The Beat

Madam Reads: Happy Ever After; Nora Roberts

The final book in the Bride Quarter is Happy Ever After, a tale just as heartwarming as its title suggests, only with so much more to give.

Parker and Delaney of the Connecticut Browns, are of old money privilege, born into wealth and raised with all the trappings of the upper class. “The Browns are Greenwich.” However, said wealth does not dictate their future as both have gone on to carve successful careers borne of their hard work. Three months after the tragic deaths of her parents Parker founded Vows, the successful wedding business she runs with her three best friends, Laurel, Emma and Mac. She is a hard worker, a detail obsessive who takes joy in organising her files on public holidays and is never without her blackberry, often quelling some bridal crisis and putting together weddings of fairy tales for the ever demanding brides of Vows who need her at all hours of the day and night. Under Parker’s guidance and obsessively detailed schedules Vows has become the go to place for brides to be.

But for all her practicalities Parker is of the Happily Ever After kind, romance and all its clichés. She is a woman who takes matters of the heart seriously and one day, hopes to find and fall in love.

Just like they are of her, Parker is fiercely loyal to and protective of her best friends, her brother and Mrs G, the housekeeper who has been with the family since before she was born and who by default, following the loss of the Browns, is the resident mother of the brood.

Malcolm Kavanagh, local mechanic and friend of Del, is a walking felony for every girl. A bit of a rogue; sexy, devlishly handsome and just so damn rough around the edges but with such swagger. Once a Hollywood stuntman, a bad accident on set brought an end to that career and he returned home to upper crust Greenwich and his mother, fiery and feisty Mrs Kavanagh. He set up shop and soon became known for his craft as well as good looks.

His friendship with Del leads to a business relationship with Vows and Parker…

For some inexplicable reason, Malcolm fits into her life, with her coven of friends and family. Fast and furiously, things begin to happen between these two and for the first time in her very organised world, there isn’t a schedule that can save Parker.

And there there is the the rest of the town to deal with. Greenwich may be rich but in so many ways it is a small town- everybody knows everybody else’s business so talk is cheap. And talk they do when they find Malcolm and “that Brown girl” about town.

Parker’s roots run deep, family and friendship matter very much to her. Malcolm is a man to whom roots matter very little if at all, one who is not afraid to pick up and leave at a moment’s notice and there are secrets in his past he’d much rather stayed there. But this thing with Parker is quickly becoming a thing and it demands that secrets be brought to the open…

Together, they must battle through the logistics of the heart, work out the mechanics of reason and find common ground without breaking hearts…theirs most especially.