When Zoey Hobbs finds out hours before her wedding that her fiancée has cheated again, she desperately wants to call it off. But because her future father-in-law is her dad’s cutthroat boss, she doesn’t want to be the one to do it.
Her best friend, Emma, usually cool under pressure, says the ridiculous words: “Oh, my God, let’s call The Objector.”
“Hey. Nerd. I don’t have time to talk about superheroes right now; I’m in the middle of a crisis.”
Emma goes on to tell her that her brother’s friend has a side-hustle where he gets paid to show up at weddings and yell “I object” after the whole “if anyone here knows any reason why blahblahblah” schtick. Apparently it started as a favor to a friend and just kind of took off, and The Objector has a 100% success rate at stopping marriages where one party wanted out but didn’t have the balls to call it off.
Emma sets it up, and Zoey prays it works (and also that it doesn’t blow up in her face).
But when the gorgeous stranger stands up, tells the entire congregation that he knows for a fact Stuart is a cheater, and then he goes on to enumerate Zoey’s many virtues and how she deserves so much better, she is amazed. Damn - he is good.
It works, even though the poor dude gets punched in the eye by Stuart, and Zoey and her friends cannot believe it. They’re celebrating in their hotel suite that night (dodged-a-bullet party) when Max - The Objector - shows up at the door to collect payment.
Zoey is fairly tipsy, so she invites him into their party and chats him up, fascinated by his bizarro niche side-gig. And the more Max tells her about what he does, the more it makes sense. He saves people from wasting their lives. From hurting each other. From making a colossal mistake. Some marriages work, he says, but more often than not, two chumps end up locked together for a lifetime of irritation.
“So it’s altruistic, in a way,” she says, toasting as they each lift a shot glass. “You’re a hero.”
“Damn straight,” he agrees, tossing back his whiskey. “Like a first responder but without the bravery.”
“I bet there are plenty of grooms who’d benefit from this sort-of life saving, too,” she says. “I wonder if there are any female objectors out there.”
“Holy shit, you should be one,” he yells, which makes her hiccup and cover his mouth. “I could use a partner. The Objectress.”
Zoey and Max start working together, two love cynics going from wedding to wedding on the weekends. She’s having more fun than she’s had in ages, looking forward to every nerve-wracking ceremony where she gets to play with Max and save the lovesick souls of the betrothed masses.
And then everything changes.
A groom-to-be hires Zoey to object, but the woman he’s supposed to marry is The Girl, the one who broke Max’s heart. The one that he’d thought was the love of his life. As Max wrestles with whether or not he can be a party to her getting hurt, Zoey has to wrestle with the sudden realization that she has big feelings for Max.
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