I love category romance and I yearn to read it with the same enthusiasm I used to. But category romance has been a desert, at least to this reader, these past few years and I’ve DNF-ed, disappointed, more often than make my desultory way through one “meh” after another. Fact is some of the best romances I’ve read have been category romances: Jessica Hart’s Promoted: to Wife and Mother, Kathleen Creigton’s One Christmas Knight, Karina Bliss’s A Prior Engagement, Molly O’Keefe’s Unexpected Family, and my beloved Betty’s Tulips for Augusta, to name a few. And let’s not forget the great HPs: classic Lynne Graham’s The Greek’s Chosen Wife; more recent, Dani Collins’s Cinderella’s Royal Seduction. For the most part, though, many of my favourite category authors have moved on from category, from romance itself (sobs). These days, my expectations, therefore, are low: at best, I hope for a passably written, pleasant read…but what I got from Teri Wilson’s Her Man of Honor is a GREAT one, hearkening back to the wonderful writing, pacing, characterization, sheer fun and yet depth of great category romance. The chef’s kiss of the perfect length to the genre. Truth be told, I wasn’t keen on Wilson’s premise: I’d surfeited with the weakness of Chin’s friends-to-lovers trope-handling and dislike any wedding-industry-set novel, Hallmark movie, etc. If tulle is involved, I won’t read it (though I’d rec Mia Sosa’s Worst Best Man). But from the first page, Wilson’s romance captured me. To set us up, the publisher’s blurbish details:
When did her longtime best friend become the perfect groom?
Everly England is a bridal-advice columnist. A guru. And unfortunately, a jilted bride! Her ruined reputation and wedding only get more disastrous when her bestie Henry Aston’s sympathetic kiss ignites a desire she never knew possible. Henry knows the glamorous city girl is terrified romance will ruin their friendship. But this stand-in groom plans to win her “I do” after all!