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The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

The moment I knew I was in love with this book was this one:

“Haven’t you ever heard of multitasking? You can impress this Rebecca person and make the Brothers Karafuckoff suffer.”

A sassy assistant who turns Russian literature references into swears? This book is FOR ME. I loved Jaslene, Natalia, and Lina’s entire family. And the various clever wordplay and references JUST KEPT COMING. So good!

Things I love about THE WORST BEST MAN:

Male friendships! Solid, supportive male friendships are one of my absolute favorite things in romance novels, and I LOVED seeing Max and Dean together. Dean doesn’t get weird about Max being in his space, just supports his friend in the way that he needs at the moment, and it’s beautiful. (I also can’t wait for Dean’s book!)

Non-italicized non-English words! I’ve been banging this drum for what feels like ages and I’m so glad to see it starting to become a thing. I firmly believe that bilingual characters shouldn’t have their thoughts and words othered; they don’t think of the words in italics, so why should we put it in print? All it does is emphasize differences for English speakers, which is… not helpful. Let’s normalize the beauty of bilinguality, please! The only reason to italicize non-English words is to emphasize that they need translation, and it’s an inaccurate portrayal of characters – because if they think in Portuguese, they sure don’t need it translated, eh? 

Queer rep! This is an M/F romance, but just like in real life, QUEERS ABOUND. I firmly believe that every M/F romance should have tons of happy queers rolling around the fictional world in plain view, and Mia Sosa delivers here. Half of Lina’s wedding planning clients are gay couples, references to which are not made with any sort of titillation or indeed any difference from the way the straight or straight-coded ones are. Middle-aged lesbians feature in the (hilarious) couples retreat scene; Lina’s brother is queer. I’m always really happy to see an M/F romance populated by queer characters – and I extremely like it when the queers have their shit together far more than the straight protagonists.

Communication! This is always, always my fave. I struggle to read romances where the entire conflict revolves around the main characters being unwilling or unable to talk to each other. This plot – brother of the ex-fiance, career on the line! – could EASILY fall into that trap, particularly with the hangups that Max and Lina each have. Instead, they manage (okay, after a few pranks) to just… talk it out. Which means that their conflict, the thing that eventually creates their dark moment and tears them apart, feels much more real – because they’ve talked about their issues, they know each other’s secrets, and they still don’t see a way forward. Which makes it so much more rewarding to see them find their happy ending.

Disclaimer: I read this as a NetGalley ARC; thanks to the publisher for sending it!