Author: Tere Michaels Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC
Release Date: 09-01-16
Length: 4 hrs and 52 mins
Reviewed by: Lily G. Blunt
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.3 stars out of 5
When drama threatens to ruin a romance on a reality show, only a true friend can save a groomzilla’s wedding.
Daniel Green, an event planner with a neat, quiet, orderly life, reluctantly agrees to plan the wedding of his childhood friend Ander, an outrageous fashion designer soon to marry a wealthy entertainment lawyer named Rafe. To complicate matters, the happy couple have agreed to have their wedding made into a reality show – something that practical Daniel isn’t sold on.
Daniel is neither a romantic nor a wedding planner, but he’s the only person in the world who can manage Ander. Distracting him from his mission is Owen Grainger, a too-handsome-to-be-true producer whose quiet charm pulls Daniel into his orbit.
When the stress of the show triggers bad behavior from Ander, co-producer Victor Pierce decides it’s the key to a ratings bonanza, and he begins to undermine Ander and Rafe’s relationship to create more drama. Daniel is determined to protect his friend and his own reputation, but when he finds himself falling hard for Owen, there’s much more at stake than ratings.
I’m not a fan of reality TV shows so wasn’t sure what to expect from this story. In fact, I listened to it twice back to back because it took me a few chapters to get into the plot and characters, but as I loved the story so much by the end, I wanted to go back and give the beginning another chance.
Ander, the featured Groomzilla and best friend of the main character, irritated me at first as he came across as self-absorbed and I failed to understand why Daniel had remained friends with him for so long. But as their story unfolds, the friendship they share is actually warm and touching. We gradually see another side of Ander and get glimpses into his backstory. Daniel’s past is pretty sad too and these two guys helped each other through a lonely part of their lives.
So, the story is told from the main love interest’s point of view, i.e Daniel and Owen, rather than the two grooms. Daniel is the best man, but roped into the role of wedding planner for the TV show. His instant attraction to Owen, one of the producers, had him agreeing to his best friend’s wishes.
Fortunately (for me) the story didn’t focus too much on the filming and the show itself. The main emphasis is on the background preparation and the blossoming love between Daniel and Owen. Although we do get to see the drama starting to unfold for Ander the weekend of the wedding.
Victor, the other co-producer and antagonist, was a creep. He takes an instant dislike to Daniel for some reason, stating he is too dull and boring for the show, and wanted to relegate him to the sidelines. Owen is courteous and charming in his treatment of Daniel and did his best to let Daniel know how gorgeous he thought he was.
I particularly like the writing in this story and how superbly Nick narrates it. His voice for Owen is deep and sexy, and his characterization of the other personalities was spot on. There are many humorous quips and comments throughout that had me laughing, particularly about the way Daniel and Ander dress. The last few chapters and epilogue are delightful, with ‘I love yous’ and a happy ending for everyone.
I adored Daniel and Owen’s scenes together from the start. The chemistry between them was super, even though they hardly ever made it to the bedroom. We are treated to several hot bjs and hand jobs, but not a full-on sex scene. I would have liked more intimate scenes, but I think what Tere wrote works well for the story.