Happily Inc, Book 5
From the publisher:
Wedding coordinator Renee Grothen isn’t meant for marriage. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, plan. But she never could have planned on gorgeous, talented thriller writer Jasper Dembenski proposing—a fling, that is. Fun without a future. And the attraction between them is too strong for Renee to resist. Now she can have her no-wedding cake…and eat it, too.
After years in the military, Jasper is convinced he’s too damaged for relationships. So a flirtation—and more—with fiery, determined Renee is way too good to pass up…until his flame becomes his muse.
Renee is an expert at averting every crisis. But is she finally ready to leap into the one thing that can never be controlled: love?
I love Susan Mallery, and this series is one of my favorites. This latest entry is another terrific romance filled with interesting (and occasionally quirky) characters that we really get to know, lots of humor, and of course, a happily ever after. This is book five of the series, but I think Mallery does a really good job of bringing new readers up to speed without annoying readers who have been there since book one, like me. Let me tell you, that is a difficult feat to pull off, but I think she does a really good job of it. The book comes with a short story at the end which is basically a synopsis of one of the earlier books in the series, so once I saw what it was about, I didn’t bother with it. But if you haven’t read the other books, this is a good glimpse of what you missed.
Renee and Jasper both think they are too damaged for any kind of real relationship beyond friends with benefits, but that would not make for a very good story. The relationship springs up before either one of them realizes what’s happening, and both are a little freaked out by it. Renee has the usual baggage of a woman who has had a few bad relationships. Jasper has been a one-night-stand kind of guy and hasn’t really had a relationship since high school. So both are happy to just be together without any kind of commitment. Until Jasper realizes that he’s fallen in love.
There are some really funny subplots going on as well. Renee’s mother has this weird gift of being able to hear what animals are thinking and she has embarrassed Renee for most of her life, so their relationship is not as good as it could be. But the elements are there for some really funny scenes. Jasper is a thriller writer who is winding up his popular series by marrying off his main character. Except the only women he has ever written about were victims of a serial killer, and he just doesn’t have a clue. Renee suggests he watch some movies, which helps, and he also watches the Gilmore Girls, starting with the reboot then going back to the beginning, He has some strong opinions about Rory, and if you are a fan, you will definitely relate. It made me laugh out loud (and want to go back and watch the whole series. Again.) It becomes clear to the reader that these two are meant to be together, although it takes them a lot longer to work that out.
If you like contemporary romances with warm, wonderful characters, some humor, and a bit of sex, then read this book. I couldn’t put it down.
10/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
MEANT TO BE YOURS by Susan Mallery. HQN; Original edition (October 22, 2019). ISBN 978-1335041494. 4646p.