Monday, December 13, 2010
Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts
What it's about: This is Parker and Mal's story - those people who have not read at least the first book in the series will miss out, so if you don't know who Parker is, read Vision in White first. In a nutshell for the uninitiated, there are four friends who run Vows, a wedding business. Mac is the photographer (Vision in White), Emma is the florist (Bed of Roses), Laurel is the creator of amazing wedding cakes (baker seems too mundane a word for her artistry) (Savour the Moment) and Parker is the wedding planner and the glue that holds them all together. Interspersed between the highs and lows of weddings at Vows, is the friendship of the girls and their love stories.
What worked for me: I liked Mal very much. He was a take charge kind of guy and wasn't fazed at all by either Parker's wealth or by the "go away vibe" she uses to put people at a distance and keep them in line (which is just as well because Parker really needed to be steam rolled - she's an "over-thinker" and really impresses Mac, Emma and Laurel as he is the only one who has managed it). The usually calm organised Parker is ruffled by Mal and it was nice to see. The *sexy times* in the utility cupboard was just one time when Mal got Parker good and... "ruffled". :) (Housekeeper Mrs. G describes him as a "bad boy who is also a good man" which I thought described not just Mal but a type of hero I'm pretty happy to read about.) The strength of the series I think has been the banter between the four girlfriends and it was present here too. The other 3 didn't let Parker off telling her SBS (sexy breakfast story) when she had one to tell.
Plus, we got to see Mac and Carter's wedding (which is why you really need to read at least Vision in White first to truly understand and enjoy the book I think).
What didn't: I would have liked to have seen more of Mal. I felt the way he hid his deeper feelings was told rather than shown and I would have liked to have seen more of that, particularly from Mal's point of view. But not just that, more of Mal in general would have been great! The book finished kind of abruptly IMO. I needed just a little more of Mal and Parker being happy to soak in the love.
What else: I enjoyed this book better than Savour the Moment (which I felt lacked conflict between the h/h) but I think my favourite is still Vision in White, very closely followed by Bed of Roses. We didn't see Jack and Emma's wedding or Del and Laurel's or, of course Parker and Mal's. Here's hoping that Ms. Roberts will write some (hopefully free!) shorts which tell us those stories!!