I absolutely loved Jennifer Johnson is Sick of Being Single by Heather McElhatton.
Jennifer is perfectly imperfect--filled with sarcastic cynicism, smart, slightly overweight, a good friend, in default on her credit card debt, addicted to Cinnabons, trying to meet someone through online dating, a tad shallow, and a creative writing major working as a copywriter in the marketing department at a family-owned department store. I want to be her friend!!
Yup, she's the Americanized (Minnesota) version of Bridget Jones.
In the midst of preparing for her younger sister's wedding, Jennifer receives an invitation to her ex-boyfriend's upcoming wedding. Double whammy.
And then she meets Brad Keller, heir to the department store, eligible, and extremely interesting. And interested back in Jennifer? Apparently so.
Here's a snippet from when Jennifer meets Brad in the department store elevator. He's still wearing the full-face ski mask and red parka he had on when he approached her a minute or two earlier in the parking lot:
"You're late? Well, I'd hate to make you late." I get on the elevator. "Besides, I have pepper spray." I put my hand menacingly in my purse, grabbing a firm hold of what I think is a small yellow tube of Burt's Bees shimmer lip gloss. I have no idea where my pepper spray is. I think it's at home under the sink.
"Soffy," he says.
"Great. You're sorry. Take the ski mask off then. You look like some pervert who likes to watch women buying pantyhose. Now I said 'pantyhose.' My day is ruined. Happy?"
He blinks and then, with great effort, lifts his giant, red sausage arms and pulls off his ski mask. His hair stands on end and he smoothes it down with an open palm. "Already off on the wrong foot," he smiles, looking down.
My eyes fly wide open and I quickly look at the toes of my boots. My cheeks burn with embarrassment.
I clear my throat and take another quick peek. He's North Woods, chiseled-jaw, George Clooney-playing-Paul Bunyon stunning.
So what happens when Jennifer has the chance at everything she thinks she wants? Tons of money, a gorgeous man, a fantasy life of never having to work again. . . .
Did your mother ever warn you to be careful what you wish for because you just might get it? Mine has, more than once, and I've been on the receiving end of learning that what I thought I wanted wasn't necessarily a very positive experience in reality.
I don't want to give any spoilers, but I had the same experience at the end of this book as I did when my all-time favorite t.v. series, The Sopranos, ended. In both cases, my initial reaction was, "No, please no. You can't leave things like this!" Then, after waiting a couple of days, my thoughts changed to, "No, I'm the one in the wrong, the ending is perfect. That's a life-like ending."
That being said, I never want to see a movie continuation of The Sopranos, though I would love to see what's happening in Jennifer's life five or ten years in the future in a second book.
My overall personal rating of Jennifer Johnson is Sick of Being Single is an A.