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Tina's Reading Books

Genre fiction lover:  Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Urban Fantasy

Happy Ever After (Bride Quartet, #4) - Nora Roberts 3.5 stars.

Probably the best of the 4-book series.

I like Parker. I tend to enjoy the sophisticated, urbane heroine that is also stylish and excels in her business. They don't tend to exist a lot in romance.

I also enjoyed the contrast between the very uptown Parker and the rough around the edges, ex-stuntman Mal. They had a lot of chemistry and their romance was a nice capper to the series. The romantic conflict was almost non-existent and consisted of 'He won;t let me in' so that was a bit lame. But all in all the main appeal of this book was in the two main characters.

I like Nora Roberts as a writer. She is the perfect example of someone who has superb technique and is the consummate professional in her field. But there is a reason I tend to stay away from her trilogies (or in this case quadrilogy). They tend to be on the sweet side. I much prefer her single title suspense books and her Eve Dallas series is an auto-buy for me.

But I let myself get swayed by a truly beautiful cover from the first book.

Overall I liked the idea of the wedding business and the whole concept of Vows as it exists in this series. I thought the business was the most fascinating part of the enterprise. I do think the ball got dropped a bit on the Seaman wedding. That wedding and planning for it took up some major focus in the first two books. Thought for sure we'd follow it through the remaining two books, but that wedding all but disappeared in the remaining two books.

So even though it ended up as a fairly likeable series I probably should have still passed.

The main thing that seriously harshes my glow with this series is how perfectly precious everything and everyone is. I love stories that depict strong women friendships. I have a circle of women friends going back 20 years so I know how awesome it is and how nice it is to depict it in these books. But I much prefer Shelly Laurentson's brand of female friendship. These four are just so....so....sickening with it almost. There is a sticky sweetness that covers them all that makes my teeth ache.

I can't be too mad at the series though, it is simply the nature of these books to be that way. They are over-abundantly romantic. Because the series focuses so heavily on the wedding aspect of marriage, it is firmly in the realm of lace and chiffon fantasy. There is an otherness is how perfect everything is that it practically defies reality.

Overall I'd say the whole series is a solid 3-star for me.