Review: The Best Man Problem – Mariah Ankenman
by Mariah Ankenman
Series: Mile High Happiness #2
Publisher: Entangled: Lovestruck
Publication Date: January 20, 2020
I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
Lilly Walsh is used to keeping things buttoned-up and aboveboard. After all, the last time she hooked up with someone in a wedding party, it nearly cost her her wedding planning business. Thankfully, those rules don’t apply when she meets a handsome stranger in a hotel bar. One bad pirate joke leads to the best night of her life, but come morning, she’s got a wedding to plan.
Lincoln Reid never imagined he’d see the woman who rocked his world last night and then ran out on him ever again. But there she is, planning his best friend’s wedding with the same passion and drive that brought him to his knees. She’s adamant that wedding planner and best man can never mix, but that just means he’s got four weeks to make her see him as more than just a one-night guy. Because he’s itching for more than one night...or five, or ten…
Yay for a romance with a fun forced proximity trope (they even get snowed in!). While this is the second in a series, I didn’t read the first book and thought it worked perfectly fine as a standalone.
Things are awkward for Lilly when it turns out her one-night-stand is the best man of the next wedding she’s planning – and now Reid’s got four weeks to convince her to give him a try. Not for a relationship, but just another roll in the hay to get her out of his system.
“Mark her words, those who rushed in would rush right back out when they discovered that spark didn’t last.
You had to have substance, compatibility. You couldn’t just see someone and know. Love didn’t work that way.”
Famous last words, huh? Lilly prides herself on being the opposite of her mother, who hops in – and out – of relationships without much thought for anything other than chemistry. Lilly’s looking for true long-term commitment, and she doesn’t think that’s something that can be determined from an instant moment of connection (or a night of particularly amazing sex). Reid, still reeling from the implosion of his marriage, isn’t interested in a long term commitment at all – and that’s just one mark against him on Lilly’s honest-to-goodness hand-written pros and cons list. Since it shows that they don’t match, that’s enough for her to not want to pursue a relationship… even if she still daydreams about their night together. I thought Lilly’s overwhelming attraction to Reid was hilarious, and it definitely helped amp up the tension between the two. Reid’s a computer geek so there’s a definite nerdy side to the relationship, including flirting over pinball, which they both excel at. But the best part? He picks Lilly up at the hotel bar with dad-joke-worthy pirate jokes!
“All’s fair in love and pinball.”
The book is pretty short – only 150 pages – so the story moves quickly. I liked that it was set in Denver, which isn’t a city I’ve seen too many romances set in. The side characters were fun, especially Mo and Pru, though I thought the wedding couple, Reid’s friends, were a little too pushy on getting Reid to hook up with Lilly. Although I anticipated the bleak moment for most of the book, it still missed the mark for me. Despite the build up, I felt like the way it happened completely went against everything else I knew about Reid’s character. Though he immediately realizes he reacted badly, instead of apologizing and explaining, he just… does nothing. The grovel, however, was very Reid-sweet.
Overall, this was a fun and quick read. While I don’t think I’ll go back and read the first in the series (I’m not a big fan of pregnancy romances), I’ll definitely be looking for the remaining wedding planning partner’s book, as Mo was an absolute riot.