Tuesday, December 21, 2010

CBR III Review #1 - Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts

"To the Brides of Vows and their happy ever afters"

Don't judge - I love me some Nora Roberts on occasion. She writes some lovely, fluffy romance, especially when she writes in a series.  This book is the fourth and final in what's known as The Bride Quartet.  I devoured all of these and anxiously awaited each new volume.  Maybe it's my lifelong obsession with bridal culture, maybe my own impending nuptials. But I think what really draws me to these books is the four women that Roberts created with this series.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The Bride Quartet focuses on the love, life and business of four women who are lifelong friends.  Parker Brown, Mackensie "Mac" Elliot, Laurel McBane, and Emmaline "Emma" Grant grow from playing "Wedding Day" as children to running their own wedding business, called Vows.  Mac is the photographer, Laurel the pastry chef, Emma the florist, and Parker runs the show.  The first three books focus on each girl in turn finding their romantic match and getting engaged by the book's end.  I'd say this is a spoiler alert, but anyone who doesn't realize what they are getting into with these books is someone too dull for me to worry about offending with a spoiler.  This last volume is about Parker, the brains behind the whole operation and a queen of detail.  Her love story is already foreshadowed in the previous installments, which is true of all the relationships.  You know by half way through the first book which woman will end up with which man, and it hardly matters - the journey between sparks to "I do" is what matters, as is the incredible friendship between these four women.  What really draws you is how different all four are, bound by their love for each other and for helping people make their happily ever afters.  In a way, each woman's romance comes second to the most important love of their lives - each other.  As trite as it sounds, girlfriends can be the most important part of your life, and the relationship these women have is wonderful to read about.  They all end up living happily ever after, but what matters is that they do it on their own terms and while keeping their friendship in tact and stronger than ever.

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