cover image The Wedding Ringer

The Wedding Ringer

Kerry Rea. Berkley, $16 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-593-20184-8

Rea marries humor and pathos in her compulsively readable debut. Reporter Willa Callister’s world implodes after she catches her fiancé in bed with her best friend. She’s fired from her job when she stops showing up for work; moves in with her sister, her sister’s wife, and their three daughters; and finds humiliating work appearing as Princess Sparkleheart at the birthday parties of Columbus, Ohio’s most spoiled children. Forcing herself out of the house for coffee one day, she meets Maisie Mitchell, a sweetly awkward woman who wants her fiancé, Finn, to believe she has friends rather than just acquaintances—and offers to pay Willa $5,000 to be a bridesmaid. Willa needs the money so she accepts the gig—and soon their friendship is anything but pretend. Along the way, she meets Finn’s best friend, pediatrician Liam Rafferty, and falls in love. But when Liam and Finn find out that Willa’s a ringer—and a dark secret from Maisie’s past comes to light—both relationships are thrown into jeopardy. Anyone who’s ever had a bad breakup will recognize themselves in Willa, and the charming Liam makes for a swoony hero. This heartfelt, beautifully characterized, and skillfully told story will make readers eager to see more from Rea. [em]Agent: Jessica Watterson, Sandra Dijkstra Literary. (Nov.) [/em]