As the public face of Vows wedding planning company, Parker Brown has an uncanny knack for fulfilling every bride's vision. She just can't see where her own life is headed. Mechanic Malcolm Kavanaugh loves figuring out how things work, and Parker is no exception. Both know that moving from minor flirtation to major hook-up is a serious step. Parker's business risks have always paid off, but now she'll have to take the chance of a lifetime with her heart...Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts is the last of her Bridal Quartet contemporary series, and as the name suggests, the book wraps up everything neatly for the four friends by providing a happy ending for Parker Brown.
Parker is the brains behind Vows, the successful wedding planning business that she runs out of the Brown Estate with her three childhood friends, Mac, Emma and Laurel. In Happy Ever After, the story begins by giving the reader a retrospective of how Vows was conceived by Parker after her parents were killed in a tragic automobile accident. Throughout, the protective and parental roles played by Mrs. Grady and brother Del are highlighted, as well as the supportive and familial roles played by Parker's three childhood friends.
Parker is already attracted to Malcolm Kavanaugh, her brother's friend and mechanic to the whole gang. He is a self-made man with a bad-boy aura and reputation, and not her usual "type." She likes easily controlled and sophisticated businessmen, and there's nothing of the easily controlled gentleman about Malcolm. Malcolm is obviously attracted to Parker and not intimidated by her attempts to reject him. He knows there's passion under all that ice.
Happy Ever After is a nice, light romance. Not surprisingly, Parker is a perfectionist who finds the perfect job and performs it to perfection. She is loyal, loving and here's the one surprise, much softer than I expected. Parker also turns out to be a private person -- an interesting turn of events when you take into consideration how much she likes to interfere in her friends' lives. But other than that, what new information did we really learn about Parker, other than what we already knew? Not much. The same can be said for Malcolm. He is a good self-made man who had a rough childhood. He is powerfully attracted to Parker and has a tough time opening up about his past, but although some details are provided, again, we knew most of this information about him already from reading the previous books. There are no real surprises there about him.
There's very little conflict to this story, if any. Happy Ever After is a nice, light, superficial romance where the last of these four friends, Parker, finds her "happy ever after," and in the process the book serves as the perfect happy ever after for all four friends and their partners in their beautiful, perfect world - the perfect wrap-up to the Quartet. (Note how many times I use the word "perfect). There's no in-depth characterization or character growth to be found either. Although this book, and series as a whole, works quite well as a contemporary fantasy fairy tale.
This is Nora Roberts and because she is one of my favorite contemporary romance writers, I have certain expectations that were not necessarily met with this series. However, that's not to say that the details are not there, they are. All the characters are likable and there are some amusing moments found throughout. All the bases are covered and there are no holes or hanging threads left open; and Vows, as a wedding planning business, is described in minute detail -- although again, those details overshadow the romance. The friendship between the four friends is wrapped up nicely. And yes... Happy Ever After is just that, the "happily ever after" book to the Bridal Quartet series.
Category: Contemporary Romance
Series: Bridal Quartet, Book 4
Released: November 2, 2010
Complete Bridal Quartet Series:
Vision in White, Book 1
Bed of Roses, Book 2
Savor the Moment, Book 3
Happy Ever After, Book 4
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