Veteran romance author Mallery’s signature blend of endearing characters and charming stories sets the tone for her new series, set in a small Southern California desert town. Pallas Saunders, owner of Wedding in a Box, has a theme wedding in less than an hour and is one Roman soldier short. In desperation, she asks the good-looking carpenter sitting in her office to fill in. Nick Mitchell, a world-renowned artist, is applying for a part-time carpenter job to pass the time while he waits for word on an anticipated two-year project in Dubai. After a hectic weekend of weddings, Pallas and Nick settle into an easy camaraderie. Pallas needs a sounding board: there is no pleasing her domineering mother, and her business needs a plan to grow. A budding attraction evolves through delightfully flirtatious and deceptively easy dialogue as Pallas and Nick fall into a satisfying arrangement, but the comfortable intimacy is shattered when Nick’s demons surface. Mallery (the Fool’s Gold series) excels at creating protagonists who grow individually as well as together on the way to their destined happy ending. A colorful cast of secondary characters with riveting background stories provide a great setup for future stories. Agent: Annelise Robey, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Aug.)
"Readers looking for sister relationships, wedding details, and steamy scenes will enjoy Mallery's latest." -Kirkus Reviews on Daughters of the Bride
"Heartfelt, funny, and utterly charming all the way through!" -Susan Elizabeth Phillips, USA Today and New York Times bestselling author
on Daughters of the Bride
"Susan Mallery never disappoints and with Daughters of the Bride she is at her storytelling best."
-Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"Mallery enthralls readers with this introduction to the small seaside community of Los Lobos as she follows the lives of a bride's three daughters as they face realistic, believable problems and search for their own happy endings." -Publishers Weekly on Daughters of the Bride
"This insightful, laughter-laced story fairly crackles with sexual tension and has a lot to say about friendship, love, and relationships. Heartwarming and memorable." -Library Journal on Best of My Love
"An engaging read to be savored all the way through." -Publishers Weekly on The Friends We Keep
"The characters will have you crying, laughing, and falling in love...another brilliantly well-written story." -San Francisco Book Review on The Friends We Keep
Pallas Saunders is determined to make a success of her quirky, theme-based wedding business, Weddings in a Box, if for no other reason than to avoid having to go into the family banking business if she doesn't. She can hardly believe her luck when world-famous sculptor Nick Mitchell is between projects and agrees to restore some carved wood panels for her. But Nick is not only enjoying the whole wedding operation, he's attracted to Pallas, as well. A plentiful cast of supporting characters—Nick's artist brothers are memorable—add depth to the plot, while colorful descriptions of the wildly creative wedding plans and settings are sure to fascinate. VERDICT An inventive heroine who comes into her own and a caring hero who figures out what's important give in to love in this lighthearted romance. Mallery (Secrets of the Tulip Sisters) lives in Seattle.
Can an artist who's afraid of passion find his muse in a gun-shy wedding planner? Will a town built around romance inspire them to push through their boundaries?Pallas Saunders owns a business throwing elaborate theme weddings, but her ambition has never allowed much time for romance of her own—especially since Weddings in a Box is struggling. Artist Nick Mitchell is biding his time until he leaves California for Dubai to start working on a two-year commission. It's not the best time for either of them to start a relationship, but they find themselves attracted to each other. Standing in the way is also the fact that Pallas and Nick both have deeply damaged relationships with their families. Nick's father is a famous artist whose affair led Nick's mother to raise another woman's child as her own. As a result of his parents' deception (and having borne witness to his mother's one-sided devotion to his dad), Nick believes that while romance, companionship, and sex are fine, passion is dangerous. His dalliance with Pallas is safe because it has an expiration date. Pallas, on the other hand, hasn't pursued romance because she's been committed first to school and then to her career. She's also had to dodge her mother's expectation that she'll come to work at the family's bank. Aside from her career path, she's always needed to earn her mother's love, and that baggage seems to carry over to potential suitors. There's a lot to like about this first book in Mallery's new series, Happily Inc., about a California desert town that's known as a wedding destination. The romance is sweet and hot, the writing is quick and easy, and Mallery (A Million Little Things, 2017, etc.) begins to lay the foundation for her series, building the stories of Nick's brothers and the women in Pallas' group of friends. In fact, the starring relationship in the book is really between Pallas and her girlfriends. A great choice for a weekend read.