Author: Nicole Helm
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
Wedding fever has hit the little town of Marietta…
And Kaitlin Shuller’s groom of her dreams is marrying someone else… her sister.
Worst day ever. Her heart is broken, and all her carefully laid plans destroyed. Enter Beckett Larson, her older brother’s best friend and a very good bad decision.
Beckett has spent his life trying to outrun his bad reputation, but everyone already thinks the worst of him, so when Kaitlin offers herself to him — virginity and all— he just can’t say no.
But one night together has permanent consequences, and this time Beckett knows he can’t outrun his bad boy reputation. He’s determined to make Kaitlin his bride…even if he has to seduce her down the aisle.
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
Bride By Mistake, written by Nicole Helm, was a pleasant surprise. I’ll admit, I’ve never picked up a book by this author before—but I am so glad that I did. Bride By Mistake was a sweet contemporary romance about the complicated relationship between Kaitlin, a no nonsense must-plan-out-everything type of girl—and Beckett, the motorcycle-riding bad boy who is best friends with Kaitlin’s older brother.
Technically speaking, the writing was very well done. There was one line in particular I had to re-read because for some reason it amounted to Greek as far as I was concerned, but otherwise, the narrative flowed smoothly, and was paced well. I did spot a handful of typos, but to be fair, this was an ARC—and I can’t hold a few typos against the author when it wasn’t a published copy.
As far as the characters go… I adored them. Kaitlin had a nasty habit of over-thinking everything, and it lead to quite a few chuckles as she proclaimed her hatred of all things Beckett in some pretty colorful tirades inside her head. Likewise, Beckett didn’t pull punches when he narrated his opinions of the other characters in the book. Between the two of them, the heady bits that otherwise could have been boring, made for an engaging read.
As far as the other characters go… eh—this kind of plays into the fact that I only gave this book 4 stars. Other than Kaitlin and Beckett, I didn’t feel like I got to know any of the other characters very well. The closest to the main couple was probably Kaitlin’s older brother, and he maybe had an hour of screen time if you counted all the time he waited in the hall outside of Beckett’s hotel room. Despite the impact Kaitlin’s sister and her beau had on Kaitlin’s life, they weren’t present after the first chapter. The story stayed almost exclusively with the main couple. Don’t get me wrong—in some ways, that’s good. It was their story… and I’m glad I got to spend a lot of time with them… but I think a lot more drama and conflict could have been introduced through the other characters, and I would have liked to have experienced it.
The main reason this book got 4 stars instead of 5 though, was the romance. It was sweet, funny, and a bit frustrating at times. The first and only sex scene was both steamy and awkward—but not in a way that made me cringe. It was exceptionally well-written. The problem is, 90% of the story revolved around Beckett and Kaitlin arguing. There wasn’t a lot of chemistry between the couple in the narrative (despite assurances from the characters that there was), and other than a few moments here and there when Beckett was basically acting like a devoted house-wife to Kaitlin….well, I didn’t see the romance behind it all. I still loved the characters and the story, but I was expecting more chemistry for a Romance novel, and I didn’t find it.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. It made me laugh, it made me grin, and I loved the characters to bits. It wasn’t as steamy or squee-worthy as I’d hoped, but it was still a very solid read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you like conflict-laced romances with witty characters, you’re probably going to enjoy this book, and I’d certainly recommend it.