A people-pleasing baker tries to find her place as a bridesmaid-for-hire. Will she finally find her happily ever after—and her own voice?
“A delightful debut, perfect for any person who’s ever created their own place to belong.”—Casey McQuiston, bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue and One Last Stop
FINALIST FOR THE LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Book Riot
Amy, a semicloseted queer baker and bartender in mid-2010s Oklahoma, has spent a lifetime putting other people’s needs before her own. Until, that is, she’s fired from her job at a Christian bakery and turns her one-off gig subbing in for a bridesmaid into a full-time business, thanks to her baking talents, crafting skills, and years watching rom-coms and Say Yes to the Dress. Between her new gig and meeting Charley, the attractive engineer who’s just moved to Tulsa, suddenly Amy’s found something—and someone—she actually wants.
Her tight-knit group of chosen family is thrilled that Amy is becoming her authentic self. But when her deep desire to please kicks into overdrive, Amy’s precarious balancing act strains her relationships to the breaking point, and she must decide what it looks like to be true to herself—and if she has the courage to try.
Dumond uses the inner and interpersonal conflicts of her heroine to meaningfully prod queer rights issues in her funny and moving debut rom-com, set in 2013 Tulsa, Okla. Amy Fariner loves her job at Daily Bread Bakery, where she meets new-to-town Charley, who takes Amy up on her offer to show her the city. When Amy's homophobic boss, Donna Young, discovers that Amy is a lesbian, Donna fires her, but Amy rebounds quickly, starting a successful career as a professional bridesmaid. Dumond mines the ensuing weddings for wacky humor, but while Amy loves the problem-solving and matrimonial magic inherent to her new business, she becomes uncomfortable supporting an institution still closed to her and other same-sex couples. As she and Charley grow closer via a series of swoonworthy dates, Amy works to find a way to live authentically within a conservative climate. Amy is a classic rom-com heroine, sweet and kind enough to root for, but with a flair for dramatics. Charley goes comparatively underdeveloped and their relationship takes a narrative backseat to Amy's personal growth. Still, the seamless blend of serious issues, humor, and love make this worthwhile. Agent: Jamie Carr, Book Group.
Fun, queer romance
And a cupcake recipe too!
Such a great read!
This book was completely fabulous. I truly adored it. The characters are delightful, I just wish we'd gotten to see a bit more of Charley. To be honest, I kept waiting for Amy to find out she was secretly married or something, because she seemed so secretive. Something felt off about her. But I liked Amy a lot, her friends were great, and I really loved watching her grow her business.
I personally found it a little disorienting to read a book set before marriage equality came to pass. But I understand why the author chose to set the book in the very very recent past. Overall, a great read.
Review based on ARC.