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Declaring Spinsterhood by Jamie Lynn Braziel

Declaring Spinsterhood

by Jamie Lynn Braziel

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After a crushing heartbreak and some complete dating disasters, Emma Bailey is fed up with the dating scene. Thirty years old and ready to declare herself a spinster, her mother is unwilling to accept her decision and is constantly trying to set her up on blind dates. Emma's only solace from her maddening mother is her best friend and neighbor, Brian. How could Emma possibly get through life without him there to share evenings of Chinese food and Cary Grant movies? Everything in Emma's life is running smoothly until Brian finds himself a serious girlfriend, and Emma finds herself unhappily solo.

I can sum up this book in one word: Predictable. Painfully so. If you couldn't pull together the outcome of the book based on my summary, you're daft! The characters were fairly shallow and cliché- the nagging mom, the teasing brother, the oblivious dad, and the arrogant prick of an ex. That said, Declaring Spinsterhood was cute. It's no epic love story or future Nicholas Sparks-esque movie, but it provides some light entertainment for the few hours it takes to read.

Emma and Brian are funny and cute together, and their dating horror stories are ones which most people can relate to. Many women can relate to having the meddling mother, but the author seems to exaggerate a bit (really though, if you found out what your daughter's ex did to her, would you push her to get back together with him, simply so she'd have a boyfriend???). The characters of Emma and Brian were fairly well developed, although sometimes Emma's personality didn't sync well with her actions. She comes across as timid and easily influenced when she's with her family, but she's simultaneously out getting her concealed carry license so she can better protect herself. What woman with marksman skills at the range is a total push-over?

The writing was very simple, and in many instances quite rushed. Characters would often make a decision to go do something and with no transition, they'd be off doing it in the next line! For a mostly lighthearted book, there is one part towards the end that seems rather out of place and violent. From the beginning of the book, Emma and Brian's feelings for each other were glaringly obvious to the reader, and the author seemed to feel it was necessary for Emma to be nearly killed for the characters to have that "Aha!" moment. A "Speak now or forever hold your pe--" "STOP THE WEDDING!" moment would have been more believable!

All in all, predictable and uninventive. If you like a light-hearted read for a day at the beach or on the plane, this is a good one. It's not going to win any awards, but it will entertain you for a bit. ( )
  VaBookworm87 | Aug 13, 2011 |
I want to call this book what I would consider to be one of my perfect beach reads without that sounding completely insulting. Some people see "beach reads" as one of those smutty romance novels that you take to the beach in paperbook format to read without guilt - and if you get some sand in the pages, then no problem. However, my definition is a little different. I love the beach and consider the beach to be a very romantic place. With that mindset, what I consider a good beach read is a great romance that can be read with an equally great back-drop -- like the beach. The beach just gives it that extra something that makes it that much better for me. So, that's what Declaring Spinsterhood is for me - a great romance book that I want to read with the ocean roaring at my ears, the sun warming my skin with the sand squishing between my toes. Absolute perfection, really.

The narration of this book makes it easy to read and very easy to follow. Emma is a great character to read about, full of life and spunk. She served the book well with her sparkling personality and intense free spirit. I love her drive and determination, especially how she keeps on keeping on when things seem to not go a certain way. Brian is an amazing friend and so much more. Emma's mom is... well, not exactly the greatest person in the world, but she serves her purpose in the book. As a matter of fact, all of the characters shine in this book serve as small pieces to the puzzle that is this book, clicking together perfectly.

The romance is kind of sudden, yet not really surprising at all. It really heats up the pages afterward, but the love scenes stay very G-rated - so, it's not one of those smutty books you have to hide from the world. Actually, it's quite the opposite... you'll want to share this with most of the world once you're done.

I think the only thing I can say is that the dialogue gets a little lengthy at parts, but besides that.. it's brilliant. It's a great read for all of my Contemporary Romance readers out there. You won't be disappointed. ;) ( )
  missyreadsreviews | Jul 17, 2011 |
(103) ( )
  activelearning | Jun 2, 2011 |
Emma Bailey is a smart attractive woman, she owns her own children’s bookstore has great friends and a supportive if not wee bit overbearing family. But when it comes to love, she’s a walking talking cliché, you know the one’s unlucky in love, always a bridesmaid etc., in fact if it weren’t for her interfering mother setting up a string of bad blind dates, she might not have a love life at all. After a painful breakup she’s entirely too dependent on her next door neighbor best friend Brian and now that he’s dating leaving her feeling old maid-ish she’s decided to “Declare Spinsterhood” and just put an end to dreaming about her very own Happily Ever After.
In her first novel Jamie Lynn Braziel gives us a lighthearted look at one woman’s fight for life liberty and the pursuit of happiness how she sees fit, she also adds some tense moments in the novel that come quite unexpectedly and really give the read more oomph. She uses down home Texas twang to give her characters the real deal feel of the Lonestar state and uses narrative that is easy to read, easy to follow and informative to her readers and even though the dialogue tends to drag in a few places it does not hurt the enjoyment of the novel and I’m sure that once this author feels more confident in her writer skin she’ll excel in this as well. Her characters are real stars of her show and they all are not only interesting but intricate pieces of this plot puzzle and as the pieces fall into place the characters get even better. Her heroine Emma is a bright light, a funny enigmatic girl who reminds me a little of The Unsinkable Molly Brown as she just keeps keeping on no matter what’s happening around her. Her other stand out characters in this novel are the best friend Brian, Emma’s workmate and friend Kathy and the mother from Hades. The romance will come up on you all of a sudden although by the time it gets here you won’t be surprised, but I won’t mention the hero because it’s the journey that stands out and I wouldn’t want to ruin that for any reader. The love scenes are G rated and would not offend any reader and yet it’s not because of prudishness or any Victorian ideals it’s just simple choice of the character and it’s really refreshing, and not to worry for those fans who like sensuality in their reads the kisses in here will heat up the pages.
Fans of Susan Mallery or Jennifer Crusie would like this author, fans of realistic life situation romance would like this read, contemporary romance lovers of simple genre romance too. So do yourself a favor and give Ms. Braziel a try, you won’t be sorry you did. ( )
  dhaupt | May 20, 2011 |
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"Emma Bailey is fed up with the dating scene, and if she hears her mother nag one more time about getting married...well, she's had it, and she wants everyone to know it. In a moment of clarity (or insanity?), she announces to the world that she will never marry. No husband, no kids; no worries about diapers, driving lessons, or divorce...But what happens when an avowed spinster, the woman who had supposedly tucked her heart into a safe little space, suddenly realizes that her best friend Brian means more to her?"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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