Author: Nora Roberts
Publisher: Berkley Trade (2009)
Book Summary: 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 brother...an 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.
Hmmm... well where should I start?? Well let’s start with the good points. The novel has the signature Nora Roberts fluid writing style. The story flows effortlessly and you can almost imagine going to the Brown Mansion to book your own wedding. The characters are well defined and each have their own quirks, I’m sure I will grow to love all of them as I read on further in the series. It also combines two things definitely designed to snag the interest of women worldwide, Weddings and Romance! The book is about four women running a wedding planning business, each having their own niche, Mac with the photography, Emma with the flowers, Laurel with the baking and Parker with the management of the events. They seem to effortlessly work together without any glitches and magically get the events together. How I wish I had someone like that during my wedding which was utter chaos... well, that is a story for some other time.. Anyways, the book has the standard Nora Roberts good and decent guys, good friends, and strong family connections.
Now for the other side, the book was very very predictable and formulaic. The characters created by Nora from the last few (many actually) series are so similar to each other, it is becoming like an Ekta Kapoor soap! You enjoy it, but there is nothing new to recommend it. There is the predictable part where one character is commitment phobic, in most series, it usually alternates between the guy and the girl, with the series ending with both the hero and heroine not wanting to be in love but not being able to help themselves. The fact that four women go into business, best friends who just happen to have diverse careers but totally matching interests (the Dream trilogy, the Key trilogy, the Garden trilogy to some extent and many others) is oft repeated by her. It is unnatural how the women never seem to fight... Ms. Roberts, even the best of friends, siblings and lovers have frequent fights. That is what keeps the relationships fresh! Also, there is the predictable sob story of one character having a dysfunctional family, in this case Mac who has an irritating dependent mother for whom she acts as a convenient doormat. The chemistry between the two main characters was sadly lacking and I am not a great fan of Beta heroes, especially geeks, who Ms. Roberts seems to favour a lot. There was also a lot of unnecessary detail about photography and wedding planning, almost as if the author is enthusiastic to show us her homework. I knew from the first book itself who is going to be linked to whom in the rest of the series and what problems they are going to have!
All in all, it was a quick easy read, the kind you want to read between two intense books. I rate it 3/5 and am currently reading the second instalment of the series. Will post my review on it soon. I read this as a part of my 100+ Books in a Year Challenge and 1st in a Series Challenge, and E-Book Reading Challenge