“Otherwise Engaged” by Lindsey Palmer is a romantic comedy on the page — engaging and funny, yet also with heart and a meaningful didn’t-see-it-coming love story at the end. 

For Molly, living in New York with her longterm boyfriend Gabe, has quickly turned into her fairy tale come true: They’re newly engaged, young and crazy in love. Molly has a stable job she thrives at and Gabe is dedicated to pursuing his dream as a published writer. 

But when Gabe sells his first novel, fast and suddenly, a barely-changed viewpoint of his wild love affair with an ex-girlfriend, Molly’s life begins to spiral out of control. 

The forthcoming book sparks a national sensation. It splashes across the television, social media, internet and national magazines. The private bubble world of Molly and Gabe has burst and Molly can’t help but feel like the third wheel. A wheel who isn’t being noticed. 

Ex-girlfriend, Talia, is anxious to pick up on the success of the pending novel and shows up in their lives. Worse yet, she seems to have her sights set on rekindling the romance with Gabe. 

Molly is hurt when Gabe doesn’t see her personal struggle with all the fame and how small she feels she has become in the light of Talia and his former romance. 

Paranoid, anxious and increasingly upset, Molly begins to spin out of control. She ends up fighting with her best friends, losing touch with family and losing touch at work, leading to her being fired and left with no income and the whim purchase of a several-thousand dollar wedding dress on a credit card. She also entertains her own former lover — was she better off?

Love, jealousy, friendship and family are all at the core of this witty novel. It is a quick read, well-crafted and entertaining yet contains poignancy and depth.

“I drop the book and step away warily, like its a feral animal. I throw a pillow at it so I don’t have to see its cover. I was prepared to hate the passage — and I do, sort of. But what I wasn’t prepared for was to be so overcome by it, too, to feel charged with Dahlia’s pull, to come away with an understanding of her power. And it’s too much.”