Nov 9, 2010

Posted by in Reviews | 13 Comments

Review: Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts (Bride Quartet #4)

Contemporary Romance
November 2 2010
Trade Paperback
320 pages
Berkley Trade

Yummy Man – Malcolm Kavanaugh
Kick Ass Chick – Parker Brown

From Goodreads
“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.”

I love this series.  It just makes me feel all gooey and happy and giddy.  One of the reasons I love it so much is because it revolves around four childhood friends who own a wedding planning business.  They call it Vows.  I love the details of a wedding.  The planning of a wedding.  I love the behind the scenes of a wedding.  Always have, even as a little girl.  After graduating with my cosmetician and makeup artist certificate, I was asked by a friend in my class if I would be interested in doing her and her bridal party’s makeup on her wedding day.  That was the first wedding I did…and I loved every minute of it!  Being behind the scenes before a wedding takes place, the energy, the joy, the laughter, the tears.  Next, I was then asked to do my cousin’s wedding makeup, and then started doing co-workers’ weddings too.  Eventually, the bridesmaids or people attending the weddings saw and liked what I did and would give me a call.  I put together a better, more professional kit that not only included my makeup paraphernalia, but also things like pins, a sewing kit, nail kit, etc…  I would arrive at the bride’s house while she was getting her hair done and set up, then as soon as she arrived I would start.  Usually doing the mother-of-the-bride, then whoever else was ready.  It was so wonderful to be part of such a joyous environment.  Okay, you get the odd bridesmaid who thinks the day is about her and starts demanding certain things (that I would diffuse or ignore), but most of the time everyone was just so damn happy I couldn’t help but be happy too.  I don’t really do weddings anymore.  I miss them.  I loved being one of the first people to see the bride and being one of the members of her team that would make her look as beautiful as she felt.  So reading about four ladies who are involved in a couple’s special day – I totally understood the rush they feel.  Their pride when the bride and groom is glowing and appreciate what they do.

“Happy Ever After” is the fourth and final installment in Nora RobertsBride Quartet series.  Mac is the photographer, Emma is the florist/decorator, Laurel is the baker and Parker is the details girl and the brains behind Vows.  We’ve followed Mac, Emma and Laurel as they met and fell for the loves of their lives, and now it’s Parker’s turn.

I love Parker.  She’s anal and organized and I wish I was more like her.  She’s just so with it and on top of everything.  Even when falling in love, she’s not all brain-mush.  And her closet!!!  I want her closet!  *drools while daydreaming about closet* Parker is in charge.  She’s ambitious, but she’s not ruthless about getting what she wants.  She comes from a wealthy background but she’s not willing to simply use her name to reach her goals.  Parker works hard.  She has a huge heart and wants to give the world to those she loves.  She needs to have more fun and see that life is more than being on the computer or the Blackberry 24/7.  Her perfect mate needs to be someone who could help her with that.  She needs someone like Malcolm.

Malcolm was once a big movie stunt-man until he was severely injured while working.  He received a settlement and has moved away from L.A. and opened up a Garage.  He and his mother are each other’s only family and Malcolm is willing to do anything to make his mama happy.  Parker has been flirting with Malcolm throughout the series, but mostly to annoy her older and very protective brother Del.  But things heat up in this book once Malcolm tells Parker that he is interested in her and is planning on pursuing her.  Parker is at a bit of a loss.  She doesn’t think she really has time for a relationship.  But Malcolm is persistent.  He is so good for Parker!  She can be free and let loose around him.  Simple lines like Parker saying “I like sex” just shows how perfect he is for her.

As in the other books, my most favorite part of Happy Ever After is the interaction between the characters and their friendship.  The dialogue is fun and sweet.  There are no villains.  No horrible obstacles to overcome.  No guns or bombs.  It’s a simple love story with characters that capture you from book one and that you really want to see happy.  It’s a happy, sugar-sweet read, and sometimes that’s just what you need.

I actually cried when I was finished this book.  The idea that I would never visit these characters again in a new book made me sad.  Then I remembered that this was a story in a book and that the beauty of books is that you can pick them up over and over again and re-visit those who stole your heart as many times as you want.  And I will definitely re-read these books for years to come.

5+ stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“’He’s got that whole James Dean thing going.’
‘The sausage guy?’ Mac asked, frowning at Laurel.
‘No, Jesus, Mackensie.’  Laurel aimes her gaze at the heavens.  ‘That’s Jimmy Dean. James.  Bad boy, all attitude.”
—–
“Mrs Grady shook her head as he carried the vacuum out.  ‘If I were thirty years younger, I wouldn’t let that one slip away.  Hell, I’d settle for twenty and try my hand at being a cougar.’
Parker nearly choked on her wine.  ‘I didn’t hear that.’
‘I can say it louder.’”

Books in the Bride Quartet series –
Vision in White
Bed of Roses
Savor the Moment
Happy Ever After

p.s. I just love the covers in this series too. Man, I am a sucker for weddings!

  1. Awesome, awesome, awesome review!
    I REALLLY WANT THIS BOOK!! Stupid UK not moving the release date forward like Nora did!
    It sounds like such a good book, I’m looking forward to reading about Parker ‘letting go’ a bit and being away from her Crackberry!
    Does it end really well then?
    It makes me sad that this its the last book in the series because its been such an amazing series and I’ve loved it from the first book!

  2. Ally – I actually really like how Mal handles her Crackberry. I think it shows what kind of man he is. I LOVED the way it ended. The epilogue will make you weep.

  3. No guns, bombs or villians?? What is the world coming to? 😉

    It has been SO long since I read a NR….but this review really makes me want to try one!

  4. I need to read another NR. I’ve only read a vamp story she wrote and I wasn’t impressed. I need to read a contemp.

  5. Mandi – You like wedding so you should like these. The first book is super cute. I love Carter!

    FV – These are the first NR books that I’ve read. I guess I got lucky! 🙂

  6. I used to read NR all the time until I got addicted to paranormal romance. Can I read this one as a stand alone or do I need to start with book 1 in this series…?

  7. KC – You don’t get lost in the story but you do miss when Parker and Mal meet and lots and lots of character development. The first book Vision in White is really really cute. I would start there. I love the hero — he made me laugh out loud many times. He’s just that awkward! 🙂

  8. I find it hard to get into full-on Rom reads. But your review sure makes a good argument.

  9. Sorry this comment is so delayed. I’m catching up on entries I have missed!!
    Just wanted to say that as a former bride whose makeup you did, I can’t imagine sharing that special part of my big day with anyone else but you. So I felt a bit special reading this! I’m glad that you still enjoy weddings after all the ones you’ve worked on!!! You really made my day extra special and beautiful that day, Julie!! (And I soo appreciate you putting controlling bridesmaids in their place!!!)

  10. Katya – I was honored when you asked me to be part of your big day. xo

  11. I LOVED this book! Parker and Malcolm are my favourite couple of the four and i totally agree with your review! The only thing that i didn’t like about the book was that it was more focused on the whole group rather than just Parker and Mal. I also wished that their relationship was more romantic, rather than just rushing into things. I know they are not like that, but it would be nice to see a different side to their characters that we have never seen before.

  12. I just finished reading the Bride Quartet series. It would really be nice if we could get one more book in the series to finish out the rest of the story. What we only got Mac’s wedding? What about the other three? If it was REALLY “Happy Ever After” wouldn’t we know what the ever after was?

  13. Sharon – That is a book I would read! It doesn’t even need to be a full length book – I would be happy with a novella!

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