Review: Exposing the Groom by Rachel van Dyken


Print Length: 236 pages
Publisher: Van Dyken Enterprises (May 19, 2023)

From An accidental phone grab during my rehearsal dinner while my fiancé went to use the restroom.

Reading all the dirty texts between him and my maid of honor, aka little sister, during our vows in front of the world in what would later be considered one of the most viral wedding videos on TikTok.
Of. All. Time.
Did I mention his vows were before mine, and he compared me to my adopted dog because... and I quote, “I’m so loyal.”
It’s not my fault that my first instinct, after exposing his dirty lies, was to run up to the clueless rockstar that was supposed to headline my reception and ask him to sing my tears away. I never expected him to help me escape certain disaster, kiss me senseless, and then buy me ice cream.
But that was all in the past—until I’m staring down at a wedding invitation from the crappy little crap pants ex. You see, he swapped sisters, and now a year later, they’re getting married at a gorgeous winery while I’m still staring down at a plus one, wondering if I can bring my pet turtle.

In desperation, I sent a drunken text to the hot rockstar with a picture of my turtle, Chuck Norris… in a bowtie. Who knew he would show up at the wedding—but get this, it wasn’t to save me, nope, it was to… yup, SING!
But now that he’s there and I’m there, and the history is there, I beg him one more time to save me, this time as my date.
But lie after lie just kept pouring out of my mouth until we were somehow fake-engaged.
I would laugh if crying didn’t feel so good.
Should have brought the freaking turtle...


My Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

For the most part, this was an enjoyable read, with a few moments that were truly laugh-out-loud. Scarlett and Killian had chemistry, and I loved the way they weren't afraid to argue with each other. I just wish that the sum total of their relationship hadn't been one night a year ago and then a weekend in the present day. I wish they would have kept in touch, even if it was just through texts, so that I could really believe in their connection. Now I will admit that that is an issue for me personally as I loathe all things even resembling insta-love, so others will likely be able to overlook it. 

The personal issues facing these two characters gave them a depth that I wasn't expecting in a rom-com, but I felt it was needed in order to show that life isn't perfect, and neither are people, no matter what kind of front they show the rest of the world. I think Killian had the right of it when he likened what we show other people vs how we really are to smoke and mirrors. 

However, what kept this from being a higher read for me was just the over-the-top, unnecessary drama with Scarett's fiance stealing sister. I just couldn't wrap my head around the fact that Scarlett was basically guilt-tripped by their parents into attending the wedding of her sister to the man she had planned to marry herself. The man who had cheated on her with her sister and had intended to keep the sister as his mistress even after he married Scarlett. The parents kept trying to say that Addison had changed when they both knew she hadn't (to the point their mother called her a derogatory name to Scarlett). I suppose the story wouldn't have worked without that plot point (for example, if Scarlett had just ended up booking a stay at the same hotel the same weekend but for a different reason, and the hotel had double-booked the room or something). 

I was ready to accept that; however, every single time Addison appeared on the page, she was just such a bitch that I wanted to reach through my Kindle and strangle her. Between trying to copy her sister to accusing her of murder (because, for some reason, even knowing the bride had an allergy to shrimp, the hotel cook for her rehearsal dinner still put it in the paste sauce), she was just a pathetic character who added nothing to the plot other than annoyance. And honestly, we already knew Addison and Rob (Scarlet's former fiance) were huge pieces of shit, did we really need the announcement/fight that happened at their wedding? Again it was just unnecessary drama, in my opinion. 

There were a few other instances of things that took away from my enjoyment of this one, as well as things that added to it, but sadly they are way too big spoiler moments to talk about them until more people have had a chance to read this one. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                         Exposing the Groom is available on

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