The Best Man was an idle Netgalley request which I read also idly, over the course of some time. Probably not the best way to read such a thing. The set up and a lot of the characters are very romantic-comedy broad: Faith was left at the altar years before by a dream boyfriend, Jeremy – high school football star, dreamy, caring – when he was outed as gay by his best friend, Levi – wrong side of the tracks, taciturn. She returns home to her screwball small town to keep her dad from marrying a “gold-digger”, which gives her the opportunity to work out her past with the gay ex-fiance and the meddling best man.
Her relationships with the former fiance, now a dreamboat doctor, and the best man, now an honorable sheriff, are the best parts of the book, but especially the former fiance. These three have history and weight behind their relationships, and it was really nice to see the process by which Faith forgave and came to terms with Jeremy. She and Jeremy have the sweetest relationship in the book. Levi was a little too much in the mold of Sam Shepard in Baby Boom, and I bridle at folksy small-town stuff. That’s really a matter of taste though.
The larger cast of characters was less awesome. There are some squabbling grandparents who I think are supposed to be funny in their bickering, but they genuinely seemed to hate each other and had wasted their lives being stuck with one another. That was depressing. Much of the comic stuff fell flat for me, like a series of first dates that ranged from dumb to offensive. Don’t use trans people as a punchline. The gold-digging girlfriend was ridiculous, and the panic about widowed parents beginning to date again was directed in the wrong directions.
So, a fine little bit of frothy small town rom-com with some sweet moments and some really terrible ones.