August 12, 2011

Retro Friday (18) - I Did (But I Wouldn't Now) by Cara Lockwood

Retro Friday
Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time! 

For this week I chose I Did (But I Wouldn't Now) by Cara Lockwood, which was first published in 2006 and is the spin off I Do (But I Don't).

I Did but I wouldn't Now
At First Sight: Lily has always been the unreliable, flaky sister - particularly when compared to her older sister Lauren who is a successful wedding planner - so no one is surprised when she up and marries Ted Dayton, an up and coming musician, after only a few weeks of knowing him. And people are even less surprised when, a couple of years later, she finds herself in the middle of a nasty divorce.

With assault chargers pending over her head, forty thousand dollars in debt and tabloids running pictures of Ted (who is now a rock star) and his new gorgeous actress girlfriend 24/7; Lily decides to visit her best friend and former boyfriend, Carter, in London.

There she gets a momentary reprieve from the tabloids - though her lawyer isn't letting her forget her court date- and she's happy to let her fate up to a set of tarot cards - since she figures they can't be any wore than she is at making decisions.

But when Carter convinces her to volunteer at the hospital he works at, Lily soon has more to occupy her mind with, like Brigid - Carter's psycho girlfriend - and the fact that she's not being linked to UK football start Sean Gates.

Second Glance: I so had been looking forward to reading Lily's story, though I was a little worried about it too. In I do (But I don't), Lily came off as the type of person who always got away with stuff; she jumped into things without a second though, expecting others to pick up her messes.

But in I did (But I wouldn't now), life has finally caught up with Lily: she's broke, her husband doesn't want her anymore, and the only one willing to take her in is Carter.

In some ways, Carter is the one who got away, but he's also her best friend.  Carter is far from perfect, in fact, he tends to check out the rational part of his brain whenever he's at the beginning of a relationship (basically, sex makes him stupid), plus he's a womanizer, a coward and has a very low threshold of pain.

Still, he is a surprisingly good friend - and it sort of threw me off whenever Lily called him toxic, because aside from the "sex makes him stupid" thing, he was supportive and kind to Lily. I had a bit of trouble buying him as a romantic interest, because he is very cowardly - though, to his credit, he gets what a "Big Gesture" is supposed to be like, and acts accordingly when the occasion arises.

There is also a large cast of supporting characters - among them Carter's roommate Ian,  Sean and Tanya Gates, Arnold the overweight pup, and even Lauren and her son Tyler and husband Nick making surprise visits - who keep things interesting.

Bottom Line: I did (but I wouldn't now) it's funny, engaging and witty. Lily turned out to be a great narrator, as she tells her story with Ted and with Carter and how she's handling things now. I wouldn't call it a romance novel, this is definitely more of a chick-lit story, but I still recommend it.

Favorite Quote: "People think they know the difference between hate and love, but most of the time you just can't tell." - Fran.

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