Published by St. Martin's Press on July 9, 2013
Genres: Chick Lit, Romance
Buy the Book • Goodreads
Ten years ago, Quinn Barton was on her way to the altar to marry Burke Morrison, her high school sweetheart, when something derailed her. Rather, someone derailed her—the Best Man who at the last minute begged her to reconsider the marriage. He told her that Burke had been cheating on her. For a long time. Quinn, stunned, hurt, and confused, struggled with the obligation of fulfilling her guests’ expectations—providing a wedding—and running for her life.
She chose running. With the Best Man. Who happened to be Burke’s brother, Frank.
That relationship didn’t work either. How could it, when Quinn had been engaged to, in love with, Frank’s brother? Quinn opted for neither, and, instead, spends the next seventeen years working in her family’s Middleburg, Virginia, bridal shop, Talk of the Gown, where she subconsciously does penance for the disservice she did to marriage.
But when the two men return to town for another wedding, old anger, hurt, and passion resurface. Just because you’ve traded the good guy for the bad guy for no guy doesn’t mean you have to stay away from love for the rest of your life, does it?
Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger by Beth Harbison… okay, first off, that’s a super long title. This was a book that I both enjoyed and really, really did not.
Quinn was engaged to be married to Burke when on her wedding day Burke’s best man and brother showed up to talk her out of it by revealing the Burke had cheated on her. So Quinn runs away with Frank, even though the relationship only lasts two days before she returns home and works in a bridal shop where she sews custom gowns for the brides of her small town. Everything is fine until, drum roll please, Frank and Burke are both back in town for a wedding.
There were a lot of things that I didn’t like about this book. Quinn is stuck in her past, and as such she tends to see disasters for the brides in her shop. She’s judgmental and whiny. She seems to believe the only way she can be happy is if she’s in love (although she is dead set against it). She shames working mothers, overweight women, and emotional people in general. The stereotypes are offensive at best. Call me crazy, but I expect my chick lit novels to contain strong, independent women who look at love as a happy bonus, but they don’t need it to define them.
Quinn’s best friend, or really her only friend who isn’t an employee, is Glenn, the stereotypical gay best friend. He works next door and runs a wine and cheese store and is constantly pampering Quinn with food and drinks, and draws up a “fun” list of things for her to do every day to get her out of her rut. Becca, the employee, is also a working mother who Quinn complains about because she needs to go home when her kids are sick. Dottie is the blushing bride at her advanced age, and the one who brings Burke and Frank back to town. Some of the other brides were fun, but to be honest, they were all stereotypes of brides and women. The overweight sassy black woman who is damn proud of her curves (even if Quinn tries to shame her about them on drunk day). The manipulative super-thin woman who only cares about the money she’s getting out of her marriage. And more!
I couldn’t understand why the book shifted constantly from first and third person depending on whether we were in the midst of a flashback or not, and the romance between Quinn and Frank came out of nowhere. They had two passionate nights ten years ago, and while Frank has always loved Quinn, she wasn’t the same. She spent almost the entire book mooning after Burke, the guy she left at the altar. So the sudden knowledge that she didn’t love Burke, she loved Frank was… well, unexpected.
Still, when I could get past all the things I disliked, it was fun to read, and some of the characters made up for the things that bugged me. Some of the best parts were the wit and the names of the stores. Talk of the Gown is such a fun name for a bridal store that specializes in one of a kind gowns! I didn’t hate the book, but I don’t think I’ll read any other novels by this author.