Genre: contemporary romance
Childhood friends Mackensie, Parker, Laurel and Emmaline have formed a very successful wedding planning business together. While helping thousands of happy couples to organise the biggest day of their lives, three of the four women have all found love themselves – but workaholic Parker remains resolutely single.
Her business is her life and she devotes all her energy to it. But as she is forced to re-evaluate her friendships, Parker finds that someone is about to divert her focus …
I have devoured these last three books in the Bride Quartet pretty quickly, I just loved them. The friendship between those four amazing women, and their own special road to love. Of course I knew while reading the second book who Parker, our forth heroine, would end up with, but it was fun to read how it all worked out.
Parker is a workaholic, available 24/7 for her nervous brides with questions and problems to solve. She loves her work and she is very good at it. While Emmaline takes care of all the flowers and the bridal bouquets, Laurel takes care of the bridal cakes and all the other pastries requested and Mackensie is the best photographer there is, Parker takes care of all the planning and the details and keeps everything on course. She is the troubleshooter of Vows.
She is very happy for her three best friends to have found a love of their own, and is a bit envious of their new happiness, as she longs for one herself. But so far, there has not been a man who has captured her interest. Until now, and he seems so very unsuitable for her.
Parker comes from a wealthy family, she has always had money, but she also has a very strong work ethic and she has class. She knows how to act and behave in any given situation, managing people and events.
Parker and Del had a very happy childhood, with loving parents. Until their parents died in an accident, and Del became the head of the household, having to take care of the estate and of Parker. He still looks after his little sister and her three friends, even though Parker really doesn’t need it anymore. And now one of his friends is interested in his sister …
Malcolm Kavanaugh did not have a great childhood. He grew up an army brat but when his father died, his mother had to move back home and go to work for her own brother. His uncle exploited her shamelessly, making her work double shifts, and talking her down. But his mother did not know that her brother also bullied Mal, and loved to hit him. When she did find out, they moved out at once. As soon as he was old enough, Malcolm drove off to California, working his way cross country, most often as a car mechanic. He made a name for himself in Hollywood as a stuntman, until a stunt went horribly wrong. With the settlement money Mal came back home, to his mother, and bought the old garage he used to work as a kid. He is doing very well for himself now, and for his mother, who does his paperwork for him. Malcolm is not a man looking for a relationship; he enjoys a casual fling, but nothing long term. He knows that Parker is not a lady to just play with, but still, there is this attraction between them.
Malcolm loves to find out how things work, and to fix anything mechanical. He is totally unpredictable when it comes to his approach to Parker, and it left her off balance. I loved it. Yes, he is pushy at times, and just grabs her for a passionate kiss when he wants to, but he does not hurt her. But Malcolm also does not want to talk about himself or his past, and Parker has a lot of trouble with that. She wants to understand him, know him, she wants to stand beside him, and he doesn’t let her.
Parker is also not settling for less than she deserves or can have, and Malcolm really has to open up to her, or risk losing her. Parker is not willing to be just someone he visits to have sex with or take out on his Harley, he will have to share his feelings.
A very engaging story, I really enjoyed it. The couple who came in for a first consult in the first book, are married in this book. And their wedding started it all, the brides’ brother is now Mackensie’s fiancée.
I very much enjoyed Malcolm’s mother and Mrs. G. as important secondary characters. Malcolm’s mother is very important to him, and she still has him firmly in hand, making him mind his manners and buying a new suit when she tells him to. There clearly is a lot of love between them, even though he basically ran off when he was 18. He did sent money home, even though he did not go home himself very often.
I admire Parker for how she handles all those brides and their mothers and other relatives. She builds the wedding of their dreams for them. I love the descriptions even though I have no intention of getting married myself.
Parker is strong, she is there for her friends, and she knows what she wants and doesn’t want. It was fun to see her wobble on her feet thanks to Malcolm, and it was even more fun when she discovered riding on the back of a Harley. Her brother Del could not imagine it either, and he sure lost a bet about it. The four women have been good friends since childhood, and their four men have been old friends as well, or new friends and it is so nice to see everyone interacting. They are certainly not afraid to tell each other the truth.
And as I said before, I love the romance part of these books, but the friendship parts perhaps even more. Four great love stories, and as a bonus, I enjoyed learning more about the wedding business.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian