After the excitement of the holidays comes always a letdown in spirits; and it seems that just about everyone could use a lift.  Well, count on Nora Roberts to provide just that as going in, you know you’re in for a “happy-ever-after” treat.

A long time follower of Nora Roberts but just recently introduced to her THE BRIDE QUARTET, published in 2009-2010, I found the four books to be just the pick-me-up I needed.  Each book in the quartet features one of four beautiful and talented and industrious women, friends since childhood, who together own and operate a successful wedding business, Vows.


Book One:  Vision in White

With bridal magazine covers to her credit, Mackenzie “Mac” Elliot is most at home behind the camera—ready to capture the happy moments she never experienced while growing up.  Her father replaced his first family with a second, and now her mother, moving on to yet another man, begs Mac for attention and money.  Mac’s foundation is jostled again moments before an important wedding planning meeting when she bumps into the bride-to-be’s brother . . . an encounter that has them both seeing stars.

Mac and Carter (Dr. Carter, Ph.D., teacher of English at the academy where he attended and where he secretly fell in love with her) are at the center of Vision in White.

Book Two:  Bed of Roses

Emma Grant (the florist for Vows) and Jack Cooke (architect and owner of his own firm) have known each for more than a decade.  Working closely together for Vows, they rediscover each other and fall in love.  They met when he and the brother of her friend Parker (Delaney Brown) befriended each other.

Book Three:  Savor the Moment

Laurel McBane (the cake artist and baker and owner of “Icing at Vows”) and Delaney (Del) Brown realize they have been in love since they were children growing up together.

Book Four:  Happy Ever After

Parker Brown and Malcolm Kavanaugh become engaged at the end of the quartet, shortly after Mackenzie and Carter’s wedding; next, Emma’s wedding; then Laurel’s; and finally, Parker’s.

THE INN BOONSBORO TRILOGY, published in 2011-2012, is set in Maryland, in the fictional town of Boonsboro, where the Montgomery family purchases and rehabs old, abandoned buildings and turns them into works of art and profit.  Three handsome young men star in this series with their mother Justine.  College educated, the brothers were trained in the carpentry business by their father, now deceased, and chose to put their talents and training to use by working together to continue the family business.  Justine purchases a centuries old inn and turns it into The Inn Boonsboro.  Throughout this remake, other projects are embarked upon as one by one, each brother falls in love with one of three beautiful, talented, industrious women.

Inns Boonsboro Trilogy, Nora RobertsBook One:  The Next Always

Beckett Montgomery, the youngest of the Montgomery brothers, and Claire, a young widow with three beautiful little boys, fall in love.  Unbeknownst to Claire, Beckett has had a crush on her since they were teenagers.  In love, however, with Clint—an acquaintance of Beckett—Claire married right out of high school and left Boonsboro to travel with her husband in the military.  When Clint was killed in Afghanistan, Claire returned to Boonsboro with two little boys and another on the way.  She runs her own bookstore.

Book Two:  The Last Boyfriend

Owen Montgomery, the middle brother, and Avery MacTavish (owner of her own restaurant) have been in love with each other since they were children.  Now all grown up, they discover their attraction for each other in a mature way.  Avery’s first boyfriend now becomes her last as they are betrothed at the end of the book.

Book Three:  The Perfect Hope

Ryder Montgomery, the oldest of the Montgomery brothers, and Hope Beaumont, a newcomer to Boonsboro and the innkeeper, are just right for each other.

Leave it to Nora to supply you with happy reading.  Unless you are already familiar with Nora Roberts, the greatest romance novelist of all time, you will discover it is not the “what” of her novels that keeps you intrigued, engrossed; it is the “how,” the suspense . . . the fun. . . .  For example, The Inn Boonsboro comes complete with its own matchmaking ghost who, now that it is rehabbed, takes up residence in one of the rooms—all named for happy romantic couples from literature.  Beckett names her Lizzy for the room she seems to favor, Elizabeth and Darcy.  It is learned that she has been waiting for her Billy since September 1863.

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