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I Do (But I Don't)    by Cara Lockwood order for
I Do (But I Don't)
by Cara Lockwood
Order:  USA  Can
Downtown Press, 2003 (2003)
Paperback, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Hyper-organized wedding planner Lauren Crandell's life is a mess. She's great at her job; she handles wedding problems and mishaps with barely a blink of an eye. Dog chews a hole in the wedding dress? Lauren can solve that. Psycho ex-girlfriend shows up dressed exactly like the bridesmaids? No problem. However, when it comes to her personal life, even the advice of multiple friends and family members doesn't make her see the error of her ways. Divorced and under thirty, Lauren sees marriage through rose colored glasses and wishes she had a relationship of her own. Lauren has more strength than she gives herself credit for, yet she cannot believe her qualities appeal to a decent man.

At the first of two weddings she coordinates on a Saturday in June, the skydiving groom lands in a tree and is rescued by hunky firefighter Nick Corona. Sparks fly between Lauren and Nick, but she runs off to the next wedding before they can be introduced. When the bride at the second ceremony becomes involved in a fight and is knocked out, Nick charges to the rescue a second time. Through various turns of event, Lauren ends up planning the wedding of snobby Darla Tendaski. It appears Darla is engaged to ... Nick? Why does Nick continue to pursue Lauren if he is already committed?

I Do (But I Don't) features a lively cast of characters. Lauren's spunk and wit drew me right into the story. As a wedding coordinator myself, I found Cara Lockwood's accounts of weddings both true to life and hilarious. The first person point of view gives a conversational tone that adds to the humor. The reader will root for Lauren to find love and fulfillment, and will keep guessing to the very end which couple will wind up together. Lauren's best friend Diane adds a voice of reason to her crazy world, their conflicting views ultimately teaching both of them about what matters most in life.

If you want a fast-paced romance with well drawn characters, you can't go wrong with I Do (But I Don't). Light enough to be called chick lit, it has enough substance to satisfy anyone looking for an interesting plot. Pick it up today and say I do!

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