The quartet relates the story of four childhood friends—Parker, Emma, Laurel, and MacKensie—who turned their childhood game of playing wedding day into a real-life dream job, a premier wedding-planning company called Vows.Each of the four has a particular talent suited to Vows: MacKensie (Mac) takes stunning photographs, Emma is a fabulous floral designer, Laurel, the cook, makes delicious concoctions and gorgeous wedding cakes, and Parker is the one who meets all the bride’s demands and keeps everything on a tight schedule. Altogether they make a wonderful package and Vows delivers the dream wedding every bride wants.The first three books found Mac (book one – Vision in White), Emma (book two – Bed of Roses), and Laurel (book three – Savor the Moment) finding their own true loves and planning their own weddings. Parker is not only the main planner for her dear friends’ weddings but she finds the perfect, dreamy wedding gown for each of them.Happy Ever After, finds the first friend’s wedding approaching—Mac is marrying Carter, a teacher, two weeks before Christmas. Parker is thrilled for her friends and happy that they have found true love, but she realizes that her own life is being spent solely on planning other people’s weddings and not finding the “one” for herself. She throws herself into the work of Vows and takes calls and emails at all times of day and night. An auto mechanic Malcolm Kavanaugh entered the picture in book one as a minor character and was immediately drawn to Parker. Malcolm is the friend of Del, Parker’s brother. He recently moved back to Connecticut to live near his mother after suffering an almost fatal injury in a car crash while a stuntman for a Hollywood movie. But even though he’s very interested in Parker, he knows that it’s a major step from flirting with her to a serious relationship—especially since Del is very protective of his sister.
Parker is also drawn to Malcolm despite the fact that they come from vastly different backgrounds. Parker confesses to her friends that Mal “rattles” her with his motorcycle-riding, leather jacket-wearing, and complete lack of social skills. But she senses that Malcolm is hiding his past from her.Parker’s business risks have paid off—Vows is one of the most successful wedding planning companies in Connecticut. But taking a risk with her heart is something that Parker has refrained from doing so far.Roberts is at her best when she writes novels that are part of a trilogy—or in this case—a quartet. She weaves the stories together so that you get to know all the characters in each book and come to care about them. Each of the four books concentrates on one of the friends, but you see and meet all the friends and their future romantic interests from the first book. That’s one of the most important things about her books—you care about the characters and they are people that you like. They have their faults, their tragedies, their joys and sorrows—but you genuinely like them and that makes the novels interesting and heart-warming. As you read each one in the quartet, you look forward to the time when the next book will come out continuing the story of the four friends. Even though you pretty much know how things are going to turn out—and figure out whose going to fall in love with who—the book is titled Happy Ever After, after all—it’s still very enjoyable reading. Especially because Roberts is a master at describing scenes—in this case: beautiful wedding gowns, lovely flowers, towering wedding cakes, and stunning photographs. By the time you are finished with all four books, you see the world of wedding planners from start to finish and have the chance to “meet” and get to know four couples in their search for happiness.
Review by Patricia Chasteen
From Epoch Times