Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Review -- Happy Ever After

Happy Ever After
Bride Quartet - Book 4
By Nora Roberts
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: November 2, 2010

Many of you know that I have only recently read my first Nora Roberts book and that’s all it took to become a fan. While I know that I will probably never get to read her entire backlist, I am so grateful that I took a chance to read her Bride Quartet series. If I hadn’t, I would have missed out on a terrific collection of books. And ever since Parker and Mal first met in the pages of Bed of Roses, the second book in the series, I was so hoping that they would end up together as there were some major sparks between them that only intensified throughout the third book, Savor the Moment. Happy Ever After is their story and Ms. Roberts does not disappoint!

Parker Brown and her three best friends own and run Vows, one of the premier wedding planning companies in Connecticut. The four have been friends forever and played “Wedding Day” every chance they got while growing up. After the devastating deaths of her parents, leaving the family’s large estate to Parker and her brother Del, the girls turned the estate and their love and passion for weddings into an extremely successful business with Mackensie as the photographer, Emma as the florist, Laurel as the baker/pastry chef, and Parker as the coordinator and queen of all the details. In the previous books, Mac, Emma, and Laurel all found love and are now engaged to be married. Because she devotes herself fully to all of Vows’ brides (she carries her BlackBerry with her everywhere she goes), Parker doesn’t spend much time thinking about her own love life. Until the very handsome, and very dangerous Malcolm Kavanaugh enters the picture.

After a Hollywood stunt gone wrong resulted in serious injury several years before, Malcolm returned home to run the local garage as he’s always been good with cars. He has since turned it into a very profitable enterprise by not only repairing and detailing cars, but also restoring older ones. Beautiful and classy Parker Brown has been on his radar for a while now, especially as he is friends with Del. Mal tempts and teases her until she finally gives in and goes on a date with him—on his Harley. They have a great time and eventually go out again, but Parker wishes Mal would open up more and talk about himself and his past. That’s a very touchy subject with Mal as he feels like the past is the past and shouldn’t have any bearing on what he and Parker have now. He soon realizes that if he wants Parker, he has to give all or have nothing.

I love this story and I just adore Parker and Mal together as they are seemingly total opposites who have plenty of chemistry. She is stylish, sophisticated, obsessively organized, and was brought up in the lap of luxury, though she isn’t one bit snobbish. She appreciates everything she’s been given and works hard to maintain it. On top of that, she is fiercely loyal to those she loves. Mal is a rough-around-the-edges bad boy who is cocky with a smooth tongue, yet is an absolute gentleman to the core. His mother taught him the value in that and in hard work. As Mrs. Grady, the long-time housekeeper who is also like a mother says, “It’s hard to resist a bad boy who’s a good man.” And Parker feels the same way . . . especially during this exchange between the two:

“You better understand I take relationships seriously, so if you think I’m just going to jump into bed because—"

“I didn’t ask you to bed.”

He watched her eyes smolder and had to order himself not to press her right back against the door again.

“You’re going to stand there and tell me that’s not what you want, not what you intend?”

“Sure, I want you in bed—or any place that’s handy—and I intend to have you. But I’m not in a hurry. You jump in? It takes off the edge, and I like the edge. Plus, it’s hard to figure out how something works if you’re busy just banging.”

It was completely honest, and so damn logical she faltered. “This is a ridiculous conversation.”

“It seems sensible and civilized to me. That’s right up your alley. Do you want me to say I think about peeling you out of one of those fancy suits of yours, finding out what’s under it? Getting my hands on what is? About feeling you move under me and over me, and being inside you, watching your face when you let go? When I make you let go?

“I do, Parker. But I’m not in a hurry.”

“I’m not looking for this—you—this.”

“Everybody looks for this. You’re not looking, or you weren’t looking for this with me. I get that loud and clear. But I’m not backing off. Because it’s a solid fact we’ve got a thing, sorry, a physical reaction. And if you didn’t want me to make any moves on it, you’d have shut me down, taken me down. Maybe even enjoyed doing it.”

“You don’t know me as well as you seem to think.”

He shook his head. “Legs, I’ve only scratched the surface, and I’m coming back for more.”

See why I love Mal so much?? Sigh. The previous couples play important roles in this story, especially as they are all preparing for Mac and Carter’s wedding. Whether it’s between a man and a woman, girlfriends, or guy friends, Nora Roberts writes some of the best relationships out there. Happy Ever After is the perfect ending to this series—one that I see myself reading again and again. And one that I highly recommend!



  1. Great review, Andrea! I cannot wait to read this series. I have heard nothing but great things about it. :)

  2. I have been reading each one as it came out and could not wait for Parker's story. To be safe I ordered it so when I get home on release day it should be here waiting on me.

  3. I read another review and it's equally raving about it. Must get a copy. Thanks for the heads up.

    My Darcy Mutates

  4. Thanks, Trisha! I know your taste in books, so I know you will adore this series as much as I do. :)

  5. Dianna, Nora did a fantastic job of building up the relationship of Parker and Mal, didn't she? I hope you enjoy this terrific finale!

  6. Thanks for stopping by, Enid! I hope you enjoy Parker and Mal's HEA!

  7. Great review, Andrea!

    Like you, I've been looking forward to Parker and Mal's book since Bed of Roses. I think what was so appealing to me about them is how cool calm and colleted Parker is, and how Mal always seems to unsettle her and fluster her despite her best attempts to keep him at bay. It's going to be fun to see how he cracks Parker's Ice Queen facade!

    And does he know Parker or what? "Says 'thank you' but means 'f* you.'" LOL.

    I'm also definitely interested to see how Del deals with this development. As we saw, he didn't take it well at first when Jack and Emma first got together, and this time it's his sister, not one of his honorary sisters.

    Definitely looking forward to Nov. 2!

  8. Love the review, Andrea!

    I had a celebration when the first announcement came that Nora Roberts was returning to straight romance with the Wedding Quartet, and my celebration has continued with each book. I can't wait to read Happily Ever After. This series is going to join the Born In books, the Chesapeake Bay quartet, the Dream trilogy, and the Gallagher books as NR series that I reread and reread and . . .

  9. Great review, Andrea! I'm so glad we finally turned you on to Nora's terrific books!

    I haven't read this series yet. I have the first book but need to get the other three. I'm going to carve out a nice, quiet weekend and indulge myself with all four stories. :)

  10. Andrea, you know how much I love Nora! I have all of her books, and this one is on my shelf waiting to be read.

    Great review!

  11. Thanks, Lisa! I was hoping you'd stop by today, especially as I know that you love this series as much as I do. And you will LOVE this book!!

    As for Del, I will just say that he handles this situation better as Mal can certainly hold his own. ;-) Enjoy!!

  12. Thanks, Janga! Like I said, I know that I will never be able to read all of NR's backlist, but you have named a few of the series that have been highly recommended to me. I hope to someday read those!

  13. Thanks, PJ! For the compliment and for pushing me to read Nora. You will really enjoy this series. Honestly, I can't wait to read them all again! :)

  14. Thanks also to you for pushing me to read Nora, Gannon! I'm so very glad I finally did. Enjoy this one!

  15. Fabulous review, Andrea! One day . . . .

  16. LOL, Buffie! Yes, one day... And this series would be the perfect place to start. ;-)

  17. I love Nora Roberts. I did enjoy the first 3 books of this series!

  18. Laurie, I hope you enjoy this last book in the series just as much or more!