In the past few years, my reading tastes have largely veered from traditional romance to suspense and thriller, but every so often I can be gobsmacked by a particularly well-done novel.
Happily Ever After, the final book in Nora Roberts' bride quartet, certainly qualifies.
I read the last fifty pages of Happily Ever After through a waterfall of salty tears, in part reminiscing about my own wedding. But mostly just awestruck by Nora's seemingly effortless ability to draw out this kind of emotion.
I've ploughed through just about every one of Nora's series, and while many stand out as just damned good books, there's something special about the bride quartet.
Four women - best friends - merging their skills to build a successful wedding business, Vows, all living in pieces of a mansion style retreat home. Who wouldn't want that?
The photographer in me loved Mac's story in the first book,Vision in White, and since I've always loved flowers, Emma's story was of particular interest. And last year, I had a brief love-in with shows like Cake Boss, so Laurel's story came at just the perfect time. But with Parker - the detail-oriented dynamo of the group - I wasn't sure what I'd connect with.
Should have known it would be the man.
Malcolm is a bad boy, though with Nora, they kind of come out of the shoot a little tamer than I'm typically drawn to. He's a mechanic with a past (shocking, I know) and I fell in love with him the minute I understood he and I could have a great conversation about (fast) cars over an ice cold Bud. He drives a motorcycle AND a vette (swoon) and by the way I pictured him nicely fills out a pair of jeans or a tux.
The chemistry between Parker and Malcolm is swift, and hot - and not too over the top. Nora always
seems to know what fine line to walk. My only regret is that there wasn't enough page real estate to truly flush out their relationship. Being the final book in the series (sniff) meant there was a number of loose ends to tie up, and while I enjoyed every page, I could have happily spent another few chapters with Malcolm.