Monday, December 23, 2013

Review Post: Keep Calm and Carry a Big Drink

Keep Calm and Carry a Big DrinkAuthor: Kim Gruenenfelder
Publication Date: December 24, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Series: There’s Cake in My Future # 2

 In Keep Calm and Carry a Big Drink, Kim Gruenenfelder's delicious follow-up to There's Cake in My Future, Seema, Nic and Mel are back, adjusting to their new lives as a bride-to-be, a mother-to-be, and a recently single girl looking for love

It's been almost a year since Mel, Nic and Seema pulled their magical charms out of the cake at Nic's bridal shower and most of their happily-ever-afters seemingly came true. Seema is about to marry Scott in an elaborate three-day affair. Nic is glowingly pregnant. And Mel... well, Mel feels as if she accidentally veered off the rails of her life at some point and isn't sure how to get back on. She recently became single again, she's been threatened with a layoff from her teaching job, and she has to find her own place now that Scott is moving in with her roommate, Seema.

Nic thinks Mel just needs a new cake charm to bring her good luck. . . and decides to rig the cake pull at Seema's bridal shower. Desperate for travel, Mel asks for the passport charm. But, once again, the cake proves to have a mind of its own, and she pulls a charm she doesn't want, and cannot use. Rather than be bound by the charm's prophecy, Mel realizes she, and she alone, is responsible for her destiny. A spur of the moment decision takes her to Paris and then Maui, where she finds herself on an adventure that she never could have imagined, experiencing the trials and tribulations of a life suddenly and perfectly unplanned. And, along the way, she begins to learn that, however nonsensical it may seem, the cake is never wrong...

But perhaps the worst thing a bride can hear on her wedding day just came from me, her maid of honor: “Okay, I need to tell you something. But you have to promise me you won’t freak out.”

Who was the first bride who passive-aggressively hated her maid of honor so much that she decided to wrap her in an explosion of taffeta?

Who’s the love of your life?
Who’s the guy who just popped into your head?
Who’s the man you would spend the rest of your life with, if it were totally under your control?

And just before I fell asleep, while I was in that hynagogic state when you’re neither asleep nor awake, I thought about Paris. And the charm. And the charming man in the other room. And my future started to make a little more sense. 

I was in the mood for something light, contemporary, and sure to make me smile. I found that in Kim Gruenenfelder’s newest book. Mel, Nic, and Seema were just the dose of medicine I needed; their relationship is real and sometimes catty! Mel, the main character in this book, is definitely my favorite as most of this book is told from her point of view. Seema is about to marry the man of her dreams, Scott, in a flashy three day affair and Nic is about to give birth to her first child. Mel is the only one of the group that has nothing major going on in her life and almost feels like she is out of the loop. That is until Seema’s wedding kicks into gear and Seema’s brother, Jay, rolls into town. Mel has had a crush on Jay for as long as she can remember, and this time around Jay is finally noticing her too. Will it be fireworks and all that Mel hoped for? Or will she find that Jay has too many “tricks” up his sleeve?

Kim Gruenenfelder has won my heart with her passion and ability to write quality chick lit! I just find myself wanting more of it these days and I end up reading some chick lit that I eventually put down and decide not to even review. This book is the epitome of “chick lit” or women’s fiction as it should be. It doesn’t portray the women in it as whiny or complainers, but instead as realistic women would act. When Gruenenfelder, through the character of Mel, describes the “clingy” stages that women go through when first entering a relationship I said, “Man, she hit the nail on the head.” Sure, Mel does make herself appear too vulnerable at times, but what woman in love hasn’t?

 Again, I love the emotion and humor that come with Gruenenfelder’s book and the relationships she creates. All three women had something entirely different happening in their lives, but they each took the time to comfort and talk with each other. They offered honest advice and it wasn’t always what the other one wanted to hear, but isn’t that what friends are for? I liked listening to Seema and Scott talk about their wedding because I am planning my own, but ultimately Mel and her “man issues” was my favorite! This book took me no time to finish and I enjoyed every last page!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at St. Martin’s Griffin in exchange for my honest review***

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