Title: Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger by Beth Harbison
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: C+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
From Beth Harbison, the New York Times bestselling author of When in Doubt, Add Butter and Shoe Addicts Anonymous, comes Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong, a delightful new novel that will make you look at second chances in a whole new way.
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? Told with Beth Harbison’s flair for humor and heart, Chose the Wrong Guy will keep you guessing and make you believe in the possibilities of love.
Beth Harbison’s Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger is a warm and witty novel about coming to terms with the past. Quinn Barton comes face to face with her unhappy past when her ex-fiancé’s grandmother hires her to make her wedding gown for her upcoming marriage.
Just as she was about to walk down and marry her high school sweetheart, Burke, Quinn learns from Burke’s best man (and brother), Frank, that Burke has been cheating on her. Quinn calls off the wedding and ten years later, she has yet to recover from Burke’s betrayal. When both men return to town for their grandmother’s wedding, Quinn can no longer run away from her unresolved past.
Since most of Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger is in first person from Quinn’s perspective, there is no mistaking how much Burke’s infidelity affected her. Quinn does not like change, and she lives a safe, predictable, low key (ahem, boring) life. She never gave Burke the chance to tell his side of the story and she wallows in her unresolved past. The brothers’ return stirs up a lot of old memories (good and bad) and forces Quinn to seek answers to the questions that have plagued her for years.
The brothers’ return provides the perfect opportunity for Quinn’s good friend, Glenn, to encourage her to expand her limited horizons. Glenn devises a plan to add a little spice to Quinn’s life by assigning her a task a day that is out of her usual comfort zone. Some of the assignments are simple and easy to complete while others are outrageous that sometimes end with disastrous results. Glenn is also Quinn’s sounding board and he offers her some much needed advice.
Some of the chapters are flashbacks to the early years of Quinn and Burke’s romance. Told in third person, these glimpses into their past provide insight into Quinn’s character and the dynamics of their relationship.
The overall pacing of the story is a little uneven and sometimes slow moving. Quinn’s internal monologues are lengthy and distracting. I had a difficult time keeping up with conversations because of Quinn’s annoying tendency to go off on thought tangents before responding to the other character’s comments.
Despite these few issues, Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger is an entertaining read. The cast of characters is well-rounded with all too human strengths and weaknesses. The romantic element of the story is understated and Beth Harbison takes this part of the storyline in a surprising yet satisfying direction.