Another good book from Mallery. Such a fun way to spend a few afternoons. It reads quickly. Good storytelling.
Arrives by Tuesday, Oct 22
|Number of Pages|
|Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)|
6.60 x 4.00 x 1.20 Inches
Terrific start to the new series. Happily Inc. is a small town on the edge of the desert in Southern California. Just as Fool's Gold is known for its festivals, Happily Inc. is a mecca for destination weddings. (I loved the explanation of how that happened.) Nick and his brothers, Ronan and Mathias, are recent transplants from their hometown of Fool's Gold. They were introduced in Thrill Me and Best of My Love, including the family drama that caused their departure. Nick is a successful artist who needs something to occupy his time while he waits to hear about a possible (probable?) overseas commission. So he answered an ad for a handyman at Weddings in a Box. Pallas is the new and still stunned owner of the wedding business, which was left to her by a very good friend. Pallas has always expected to go to work for her mother at the family bank, which is why she got her degree in finance. But her relationship with her mother is strained, as Pallas has always felt that she has failed at earning her mother's love and respect. Libby constantly denigrates Pallas and her wedding business while putting pressure on her to work at the bank. Pallas can't quite bring herself to sell the business, as it calls to something inside her. She has given herself a few months to make a final decision, as she struggles to make the business a success. The first meeting between Pallas and Nick had me laughing out loud. Pallas was short a soldier for a Roman-themed wedding when Nick arrived for his interview. When her first words are "I need you to take off your shirt," you know it is going to be a fun book. Nick is surprised but willing to play along. He's a little wary about taking the job after that, as playacting isn't his thing, but when he spots the incredible set of wooden panels that will be his project, he can't say no. I loved how he displayed his reverence for the workmanship and what it would mean to work on them. I think that Pallas probably started to fall for him then and there. There were certainly sparks of attraction between the two of them, but a relationship isn't in either's plans. Pallas believes that love only comes when it's earned, that it doesn't just happen. Nick flat-out doesn't do relationships. In his opinion, passion consumes and creates pain, thanks to the example shown by his parents. He refuses to allow himself to feel anything that deeply. I loved the development of Nick and Pallas's relationship. It started slowly, more as friends, as Nick found himself drawn into the wedding planning activities. Pallas was frequently cautious and tentative at the beginning, without much confidence in her own creativity. I loved how Nick encouraged her by showing her how she could expand on her ideas. As they spent time together over wedding plans, the attraction between them continued to grow. I loved Nick's sensitivity as he waited for Pallas's mind to catch up with her desire, knowing that rushing things would be a mistake. I also enjoyed his protectiveness when he witnessed Libby's attitude toward Pallas. At the same time, Pallas is incredibly understanding about Nick's attitude toward love and passion. She doesn't agree with him and tells him so, but she also doesn't try to change his mind. I loved seeing how the two of them grew and changed over the time they were together, though none of it came easily. I cheered when Pallas made her final decision about the business and stood up to Libby. I wanted to shake Nick when he allowed his fears to come between him and Pallas. I cried when she told him "I love you. You don't have to love me back. I wish you would but if you don't, I'm going to be okay. I get it now. I get what loving someone is supposed to mean. It's a gift. You can accept it or not. That's up to you. It doesn't have to be earned and there's no time restriction. It just is. Whatever happens, whatever you decide to do, I hope you're happy. I hope you find what you're looking for." Nick's lightbulb moment was terrific and I loved that he didn't waste a moment finding her and telling her. His big moment at the end was sweet and romantic and perfect for them. As the first book in the series, there was a lot of time spent building the world of Happily Inc. Fortunately, Pallas's wedding business was the perfect vehicle to do so. Each of Pallas's friends is unique in character and profession. Carol is the one who runs the local animal preserve (zebras!). Violet, Silver, Wynn, and Natalie are also there for whatever Pallas needs, whether it's moral support and help pull together an awesome wedding. There was also Alan, who had been with the business since its beginning. He's a colorful character who always seems to know just what to do to avert a crisis. The business was a character in itself, and I loved the behind the scenes looks at the weddings. I also enjoyed watching it change and grow along with Pallas. The big gamer wedding was the event that showcased the talents and attitudes of all those involved. I liked seeing more of Mathias and Ronan and get more of what they are going through since their father's revelations. The tensions and attitudes are believable and left me ready to shake both of them, while at the same time I wanted to hug their hurts away. Pallas also had a fair amount of drama in her family, her mother being the largest instigator of said drama. Her grandpa Frank was a fun guy, and I liked it when he stood up for Pallas. The contrast between the way that her mother treated Pallas and how she treated her twin brother, Cade, made it even harder to like her. We only saw a little of Cade, but I liked what was there. I suspect That he will eventually get his own story. I liked Pallas's cousin Drew for his support of her, but he also has an unpleasant history with her friend Silver. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with them.
A sweet start to a new series! Though the town's origin/purpose is unique, it's also a bit on the hokey side (come here and get married because of a fictional history...)--still, it (and the quirky cast of characters that inhabit it) will give Ms. Mallery a host of possibilities for future stories. Nick and Pallas were a lot of fun--their "we can't be together" reasons weren't the best, but a good case was made for why they believed them. They were good together, though, even if the way they kept insisting that it was just temporary was a bit annoying. Knowing an HEA was coming made it easier to bear. ;) I loved the idea of Pallas's business--even more so once she shifted her focus slightly--and can't wait to see what future wedding challenges this series will offer! Rating: 4 stars / B+ I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
This book was a nice start to this new series. I liked Pallas. Yet, she was more reserved in the beginning but by the end of the story, she had really opened up. Whereas, I was a fan of Nick's instantly. Although, it probably helped that he was willing to go with the flow even if that meant dressing like a Roman soldier complete with a fake tan and toga. Pallas business, Weddings in a Box was fun. The crazy ideas that her clients came up with were intriguing. Luckily, Pallas had her girlfriend squad to support her. They consisted of Carol, Violet, Natalie, Silver, and Wynn. These ladies were great. They brought the fun and when Pallas was with them I noticed she was more open. Back to Nick and Pallas. I found the chemistry between them to be charming. Nick was considerate in the fact that he knew that Pallas needed to take it slowly even if her inner voice was screaming for fast. They were cute together. I am interested to check out the next book in this series.
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