Review of The Groom Wanted Seconds by Shirley Jump

So I’ve looked at the books I’ve downloaded onto my Nook and Kindle app (all I got for free, I’m too cheap right now) and I have 272 books. This count doesn’t include my short story, a double of one of the books, the books by Mark Coker that I downloaded, and the Nook Guide. And that’s just ebooks. I have about twenty print books I need to read (times that by 5 and that’s how many I have in New York that I need to read still). So while I’m writing, I will be trying to read all these books and ignore my addiction to downloading more. I started with an ebook, and next I’m going to read Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks (one of the print ones, but this one I borrowed from my mom). And with each book I read, I’m going to leave a review here and on Goodreads.

So the first ebook that I read was called The Groom Wanted Seconds by Shirley Jump. This one was on my Kindle app. It’s a fairly short book, only 83 pages according to Goodreads, and it really took me no time at all to read it. I’ve already left my review for it on Goodreads, but because I finished it at midnight last night when I was already cranky, I wasn’t exactly nice. You can find that review here.

In the story you first meet Jeremy. He’s a new college graduate and is an engineering intern at this company that he’s dreamed of working for for years. He’s all bent out of shape because he misses his ex girlfriend, Rebecca, who left him at the beginning of the summer (the book takes place in September, I think). He misses her and is very confused as to why she left. After she left him, she goes to Indiana for the summer to erase him from her mind and put some distance between them. Jeremy then decides to drive by her mom’s house and see’s that Rebecca has come back home. For some reason, he decides it’d be a good idea to knock on her door to talk to her and try to piece their relationship back together. She, of course, denies his request and closes the door on him. Rebecca then reveals behind the closed door that she still loves him and she didn’t expect him to arrive on her doorstep the day she comes back home. The book continues on in this manner. They randomly meet at their old haunts, he sends her dozens and dozens of roses, and he continuously tries to regain her affection and she continuously tells him no. About halfway through, they run into each other, and she reveals that he still doesn’t know her and still hasn’t said the words she needs to hear. He remains confused for a little bit, until his epiphany hits him, and he changes into a completely new man. She’s surprised and excited that he’s what she needs him to be now, but still won’t get back together with him because of what happened over the summer. In the end, they talk things out, and they finally get back together.

All in all, I did not like this book. I do read romance and I tend to like them, but I don’t like this one. Let’s start with Jeremy. I actually liked his character for the most part. He’s they typical romance hero, makes a lot of mistakes with the girl but doesn’t know what he’s doing wrong and thus, can’t fix it. Then the hero comes to a realization/epiphany and pulls his head out of his butt and becomes what he needs/she wants him to be and they get married or whatever. Jeremy is a smart college graduate at the age of 23, with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in engineering (which I was confused on because master’s generally means you graduated at the age of 24). He lands an internship at his dream job, where at the end of six weeks, only one of the five (maybe six) interns will be picked. And then at the end, he is strongly portrayed as a man who’s realized his mistakes and is trying to turn his life around, even if he can’t have Rebecca in it. I really like his character, but I do have a complaint. His epiphany. Ms. Jump shows through his thoughts, that he suddenly realizes what he should have been telling the woman he loves and changes his behavior to be more agreeable, but that’s it. She doesn’t show any struggles that he might have gone through in any way, she doesn’t show any range of emotions he might have felt about it all, and he just changes into a completely different person with no action. But other than that, I really liked him, even if he did seem somewhat pathetic at times.

I didn’t really care for Rebecca. In the beginning, Jeremy ruffled her feathers a bit, causing her to be nervous and shaken, but she didn’t really seen like she loved him still. When Jeremy starts to send her roses, she has almost no feeling for him. It even says, “Nothing wrong with any of them, Rebecca thought. It was just that when she looked at the flowers, she felt…. Nothing. Maybe it was because she had closed off her heart long ago.” I would like to point out that it wasn’t long ago. A guy broke her heart over the summer, so really, it was only like a month. Maybe two. And then towards the end, after they have the big ‘fight’ scene that kick starts Jeremy’s epiphany, she decides she loves him so much that she’s having a hard time not falling back in their couple’s routine. At the end, she does realize that she doesn’t really know what she wants, which makes sense, but I didn’t gather that while I was reading up to that point.

This is a clean romance, meaning no sex. But a large amount of the feelings that the characters talked about, stemmed from their adult hormones. Both of their bodies constantly ached for each other and they both wanted each other to touch them. All. The. Time. If you’re gonna talk about it, then do it. Otherwise, don’t talk about it. Plus, romance is about the heart. Not a person’s nether regions.

The things that really bugged me about the book was Jeremy’s age (if he graduated early, or if he was about to have his birthday, I would have liked to know that, but that’s just me), the gaps that would appear occasionally, the business Rebecca and her friends started wasn’t very unique in my opinion, and more time spent on the development of the characters and story line and the actual writing. The title bugged me the most. There really wasn’t a groom in it at all. And a groom wanting seconds makes me think of an egotistical guy who only cares about sex, in short, it completely turned me off, even as I was downloading it. It had a good plot and the beginnings of strong characters, but I have a feeling it was rushed to publication. This would have been an excellent read if Ms. Jump had done those things. I plan on reading more of her someday.

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