Book Review: Happy Ever After – Nora Roberts

Title: Happy Ever After
Author: Nora Roberts
ISBN: 9780425236758
Pages: 368
Release Date: November 2, 2010
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Romance
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3 out of 5

Summary:

Parker Brown is the last single woman in her group of friends.  Not only are they best friends, they also run a wedding company together called Vows.  Parker is the brains behind the organization, the one who keeps everything running smoothly.  But will she find time for herself, or will she continue to give everything to the people around her?

Review:

I’ve read the first three books in Nora Roberts’ Bride Quartet (Vision in White, Bed of Roses, and Savor the Moment) so I wasn’t going to skip the last of the series, Happy Ever After.  It wasn’t necessarily at the top of my list because I knew exactly what was going to happen in this book and who Parker was going to pair off with (it’s pretty clear from previous books), but I knew it would be an enjoyable escape when I did settle down with it.

I was surprised, then, with how much I enjoyed the experience of reading this book.  I thought that knowing the outcome would take the fun out of it, but it didn’t.  The novel focused a lot on the wedding company, and especially planning the wedding of one of Parker’s best friends, Mac, so that aspect kept it interesting as well.  Parker wasn’t my favorite character from these books, but Roberts made her endearing enough such that I was hoping for her to find happiness.

One thing that did jump out at me while reading this book – its unrealistic nature.  Yes, the entire premise is a bit unrealistic, but I didn’t have a problem going with it.  Four best friends living in the same place (but each with their own space), running a company together – it sounds like something I used to plan with my best friends when we were 10.  It’s enough of a fairy tale, though, that readers can swallow their skepticism and follow it.  But what I couldn’t get over was the men.  I just could not believe that these men would devote every single weekend to running these weddings with their girlfriends and not complain!  Especially since they weren’t getting paid!!  No man would be that patient, and they shouldn’t be expected to be that patient because it’s a pretty unfair gig for them.  I think it’s funny that is what bothered me, but it’s kind of the straw that shattered the entire premise for me. 

I also was tired of everything being so perfect for these four women.  After three books of reading how perfect the flower arrangements were, how Parker can visualize the perfect wedding for every bride, how these women somehow had ESP because everything was so perfect, I really wanted it all to fall apart for a book.  I wanted there to be some sort of real disaster that they had to climb out of, maybe showing their true characters in the process.  But no, this book was more of the same, and I think it suffered for it.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy Happy Ever After, because I did.  While I was reading it, it transported me to this fairy-tale like place.  But after I put it down, my mind started churning and I couldn’t get past the syrupy sweetness of the whole thing.  If you’re looking for a quick fluffy escape, these books will definitely do it, but I probably won’t be picking up anything else in this vein for a long time.

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Comments

  1. I read the third book in this series and didn’t enjoy it, primarily for the reasons that you listed above. It seemed unrealistic (which I could have lived with), but oh-so-syrupy! I mean, who can plan a wedding perfectly every single time? Oh, well, I still love the gorgeous covers!

  2. I read the third book in this series and didn’t enjoy it, primarily for the reasons that you listed above. It seemed unrealistic (which I could have lived with), but oh-so-syrupy! I mean, who can plan a wedding perfectly every single time? Oh, well, I still love the gorgeous covers!

  3. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the first two in this series, but I still haven’t read the third. I’m thinking they’ll make great audio reads for the gym though!

  4. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the first two in this series, but I still haven’t read the third. I’m thinking they’ll make great audio reads for the gym though!

  5. I bet the implausibility would kill it for me too, though these do sound like light and fun reads. I do have one book by this author on my shelf, but I haven’t gotten to it yet. I bet it would make a nice read for a time when I am really stressed out. Great review on this one, and as always, I appreciated your honesty.

  6. I bet the implausibility would kill it for me too, though these do sound like light and fun reads. I do have one book by this author on my shelf, but I haven’t gotten to it yet. I bet it would make a nice read for a time when I am really stressed out. Great review on this one, and as always, I appreciated your honesty.

  7. I read the first in this quartet but didn’t go beyond that point. While I typically have no problem with formulaic plots in Nora Roberts novels (I do so love Nora), the book just didn’t work for me. Maybe if I read all four in like a week or something…

  8. I read the first in this quartet but didn’t go beyond that point. While I typically have no problem with formulaic plots in Nora Roberts novels (I do so love Nora), the book just didn’t work for me. Maybe if I read all four in like a week or something…

  9. I think I’ll pass on this one.

  10. I think I’ll pass on this one.

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