An Anti-Romance Rom Com
The (Anti) Wedding Party Book Cover The (Anti) Wedding Party
Lucy Knott
Contemporary Romance
Bloomsbury Publishing
March 14, 2024
Ebook, Paperback

It's the biggest day of their best friends' lives... and they might just ruin it.

Andi hates weddings. So when her best friend Alex tells her she's getting married in Italy, and asks her to be her maid of honour, she knows she's the wrong woman for the job. But Alex won't take no for an answer, and so begins a week-long trip to a beautiful villa in Italy, full of potential disasters that it's Andi's job to avoid. But what if she's the one causing them?

Enter Owen, fellow wedding-hater, Best Man and also the worst person for the job. Tall, sexy and warm, Andi can't help but feel the ice around her heart begin to melt when he's around. But as Andi and Owen grow closer, the disasters begin to multiply, try as they might to keep them at bay. Together, can they put their feelings aside and pull off a successful wedding for those they love most?

A contemporary rom-com nestled in the beautiful Italian coast

The (Anti) Wedding Party by Lucy Knott is a romantic comedy nod to those people in our lives who just don’t “do” weddings. A person like Andi, a 34-year-old fish and chip shop co-owner who caught her fiancée making out with her maid of honor in the bathroom on her wedding day. Fast forward three years later and Andi’s best friend, Alex, announces that she is getting married to her long-term girlfriend, Charlie. Yet this isn’t just a quick “I do.” Alex and Charlie are inviting their friends and family to a week-long wedding extravaganza on an Italian coastal villa. Seeing no way to get out of it, Andi bites her tongue and boards the plane to Naples.

“If there’s one thing I strongly dislike more than an overcooked cod, it’s weddings.”

Photo of the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Credit Georgi Kalaydzhiev on Unsplash.

When Andi arrives in Italy with the rest of the wedding party, she meets the best man, Owen. Owen is also someone who dislikes weddings, and he and Andi quickly hit it off with their shared distaste for romance. Owen, as an MMC, is adorable. He’s a burly woodworker who carefully crafts bespoke coffee tables or eclectic furniture out of recycled wood. The way to his heart is through his stomach; Andi and Owen seemingly eat their way through the week without regret. Throughout the story, you see Owen as someone who is not romantic but who is sweet and thoughtful in his own way. He takes an instant liking to Andi and falls pretty fast for the romance-adverse MFC.

Andi, on the other hand, I just couldn’t get behind until maybe the last chapter or two of the book. Knott wrote Andi as a pragmatic and controlling person who is also anxious and easy to upset. I think Knott really wanted to highlight how uncomfortable Andi was with the whole wedding weekend. The story is told from Andi’s POV and a lot of time was taken to describe her as perpetually hot and sweating, with a stomach that was always spinning or flopping or grumbling, and a heart that races, pounds, or plummets in her chest. I felt uncomfortable for Andi as I was reading from her perspective, and it ended up being more distracting than helping me to make a connection with the character.

What Knott really does well in this book, though, is capturing the landscape and food of the Amalfi Coast. If you’re a foodie — especially one that enjoys fresh Italian cuisine and cooking — your mouth will water at the many meals that are shared among the characters. Fresh Italian cheeses and meats. Pastas in savory sauces. Rustic desserts and limoncello. I seriously wanted to be one of the characters, with an Italian nonna slapping me on the back, yelling “Mangia, mangia!

Overall, The (Anti) Wedding Party is a typical rom-com with a lot of foodie flare. The premise is a good one but, unfortunately, the main character development was not as strong as I would have liked it to be.

This book was provided in exchance for an honest review graphic