- Vision in White
- Bed of Roses
- Savor the Moment
- Happy Every After
Those of you who have been with me for a while may think that these books sound familiar… and that’s mainly because this was my third time reading through this series, and for a more thorough review, you can check out my original thoughts (from 2016) here.
In short, the quartet focuses on a group of women, childhood friends, who now own and operate their own wedding venue. Each of them plays to her own strength: Mackenzie does photography, Emma does flowers, Laurel does cakes, and Parker does all the organizing. Each book is about a different member of the group and follows them through the course of a year as they each find true love.
Like I said in yesterday’s post, I’m reading a fascinating but dreary nonfiction tome on Vietnam, so I’ve been looking for some fluff reads to balance it out. For some reason, I just really really love these books, and they’ve kind become a go-to for me when I just need something relaxing.
A big part of the reason why I enjoy them so much is because these books are just as much about friendship as they are about romance. The way that the characters love and support one other is so fun. I feel like, in general, friendship has become greatly devalued in our current sex-obsessed culture, so it’s a real delight to see genuine BFFs working together and spending time together. Even as each of the women finds her forever love, the women still make time for one another.
Roberts also writes men really well. So many romance novels turn men into caricatures, but Roberts presents her readers with fully-developed characters. While all four of the heroes share some characteristics, each of them is also quite individual in the way he handles life, romance, and friendship, and that’s really just quite refreshing. Instead of feeling like any of the women could have ended up with any of the men, because they’re all basically the same, it really felt like each person had found a true match/balance in their lives. I also like how when there are similarities between them, they acknowledge it because they’re all friends and they’re not stupid, so of course they would see parallels between Mac’s behavior and Jack’s, etc.
I’m a huge sucker for stories that are set in the hospitality industry. I love reading books about people who own hotels, restaurants, camps, etc., so this series also checks a big box there. Roberts gives us just enough random wedding action to make the whole series feel realistic – in the midst of emotional upheaval, the weddings must go on!!
While all of these characters are comfortably off, and a couple of them are definitely wealthy, all of them are very hard workers. I also really like that while several of them were able to go to an Ivy League college, others didn’t go to college at all. One of the love interests is actually a mechanic, and I just overall appreciate that the characters in these books appreciate the people in their lives based on who they are as people, rather than their place in society. The difference in status/wealth also isn’t ignored, but it also isn’t THE conflict point.
There is also a lot of humor in these books – I’d honestly forgotten how much. As the series progresses and the reader gets to know the characters better, the overall sense of fun is greatly increased.
My one hesitancy in wholehearted recommendation is that these books do have a decent amount of sexy times, and plenty of PG13 swearing. That’s not really my thing, but it’s easy to skim through when needed.
Overall, these books are just a lot of fun. When I was reading them this time, I was thinking how fun it would be to read a sequel series about the children of all these characters. Roberts does such a great job matching together her characters that I’m completely confident in their long-term happiness.
If you’re looking for some relaxing fluff with extremely likable characters and a fun setting, I definitely recommend this series.