In this third and last book of the Ashley Stockingdale series, author Kristin Billerbeck answers the following question: Will Ashley Stockingdale finally marry the man of her dreams? Don't expect a simple "yes" or "no," because in Ashley's world that definitely is not going to happen. Ashley's march toward the aisle has never been simple, and this remaining leg of the journey is no different. As she prepares for her marriage to Dr. Kevin Novak, a series of sitcom and soap opera events make for a delightful few hours of vacation reading.
Ashley quickly discovers that the downside of marrying a really sweet and sensitive man is that he's sweet and sensitive toward everyone, including her antagonists --- who, in this case, happen to be his sister Emily and his mother. Ashley has dreamed of her wedding for 30 years and has definite ideas of what and how she wants to have things done: slick, high-tech, Silicon Valley, Vera Wang simplicity. Emily, on hiatus from job hunting in Atlanta, envisions a Gone With the Wind spectacular, complete with Scarlett and Rhett matching outfits and an attending Confederate Army Guard. However, Mother Novak thinks an appropriate shower gift is a certificate to finishing school!
Neither Ashley nor her best friends --- Brea, Kay (her roommate), and Mei Ling (her brother's wife) --- are any match for the self-appointed wedding planner when she sets her mind to a task. Emily will only be in California for a short time so she gets busy and cancels the wedding dress that Ashley ordered, begins sketching bridesmaid gowns, and lines up caterers for the themed event originally known as Ashley and Kevin's wedding. Whenever Ashley objects, master manipulator Emily quiets her with, "You do want to make mah brothah happy, don't you?"
As if pre-wedding jitters and a hostile takeover by the Confederacy were not enough, Ashley's firm has hired her ex-boyfriend and he is having second thoughts about their breakup. Not to worry. This is a romance. And Kristin Billerbeck does not disappoint. All ends well as Dr. Novak finally asserts himself and saves the day. Enjoy WITH THIS RING, I'M CONFUSED as you wish that all stories had such a happy ending.
Reviewed by Maggie Harding on May 31, 2005