RogerBW's Blog

Happy Ever After, Nora Roberts 29 January 2024

2010 romance, last of its loose tetralogy. Parker Brown and three of her childhood friends run a wedding business, everything from engagement photos to the Big Day; she does the overall organisation and client-wrangling. She isn't looking for romance…

So the beau this time, as one would predict from his appearances in the earlier books, is Malcolm Kavanaugh, self-made garage owner. He also does routine maintenance and repairs, has a fleet of recovery trucks and sometimes goes out on calls, and restores classic cars, and apparently has plenty of time to do all these things. (We only meet one other employee, but fair enough, that's not the focus of the book.)

So one obvious tension is buttoned-down Parker versus bad-boy Mal, but the major obstacle is that Mal regards regrettable incidents of the past as mistakes that have been made and moved on from, while Parker prefers to keep hers in mind as part of the process that's got her to where she is now. Of course this will all eventually come down on the side of openness and sharing, but it's presented as a genuine conflict in which each side has a point, which is always refreshing.

The other thing which biases me in favour of this book is that we get more competence-porn about Parker's persuasive and organisational skills as she wrangles participants to make sure their Big Day doesn't get spoiled—something that was a significant part of the first book and I've rather missed in the other two.

All right, none of the series is particularly deep, but we do get heroines with supportive female friends, and people who can work out that if they're thinking of spending their lives together they should at least be able to talk to each other rather than just being compatible in bed. It's comfort food, but it's comfort food made competently.

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Previous in series: Savor the Moment | Series: Bride Quartet

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