Bad Luck Bridesmaid by Alison Rose Greenberg #BookReview #WomensFiction

Happy Ever After.
On Her Own Terms.

It’s official: Zoey Marks is the cursed bridesmaid that no engagement can survive. Ten years, three empire waist dresses, and ZERO brides have walked down the aisle.

After strike three, Zoey is left wondering if her own ambivalence towards marriage has rubbed off on those she loves. And when her building distrust of matrimony culminates in turning down a proposal from her perfect All-American boyfriend, Rylan Harper III, she and Rylan are both left heartbroken, leaving Zoey to wonder: what is it exactly about tying the knot that makes her want to run in the opposite direction?

Enter Hannah Green: Zoey’s best friend, who announces that she’s marrying a guy she just met (cue eye roll). At a castle. In gorgeous, romantic Ireland, where Rylan will be in attendance, and Zoey will be a bridesmaid. It’ll be fine.

Okay, the woman definition of fine (NOT FINE).

Determined to turn her luck around, Zoey accepts her role and vows to get Hannah down the aisle—all the while praying her best friend’s wedded bliss will allow her to embrace marriage and get Rylan back.

But as the weekend goes on, Zoey is plagued with more questions than answers. Can you be a free spirit, yet still want a certain future? Can you have love and be loved on your terms? And how DO you wrangle a bossy falcon into doing your bidding?

What’s it about (in a nutshell):

A young successful young woman struggles with the institution of marriage. Every time she is asked to be a bridesmaid, the wedding doesn’t happen, and this has her questioning marriage – what it means and if it is the destination of all loving relationships.

What I Enjoyed:

I enjoyed the lack of tropes in this story. I was expecting a light and funny trope-filled tale, and what I sat down with ended up being a lot more complicated. This story almost thumbed its nose at the traditional stories and instead offered up something as complex as any relationship or marriage will ever be. It asked the questions that I’m sure many 20 and 30 somethings in a committed relationship ask – does love always have to end up in marriage, and if someone doesn’t follow through on marriage, does that mean they didn’t have a love-filled relationship? Can love and marriage exist separately, or must they be paired in a long-term relationship? The answers to these questions will be different for everyone, as they are for the characters in this story.

I also enjoyed that the story’s pace remained quick without fail, even during the in-between times. I stayed focused and read the book very quickly without skimming or skipping…well, that’s not entirely true…it has some very steamy scenes that did not hold my interest, and I did skip through those scenes. Steamy sex scenes are not my thing when it comes to reading or even watching movies and shows. So, the fact that I skipped through them is no reflection of the writing, just of my lack of patience with steamy scenes. 


Zoey Marks is the main character, and the story is told from her perspective. I can’t say that I could relate to her because I really couldn’t. I can’t say that I liked her because I really didn’t. But, I can say that I found her fascinating enough that my focus never waivered as I read Bad Luck Bridesmaid. She reminds me of the loud extroverts in life that I, generally speaking, avoid at all costs but that I also can’t help but analyze from a distance. She is that gal.

Reminds Me Of:

Bad Luck Bridesmaid is a fresh new look at a rom-com that does have its bits of humor and lots of fun witticisms but is in no way the typical story that will give you the expected outcome.

So, it honestly reminds me of no movie or book that I have watched or read.

What I Wish:

Everything about this story says RomCom – the cover, the title, even the quoted reviews – but, even though it has its funny moments and is wonderfully witty – I don’t think it’s a romcom because you can’t expect all those things, as a reader, you expect to find in the genre. So, I wish that it had a title, cover, and quotes that had all pointed out that it’s more of a Women’s Fiction story or even Contemporary Fiction, rather than any subgenre of romance.

To Read or Not to Read:

If you are looking for a Contemporary Fiction reflection on the value of marriage for everyone, look no further. This witty and intelligent look at the institution of marriage will have you laughing and arguing (or agreeing) with Zoey Marks with each turn of the page.

My Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

23 Replies to “Bad Luck Bridesmaid by Alison Rose Greenberg #BookReview #WomensFiction”

  1. I still wish the story and description matched, but I have to agree that it’s a refreshing look at relationships and marriage. With more people questioning whether marriage or even monogamy is for them, this really has the potential to help them consider that decision. And, yes, the lack of tropes was really nice!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t often come across stories that approach marriage quite like this one did. I found that kind of fascinating to consider.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oof, it’s tough to get through a read when you don’t like the main character! I had this one on my TBR and I like the idea of it exploring the institution of marriage, but I’m also getting the impression that I would probably struggle with it for the same reasons you did! 🤔 Good to know all of this in advance if I do decide to pick it up though! Great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think if it had been marketed as Women’s Fiction, it would have made a big difference. But, when you’re expecting one thing and get another, it’s just too jarring. And yes, the main character has a very strong personality.


  3. It sounds like this turned out to be a thought-provoking read. Excellent review, Tessa! I may add this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s very interesting- it’s just not a light romcom. It’s almost the opposite of a romcom.


  4. Sometimes it’s hard for me to enjoy a story when I don’t care for the MC – especially if they’re the loud extroverts (that I also tend to avoid, lol). Great review, Tessa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was hard for me to understand her decisions. They seemed utterly crazy to me. But so does being a loud extrovert. 😂

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  5. Interesting. The post today on the Story Empire blog is about reader expectations based on cover, title, blurb, etc., and how writers have an unwritten contract (with the reader) to deliver content based on those perceptions. Sounds like this one strayed a bit off that path!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This would have been an excellently example of a “don’t do this.” I’m not sure why the wonderful people at St. Martin’s Griffin chose to market it in a way that said romcom. I think it does the reader and the book a total disservice.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m finding a lot more stories presented as romantic comedies end up being more meaningful, more life contemporary fiction. Excellent review, Tessa💜


  7. Probably not the story for me, but I appreciate that it’s not the sappy, silly, trope-y story we’d expect. I echo Mae’s sentiment about the cover and blurb being misleading and violating the implied contract, though. Thanks, Tessa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely not a silly trope-y story. Its look at marriage is really quite evocative. Very interesting 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Nice review Tessa. I’ve seen mixed reviews for this. I’m glad you found some things to enjoy in this story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t like it when I expect a romcom and get something that is neither romantic nor funny. But, it is a compelling story with a main character that is such my opposite in so many ways that she intrigued me.


  9. Excellent review Tessa. From the cover and title, I would have thought rom-com. I am glad it had some meat to it, but too bad it was unexpected.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never like when the marketing and the content don’t match up. It’s like buying an apple and finding grapes in the bag instead. I enjoy both but was anticipating the apple.

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