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  • Writer's pictureCaitlyn Lynch

Blog Tour and Book Review: Willow's Wedding Vows by Debbie Viggiano

Willow’s a sweetheart. An assistant librarian who’s just passed her thirtieth birthday, she’s wistfully waiting for her boyfriend Charlie to pop the question so they can settle down into wedded bliss… unaware that Charlie’s sleeping with any woman who’ll give him the time of day, including someone whose precise identity is concealed for most of the book, but we know it’s someone Willow knows well.

Charlie is, frankly, an unmitigated scumbag, and spending quite a few chapters in his PoV as he merrily gads about lying to Willow and doing whatever he feels like left me with a nasty taste in my mouth, and a desperate desire for at least one of Willow’s friends to bite the bullet and either tell Willow the truth or confront Charlie properly long before it got to the point where Willow and Charlie were actually in the middle of their wedding. I actually ended up sort of applauding the ‘other woman’ for having the guts to finally do something, although she left it unconscionably late.

The deeper I got into the story, the more I cringed, knowing how awful it was going to be for Willow when the hammer finally fell. I actually got it all wrong at first: I thought housemate Ben would turn into her love interest rather than Noah, who was first introduced very late in the game and only virtually at first. I would definitely have liked to see Noah and Willow get the chance to build a friendship first, rather than spend so much time in Charlie’s horribly self-centred PoV.

Billed as a rom-com, there are a few amusing moments in it but an actual romance? I’m not sure it actually qualifies because Noah took so long to appear in the story. I’d say it’s a coming-of-age contemporary women’s fiction, with a likeable heroine who unfortunately spends most of the story oblivious to the looming disaster about to overtake her.

This is well-written, with characters who feel very realistic and normal and situations that feel oh-so-familiar. The only quibble I had was that there were a few too many PoV changes, sometimes at random in the middle of a chapter with no break to indicate it was coming - one moment we’d be privy to Willow’s inner thoughts and the next we’re in Charlie’s head. It’s jarring and a good editor will tell authors not to do it, to at least indicate the PoV change using a scene or chapter break. I’ll give it four stars because I did enjoy the read… but once again it’s not a rom-com and I’m getting sick of publishers slapping that label on books which are really great, but just do not belong in that category.

Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via Rachel’s Random Resources.

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