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The Nearly-Weds - Jane Costello

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Genre: Fiction / Author: Jane Costello / Paperback / 400 Pages / Book is published 2009-03-02 by Pocket Books

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    9 Reviews
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      22.08.2013 17:51
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      Light easy summer reading.

      This book is chick lit at its best. Easy to read...funny...covers lots of serious issues and although a little predictable, keeps you reading on and on to find out what happens.

      Zoe has been jilted at the alter and you find out snippets of exactly why this has happened as the book progresses.

      She has been working in a nursery and decides to go off to America as a nanny to get herself as far away as possible from the gossip surrounding her own wedding day. Can't say I blame her! How awful it must be knowing everyone is talking about you and wondering why the groom didn't turn up for his own wedding day!

      So Zoe talks us through the minefield of not only moving to another country but having to deal with two young children who seem to have no structure to their lives and then the bombshell that you are not working for a couple, as Zoe had been led to believe, but a grumpy bloke who seems to have no time for the new nanny or his own children.

      Ryan, the father, is of course dashingly handsome and fit which is enough to take Zoe's mind off what has happened at home.

      The story tells of how Zoe gradually makes some friends and how her relationship with the children and their grumpy father progresses over time and what happens when her ex gets in touch and wants her back.

      ~~~So what did I think?~~~
      I liked this book though it's not the sort of book I read all the time, as I would find it too predictable, but if you are after something that's easy to read with some laugh out loud moments, it's a great book. It covers lots of family issues and emotions and deals with them well. Probably a good holiday read as it's not too taxing on the brain!
      Really enjoyed it!

      ~~~A little about the author~~~
      Jane Costello lives with her three young sons and boyfriend in Liverpool. She was a journalist before becoming an author and Nearly-Weds is her second book. She is just in the process of writing her seventh and I would definitely look out for her other titles. These include: The Wish List, All the Single Ladies, Girl on the Run, My Single Friend, and Bridesmaids.

      The book can be purchased from Amazon for £5.75 though of course you could get it free from your local library.

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        02.06.2012 08:47
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        A very enjoyable piece of chick lit.

        Your wedding day is supposed to be the best day of your life and it's a brides' presumption that the groom will be waiting at the church when you get there so it came as a big shock to Zoe that the love of her life has no intention of marrying her and instead jilts her at the alter. It's bad enough having to get through that day but life afterwards can be hard with all the sympathetic looks and people dashing away not knowing what to say. Zoe comes up with solution though - fly across the world to become a nanny and forget Jason even exists... but is it really that easy?

        Zoe gives up her day job, her house and her entire life to set off to this fancy life in America with a rich couple who're taking her on an expenses free holiday in return for her looking after their well behaved children. There's a slight change of plan when she gets there though and instead Zoe enters the life Ryan, Ruby & Samuel - a family still hurting after the death of the woman in their life. Instead of the easy job Zoe had expected, she has to put up with kids that are used to watching tv and eating junk and a man who's more intent on working and socialising than spending any time with the kids. Zoe does have some light humour though in the shape of some other British nannies and soon classes them as her best friends.

        An accident at the lake and some news from home change everything for Zoe and it's very soon that she has some life changing decisions to make.

        The nearly weds wasn't at all what I expected and I can't say that's a bad thing. I'm not one for wedding plots, especially as some of them take over the entire story and you end up wondering why you've just planned someone elses wedding. This isn't the case for this book and it's injected with a reality that you find quite possible. Moving across the world seems like a good plan when you're trying to avoid someone but it's rarely that easy to leave your thoughts and mind behind.

        It doesn't only deal with the rejection from being jilted, but the effects grief can have on a family and the difficulties in dealing with it. It also looks at the difficulties in living so far away from home and the different rules in different countries - is it really that easy to remember you drive on the right?! It's not a serious book though and it's mostly a humorous tone with little tit bits that'll have you giggling out loud.

        It's not a long book and the chapters are relatively short in order to keep you reading so I finished this book in less than a day (much to my partners disgust!).

        My final words on it? It's fun, enjoyable, light hearted and easy to read. Excellent chick lit. I've bought the rest of her books so look out for the reviews :)

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        14.07.2011 19:06
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        Great chick lit book

        Zoe was all set to marry Jason - until he jilts her at the altar. Determined to get on with her life as best as she can, she heads to the States where she's landed a nanny job. Thanks to a slight change of plan regarding employers, she eventually finds herself working for hunky Ryan, who seems to have some serious mood swings and Zoe's accident prone nature doesn't help matters. It's not a great start to their working relationship and to make things that little bit worse, Jason gets back in touch just as Zoe is starting to get over him. Does he want to start again and could she ever trust him again?

        **MY THOUGHTS**

        I've previously enjoyed the books that I've read by Jane Costello and having read several very complimentary reviews, I snapped it up when I saw it on the shelves at my local library. As seems quite typical of the main protagonists in her books, Zoe is an extremely likeable character and one that I immediately took to. She's very down-to-earth, real and 'normal', which makes for a character that many readers will relate to even if you've not been left at the altar like Zoe. The writing style is chatty and informal, which helps to draw the reader into Zoe's world.

        The supporting characters are also good and most are well-rounded individuals. I wasn't particularly keen Ryan when he was first introduced but there's no denying that he's a realistic character in the context of his situation (I won't give anything away on that front!). The other nannies that befriend Zoe are also good characters and I found Zoe's mother extremely amusing and her personality shines strongly in her letters to Zoe.

        **RECOMMENDED?**

        All in all, this is a great chick lit book and if you're already a fan of Jane Costello, I'm sure that you'd love this one too. There are some funny moments in the plot and despite the fact that it's hardly an ideal situation that Zoe has found herself in, it's a pretty light-hearted book on the whole. As much as I enjoyed this book, I wouldn't say that it's my favourite book from the author (that would be My Single Best Friend, which I found hilarious) as there were times when it was just a tad too predictable towards the end (and if you've read the book, you'll know which parts of the plot I'm referring to). That said, I did really enjoy the book and found it to be a good read that I could easily dip in and out of. It's not taxing and there are no real plot twists to speak of but that's kind of what you expect from most chick lit books so it's not a criticism as such. If chick lit is your thing, definitely read this one!

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        15.12.2010 21:41
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        Excellent read for the beach

        I read this book on holiday a few months ago, and I actually really enjoyed it. I didn't think I would as I didn't really want to read a book all about weddings, although I love chick lit books, I'm not really into books all about weddings. This book was not all about the title at all, the main story couldn't have been more different.

        The story starts when the main character Zoe Moore gets stood up by her fiancé Jason on her wedding day, and she decides to go and get a job as a nanny in America to get away from her old life. The rest of the book is mainly about her adventure in America and only at the very end of the book does it come back to what the title suggests the book is about. I think the title is very misleading and off putting.

        Zoe takes a job as a nanny to Ruby and Samuel, and finds life difficult living with Ryan her boss - their father - as he has some issues which Zoe helps him come to terms with. I liked how Zoe had a great friendship which some other British nanny's she met whilst out there, and even though this story was very predictable, I couldn't put it down. I don't want to write anymore about the story line, as it is very predicable and I don't want to ruin it!

        The characters were all really realistic and believable. The book actually made me laugh sometimes and want to cry when Ryans story of what he had been through comes out. The book is really well written and I really like Jane Costellos style of writing. This is the first book by her I have read, and I will definitely be buying a few more of hers. I only bought this book just before I went on holiday as it was only £3.50 on amazon! I wasn't expecting it to be such a good read, but I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it if you love chick lits that are just easy to read and relate to whilst your relaxing on holiday!

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        11.08.2010 21:09
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        A funny, emotional and thought-provoking novel.

        I picked up The Nearly-Weds straight after reading another Jane Costello book, My Single Friend, because I loved that book so much. And I am surprised to say that I loved The Nearly-Weds even more! You really feel for Zoe right from the beginning of the book. She has been left at the altar by a man that she loves and wants to spend the rest of her life with. She feels as though she can't cope with the humiliation and speculation any longer so she hops on a plane to America where she becomes a nanny to two young children. The way that she copes with the rejection, and with the move to another country shows just how strong a character she really is. She has a real caring side to her nature, which is shown through her interactions with Ryan and his children.
        Ryan is another character that I loved. Although at the beginning of the book he comes across as a bad father, and as a bad person, it is easy to see that this is only because he is still grieving for his wife. I love the way that the relationship between Ryan and Zoe progresses through the story, with each of them having to come to terms with their own pain and grief before they can move on with their lives.
        Once again, Costello provides the reader with a great cast of supporting characters. Trudie, Amber and Felicity, the other British nannies living in the area, give Zoe a sense of belonging when she moves to a new country, and they all quickly become good friends. They support each other through all the troubles in their professional and personal lives as well as providing a lot of laughs along the way. The only character I did not like was Jason, the man who left Zoe at the altar. He comes across as cowardly and selfish and there were a couple of times that I felt as though he deserved a good, hard slap from Zoe.
        Although there are still lots of funny moments that I have come to expect from Costello's writing, for me The Nearly-Weds also covered a few heavy subjects as well, something that perhaps had been lacking from her other novels. These subjects include death and mourning, infertility, betrayal, and most importantly, the effect of losing a mother on two young children. This added a new depth to the writing and I think it was the balance between these painful subjects and the feeling of hope that comes across in the story that made me love this book so much.
        I am a huge fan of Jane Costello, and although I loved both of her other books, Bridesmaidsand My Single Friend, the book that really stands out for me is The Nearly-Weds. It made me laugh and cry and I just can't wait until her next book is released!

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          25.03.2010 11:44
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          An overall good book!

          As many people who read my reviews will already know, I do enjoy reading. I buy quite a lot of books and I am really quite fussy about the state of books as which is why I much prefer to buy them brand new rather than second hand (yes I am a book snob!) and so when I recently popped into my local branch of the PDSA to have a look at the books I really didn't expect to find any that would match up to my high standards as of course they are all second hand but, I was pleasantly surprised to come across a fair few that were in reasonable condition. After realising it was only 99p for two books I set about deciding which to buy and eventually decided on this as one of them.





          The author:
          I have never really noticed much about this author before, except I had heard of her other book 'Bridesmaids'. I think it was even on my list of books to buy ad still is in fact but, other than that I know she is an English author who lives in Liverpool. She is a former journalist who has written for the Liverpool Echo and The Daily Mail.





          The plot:
          We meet Zoë who is on her way to America having decided she needs a change of scenery after being stood up by her fiancée Jason on their wedding day. After taking what seems to be an ideal job as a nanny for a very rich family in Michigan she is looking forward to getting away and also looking forward to perks such as the trip to Bermuda next month that the family want her to accompany them on. This all soon changes though when Zoë reaches America to find out that she is now going to be looking after a family in Boston and after meeting sexy , yet moody single dad Ryan Miller, Zoë knows she is going to have a hell of a time living in the Miller household! The children Ruby and Samuel prove to be a bit of a handful as well and Zoë starts to wonder if she has made a mistake coming to America. Can she really go home though and face her ex and her family?




          Characters:
          Zoë is of course our main character and the author has created her to be somebody who is very likable and also a person we want to sympathise with. She is a great character as she comes across as somebody we can all relate too. Her uncertainty that she has done the right thing by moving across the Atlantic, having to deal with a difficult employer but, being also able to stand up for herself make her feel more real and I think that the author has also done really well to make the character work.
          The other main character we meet is her employer Ryan Miller who makes her job difficult to say the least! Ryan has been created to be one of those people that you easily get infuriated with and Zoë certainly does! The author has created a lot of other characters too but, without making it too confusing so that the story is plausible and more realistic. I think overall she has done a very good job with the characters and created some strong ones that make the book so enjoyable.




          Price:
          Of course I got a great deal by buying this in the PDSA as I paid just 50p really but, if you want your own brand spanking new copy then all the high street bookstores sell it and of course there is good old Amazon too where you may be able to pick it up cheaper or of course you can try eBay if you're not fussed about it being brand new!



          Overall opinion:
          I got into the book very easily and before long I found I was quite upset every time I had to put it down for whatever reason! The story is so easy to get into because Zoë is such a likable character and very down to earth that it is easy to see her as a real person rather than just a character in a book. The author has managed to add humour into the book too which is quite subtle but, brings a nice edge to what otherwise could have been a very depressing story about a jilted woman! I really did enjoy the book - maybe not as much as some of my favourite authors out there but, I will still be certainly buying her first book and I also will be looking at her new book once it arrives in paperback as I believe she has a new one called 'My single friend' due out in hardback on the 16th of April 2010.

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            25.01.2010 01:04

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            An excellent slice of funny, feel good chic lit.

            I love Jane Costello, and when I got the chance to read this, I took it!
            Zoe Moore is shocked and humiliated when her fiance Jason jilts her at the alter, and immediately books tickets to America. Hiding from her tattered life, she takes a job as a nanny for five year old Ruby and her younger brother Sam. Their dad, Ryan, hardly notices their existence since their mum was killed in an accident, and the children are feeling neglected and attention starved.

            Zoe throws herself into cheering up the children and their lives, mainly to forget about hers, but as she bonds with the children she finds herself getting more and more frustrated with Ryan. When she finds a small group of British nannies to befriend, she thinks her new life is complete, but running away isn't as easy as she'd thought...

            This book is quite sad, both from the jilting and the death, but both Zoe and the children inject much needed happiness and keep it readable without tissues! There are some laugh out loud funny bits, and you'll find yourself crossing your fingers that things work out for Zoe.

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            20.10.2009 20:05
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            A fab read

            On the day of her wedding the last thing Zoe Miller expects is to be stood up, but that's exactly what her boyfriend Jason does. Unable to cope with everyone's sympathy and questions Zoe flees to America to be a nanny to a rich family. On arriving in New York, however, Zoe is told she will instead be heading to Boston to nanny R. Miller's two children, Ruby and Samuel. Zoe thinks R. Miller is a woman but he turns out to be a widowed husband named Ryan. The children love Zoe immediately but Ryan takes longer for Zoe to crack. What will happen, though, when Zoe's past catches up with her?

            I haven't read Jane Costello's debut novel, Bridesmaids, but after reading The Nearly-Weds I'll be trying my best to get my hands on it. The Nearly-Weds takes a well-worn plot: being jilted on your wedding day and turns it into a fabulous and funny read.

            It's told entirely from Zoe's point-of-view and Zoe is an immensely enjoyable character. Zoe reminded me of Paige Toon's female characters; being funny and ultimately quite clumsy. The writing is also similar to Paige's - it's simple to get into and has very funny moments interspersed with more serious moments. For example, Zoe shoots Ryan in the eye with a toy bow and arrow (hilarious!) but a few pages later, Samuel has a bit of an incident which was quite scary! Jane's writing captured me immediately and I was hooked, the book really was easy to follow and I just couldn't wait to get through it to see what happened with Zoe and the Millers.

            I thought Zoe was the perfect character to carry the story. She was witty but she was also human. She acknowledged her flaws which made her much more likeable. She seemed happy in her own skin and I just loved her. I thought Ryan and the kids were also great. Ryan came across a bit moody and distant but after a while he began to thaw and we saw who Ryan really was. Ruby and Samuel were great child characters. I love reading about children in books particualrly when they are written so well as Ruby and Samuel were. For me, the best part of the book was reading of Zoe and Ryan's changing relationship. Jane did that fantastically well and I had no idea what would happen next with those two. It was like being on a very enjoyable, but very topsy-turvy, rollercoaster.

            I also loved the inclusion of Zoe's British nanny-friends: Trudie, Amber and Felicity. They made quite a group. Trudie was by far the most involved and I thought she was brilliant. She also had hidden depths which surprised me. Amber amused me with all of her strange ways, I have to say. We're meant to think something is up with Felicity and I admit I had an inkling of what it was. The only other main characters were Jason, of course!, whom I disliked and Zoe's parents whom I loved. I could feel why Zoe's mum Helen was worried about her as any parent would. I also hoped that whatever it was that was wrong with Helen wasn't anything serious.

            The book is an incredibly easy read, with short, snappy chapters which move the book along well. There's hardly a chapter goes by without something stupid/funny happening. I loved that Jane decided to set the book in Boston rather than New York or LA as most authors do. I probably would have liked a few more descriptions of Boston itself though, but since Zoe was there to be a nanny it's to be expected she wouldn't venture too far away from the Miller household.

            I thought it was an incredibly enjoyable read. Yes, some might say predictable especially with what happens in the last 30 or so pages of the book but I was fine with it, and knew that ultimately Zoe would make the right decision! Sometimes predictability is a good thing and the fact is Jane writes so well it's easy to forget how predictable it may or may not be. This is well worth a read as it's immensely enjoyable. I just wish I had Bridesmaids so I could start it right now.

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              19.10.2009 22:12
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              Definitely one for all chick-lit lovers

              When Zoe is jilted at the alter by the person she thought she would spend the rest of her life with, she flees to America to rid herself of the pitying looks of those in her town. Taking on a job as a nanny, Zoe hopes to forget all about her thoughts of home and her recently left life.

              And the Miller family let her do just that. The two children, Ruby and Samuel, are the most precious things and instantly take a liking to their new nanny. Their single father, Ryan, on the other hand turns out to be a little more difficult to get on with. Absent from his children's lives for the majority of the day, a completely untidy house and an attitude that explains the number of previous nannies who've quit, he and Zoe just don't see eye to eye. But Zoe somehow manages to overlook his stinking attitude as his gorgeous looks make her knickers do a dance every time she sees him.

              But when eventually Zoe and Ryan begin to get on, the past decides to catch up with her and Zoe realises that she can't keep running from the past forever.

              ~ My opinion ~
              Zoe is the perfect main character - bright, cheerful, friendly and optimistic about her new life in the USA, despite her difficult past, which instantly made me feel sorry for her and in turn, like her and want her to get everything she wants from life. She is also a perfect character because she is prone to making a fool of herself, including flashing her Superwoman knickers to Ryan's colleagues and shooting her new boss in the eye with a toy bow and arrow. Accidents and embarrassing situations seem to find her wherever she goes and this makes her even more loveable.

              We don't see anything of Jason, the ex-fiancé, until near the end of the book so all we really know about him is that he ditched his wife-to-be at the alter, causing her heartache and humiliation, which does nothing but make you dislike him and think that Zoe is much better off without him. The other man in Zoe's life, Ryan, is a strange one. At first he seems very distant and isn't such a very nice person, leaving Zoe by herself with the children the moment she steps off the plane and never saying more than two grumpy words to her. But it's obvious that he only acts this way because of his troubled past and it's easy to see that there is chemistry between the two.

              Throughout the book Zoe has the support of her three new friends who all happen to be English nannies all working in the same town as her. Trudie is a fun and bubbly beauty who Zoe immediately hits it off with; Amber is a hippy chick who follows the relaxed religions she's found on her trips around the world; and Felicity is posh, uptight and snobby. But despite their differences, they somehow all manage to make a great group of friends.

              Although the story is a fairly predictable one (girl leaves guy, girl finds new guy, girl has to choose between the two, etc., etc.) it was still a fab read. Jane Costello is another brilliantly witty writer and I was kept laughing the whole way through, whether it was at something funny the children had said, the intense relationship between Zoe and Ryan, or the pure silliness of Zoe's personality. I was kept hooked throughout and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

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