Friday, June 13, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: Save the Date

By Gail Allison

**Giveaway is now closed**

Cara Kryzik is living a balancing act. She's struggling to keep Bloom (her flower shop) afloat, to keep her bills covered, to keep her father placated (he's appalled that she owed him money, needs more, and thinks she should give up and close up shop), and to just find time to breathe! She barely has time for a relationship with her dog, much less a man. Luckily, ever since her husband cheated on her and she kicked him out, that suits her just fine. When Cara is offered the chance to not only do the flowers for, but plan an entire society wedding, she knows that this may just be the moment she's been waiting for. The commission will get her out of debt, get her father off her back, and prove to the world that she can do anything she sets her mind to.

Enter the inevitable road blocks: an overbearing step-mother who views this wedding as a society event, and not a marriage. A bride who doesn’t know what she wants, and doesn't care to decide any time soon. The assistant at Bloom who's acting more and more squirrelly and proving again and again that maybe he can't be counted on as much as Cara initially thought. The new, hip florist in town who's schmoozing the society ladies and luring away Cara's loyal clients. And the attractive restoration specialist who keeps bumping into Cara in the oddest places.

I'm a huge fan of Mary Kay Andrews, so when I heard she had a new book coming out for the summer, I was immediately hooked. I devoured this one in two days. It was so good. I love how she writes believable yet whimsical chick lit that doesn't take itself too seriously, but at the same time doesn't come off as frothy or lacking in plot or character development. Save the Date did not disappoint on any of those fronts. I felt immediate empathy for Cara, and couldn't wait to see what happened through all her clients and adventures. As a florist she was dealing with a number of different characters and the way she went over and above to make their special days as wonderful as she could really made me want to like her even more. As well, the amount of detail that Ms. Andrews put into describing the flowers and the arrangements throughout this novel was amazing. She never got too technical, but provided enough description that I could see everything perfectly in my mind's eye. At times I could practically smell the flowers wafting out of the book. It was a wonderful read.

Even the minor characters were well-developed, and I really didn't find this book to be missing any crucial pieces. As always, the loose ends were wrapped up tidily, and all the good guys got their happily ever after, but that wasn't the best part of the book. The best part was the simple story woven throughout of a girl trying to make her dreams a reality. Those dreams got a little tangled in places, and reality snarled them up into a bit of a mess at times, but Cara never looked around for a prince to save her. She was determined to do it herself, and I love that quality in a protagonist. There's nothing better than a character who wants nothing more than to be self-reliant. At times Cara could seem prickly, but not without good reason.

Save the Date was a fantastic read, and is coming out just in time for summer. Pick up a copy, pack a picnic, and go find a spot next to some lilacs or peonies…something that smells like summer. Let yourself get carried away in the story…I sure did! This one's definitely in the re-read pile for me.

Thanks to Tandem Literary for the book in exchange for an honest review. They also have one copy for a lucky US reader!

How to win:
Tell us a crazy or funny story involving a wedding (your own or someone else's).

One entry per person.

Please include your e-mail address or another way to reach you if you win. Entries without contact information will NOT be counted (and we do not count Google + as contact information).

US only. Giveaway ends June 18th at midnight EST.

More by Mary Kay Andrews:

34 comments:

pascale said...

We got married in a small town in Provence. We invited friends (there were about 50 that attended).
From there, we traveled through Cannes onto Italy.
We ran into the SAME couple (dear friends that attended the wedding) in both Cannes and Rome!! At the same hotels!

pascale.poitras@verizon.net

Janine said...

We tricked everyone at my wedding. Since my step-father couldn't walk me down the aisle (the aisle wasn't wide enough for his wheelchair at the chapel we used). The wedding planner told me about one other wedding that she did where the doors opened and the bride stood there and the groom walked down the aisle to get her and walk her back up to the minister. Well, we decided to do that. When he started walking back down, you should have seen the looks on everyone's faces. They thought he was walking out on the wedding. I got a lot of feedback from people afterwards on what they thought was happening and how they really loved the idea of him walking me down the aisle when they realized he wasn't leaving. It was something none of them had seen before. Honestly, I wouldn't have felt right with anyone else. He always made me feel safe even on that stressful and nerve racking day. and, of course with my twisted sense of humor, I got the last laugh.

kinini01@hotmail.com

faithspage said...

I'm getting married next month...So funny story to come.

kyfaithw@aol.com

Bridget T. said...

Well, not sure it was funny, but I kind of lost my voice the night before. I think I was just run down and nervous.

iambtinrb@aol.com

Laura Bryant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura Bryant said...

We almost set our church on fire (inadvertently, of course). We had a candle-lit ceremony at dusk in a 100 year old chapel. Someone smelled smoke in the middle of the ceremony and had it not been for him to put out a ribbon that had caught the flame of a candle... well, things would have ended quite differently.

Laura P. Bryant
laurabryant1971@gmail.com

Jennifer Huelsebusch said...

My crazy friends dancing to "Footloose" and everyone throwing their shoes in the center of the dance floor!

Jhuelsebusch@sbcglobal.net

debb1955 said...

My husband's brother was married the day of the Philadelphia Phillies World Series 20 years ago. His future MIL stole his shoes the night before and painted the bottom of both shoes with white shoe polish. One said, "Help!" and the other said, "Go, Phillies!" when he knelt at the altar. He didn't have a clue why everyone was laughing and his bride blamed his family. Too funny!

Linda Kish said...

It wasn't funny or crazy but kind of cool. Back in 1970, I was camping in Yosemite with my boyfriend and the people in the next campsite asked if we would stand up for them when they got married the next day. It was an outdoor wedding and we were joined by a baby deer.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Catherine Coulter said...

We had an evening wedding in Seattle and spent the day with extended family on their boat thinking we had plenty of time to get ready for the evening - we got stuck in the Ballard Locks and so had to change in the public restroom before making a mad dash to the wedding. Arrived just in time for the I do's. Phew.

Marsha Bachmeier said...

Haven't been to many weddings that had anything out of the ordinary happen, but years ago, my cousin got married and her mom walked her down the aisle. When it was time to give the bride away, the bride's sleeve of her dress (it was long sleeved and full of lace and fancy buttons) got caught on her mom's. The 'audience' didn't know what was going on at the time, but we could all see them shaking from trying not to laugh! :)

kidisitor@yahoo.com

Anita Yancey said...

The only crazy or funny thing that happened at a wedding was my own. I was so nervous that I laughed through the whole ceremony. The minister lookd at me like I was crazy, but everyone else just laughed too.

ayancey1974(at)gmail(dot)com

Caroline N. said...

My dad was in charge of driving myself, my maid of honor, my sister and my brother to the church in a timely manner. I told him "I just have to get my shoes I will be right back". When I came back, the car was GONE from the driveway. I ended up having to call three different people's cell phone to get him to realize he forgot the bride (me) at the our house. The wedding started 35 minutes late.

Caroline N.
carebear815c@hotmail.com

Hailey Fish said...

It was at my brother's wedding which was almost 11 years ago. I was 12 years old and a junior bridesmaid (meaning I wasn't part of the wedding party). I was the lucky girl who rode in the limo with all of the hunky groomsmen. One even let me have a little champagne. I always talk about it even now! Also I was dancing and one of the wives told me not to drink or have sex till I'm a lot older. She was drunk too.

fishiegirl22@yahoo.com

Angel Wells said...

At my sister in laws wedding my son was four and my mother in law snapped a picture of him staring at the wedding cake. Luckily she got the pic just in time and was able to stop him from toppling the cake over. I do have a cute pic of the stare!!
Angel Wells
kawells1997@yahoo.com

Meg Munson said...

At friend's wedding the flower girl just took over the dance floor and rocked it out. It was so cute!!!

megmunson@me.com

Jennifer Essad said...

we have a few: my husbands uncle was standing off to the side shaking his car keys to let him know that he still had a chance to run (I didn't know this til the honeymoon) then during the ceremony my husband wore a black tux and his black cowboy boots-on the bottom his best man wrote Help Me on the bottoms so when we were kneeling everyone could read them - 33 years this August we'll be married-laughter is the key

Rita said...

It wasn't funny at the time it happened. My brother in-law fainted during the ceremony. My sister was very embarrassed.

Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

Reese78 said...

At a good friends wedding someone got a little carried away throwing the rice. Now on the wedding videos you see all of the bridesmaids trying to pick rice out of the front of their dresses not knowing they are being video taped.

ebrowning@bex.net

Kristin Jones said...

We lost my seating cards hours before, but my sweet dad drove all the way to the vineyard found them and got them situated! Great story for Father's Day Eve!

kdurham2@gmail.com

bn100 said...

nothing funny's happened

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Melanie Backus said...

My husband was so nervous he actually felt his knees knocking. He just knew everyone could see and hear them.

mauback55 at gmail dot com

rubynreba said...

The flower girl and ring bearer got in an altercation in front of everyone.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Cheryl R said...

There was nothing to crazy about it, it happens often enough, but I had a friend whose candelabra got to close to her veil. She lit up but it was patted out by her maid of honor.

Kimberly V said...

Nothing crazy or funny. I spent too much time trying to make everything perfect. Of course, it didn't happen.
k3kdpv@gmail.com

Erin said...

We had an awesome band at our wedding who let the guests come up on stage and jam with them - also, at the end of the night my husband and I did a karaoke version of Proud Mary - great way to end the night!

TinaB said...

The bride tripped and fell to her knees while walking down the aisle!
Brannanflooring@aol.com

Erin said...



We had an awesome band at our wedding who let the guests come up on stage and jam with them - also, at the end of the night my husband and I did a karaoke version of Proud Mary - great way to end the night!

contact via twitter @LibrarianE13

Rozi Marsh said...

Wasn't funny then, but now it is...I was "pressing" my dress and burned a hole thru the top. Hubby to be drove 25 miles away, in a snow storm (2/29) to a ladies store and bought me a "fur" jacket to wear to cover it up. Worked out perfectly....Love my guy!!!

Rozi Marsh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth said...

A couple of funny stories looking back - I forgot my veil when I went to get my hair down about 30 minutes away, family friend had to bring it to me. Crisis averted :)

The second funny thing is that we didn't get to eat any of our yummy food, they packed it up nicely for us to take with us, hubby was so over pictures, etc, that he drove the a crazy person after we left, so all of the food spilled. Fast-forward about an hour later when we were finally on the road to our hotel for the night, we were STARVING, so we stopped at McDonalds. I call the hotel to make sure it's okay that we were going to arrive close to midnight - they don't have our room!! So we panic for a few minutes, then call around for other hotels, the original hotel called us back - they did have our room, and when we got there, they upgraded us to the top floor, "penthouse" suite.

Other than that, all was well :)

Beth
bharbin07[at]gmail[dot]com

Sharon said...

We got married at an all inclusive resort in Jamaica that adult only. The morning of our ceremony we were lead to the gazebo where we would be married. They had our backs facing the water to make the pictures all so beautiful but just as the priest walked up we noticed that there was a couple in the nude on their balcony watching us get married. Yes, we were on the nude side of the resort but we didn't know, we were just doing as we were told (we just got there the day before). I will say the couple went in and put on robes.
sharn3960 @ comcast DOT net

Kayla said...

My best friend got sword spanked after every kiss when her and her husband were leaving the ceremony. Its what you get when you marry military.

Kaylagothier@yahoo.com

Melissa said...

Thanks for participating and sharing your funny wedding stories.
One of my favorites was at my uncle and aunt's wedding. My aunt said "wife" instead of husband when they were taking their vows. Then my dad had my sister and I give them each a piece of toast when he was making his toast.

Thanks to Tandem Literary for sharing the book with our winner.

Random.org chose one winner from all entries with contact info (one entry per person).

Congrats to Pascale!