the list of ready and willing women who parade through his life—he allows his three older sisters to talk him into starting a new business venture: an upscale event planning company called Invitation Only.

As they plan the details of their new company, the siblings agree that they need to bring in the best baker in town: Hannah Martin. Despite her somewhat icy exterior, Cade is fascinated by the beautiful and talented bakery owner. And though he’s promised his sisters that he won’t get involved with the help, he just can’t seem to stay away from her.

No Weddings is far from the average chick lit. The characters are different; the style is different; even the story is different. Usually, contemporary romance creates the woman’s ideal: a perfectly average woman who attracts the attention (and undying affection) of the perfect man—one who’s sweet and sensitive and respectful but also absolutely gorgeous and totally passionate. There are definitely touches of those ideals here—enough to keep female readers interested—but it’s all given a male-centric twist.

When readers first meet Cade, he’s an unapologetic cad. He’s foul-mouthed and arrogant with a one-track mind (and he shares his thoughts and opinions in great detail throughout the novel). For that reason, he’s not an easy character to love—but, of course, there’s something buried in his past that helps to explain (though not excuse) his behavior. And when he meets Hannah, things change—because she’s the perfect woman.

Here, it’s the woman who’s the ideal—the unattainable dream girl. Beautiful and talented—and a great cook, too—Hannah is a mix of everything a man could want. She’s sweet and fun-loving, always happy to hang out with the boys. But she’s also gorgeous and seductive, throwing out innuendo with the best of them. The only catch? She’s recovering from a broken heart, so she doesn’t want to get involved with anyone—especially not someone like Cade. For that reason, No Weddings takes its time, building a friendship and maybe something more—though Cade’s intentions are all too clear. And while some readers may be frustrated by the lack of action in the story, others will appreciate the ongoing tension and suspense of the characters’ slowly-building relationship.

No Weddings turns the tables on the typical romance. With its male perspective (and the flood of f-bombs and innuendo that seems to come with it), it’s sure to throw unsuspecting readers more than a little off-balance. But its unusual point of view makes it the start of a series to watch.

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