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The Importance of Being Married    by Gemma Townley order for
Importance of Being Married
by Gemma Townley
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2008 (2008)
Softcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

While visiting her grandmother at the nursing home, Jessica Wild struck an unexpected friendship with Grace, a darling old lady as different from her grandmother as night and day. With her grandmother gone, Jess still finds herself making regular visits to Grace. But Grace's fondest wish is for Jessica to find a man, experience romance, and live happily-ever-after – just like in all those romance novels she reads.

To keep Grace happy, Jessica invents a boyfriend. Grace is so thrilled, that soon Jessica's fantasy romance has exploded out of control. Before she knows it, she's spun a grand tale that involves her boss, Anthony Milton, becoming her fiancé and then her husband. But lies have a way of coming back to haunt you, and after Grace passes away, Jessica learns she inherited a fortune. Unfortunately, it's not Jessica Wild who's named on the inheritance, but Jessica Milton. And now Jess has only a few weeks to convince a commitment-phobic bachelor who never even gave her a second glance to slip a ring on her finger and say 'I Do.'

What a fun book! In a genre awash in clichés, it's delightful to read a story based on a unique, genuinely creative premise. Townley gives fans of the chick lit genre exactly what they crave: a flawed heroine, a fun plot, and a light, dialogue-laden writing style. Yet she enhances the book by giving Jess true character depth and tossing in a few unexpected plot twists for good measure. Although I guessed how the ending would unfold, this didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book as a whole.

Fans of British humor that stays true to the genre formula established by Helen Fielding in the Bridget Jones books will adore Jessica Wild. The next two installments in Townley's Wild trilogy promise even more excitement, fun and inescapable charm.

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