A woman who wants nothing to do with love or friendship finds both in the unlikeliest ways in this hilarious and heartwarming debut by Kerry Rea.
Once upon a time, Willa Callister was a successful blogger with a good credit score, actual hobbies, and legs that she shaved more than once a month. But after finding her fiancé in bed with her best friend, she now spends her days performing at children's birthday parties in a ball gown that makes her look like a walking bottle of Pepto Bismol. Willa dreams of starting fresh, where no one knows who she used to be, but first she needs to save up enough money to make it happen.
Maisie Mitchell needs something too: another bridesmaid for her wedding. After a chance encounter at a coffee shop, Maisie offers to pay Willa to be in her bridal party. Willa wants nothing to do with weddings—or Maisie—but the money will give her the freedom to start the new life she so badly desires.
Willa's bridesmaid duties thrust her into Maisie's high-energy world and into the path of hotshot doctor Liam Rafferty. But as Willa and Maisie form a real friendship, and Liam's annoyingly irresistible smile makes her reconsider her mantra that all men are trash, Willa's exit strategy becomes way more complicated. And when a secret from Maisie's past threatens to derail the wedding, Willa must consider whether friendship—and romance—are worth sticking around for.
Rea marries humor and pathos in her compulsively readable debut. Reporter Willa Callister's world implodes after she catches her fianc in bed with her best friend. She's fired from her job when she stops showing up for work; moves in with her sister, her sister's wife, and their three daughters; and finds humiliating work appearing as Princess Sparkleheart at the birthday parties of Columbus, Ohio's most spoiled children. Forcing herself out of the house for coffee one day, she meets Maisie Mitchell, a sweetly awkward woman who wants her fianc , Finn, to believe she has friends rather than just acquaintances and offers to pay Willa $5,000 to be a bridesmaid. Willa needs the money so she accepts the gig and soon their friendship is anything but pretend. Along the way, she meets Finn's best friend, pediatrician Liam Rafferty, and falls in love. But when Liam and Finn find out that Willa's a ringer and a dark secret from Maisie's past comes to light both relationships are thrown into jeopardy. Anyone who's ever had a bad breakup will recognize themselves in Willa, and the charming Liam makes for a swoony hero. This heartfelt, beautifully characterized, and skillfully told story will make readers eager to see more from Rea.)