Nora Roberts' series called the Bride Quartet is about four female friends -- a photographer (Mac), florist (Emma), baker (Laurel) and wedding coordinator (Parker) -- that have formed Vows, a wedding business run out of a beautiful old mansion. The girls have known each other all of their lives and grew up together playing Wedding Day. Sister and brother, Parker and Delaney Brown, inherited the mansion upon the unfortunate death of their parents. Mrs. Grady, housekeeper and house mother to the girls, is a wonderful addition to the mix.
The first two books in the series, Vision in White and Bed of Roses, are stories about the photographer and florist in the group. This third book, Savor the Moment is about Laurel McBane, cake baker/decorator extraordinaire. In each book, the featured member of Vows explores dating and love while running her end of the business. Laurel has always had a crush on attorney Del Brown, which may not be a good thing since he treats her like a sister, protective and overbearing.
This, like the first two books, is a sweet story that includes fun interaction with bridal parties as well as each other. Their friendship is wonderful and powerful and beautifully written. When it comes to their wedding business, they have their own language that includes abbreviations for members of the wedding party - MOB Mother of the Bride; SMOG Stepmother of the Groom; MOH Maid of Honor.
A few excerpts ...
"Stop that nonsense and sit down before the food gets cold." Mrs. G gave him a flick on the arm as she carried the coffeepot to the table to fill the mugs.
Mrs. G was in her element, Laurel knew. She had a full brood to fuss over and order around. She'd revel in the number and the noise of them, and when she'd had enough of both, she'd kick them all out of her kitchen. Or retreat to her rooms for some peace and quiet.
But for now, with the scents of coffee and bacon and cinnamon, with platters being emptied and plates filled, Mrs. G had things just as she wanted.
Laurel understood the need to feed, the desire - even the passion - to put food in front of someone and urge them to eat. It was life and comfort, authority and satisfaction. And if you'd prepared that food with your own hands, your own skill, it was, in a very real way, love.
♥ ♥ ♥
"Cut it out! Stop it now!" Laurel dodged a fist, then blocked an elbow with her forearm. The force of the contact sang straight up to her shoulder. "I said stop!" For God's sake, it's your daughter's wedding."
"It's my daughter's wedding," the woman Parker and Emma struggled to control shouted. "My daughter. Mine! Not this home-wrecking bimbo bitch's."
"Bimbo? Bimbo? You tight-assed lunatic, it's your last face-lift I'm going to wreck."
Emma solved the mother of the bride problem by sitting on her while Laurel grappled with her opponent.
♥ ♥ ♥
Confidence, she reminded herself, was like lip gloss - all you had to do was put it on.
♥ ♥ ♥
Vacation. Laurel could scent it, nearly touch it. She would be on it if this damn event would ever end.
Sunday afternoon events tended toward smaller affairs. Sophisticated or casual, fussy or freewheeling, weddings or anniversary parties booked on a Sunday afternoon leaned toward a pretty brunch or an elegant tea, most often ending early enough for guests to go home, maybe catch a ball game or a movie.
But not this one. Not the last event before the glories and raptures of vacation began. At four on Sunday afternoon, the Ballroom rocked. Champagne flowed. The bride and groom - second-time arounders in their early forties, danced to the oldies the DJ spun like a couple of teenagers on spring break.
"Why don't they want to go home and have sex?" Laurel muttered to Emma.
"They've been together for three years - over a year of that living together. They probably have sex whenever they want."
"But it's Wedding Day sex, and they can only have Wedding Day sex today. At midnight, that ship has sailed. They should want it. Maybe we need to mention it."
If you love love (with a bit of sizzling sex thrown in), you won't be disappointed by this book or series. I'm really looking forward to the last one, Happy Ever After, coming out in November 2010. This would make a fun movie!