An Accidental Greek Wedding
C reviews are always the hardest. Ask any reviewer. Hate a book and you know exactly why; love it, same goes. But for the ones that fall somewhere in between the explanations and articulations just don’t come. Why was it just sort of so-so? Very hard to say. I just know that a few weeks after I’ve read the book, I’ll have forgotten just about everything I felt. Feeling bad or mad or glad after finishing a book – that sticks with me. For the rest, hmmm. Which makes all of this is a long way of saying that I read Carol Grace’s book and struggled over what to say. The things I found problematic – and there are some – aren’t that big a deal. But the same goes for the elements I liked.
Jane Atwood is in paradise physically and in hell emotionally. She’s come to Greece to stand up for her best friends Sofia Leonakis and Alex Woods when they finally tie the knot. Jane’s unresolved emotional dilemma is the cause of her turmoil. She’s loved Alex since they were lab partners in college and has been an unwilling observer throughout Alex and Sofia’s tempestuous ten-year relationship. If she can just get through the wedding, Jane has hopes of finally being able to move on with her life.
Plans for the wedding are postponed when Sofia and Alex fight. Sofia runs off, possibly with another man, and Jane insists on joining Alex in the search for his bride. Now An Accidental Greek Wedding becomes, in essence, a road romance. Searching for Sofia involves traveling by yacht amongst the Greek Isles. For Jane this is both heaven and hell. She’s spending time with the man she loves but he doesn’t see her as anything other then a friend. Or so she thinks.
Writing a romance in which one half of the main couple (in this case the hero) is engaged to someone else is a tough job. No matter which way you slice it, Alex is committed elsewhere. For the reader, getting to the point of liking him, wanting to read about him, and believing in him as viable relationship candidate is difficult. Ms. Grace manages the first two and almost pulls off the third. What makes it work is the fact that Alex is pretty clueless about any feelings he has for Jane. He’s never thought of Jane in a romantic way and he certainly has no idea of how she feels about him. In fact, much of his behavior in regards to both Sofia and Jane is habit. Spending time with Jane in close quarters forces Alex to reexamine his own emotional life. These facets of Alex’ character make him likable, interesting and almost believable. The “almost” arises out of the timing of the events in the book. This all happens in five days! Can the reader (and Jane) truly see Alex as a safe bet?
Jane is more of a staple character and thus less interesting. She has loved the handsome Alex forever but plans on remaining mum. She is determined to find Sofia, remain an honorable friend, and help her friends regain their momentum. That’s what the author tells us. But then she throws in a few too many goofy and forced scenes: Jane and Alex search for Sofia at a nude beach and must be nude to do it, Jane opens her door to Alex in a skimpy and tight shirt at bedtime, Jane (who’s always been a conservative dresser) flits around the yacht in a tiny, white bikini.The list goes on and each incidence lessens Jane somehow.
Too many of these trite scenes contributed to the unreality of the whole. That and the timeline made for a hard to believe romance – despite the appeal of the hero/heroine and the otherwise solid writing.