This is the follow up to Sex, Lies and Online Dating. It takes place immediately where that book ends.
Blurb: What is Clare Wingate doing? One minute she's suffering in a pretty-in-pink gown she'll never wear again, and the next thing she knows it's morning . . . and she has the nastiest hangover of her life.
To make matters worse, she's wearing nothing but a spritz of Escada and lying next to Sebastian Vaughan . . . her girlhood crush turned sexy, globe-hopping journalist. Somewhere between the toast and the toss of the bouquet she'd gotten herself into a whole lot of trouble.
Clare had the right to go wild - after all, she'd been knocked off her dyed-to-match shoes after finding her own fiancé in a compromising position with the washing machine repairman. Clearly her society wedding is off. But Sebastian pushed all the wrong buttons-and some of the right ones, too. Clare is in no mood for love - not even for lust - and wants to forget about Sebastian and his six-pack abs ASAP. But he isn't in the mood to go away, and his kiss is impossible to forget.
I think I enjoyed this one more than I've liked many of Rachel Gibson's books in a while. Not sure why. What I liked: I liked Clare. She wasn't too whiny (yes, a bit whiny, but not too). She wasn't too bitchy (yes, a bit bitchy, but not too, and I suppose she had a right to be). I liked the friendship between the four women that carried over from the first book (think Kleypas Wallflowers relationship, but contemporary, and a hell of a lot more kickass). I liked that Clare and Sebastian didn't have sex until a long way through the book. I liked that they became good friends. I liked that Gibson made a big deal out of safe sex. When Clare realized that her fiance was doing the nasty with another guy, she got tested for HIV, and told Sebastian he should get tested, too (she thought they had slept together). I liked that, although it was clear that Clare was very hurt and it took her quite some time to get over what happened to her relationship with her fiance, she didn't jump right into another sexual relationship right away. I liked Sebastian. A lot. Ok, he was a bit of a stinker at first, but he had cause. I liked that he loved his mother unconditionally, and was willing to get to know his father and remember all the good times that they had. He didn't hold a grudge. An admirable quality. I loved that he read Clare's romance novels and loved them.
Oh, and Sebastian is friends with Jane and Luc, from my all-time favorite Rachel Gibson book, See Jane Score *g*.
What I didn't like: Gibson did make a big deal out of safe sex. When Clare realized that her fiance was doing the nasty with another guy, she got tested for HIV, and told Sebastian he should get tested, too (she thought they had slept together). OK. The first time they slept together, she insisted on a condom. After that, it seemed very sporadic. Which bothered me because it seemed totally out of character for Clare. Maybe Gibson just forgot to write it into a couple scenes. Or not. Either way, it seemed like a glaring error to me.
I also didn't like the cliched bit that Sebastian felt incapable of having a committed relationship, even though, yes, he had a terrible example in his own parents. So for a man who didn't hold grudges, why oh why did he have to be so cliched? He so obviously adored Clare. This was really just a minor setback for me, though. I can forgive Rachel Gibson almost anyhting because I love the escapism of her books so much.
I truly did enjoy this book. I think it was less laugh out loud funny than many of her other books, but still a very enjoyable, feel good read. Rachel Gibson is always a reliable source of a quickie afternoon read. She doesn't require a whole lot of brain power, just a desire to escape reality for a bit. The next book is Maddie's (friend # 3) and takes us back to Truly, Idaho!