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Monday, January 21, 2013

Bouquet Toss by Melissa Brown (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Melissa Brown, author of Bouquet Toss!

Author Guest Post

The inspiration for Bouquet Toss stemmed from my own romantic life. In my early twenties, all of my friends were getting married right out of college and I could barely find dates to their weddings. I never caught the bouquet, but was a bridesmaid so many times that it gave me the premise for the book. I was also lovesick and missing the boy who stole my heart in college. Mayson's character is based on him and the prologue of the book is an actual diary entry written at a time when I was finding it hard to move on. Daphne's cousin, Morgan, is based on my cousin Kelly. And there's a character in the book who's based on my husband... but, I can't tell you who that is. The actual story is complete fiction, but I did pull from my life quite a bit.

About The Author

Melissa Brown is a hopeless romantic living in the Chicago suburbs with her husband Chris and their two children. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading and baking. She also has a slight obsession with actor Henry Cavill and the TV show New Girl.

Melissa Brown ~ Bouquet Toss ~ Virtual Book Tour Page ~ Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours

Book Review

Bouquet Toss by Melissa Brown
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
Format: Paperback - 264 pages / Kindle - 429 KB
ISBN: 1479218685
ASIN: B00961NE20
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Chick Lit / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Bouquet Toss

BUY THE BOOK: Champagne Toast

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Ever since Daphne Harper graduated from college, all of her friends have fallen in love, become engaged and walked down the aisle. Be it a blessing or a curse, Daphne (a hopeless romantic and perpetual single girl) catches the bouquet at every single wedding she attends.

Daphne’s love life is a mess. Her first love, Mayson, haunts her heart and keeps her from pursuing happiness with any man who comes along. As she struggles to move on from the one who got away, Daphne wonders if she will ever break her curse and find her happily ever after.

Book Excerpt:

“Will this be lucky number seven, Daph?” Elise’s fiancĂ©, Henry, asks.

“If I catch it, yes,” I scowl at Henry. He and all of my friends love to tease me about my “gift” or “curse” of always catching the bouquet at weddings. In fact, in the past two years, I have attended six weddings. And of these six weddings, I’ve caught all of the bouquets. Every.Single.One.

The first time it happened, I really was trying to catch it. In fact, I almost elbowed the girl next to me because she started to get in my way. At that point, most of my friends were engaged. I really wanted to reach that stage in my life, so I dove for that sucker and caught it. I was thrilled. But, two weddings and two bouquets later, I was still single with no prospects in sight. So, I stopped making the effort.

It was when I quit trying to catch the damn flowers that things started to get interesting. No matter where I stood, those beautiful floral bunches found their way to me. At one reception, I purposely positioned myself in the far back, behind all the other single women. But, as one of the bridesmaids jumped to catch it, the bouquet bounced off of her left hand and landed right in mine. At another, I struck up a conversation with a bridesmaid to distract myself from the ball of roses coming at me. It was no use, though, as the bride gave it a perfect toss, right into my hands.

“I think it’s kind of cool, Daph,” Henry winks. He’s such a sweetheart and a great match for Elise. I adore him.

“I do, too,” my makeshift date, Rob, says. Elise and Henry have set us up for this event so that I wouldn’t be dateless (again). He’s not my type at all, but at least I don’t have to feel like everyone’s “Pathetic Single Friend Daphne” tonight. It seems that since we all left college, everyone has coupled off, but the stars haven’t aligned for me yet. I’m still waiting for my other half and I can’t help but wonder how many bouquets I’ll be forced to catch before he arrives.

I smile at Rob and begrudgingly make my way out to the dance floor. Holly, the bride, is waiting patiently for all of her single friends to gather before tossing the bouquet of roses. She looks a bit tipsy and positively giddy. A large group of young women congregates in the small space, and for a moment, I am hopeful that my curse may be coming to an end. Kristy, a striking brunette, finds me amongst the crowd of single ladies and stands uncomfortably close. Maybe I can pass it to her without anyone noticing and finally be free of this vexation.

The DJ starts the countdown and Holly tosses the bouquet behind her. Without warning, the red bundle of roses flies directly at my forehead before landing at my feet. I am mortified. The crowd gasps and the flower girls giggle as I lean down to pick up the bouquet from the parquet flooring below. In order to conceal my embarrassment, I raise the bouquet above my head and force a giant smile. Laughter and applause fill the room as I make my way back towards my table.

My Book Review:

Bouquet Toss is a true-to-life intense story that follows Daphne Harper on a long winding journey of finding the right man that will make her 'happily ever after' dreams come true. Daphne struggles in the dating world because she still yearns for her first and only love that has gotten away. She last saw Mayson Holt three and half years ago when they slept together a day before their college graduation, only to have him leave her without saying goodbye. Since that time, she has always been the bridesmaid but never the bride, and has a gift or curse for always catching the bouquet. In the past two years she has attended eight weddings and has caught the bouquet every time, even when she didn't try to catch it. Frustrated with her love life, Daphne has been set up on dates by her friends and even has resisted online dating because Mayson still has an emotional hold on her even after he has left her brokenhearted. While at her best friend Elise's wedding, Daphne runs into Mayson, and she wonders if this time she'll get a second chance with her first love and get that elusive happily ever after ending.

Bouquet Toss is a story about being able to move on from your past in order to get a second chance at finding love. In her debut novel, author Melissa Brown weaves an emotionally charged tale of love, loss and second chances that will pull at your heartstrings. Told in the first person narrative by the main character, Daphne Harper, the reader follows Daphne's emotional journey fraught with struggles along the way to finding love and getting her happy ever after ending. Filled with a lot of twists and turns, this story takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride, you can't help but feel the gamut of emotions as Daphne experiences the highs and lows of finding love. This story is definitely not your usual romance story, it is one that is intense and rings of reality that anyone can relate to when searching for that one true love, that special someone that will be a part of their happy ever after that every girl dreams about.

With a wonderful realistic cast of characters who the reader can relate to; engaging dialogue and intense interactions; and a storyline that is a mixture of heart wrenching and endearing; Bouquet Toss is a dramatically compelling story of one woman's journey of love, loss, letting go, moving on and learning to love again.



  1. Replies
    1. Hi Samantha! Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event. I really enjoyed reading this book! :)