Our Top Pick in Romance for May 2013 is Beth Kendrick's funny and charming new contemporary romance, The Week Before the Wedding. Romance columnist Christie Ridgway called it "perfect for the upcoming wedding season," so we had to pick Kendrick's brain about weddings, hot guys and great books.

Describe your book in one sentence.
Seven days, three rebellious bridesmaids, a dozen Stepford in-laws, two potential grooms who are hot like fire and one bride-to-be on the ragged edge of sanity.

What’s your favorite thing about being a romance writer?
Hanging out with other romance writers. Plot problems making you crazy? Deadlines getting you down? Need someone to join you on a “fact-finding mission” to a male strip club? (Serious research!) Author buddies are there to help.

"Need someone to join you on a 'fact-finding mission' to a male strip club? Author buddies are there to help."

What’s one thing you wish every wedding had?
A singles’ table stocked with fancy French champagne and men who are hot like fire.

What advice would you give brides-to-be this wedding season?
You and your fiancé should agree on a “safe word” for the rehearsal dinner, reception, etc. Then, if you’re cornered by his crazy Uncle Gus and subjected to a garlic-breathed political rant, you can simply turn to your beloved, murmur “dandelion" and wait for his extraction team to come to your rescue.

What’s your favorite movie based on a book?
That would be the Hallmark Channel original movie Nearlyweds, which was based on my novel, Nearlyweds. (But it’s possible I’m ever so slightly biased.) It’s a funny, charming movie with romance, drama, adorable rescue dogs and Naomi Judd as the most diabolical mother-in-law ever. I got to visit the set in Vancouver with my roommate from college, and we had a great time. Full disclosure: “Visiting the set” sounds very official and important, but mostly, we sat around chatting and eating warm chocolate cookies from craft services. How I suffer for my art!

What’s one book you think everyone should read?
Gone With the Wind. It’s got something for everyone.

What’s next?
My next novel is called The Cure for the Common Break Up, and it’s actually a spin-off of The Week Before the Wedding. The heroine, Summer, was the ringleader of those three rebellious bridesmaids. Summer is one of those characters who just couldn’t be contained in a subplot! She strutted right in and stole the spotlight. My editor and I both adored her, so we decided she deserved her own story.

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