Tia Jackson is the over-achieving still singleton of the five Jackson sisters. Her single spinster state is such an area of sensitivity for her that she routinely makes up imaginary boyfriends to keep her sisters off her back.
Melvin Reed is a neighborhood florist. Blue collar, bad boy, dangerous background who has been hankering after Tia for years. She however has never even noticed him. Until she ropes him into playing along as her boyfriend for her youngest sisters' wedding because she truthfully can't produce her supposed real boyfriend.
Not one to pass up a golden opportunity Mel enters into the deception, determined to make Ms. Jackson notice him finally.
This was very cute and there were some nice laugh out loud moments.
"Say that again?"
" I hooked you up." Margie shrugged. "I figured if you can't get it right, I'll have to do it for you."
"You have lost your mind."
She waved me off. "You know Ben who bowls with Chuckie?"
"Ben? Three-finger Ben?"
Margie shoots me a look from over her shoulder. "He's missing thumbs. The man has a disability, Tia. He has other fingers, though. And if he can still bowl atop 200 on average, that means he knows how to use what he got."
And I thought the jobs Tia gave her imaginary boyfriends (pilot, trucker, naval officer) were clever because it gave her good excuses to never produce them on demand.
But overall this book was kinda all over the place. First it was told in duelling first persons by Tia and Mel. This wouldn't have been too bad if they each got alternating chapters, for instance, but the POV shifted between paragraphs sometimes so you really had to figure out who the 'I' was in the sentence.
Second, I have come across many a book where a professional, grown, self-supporting, over-the-age-of-30-woman is treated like a child by overprotective man-folk. I am over that trope. Way over it. It is alive and well in this book. To be fair, Tia actually rejects it in the end using words very similar to my own above, but if I never see it rear it's head again in a book I'll be happy.
And lastly, while I enjoyed Tia's big, rambunctious over the top family there were a few times some of them veered into the area of out-right caricature. Her oldest sister Margie who actually starts out the book as colorful and interesting, over the course of the story just became shrill and shrewish. I actually made a note that said at one point she 'sounded like a ghetto harpy.'
All in all this was
a fun book. I just wish it was a bit more polished and the characters deepened a bit.