Desert Isle Keeper
It Happened One Wedding
Do you like contemporary romance? Do you want to give audio a try? Listen to It Happened One Wedding; it’s delicious! How much did I love it? I screamed out loud when it ended, wanting it to go on and on. Bring on AAR’s Annual Poll for books published in 2014. I’m ready. Best contemporary romance of 2014? Check. Favorite Couple? Check? Favorite Hero? Check. Favorite Heroine? Check? And best audiobook romance of 2014? Oh yes!
Maggie gave the print version DIK-status, describing it as “Fun, sexy, sweet and delightful – this book is the whole package. It is everything you could possibly want in a contemporary romance.” I wholeheartedly agree about the story, and the audio version may be even better thanks to Karen White’s narration.
Special Agent Vaughn Roberts is killing time in a Chicago coffee shop when he spots an attractive woman in a date that isn’t going well. When the guy finally leaves – after being discouraged by the woman – Vaughn decides the woman is attractive enough and interesting enough for him to approach.
Sidney Sinclair noticed Vaughn long before he approached; he’s a “Criminy” man (hot in Sidney’s vernacular). But Sidney isn’t in the market for a Criminy man; she just dumped one – her ex-fiancé – after discovering he’d been cheating on her. She pegs Vaughn as just another not-ready-for-commitment man. Not wanting to be involved with another loser, Sidney’s done extensive research on “signs he’s not committed.”
The narration sparkles in Sidney and Vaughn’s initial meeting (or as Sidney refers to it, their “meet, so not cute”). After Sidney lets Vaughn know just what she thinks of his “type” of men, Vaughn walks away repeating much of what she’s said in his head. The Sidney in his head is similar to the “real” Sidney, but more sarcastic, and Vaughn’s interpretation of her is rendered wonderfully by Ms. White.
Moments after their initial meeting, Sidney and Vaughn are unhappy to discover they’re attending the same “family” dinner with Sidney’s sister and Vaughn’s brother. Worse yet, their siblings announce they’re getting married and want Vaughn and Sidney to be Best Man and Maid of Honor, which will throw them into constant contact as the wedding is scheduled in three weeks.
The fun never lets up from the opening section to the end. This is definitely a funny contemporary, but with believable, wonderful characters. While the action takes place over three weeks, we get to see that Sidney and Vaughn lead full lives filled with family, friends, and work they love.
At one of her friend’s encouragement, Vaughn becomes Sidney’s “Mr. Right now”- someone to have meaningless mind-blowing sex with while she looks for “Mr. Right.” Of course, it’s readily apparent to us that the two are perfect for each other; it just takes them longer to figure out.
I like that Sidney and Vaughn stay true to their basic characters throughout. This is never more apparent than when, near the end of the book, Vaughn finally tells Sidney how he feels about her and comments, “So bring on the damn singing birds and woodland animals.” Yes, he’s that kind of guy.
There’s so much to love here. One of Ms. James’ hallmarks is fantastic dialog. It’s funny, sarcastic, and always feels real, thanks both to Ms. James’ writing and Ms. White’s narration. Ms. White performs each character distinctly in a manner that is both age and gender specific. But what I really like is that she doesn’t do it by turning their voices into annoying caricatures to emphasize the difference. This is especially important as there are numerous scenes between Vaughn and his brother and between Sidney and her sister. I never questioned who was speaking, and quickly learned to associate the sound of each with the appropriate character.
Julie James and Karen White are every bit as perfect a match as Vaughn and Sidney, and I look forward to many more audiobook collaborations from them in the future. Thoroughly delightful, I not only will listen to It Happened One Wedding again, I’ve already listened again. After reflecting on the lovely story for a few moments after the book ended, I started the audio all over again to enjoy this romance once again from the beginning. This is a keeper.
Breakdown of Grade – Narration: A and Book Content: A
Unabridged. Length – 9 hours 25 minutes