Monday, November 15, 2010

Review: Happy Ever After

Happy Ever After
Nora Roberts
Contemporary Romance
Bride Quartet/Book 4
Berkley/November 2010

From the inside cover ~

Parker Brown turned the quartet's childhood game of Wedding Day into their dream jobs. And now she's the face of Vows - the one who meets every bride's demands; keeps every event on schedule; and brings Emma's romantic flowers, Laurel's delicious treats, and Mac's stunning photography together intone glorious package. She knows how to make dreams come true. . .

Mechanic Malcolm Kavanaugh loves figuring out how things work, and Parker Brown - with her mile-long legs - is no exception. But as a good friend of Parker's brother, Mal knows that moving from minor flirtation to major hookup is a serious step.

No man has rattled Parker in a long time, but the motorcycle-riding, raven-haired Mal seems to have a knack for it. His passionate kisses always catch her off guard, much like her growing feelings for him. Parker's business risks have always paid off, but now she'll have to take the chance of a lifetime with her heart.

Sigh. The last book. I was thrilled to finally read Parker and Mal's story but at the same time was sad to see this series end. I loved spending time with the women of Vows. Along with their heroes, they are such a diverse and fascinating group of characters. The four women are really the core of the series. It's their hopes and ambitions that drive not only their business but each other. They cheer each other on, provide encouragement and that shoulder to cry on when needed. We should all be so lucky to have friends like these.

Parker Brown is an intensely, organized woman. She has to be to deal with brides-to-be 24/7. Not to mention their sometimes equally crazy and annoying family members. But she does it with class and style. She's a brilliant diplomat and her organizational skills are unmatched. It sounds like she would be hard to get to know and possibly hard to like but she's not. Parker is a character that we could all use in our lives. She's that friend that you know will be there for you. When she says she'll get something done, you know she means it.

Mal - oh boy, did I like Mal. He's smart and sexy on his big, bad motorcycle. But he also loves his mom and has a great relationship with her. That, I think, is sexy too! So often we see very little of the hero's family. Maybe a sibling but rarely much of the parents. Mal's mom, Kay Kavanaugh, was right there and it was clear she was a big part of his life. They not only worked together but they also lived next to each other. That's not to say she was interfering. Just a little and only when her son needed that kick-in-the-pants that only a mother can give. :)

Mal was a hero that also knew how to push and when to pull back. He definitely pushed Parker when she needed it. He was also understanding about her work ethic and didn't give her a hard time about taking business calls during their dates. It was important that Parker be with someone who understood that Vows was a huge part of her life. If Mal had come off with an attitude of resentment towards Parker's work, it would have made them unbelievable as a couple. Instead, they worked as a couple because they had respect for each other.

On the surface, Parker and Mal are an odd couple. Parker is this polished, sophisticated, high society woman. Mal is a man who enjoys getting dirty and working with his hands. His idea of dressing up is changing from his work clothes into clean clothes. Mal didn't try to make excuses for his blue collar life. I liked that about him. Parker does like the finer things in life, in a big way. From her love of shoes to her ridiculously fabulous closet, complete with mini fridge, Parker is wealthy and doesn't hide or nor apologize for it. But she doesn't come off as a snob, she has money but she also works very hard, no lazying about for her. Did she seem too perfect at times? Yeah. Every crisis - Parker dealt with. She manages to manage the unmanageable. (say that 3xs fast!)

For all their perfection, Mal and Parker did have some issues and yes, they worked them out and maybe those bumps in the road were small but they were there. The romance was sweet, funny and had all the hallmarks of a classic fairy tale.

And while I like the romances in each of the books it's the women of Vows that I enjoy the most. I loved when they were on the page. Parker and Laurel working out in the home gym in the morning, with Mac and Emma dragging themselves in. The three engaged friends harass Parker endlessly about her blossoming romance with Mal. Those women gave no quarter when it came to getting the deets on Parker's love life! I found myself envious of these women, having their best friends right there with them everyday. Was the whole set up a little too perfect? Yes, but. . . the title is Happy Ever After so of course it's going to be full of rainbows and sunshine. It was an enjoyable was to spend a few hours, catching up with friends and reading about the latest going ons at the Brown Estate.

Rating: A-


  1. Okay, so I haven't read this book yet! But, I'm so glad you loved it Leslie. It seems as if HEA was the perfect end to this series for you. I liked Mal from before and Laurel grew on me, so we'll see. ;P

  2. Hils ~ Laurel is my fav of the women, but I do like them all which is surprising.

    I hope you get a chance to read it soon. It really did end the series on a high note. :)

  3. I enjoyed Happy Ever After and I loved Mal :P There's just something about NR's heroes that makes me want LOL. I liked that he went for what he wanted...

    On the whole though, I thought the book was missing a bit of omphf. It was good, but something was missing for me. Either I wanted more of Mal and Parker or I wanted more of the 4 girls together.

    By the way, that scene where Mal runs into Del after spending the night the first time? Gosh, so fun :P

  4. I read and adored this book as well. I loved Parker and Mal and boy was I sad when I finished it because I wasn't ready to part from the women of Vows. I love them!

  5. Nath ~ Mal was adorable with his mom. Very funny. Maybe the lack of omphf was because there wasn’t a lot of drama between Mal & Parker. They were both so mature most of the time.

    The morning after w/Del – Mal just puts it all out there. “Nice gym. I slept with your sister.” LOL

    Rowena ~ Yes, the women were my favorite part of this series! Sorry to say good-bye to them.

  6. I'm so glad I stumbled on your review because I just bought this at Costco last week. Like you, I hate to see this series end so I've been hesitating to crack this one open. I guess I better :) Thanks for reviewing it.

  7. Renee ~ These books are so pretty! I was sorry to see it end too but thought it ended well. :)

  8. I just got this in the mail from a friend! I am going to read it as soon as I read my In Death book for this month. I hope I enjoy it as much as you did.