Friday, May 21, 2010

Drive-By Reviews

Hi All... here are some Drive-by Reviews of what I've read lately...

Trouble . . .

Chelsea Ross's acting career has been a total bust. The closest she ever came to stardom was her brilliant performance as "Pretty Dead Girl #1." But leaving Hollywood to become the personal assistant to a famous hockey player could be her stupidest career move ever.

More trouble . . .

Injured superstar Mark Bressler's glory days are over. The bad-boy ex-jock could at least be civil to the pint-sized, pink-haired bombshell who the Seattle Chinooks hired to be his P.A. If Chelsea didn't need the money, she'd be running from the world's biggest jerk as fast as her feet could carry her.

Big trouble!

Chelsea can deal with Mark's rotten attitude and dark moods. The problem is those biceps and that red-hot bod! And when the bad boy starts to put the moves on her, Chelsea knows it's time she banished him to the penalty box . . . if only she could resist the kind of trouble he has in mind!

I loved it. I love all Rachel Gibson's books. While there truly wasn't a ton of serious conflict, the book was fun...really fun... and, as always, Gibson's sex scenes were HOT. The ending felt rushed a bit--but then again that could be because there wasn't much conflict and it was an easily resolved situation, but overall I enjoyed the book very much.

I'm gonna do the next ones a bit different--short synopses of thoughts and then an all around take on the series.

Wedding photographer Mackensie "Mac" Elliot is most at home behind the camera, but her focus is shattered moments before an important wedding rehearsal when she bumps into the bride-to-be's encounter that has them both seeing stars.

A stable, safe English teacher, Carter Maguire is definitely not Mac's type. But a casual fling might be just what she needs to take her mind off bridezillas. Of course, casual flings can turn into something more when you least expect it. And Mac will have to turn to her three best friends-and business partners-to see her way to her own happy ending.

Okay. I so wanna cheat and post the review that publisher's weekly posted because they say it so much better here. Mac's mother is a nightmare, one she would rather just pay off than deal with. She meets Carter again (knew in high school) and sparks fly. They hook up and he wants more from it than she does as he's always had a thing for Mac. She's complex and yet simple. I love Carter's geekiness and the fact that he's a klutz. It's endearing and adorable. A great ending. Sighs.

In Bed of Roses, florist Emma Grant is finding career success with her friends at Vows wedding planning company, and her love life appears to be thriving. Though men swarm around her, she still hasn't found Mr. Right. And the last place she's looking is right under her nose.

But that's just where Jack Cooke is. He's so close to the women of Vows that he's practically family, but the architect has begun to admit to himself that his feelings for Emma have developed into much more than friendship. When Emma returns his passion—kiss for blistering kiss—they must trust in their history…and in their hearts.

This is a friends-to-lovers story but a much more complex one as it not only involves Emma and Jack, it also involves a close-knit family of friends--on the part of both Jack and Emma--as well. They are reluctant to take it to the next step but a kiss on the stairs changes everything. It leaves them both thinking and wanting more, but afraid to take the leap. When they finally do, it's fantastic. The conflict is real, the worries on both parts are very very real. Another great ending. Le sigh.

Wedding baker Laurel McBane is surrounded by romance working at Vows wedding planning company with her best friends Parker, Emma, and Mac. But she's too low-key to appreciate all the luxuries that their clients seem to long for. What she does appreciate is a strong, intelligent man, a man just like Parker's older brother Delaney, on whom she's had a mega-crush since childhood.

But some infatuations last longer than others, and Laurel is convinced that the Ivy League lawyer is still out of her reach. Plus, Del is too protective of Laurel to ever cross the line with her-or so she thinks. When Laurel's quicksilver moods get the better of her-leading to an angry, hot, all-together mind-blowing kiss with Del-she'll have to quiet the doubts in her mind to turn a moment of passion into forever...

Laurel is truly complex and I guess I'd say closed off. She comes across to those who don't know her as quiet--a woman of few words I guess, but once they get to know her, they have to love her. She's sweet, caring, funny and an amazingly talented baker--the cakes she creates-wow. I wanted to be eating some of those while I was reading this book. If you've got a sweet tooth like I do, you're gonna want cake or pastries while reading this--be sure to get some :)

She's had a thing for Del forever--he's never looked at her in quite that way--or had he? She kisses him in front of the refrigerator out of pure frustration and he is stunned and she's a bit baffled that she took the first step in such a manner...she intends to apologize but he's thinking along different lines. They're going to take this to the next level and date--but no sex for 30 days which-of course-spurs a bet amongst the other characters. They learn many things about each other they didn't know before. While some may not find Laurel likable as she's complex and defensive and kinda bitter at times, I like her because she's complex. And she and Del are kinda opposites in that right, but it makes for a fantastic relationship between them. Laurel finds herself, every now and then, defensive about money--Del and Parker are brother and sister and wealthy while Laurel is not. She has issues with her family and her social status as well which adds to the conflict that is truly Laurel and Del--but where she sees conflict, he sees none which is what makes Del a truly lovable hero. I want a Del of my own. The ending, omg the ending of this book--tears. I loved it. Honestly and truly loved it. I can't wait to see what happens between Parker and Mal in book 4, Happy Ever After which doesn't come out until NOVEMBER. WTF? Cries a lot. I want that book RIGHT NOW.

Okay--let me summarize the series a bit.

As little girls MacKensie, Emma, Laurel, and Parker spent hours acting out their perfect make believe "I do" moments. Years later their fantasies become reality when they start their own wedding planning company to make every woman's dream day come true. With perfect flowers, delicious desserts, and joyful moments captured on film, Nora Roberts's Bride Quartet shares each woman's emotionally magical journey to romance.

And thus far each journey has been very magical. I enjoyed each book but for different reasons as each of the heroines have so many distinct differences and issues. This makes for a very well-rounded series, IMO. Ms. Roberts takes us into the lives of wedding planners and what each woman has to do to fulfill their duties. With Mac it was photography. With Emma it was floral arrangements and decorating. With Laurel it was the cakes and pastries(still want cake!). And with Parker it's the details, the coordinating, the defusing of frazzled brides and those of the brides' families. Parker "handles" things... I think in book 4 she's going to find Mal "handling" her if I have to guess and I am looking forward to that...someone taking Parker's "crackberry" from her and showing her there is more. Anywho--the series is a delight. BUT I must admit that I had just read 3 J.D. Robb Books before this series and, like Lori and many others, I prefer the story telling of J.D. Robb to la Nora. I'm not sure how this is so... maybe it's because in the In Death series we see most everything from Eve's POV and some from Roarke. I'm not sure. Though I did enjoy this series very very much thus far, I have to, once again, admit that I prefer the older Nora Roberts novels to these. I love and frequently reread Nora's classics like the Chesapeake Bay series and The MacKade brothers--The Heart of Devin MacKade SWOONS! Fave Nora book EVER!.

BUT--don't let this discourage you from reading this series because it is quite enjoyable and right now on Amazon the books in the series are at phenomenal prices! Vision in White $9.36 vs. normally priced $16.o0, Bed of Roses $6.99 vs. normally priced $16.00, and Savor The Moment $9.36 vs. normally priced $16.00... so go buy them! You won't be disappointed. These are happy reads and we all love those, don't we? :)


  1. I haven't read any of Nora Roberts series for a while, but I do agree with you on the Gibson book. When she's on, she's great and I thought this one was another excellent book.

  2. I haven't read the latest book in the NR series yet, but I have enjoyed the fact that these are straight contemporary reads. No paranormal twist, no suspense. Very comforting reads.

  3. Hmmm, the Rachel Gibson wasn't such a winner for me. I agree with you about the ending being rushed...

    I really enjoyed this Quartet by Nora Roberts. I think she's doing a great job and it's been a while since she's written straight contemporaries :D Glad she went back to this genre!

  4. What I like most about the Bride Quartet is the 4 women and their relationships. I like the love stories but at the core are the 4 women. I think the books would have less of an impact if the women weren't so close.

    I've only read a few of NR impressive back list. I'll have to try those MacKade brothers. :)

  5. I have the new Gibson and NR's Savor the Moment on my TBR pile - I'm looking forward to both! And, I totally agree with Leslie - I've loved the heroes in the Bride Quartet but it's the relationship between the 4 women that really does it for me. NR does great banter between them all.

  6. Great reviews.

    The bride quartet is one of my favourite series by Nora Roberts and I just can't wait to read Parker and Mal's story.

    I also agree that "Nothing but trouble" is a great book, Rachel Gibson always manages to write books I love.

  7. I have to say I'm enjoying the Bride Quartet too. They're not powerful reads, but they sure are relaxing ones.


Have you read it? What do you think?

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