|Shirley Jump: The Bride Wore Chocolate|
Kensington (Paperback), ISBN 0821776916
Pity poor Candace Woodrow, who wakes up one morning in the bed of handsome, sexy, rich, single Michael Vogler. The problem? Candace intends to marry kind, responsible, boring Barry Borkenstein in three weeks.
Undeterred by Candacešs wedding plans, Michael pursues her. He even takes her shopping for a wedding dress that she and Barry cannot possibly afford. To make matters worse, everyone Candace knows, from her best pals and business partners to her unorthodox grandmother, questions the wisdom of marrying Barry. What's a girl to do?
Candace drowns her sorrows in chocolate. She consumes so much candy over the course of this book, one suspects she will solve her problem by becoming so bloated that Mr. Hunk will run for the hills. She also obsesses over the details of her upcoming nuptials, creating endless checklists. And she anguishes over her desire to tango with Michael. Should she leave Barry? Should she sow some wild oats? All questions end with more chocolate.
The Bride Wore Chocolate carries no social or intellectual baggage whatsoever, nor should it. All of the characters play their Romance Novel parts to the hilt. Parsimonious Barry, who kowtows to his mother, makes a suitably unappealing fiancé. Confused but earnest Candace (who would certainly be played by a young Meg Ryan) plays a winning heroine. And gorgeous playboy Michael (a younger George Clooney?) gains the readeršs sympathy by showing signs of growing up and falling in love.
Jump writes snappy dialogue, and her plot careens from one crisis to the next. Each chapter begins with a recipe for some chocolate confection presented by one of the characters, with hilarious instructions. (I haven't tried any of the recipes, but they sound delicious.) Although the ending comes as no surprise ("romance novel" and "surprise" don't go together), The Bride Wore Chocolate proves a page turner and a fun read. It goes down like, well, like candy. A super hot guy plus chocolate galore equals chick lit at its gooey best. Lock the bathroom door and read it in the tub, ladies.
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