Book Review: "The Nearly Weds" by Jane Costello

What's the worst thing that could happen to a blushing bride? To somebody warm, loving, and fun - like Zoe Moore? When she finds herself jilted at the altar by her fiancé Jason, Zoe knows she doesn't deserve this heartache and humiliation. Unable to face the pitying faces of her friends and family, Zoe takes drastic action: she flees to America. Specifically, to Boston, where she takes up a post as nanny to five-year-old Ruby Miller and her little brother Samuel.

Ruby and Samuel have lost their mother in an accident. They may as well have lost their father, too, for Ryan Miller is so wrapped-up in his grief that he barely notices his two attention-starved children. As Zoe sets about tidying up Ruby and Sam's home, and injecting some fun back into their lives, she finds herself gaining their trust and love. At the same time, Zoe grows more and more frustrated with Ryan's bullying behaviour, and his shameful neglect. Whatever happened to the loving man she keeps hearing about from his neighbours? Zoe can't find any sign of him.

The only thing saving Zoe from despair is the small, close-knit group of British nannies who quickly befriend her. There's boisterous Trudie, man-mad but hiding a painful secret; Sloanie traveller Amber, who sports a Buddhist tattoo that, unbeknownst to her, reads 'Batteries Not Included'. And chilly, tight-lipped Felicity, whose cut-glass voice gives little away. But will these new friends be able to save Zoe, when she discovers that the past isn't all that easy to escape, no matter how far you go?

Maybe it's because I'm coming down from the high of being a bride myself, but lately I've found myself being drawn to a lot of wedding lit. I picked up this one mainly for the cover, which shows a runaway bride. However when I started reading it turned out that groom had been the one to run away and that a wedding didn't really have anything to do with the story. Instead, I was drawn into the life of a British nanny who comes to the US to escape the doomed love life she left behind. Zoe is a likable character and I really felt for her throughout the book. I also love her relationship with the kids. They weren't bad kids, just wanting their father's love and not being able to attain it.

There were times when I really got annoyed with Ryan. I understand that he's getting over the death of his wife and that his way of dealing with it is through working non stop and then by drinking. What bugged me the most was the flippant way he treated the kids and then his attitude towards Zoe. I mean he tells her absolutely nothing and expects her to just do everything, not caring that her contract has dictated what she's supposed and not supposed to do. He is not a likable character in the beginning. Honestly I don't know why Zoe didn't leave. He was rude to her and I don't care that he even admitted it, he wasn't really a good parent.

Overall though, I did enjoy this book. I loved the contrasts between British Zoe and the American way of life. There are some extremely funny bits throughout the book. I found myself nearly busting a gut several times. It's a really fun read and once you get past all the tension in the beginning of the book, it reads extremely fast. There is some cursing and some sex but not too much that it distracts from the story. This would be a great book for a lazy fall day when you want to escape for a while.

The Nearly Weds by Jane Costello is published by Pocket Books (2009)


  1. The book sounds like fun, but the cover and the title sure are misleading!

  2. This looks fun.... I enjoy these reads once in a while


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