Pity Party

Romance - Comedy
310 Pages
Reviewed on 04/15/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

Reading Pity Party by Whitney Dineen was like taking a long overdue vacation from reading too many thrillers and from being overloaded with too much depressing daily news. What a wonderful escape! Everybody needs an enjoyable literary holiday, and Pity Party is exactly that. This hilarious novel is centered on 32-year-old Melissa who spends her days outfitting brides for their wedding day and her evenings alone wondering if she’ll ever be a bride, all the while being driven nuts by her match-making mother. When an older-than-her-years 12-year-old, Sammy, enters her life, so does the proverbial “Mr. Right”, Sammy’s tall, dark, and handsome dad, Jamie. It’s love at first sight for both adults, but if ever two adults could mess up a chance at happiness together, these two do, for both good and bad reasons.

Dineen’s ability to write humor is exceptional. It’s little wonder this author has sold “over a kabillion books”. Dineen states that math isn’t her forte, but with her amazing creative writing skills, who cares if she can’t count? Dineen had me turning pages faster than any thriller writer ever could. I was smiling all the way through, wondering how she would ultimately get these two so-called adults to do more than play a kissing game. At times, even Sammy seemed more mature. But, while Dineen was keeping me in stitches, I was ever aware of her deep understanding of human frailties and insecurities. She has an extraordinary skill at bringing these to light through humor and it certainly doesn’t get much better than this. So, if you fancy a lot of laughs served over glowing coals of romance, grab Pity Party today. One delicious treat.

Emma Megan

Pity Party by Whitney Dineen tells Melissa and Jamie’s story of hope and love. Melissa Ann Corner is a 32-year-old woman who owns a bridal shop. Melissa used to fantasize about her big day, but now she isn't sure she wants to get married at all. She is nowhere near enjoying the life she thought she would be living and is tired of letting her mother control her life. Jamie Riordan and his twelve-year-old daughter just moved to Elk Lake to start a fresh new life away from the people who hurt them. Because his ex left him to raise their child on his own, he now wants nothing to do with any woman, let alone introduce someone to his daughter. However, when his daughter befriends Melissa, it makes it hard for him not to be around her. Will Melissa and Jamie develop feelings for each other, or will they be just friends the way Jamie wants?

Pity Party by Whitney Dineen is a delightful, fun romance, rich with sizzling romantic tension and realistic and unbelievably charming characters. Told in alternating voices, this light-hearted romantic comedy explores the challenges of dating, being a single parent, postpartum depression, abandonment, and finding the courage to give in to love. I enjoyed the father-daughter relationship, the slow-burn romance, and the friendships in this book. I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series to see if the seventh-grade math teacher, Paige Holland, will find her soul mate on a reality TV show. This work is best suited for fans of small-town romance and the grumpy/sunshine trope.

Mimie Odigwe

Whitney Dineen is at it again with another delightful small-town rom-com in Pity Party. Melissa has lived in Elk Town since she was little and runs her family’s bridal shop. Surrounded by ecstatic almost-weds daily and her romantic aspirations seemingly a distant dream, Melissa feels defeated. When Jamie Riordan moves to Elk Town with his twelve-year-old daughter, Melissa is instantly attracted to this handsome single dad with fierce protectiveness toward his daughter. But why is Jamie so crabby in his dealings with her, and why can’t she stop stealing kisses from him? This is a cozy romance about an attraction too deep to ignore.

Whitney Dineen delivers the best romance plots. Set in the same quaint town as the previous books, Elk Town is the perfect place to find love and raise a family, with an exquisite country club, homely cabins, and secret passages. Melissa bonded easily with Sammy, Jamie’s daughter, and I enjoyed Sammy’s interactions with her dad. Their love for each other was evident in their banter and conversations. They had been through a lot together, and Jamie was apprehensive about Sammy growing up. Some side characters had substantial personal growth, which was satisfying and added depth to the narrative. However, the dynamic between Melissa and Jamie is a rollercoaster of emotions that might leave readers pulling their hair out. Pity Party is the perfect read for romance lovers who like to curl up with a grumpy hero trying to deny his attraction and a kind-hearted heroine who knows what she wants.