Recommended Read, Review

Review: Three Little Words by Jenny Holiday (2019)

Bridesmaids Behaving Badly, Book 3

Heat Factor: So steamy! 

Character Chemistry: Each understands what the other needs without words. Plus great banter. Basically, perfection. 

Plot: Bridesmaid and Best Man need to travel from New York to Florida in the middle of a snowstorm in time to get to the wedding. 

Overall: I felt lied to by the blurb, but the emotional payoff was so good that I didn’t care.

I grabbed this book off of my shelf because, right there in bold at the top of the book, Three Little Words was described as a “laugh-out-loud romantic comedy.” Perfect! This is just what I needed for a little light escapism. 

Reader, here are some of the things that this romance features: recovery from drug and alcohol addiction; periods of homelessness; serious affluenza; some of the most toxic parents I’ve ever read about (and I wrote two whole posts about Dukes and how much their parents suck); and an eating disorder. So while Gia and Bennett have really excellent banter – sharp and funny without being overly **witty** – I would absolutely not call this a comedy. 

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk turkey. 

Gia is a very unlikable heroine, and I kind of loved her for it. She’s prickly. She gets angry easily. She has no interest in love and relationships – and has manipulated past boyfriends to “test” their worth. (She is solidly in the “love is dead” camp.) When we first meet her, she is berating a hapless gate agent about a cancelled flight. This, my friends, is not a good look. On the other hand, she is a deeply loyal friend to the few (very few) people she’s close to, which is why she will do anything to get to Florida in the middle of a snowstorm – even rent a convertible mini-Cooper and go on a road trip with a complete stranger. 

What I liked about Gia may be off-putting for others. I liked that she was the “rake” character, who can obviously never love again because someone used her to upgrade his status, because the patterns of her behavior are more commonly seen among heroes than heroines. I liked that she knew she was beautiful, because many heroines fall into the mold of either “she doesn’t know she’s beautiful” OR “she’s beautiful only for her One True Love.” But others might find her vain and inconsiderate – which brings me to Bennett, who definitely thought her vain and inconsiderate.

Bennett is one of those heroes who is just so nice. Not like a cinnamon role – above and beyond that. Let’s just say he has some white knight stuff going on (Gia does not appreciate being thought of as “broken”, in case you were wondering), and also a serious atonement complex. He does everything for the good of others, and pure altruism is just as detrimental to building a long-term relationship as purely selfish behavior would be. 

Let’s just say that both of these characters have a LOT of emotional baggage. 

Their path to true love therefore necessitates working through this baggage, which, in turn, leads to some of the heavier conversations sprinkled throughout this book. However, while these conversations mean that this book is not really a comedy, it is also not overpoweringly angsty or brooding because Holiday does balance these conversations with moments of levity or sexytimes. 

In the end I found this book immensely emotionally satisfying, and I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I can mention two moments that really got me because they were just so pitch perfect:

  • The moment that Bennett tells Gia she’s beautiful. Remember: Gia knows she’s beautiful. But when Bennett tells her, it’s still like she’s being seen for the first time. 
  • The Grand Gesture (which is not really so grand and involves real communication, but I don’t know what else to call it) involves a PowerPoint presentation. I have never teared up at a PowerPoint presentation before. 

TL;DR: I highly recommend this book, unless you’re looking for a light-hearted comedy. Or unless someone going hiking at night alone in a nature preserve in Florida would make you rage at the stupidity, because that definitely happens. 

Buy Now: Amazon | Bookshop

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