CHOSE THE WRONG GUY, GAVE HIM THE WRONG FINGER – Beth Harbison
St. Martin's Press
Middleburg, Virginia; Present Day
For the past ten years, Quinn Barton has been content running her family's bridal shop. It seems like an oxymoron that she dumped her husband-to-be, Burke Morrison, on their wedding day ten years ago, and now, here she is, helping brides make their dreams come true on their own big day—but it is what it is. She has had her share of dates and even a fling or two, but she's hard-pressed to admit that she's ever been happy since then, a fact that her best friend, Glenn, has forced her to consider several times. When Quinn agrees to design Dottie Morrison's dress for her upcoming wedding, she panics when she realizes that she'll be seeing the two men she has never forgotten since that ill-fated wedding day: Dottie's grandsons, Frank and Burke.
One may ask why Quinn is hesitant to see Frank, even if the ‘why' is obvious in her reluctance at seeing Burke. Although the three had known each other since, like, forever, Frank had always taken a backseat role in the trio's dynamics. He'd been there for Quinn several times, but always in the guise of the older brother she didn't have. Her love for Burke was a whirlwind, fraught with emotions, but the relationship with Frank was always secure and safe. He was always there for her when she fell, or needed a hand. Until her wedding day. That was the day he told Quinn, at the church with a sanctuary full of guests waiting for her to walk down the aisle, that Burke had been cheating on Quinn.
After that, it was a mad trip to Las Vegas—ok, more like Quinn just ran—with Frank, and a couple of nights of unforgettable sex. Alcohol didn't help the memories there, but she does remember that “safe and secure” Frank didn't mean boring in bed; sexy and passionate comes more to mind when she thinks of Frank now, even if her heart hasn't totally recovered from Burke. So, with both men sure to be in town before she knows it, Quinn realizes, with the help of Glenn, that what she thought of as contentment with her life had actually meant unhappiness, especially with no closure from the events of ten years ago. Maybe it is time to wash that man, or those men, right outta her hair and gain a new lease on life.
CHOSE THE WRONG GUY, GAVE HIM THE WRONG FINGER is a mouthful for a title, but the book is just as full of entertainment. This was a first-time read for me by Beth Harbison, and even though I don't read much contemporary romance, I'm surprised that I'd not heard of her until this late summer when I got the assignment. Fortunately, I have a decent-sized list of books by her to try out as soon as I can. With several colorful characters who lend warmth and a bit of humor to the equation, I fell in love with Quinn and wanted to punch Burke in the face for her. Even though it's obvious whom she should choose in the end, the reader is treated to Quinn's uncertainty about whom she is attracted to and whom she should be attracted to. She's definitely not looking into wedding chapels and bells for anyone other than her customers and Dottie, but a bit of happy wouldn't be remiss for her. Glenn, her best friend and cheese shop owner, was one of my favorite characters. If he weren't gay, I would've been pulling for this guy. If you're familiar with Food Network's show, The Barefoot Contessa , than it is easy to picture this guy as T.R. Pescod ( www.trpescod.com ), one of Ina Garten's best friends.
Lengthy yet snappy title, madcap storytelling without being too zany, complete with a cast of likeable characters, CHOSE THE WRONG GUY, GAVE HIM THE WRONG FINGER is an entertaining way to while away an afternoon or two. Give it a shot.