Genre: Romance, contemporary
Series: The Bride Quartet
Year of publication: 20
No. in series: 3
Setting & time: Greenwich, Connecticut, USA; contemporary
Level of sensuality: Several sex scenes including one in which a metaphor does not evoke the intended emotion in the reader (clue: I posted it the day before yesterday...)
Laurel is the baker/pastry chef of Vows, the wedding planning business run by four childhood girlfriends. She has known Del, company lawyer and brother to her friend and business partner Parker, for most of her life and they are as close as siblings, except Laurel has known for about as long that he is The One. She doesn’t know that Del has recently started noticing her as a sexy woman rather than as an honorary sister, so isn’t quite ready for the backfire when she kisses him in a fit of pique. They end up agreeing to date for 30 days – with no sex – and no one will have any problem guessing what happens next.
The “how it happens” is the reason why romance readers keep reading romances when they already know the ending. Unfortunately, while the characters are about evenly matched in terms of being realistic (repeat characters for Roberts with a few details to flesh them out) and the story isn’t too exaggeratedly a formula, it does drag. The reason is that everything runs too smoothly. The obstacles Roberts puts in their way are minimal and easily overcome, and in fact they are so slight as to be negligible. The narrative is comfortable, smooth and bland and at the end one shrugs and thinks, “oh, well, she can’t write a winner every time”. 2 + stars.