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Always the Last to Know (Always the Bridesmaid, #1)
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Always the Last to Know (Always the Bridesmaid #1)

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  1,129 ratings  ·  123 reviews
Wearing a Maid of Honor dress that very well makes the South want to rise again, Jess Reynolds is prepared to walk down the aisle at her best friend's wedding. It's just that things keep getting in the way, like a sex-crazed coworker, an annoying brother-of-the-bride, and a handsome and horribly charming friend posing as the Best Man. As it turns out, Jess might just be th ...more
Kindle Edition, 296 pages
Published July 5th 2011 (first published December 8th 2009)
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I really enjoyed this book. It was a freebie on Amazon so I wasn’t expecting much… but I had a great time reading it.

It’s a short, feel good book and just what I needed. It’s realistic and the characters could be any normal people. There weren’t any tortured characters with dark pasts, nobody obscenely rich and I didn’t want to strangle any of the characters due to stupid mistakes on their part. To sum it up I’d say it was refreshing.

I’d definitely buy Crystal Bowling’s next book (I’m hoping th

This was a delightful free read from Amazon. It had charm, wit and a healthy dose of humor.

Jess Reynolds is in full swing of her maid of honor duties for her best friend Carla's upcoming wedding. It wouldn't be so bad if she didn't have to be seen in a bridesmaid's dress "the Civil War era threw up on", dodge her mother's hints about finding a date in time for the wedding (because God forbid the maid of honor shows up without one), and trying to avoid Carla's attempts at hooking her up with the
Melissa Brown
Original review posted on

If I could use one word to describe this book, it would be this: adorable! I absolutely enjoyed every moment of this very quick and captivating story. As much as I love gut-wrenching stories that rip my heart out, I also love a great uplifting, funny and upbeat book from time to time. And this book delivered! The main character, Jess, is funny, self effacing, and downright hilarious. She is the Maid of Honor for her best friend, Carla. She h
3.5 stars. Very fast afternoon read. Yes there were a few grammatical errors but nothing as atrocious as some of the reviews make it sound. It was a free book. Light and yes... Maybe a bit predictable but it didn't make the story bad for it. After all, isn't that why we read these books anyways? Who wants a horrible ending? I don't really have sympathy for people who knowingly read chick lit and then complain about it being typical chick lit! It makes me laugh!
This was a free Kindle book that I got because the premise sounded okay and it turned out to be a really good book! I was surprised because free Kindle books tend to be on the cheesy, not-very-well-written side but once in a while, you find a gem and I found a gem in this book.

The characters were so dynamic and real and I just would really like to be BFF's with Jess right now. She was such an amazing, fun character. I loved the dynamic between Jess and Riley and sure, it was an extremely predict
This book was a free Kindle purchase, and with that, I normally expect a little less. Many of the free ones just lack the overall feel of a good book (characters, plot, etc), but with this one I was pleasantly surprised! There are some reviews out there that go on and on about the editing job of the book, but I think you can look past it. Reviews that go on and on about the wrong use of ____(insert English major's attempt to sound intelligent) just annoy me. It was probably self published and so ...more
Mimi Lovell
I got this book when it was free on Amazon. I really liked the idea of friends that become more..... That is actually my favorite kind of story line. And seriously, it ended up being my favorite book that I read in 2012. And I read about 100+ books this year. Jess is the best friend of the bride and Riley is the brother of the bride. They have that typical relationship where all they ever do is talk smack to each other and give each other so much crap, you wonder how they even stand each other. ...more
Paula  Phillips
Its Wedding fever time in Book #1 of Crystal Bowling's Always the Bridesmaid series as Jess's best friend Carla is getting married and it seems that everyone has a date except for her . Jess however hasn't got time to date since being Maid of Honour for her best friend's wedding seems to be taking up all her time and if that's not bad enough she has to suffer through wearing purple/ lavender as her friend wants a big Southerner themed wedding. Growing up it was always Carla, Jess and Riley - Ca ...more
Sally Malkowski
I LOVED this book and laughed outright throughout. Crystal Bowling writes in a delightfully refreshing upbeat manner about two people who grew up together. These two were so embroiled in repulsion of each other that they missed seeing ... their attraction to each other, while those around them took bets on when realization would set in . If you are looking for a deep read, this is not it. But if you're looking for a light summer read, grab Always the Last to Know and head for the beach!
Jun 25, 2015 Danielle rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Friends
Recommended to Danielle by: Free Ebook at
Shelves: crystal-bowling
Jess Reynolds and Carla Callahan have been best friends since childhood along with her idiot older brother Riley. Jess is now handling her Maid of Honor duties for Carla and Evan's upcoming wedding in a bridesmaid's dress that was from the 1800's era. Of course it would not be a very interesting storyline without some mishaps along the way building up to the wedding.

I loved how Crystal Bowling written the strong friendship and love storyline between Jess and Riley. The bannering back and forth
Two-haiku review:

She's maid of honor
Squabbling with the bride's brother
Good friends forever

Error in fourth line
Almost quit, glad I didn't
Amusing and fun
This one was really sweet!

I loved Jess and Riley together they had the perfect mix of fun, friends, and romance. Nothing ever felt rushed or forced but at times it was almost too slow. I felt like it kind of got drug out but not enough for me to want to stop reading. I thought it was sweet and it was worth the wait when they finally kissed.

Probably the one thing that kind of annoyed me was the abrupt ending. It really needed an epilogue, the story was moving fine and then bam it just ends. There
Super cute chick lite romance, fast read but made me laugh quite a bit.
Jess is the maid of honor for her best friend's wedding and forced into a terrible southern purple dress with ruffles, hoops and a parasol. The only consolation is Riley, her best friend's brother who she has known forever and he has to wear a purple tux with ruffles to walk his sister down the aisle.
Jess and Riley have a love hate intense relationship, their fights are epic. A little pushing leads them to feelings they didn'
This was an enjoyable contemporary romance. Crystal Bowling developed Jess and Riley's characters very well. They came across to me as "frenemies" who had grown up together because of being next door neighbors. Jess's best friend, Carla, is Riley's baby sister, so all three of them have a long history together. Carla is getting married and Jess is her maid of honor. Jess' self-criticsm and doubts could some times be annoying but it did help in her character development. This is their story and a ...more
Lovely funny book!
I was fully prepared to give this book 3 stars until I finished it. It ended so abruptly, I actually spent a few seconds swiping my finger on the screen, trying to turn the page to no avail. The first person perspective makes the grammatical errors everybody else was complaining about acceptable... I don't speak using perfect English, so the character speaking as she actually would made me comfortable with her character. Yes, it was predictable, but I thought it was a perfectly good little "beac ...more
Arianne The Bookworm on the Loose
I got this ebook for free from amazon and I must say, for something free like this, I had fun time reading it.

Oh, who am I kidding? I actually enjoyed reading this wonderful mix of romance and comedy!

Jessica Reynolds is bestfriends with Carla Callahan who was going to get married to Evan Winters. I’d say that Carla is some kind of a bridezilla who wanted everything organized, wanted to be in control of everything. But she is definitely a great dear friend to Jess.

On the other hand, Jess had be
Jess Reynolds has been friends with Carla since they were born, so it's no surprise that Jess is the maid of honor at Carla's upcoming wedding. Carla's a bit of an obsessive bride, but Jess weathers a neurotic bride with charm, humor, and a dose of insanity. The bride's brother, Riley, is a different matter all together. From the beginning, when the two of them are together, they are fighting like cats and dogs... and they've been spending plenty of time together lately. But Jess is starting to ...more
It wasn't utter drivel, but let's see: predictable plot (not in the good 'things better work out the way I want them to' sense, but the bad 'plot tried to be so mysterious in parts but I worked it all out in chapter one' sense), bad grammar, insufferably ignorant main character, and horrible attitudes toward homosexuality all in one. The only good thing about having read it is that it counts as part of my Day Zero Project.

Honestly, I didn't dislike Jess per se, but I didn't like her either. For
Oct 05, 2012 RacheltheRant rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 0
Recommended to RacheltheRant by: free on kindle
In the fashion of Kristy ConQueso, this shall be, most likely, a many gif'ed review, because words cannot explain the horrors this book holds. This is my first review, and, incidentally, the first book I read on my Kindle. So, here we go. Let's start off with a little introduction.

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Okay, that should be sufficient. Where to start with this book? Well, it was an easy read. Very easy. I finished it in a couple hours. Too, also, it was free. So.
Perhaps it's because I had nothing to do at work, but I cranked this out in a day. Or perhaps it's just because it's an uber-light read that is predictable but still cute at the same time. As with some of the other reviews, I agree that the editing in the book was rather sloppy. "I done some research earlier..." YOU DONE IT, HUH? The only reason I point that out was because it was near the end of the book. Not sure about anyone else's edition, but the sudden change in fonts was really weird too. ...more
To say I like this book would be a serious understatement. If I could give it 10 stars, I would! I Loved it so much, that it's not a stretch to say it's one of my all-time favorite pick-me-up romance stories.

Not only was I not able to put it down once I had started it, I have re-read the entire story at least 4 other times since them, and there's also a handful of chapters that I've loved so much, I've re-read them at least a dozen times!!

Crystal Bowling did such an amazing job in telling us ab
It's been a while since I read this book but I do rememeber that I liked it. I don't have a lot of details but thought just because I couldn't get to a computer to put the info in when finishing books at my grandmtohers it would be unfair to not rate any of hte books I read.
The description of the boook: Wearing a Maid of Honor dress that very well may cause the South to want to rise again, Jess Reynolds is prepared to walk down the aisle at her best friend's wedding. It's just that things keep g
3 1/2stars
it was very funny though it was sometimes weird to imagine a 22 yr old woman makin all those 80's and 90's pop references... just saying... most young people I know are clueless =/
but the banter between Riley and Jess was real fun to read
This was a cute, sweet story. I like Jess' spunk and her banter with Riley. There were a lot of typos which were somewhat distracting and referring to sex as "It" all the time was kind of tiresome, but overall it was a cute story and I enjoyed it.
Gypsy In Pearls
I really enjoyed this novel, and I cannot wait to start the second book in the series. The novel is a very cute and hilarious story of twenty something best friends who realize they have been in love their whole lives. The characters are great and very relatable. Overall, a great chick lit with a sprinkle of romantic comedy.
I don't know what it is with the couple of chic lit books I've picked up as of late, but every single one of them has the message that if you're x amount of pounds over being a size 4/6 .. then you're just not attractive and you can't see why any guy at all would be interested in you. REALLY? REALLY?

"Why would the hero of this book want me when he can get a pretty girl who fits into single digit jeans?" JFC. Headdesk. The heroine asks this a couple of times within the book. Because that's what
This story was nice. A very pleasant read, indeed. Once again I don't read much romance, but I found the characters to be more real than what I'm used to.

The storyline is kind of cute and I found myself smiling quite often. Of course, there is no big twist since pretty much everything is easy to understand from the get-go. But I think this is one occurrence of the idea of "it's the way what matters, not only the end". It was more enjoyable to witness things fall in place than only see the end r
I really liked the plot, and the execution of the budding realisation of love between Jess and Riley. It was sweet and slow, however, I would have preferred if there were an ending with a gesture or a witty line or SOMETHING that would have either made a conclusion or give the reader something to think about.

All in all, the plot was truly cute, and though the characters weren't necessarily deep, the overall story was good. I was only especially disappointed in the ending.

I'm giving it FOUR STAR
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