Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Book Review: Previously Engaged

I have been looking forward to the release of Elodia Strain's new book Previously Engaged. I really enjoyed her first book The Icing on the Cake, to which Previously is a sequel. Strain's uncle's cousin's wife's (something or other relative) lives in my ward and chose Icing as a book for our RS book club. And when I heard from the self-same relative that a sequel was on the way I knew I would be buying it.

The story line of these two books follows character Annabelle Pleasanton, a magazine journalist with a love for affordable fashion and delicious food. In Icing Annabelle falls for handsome Isaac Matthews, a free-lance photographer with a fear of relationships. At the start of Previously Annabelle and Isaac have now been dating for nine months and it appears a proposal may be coming soon. When Annabelle wins a $50,000 wedding package things appear to be going better than she ever dreamed. But complications arise in the reappearance of an old boyfriend and a job promotion.

The thing I love best about Strain's writing is Annabelle's accessibility. She is really easy to relate to and often talks to her readers. For example, this paragraph is a good example of similar comments sprinkled throughout the book:

"Okay, reader, you and I know I didn't exactly walk into the room. But now didn't really seem the time to tell Isaac about how I stormed in and started chucking beauty products. All in due time my friend; all in due time."

Most of the time it is as though Strain is able to read my mind as a reader and these comments readily connect with me and make Annabelle endearing.

Additionally, Strain's writing is very funny. There are several laugh-out-loud situations in both Icing and Previously (my most favorite one in Previously is Annabelle getting clonked on the head by a female hockey player when trying to catch her best friend's wedding bouquet!). I know I will be reading both of these books again in the future on days when I need a little pick me up.

In fact, the only thing I did not like much about Previously was the cover; not that it is bad, but it lacks the brightness Annabelle Pleasanton's character deserves. The cover of Icing was much better.

Scripture of the Day: D&C 138:39


  1. You are such a great book reviewer. The only bad thing about reading your reviews is they always cost me money.

  2. Oh I want it!!

    I saw this at the book store last time, picked it up but had to put stuff back like always cuz I have to stick to some sort of budget!! LOL

    I really wanna read it now!


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