Author: Nora Roberts
Publisher: Berkley Trade (April 28, 2009)
Source: received from PaperBackSwap
First lines: By the time she was eight, Mackensie Elliot had been married fourteen times. She'd married each of her three best friends - as both bride and groom - her best friend's brother (under his protest), two dogs, three cats and a rabbit.
Summary from Goodreads:
#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts cordially invites you to meet childhood friends Parker, Emma, Laurel, and Mac – the founders of Vows, one of Connecticut’s premier wedding planning companies.
After years of throwing make-believe weddings in the backyard, flowers, photography, desserts, and details are what these women do best: a guaranteed perfect, beautiful day full of memories to last the rest of your life.
With bridal magazine covers to her credit, Mackensie “Mac” Elliot is most at home behind the camera – ready to capture the happy moments she never experienced while growing up. Her father replaced his first family with a second, and now her mother, moving on to yet another man, begs Mac for attention and money. Mac’s foundation is jostled again moments before an important wedding planning meeting when she bumps into the bride-to-be’s brother…an encounter that has them both seeing stars.
Carter Maguire is definitely not her type: he’s stable, and he’s safe. He’s even an English teacher at their high school alma mater. There’s something about him that makes Mac think a casual fling is just what she needs to take her mind off dealing with bride-zillas and screening her mother’s phone calls. But a casual fling can turn into something more when you least expect it. And with the help of her three best friends – and business partners – Mac must learn how to make her own happy memories…
This was my first Nora Roberts book. Honestly, I decided to read it because I loved the covers. It really touches the part of me as woman that loves weddings and everything about them. Plus, my friend highly recommended it to me so I had to add it to my to-read list.
Unfortunately, I think it was a little bit of a letdown. I really wanted to like this book. I really, really wanted to fall in love with this story especially since I'm a wedding photographer myself and the idea of four best friends running a wedding company together is such an interesting hook! Plus, my husband and I are both teachers. Mac's love interest is a high school English teacher. All the stars were aligned for me to fall in love with this book, but alas it just was not meant to be.
I have to say that from a wedding photographer standpoint, Roberts did a great job of the behind-the-scenes perspective of a wedding photographer at a wedding and the post-production process. I was pleasantly surprised that she was very knowledgeable about wedding photographers and the work they do.
The four women are friends that have known each other most of their lives. I would have loved to have them spend more time together for us to get more glimpses into their friendships. You only get a superficial perspective of the other women. I know there are other books in The Bride Quartet series, one book devoted to each character, but I would have liked to have seen more of their time together as friends to help me to understand how deep their friendship really is.
Roberts is a masterful storyteller in how she develops her characters. I can see why she has written so many books. She does a great job of building the back story behind the characters. However, what made this story hard for me was that I didn't really like the main character, Mackensie Elliot (aka "Mac") very much. I couldn't get behind her to root for her and the issues that she was facing with her family and her relationships. There were many points of the book that I just wanted to say to Mac, "Get over it!"
Don't get me wrong, it was an enjoyable chick-lit book. I think my expectations were really high going into it because Roberts has written so many other romance novels and thus must be an expert at it. It just didn't do it for me.
3 out of 5 stars