ETA: Rating 2.5 stars
I would have given this a higher rating if it wasn't for the last 2 chapters of this book. But besides the crappy shit that happens near the end there were some other red flags that bugged me.
First I wasn't enthralled with this as I was with Mac's story. Everything about Mac and Carter came off natural and organic even with their ups and downs. Here everything seemed incredibly forced and overdone. It took me a good 100 pages to even get into the story. Jack and Emma share 2 sporadic kisses before jumping into bed. I just wasn't feeling it. The chemistry came off forced and rushed in first half of the book with ZERO build up. Before jumping into bed these two spend very little time together, in fact the only
scenes they share are the 2 aforementioned kisses nothing else. And you seriously expect me to believe these two have sizzling explosive chemistry Roberts? Try again. Their moments are few and far in between with all the wedding business taking up a whole lot of real estate in the book. The amount of page time spent on Emma's flower preparations (flower names of which I was not familiar with and sounded like a foreign language to me so I struggled even picturing them) countless business meetings, wedding preparations and endless code names MOB, MOG, BMO, RB, etc., got really tedious to read through and annoying at some points. It just all became a big uninteresting blur and I was very tempted to skip those parts. Also same thing I noticed in some of Roberts other work managed to sneak it's way into here and became distracting because it was so overdone: overly perfect cliche characters. Emma is endlessly propped, fawned and described as a perfect, gorgeous, amazing woman with a perfect family, perfect job, perfect sex life which her friends are in awe of her ability to have men flocking to her in hoards (seriously?) and perfect friends. *sigh* Is there anything Emma can't do or doesn't have? I found it annoying rather than charming because it was heaped on and emphasized way too much
. We get it. She's perfect. But I will say I found Emma's parents' love story really sweet and romantic, it had me wishing Lucia and Phillip had their own book, I really loved their story.
I also found Parker-know-all Brown's super woman abilities to be too much. Granted the Quartet ladies have known each other since childhood, they are close as sisters but Parker seems to know, sense, pick up on anything
going on with the other ladies before they say even say a word. She must be telepathic. Her constant 'I know you, so tell me what's wrong' got very exhausting. And of course she has a cure, a fix for all their dilemmas with just the snap of her fingers. Let's not forget the fact that she happened to find Mac's wedding dress on sight without Mac there and bought it for her knowing it would be perfect for Mac. Turns out it was. Seriously? Again, too much. No one is that perfect.
And can I just say kissing guys on the lips who you used to be involved with or your best friend's fiance for that matter is a tad inappropriate? Emma kissing Carter on the lips while Mac watched I found really annoying and unrealistic. I had to re-read that scene a few times because it kept throwing me off and didn't make sense. I don't care how close you are to your friends, lips OFF the fiance. She does the same thing again with a former boyfriend who happens to be married with a baby and Jack sees it, yet she acts like it was no big deal. Um...yes it is especially if you are dating someone. Del, Parker's brother does the same thing, he greets her friends by giving them overly-affectionate smacking kisses on the lips. I found it kinda weird and distracting considering he sees them as his own sisters and plays the brotherly protective role. You kiss women who you are involved with like that, not friends, especially ones you view as sisters.
Anyways, back to Jack and Emma. Their romance picks up steam in the middle of the story and we do get sweet romantic sexy moments between them. But of course everything comes to a screeching halt when the couple have their one and only
fight. Emma has her demonic WTH? moment when she flips out over Jack not giving her the keys to his place. Granted I understood where she was coming from in the trust department but she catches him on a bad day (which he warns her repeatedly but it seems to sail right over her head) she ambushes him by pouring her heart out telling him she loves him and wants everything in return, when she doesn't get the response or reaction she wants she shuts him out and runs off. Naturally Jack being a typical guy is too stunned and tries to process what she's telling him and instead of giving him the chance to actually TALK, she takes his stunned reaction and runs with it like a woman scorned. She draws the conclusion that he doesn't love her and never
will. Oh Good lord. She gave Mac's psychotic narcissistic mother Linda a run for her money in the melodramatic drama queen department. She runs straight to the Quartet ladies for comfort with shaking hands and endless sobs included. How could he do this to meeee?!
I was really hoping here was when her friends would step in and talk some sense into her, especially Parker, the most level headed out of all. But what do they do instead? They coddle her with 'there there, hush hush' and act horrified and crucify Jack for what he did and didn't say. "How dare he!
The jackass. How can he be so cruel?
"....are you kidding me??! Parker had me rolling my eyes the most with her overprotective smothering routine. Her exceedingly patronizing speech to Jack when he comes by to check up on Emma was ridiculous and unnecessary 'We all love you Jack. I'll give you this. I'll forgive you...in time' Oh please. Give it a damn rest. The man had a RIGHT to be stunned, these ladies acted like he left Emma at the altar or cheated on her. I seriously felt like I was missing something here with their soap opera reactions. Just because he pockets the keys in front of her and doesn't have words he's deemed the biggest asshole? I call bullshit. May I point out they were only DATING FOR 3 MONTHS. Not even. But no he broke poor sweet-hearted perfect Emma's heart so he deserves to be drawn and quartered and banished from the Brown mansion. He's not allowed to see or talk to or even explain to Emma until she's fully healed and once Parker thinks it's 'okay'. Seriously? What kind of elementary fuckery is this? RME.
Over dramatic much Roberts?
What was even more eye-roll inducing was Emma holing herself up in a dark room the very next day, drapes drawn, unable to move or get out of bed or eat (ala Carrie when Big leaves her at the altar in Sex and the City). She needs time to heal after her 'emotional upheaval'(her words not mine). Mama bear Parker is there to fuss and coo over her like the heartbroken child she is. *cue the violins* Emma can't bring herself to face the world or even think
of Jack! This was cringe-worthy and embarrassing to sit through. Overblown to the extreme. What was even more ridiculous was her contemplating moving to Jamaica and starting over because she can't bear
to face Jack ever again, it hurts too much. Girl, stop it. This all could have been avoided if you gave him the opportunity to actually speak instead of running off because you didn't hear what you wanted. Jack of course has to beg and crawl to even be permitted to see Emma again and apologize profusely (more than necessary IMO) over what a jerk he was. He romances her and asks her to marry him all with Mama Bear Parker's stamp of approval. Yup. Tell me again how this is romantic?
As someone who wants love and the whole package too, I was with Emma, totally got her, empathized with her until she took a veering turn into MoronVille. Her whole meltdown after the fight was just silly, unnecessary, extremely overblown and childish. It ruined the HEA moment completely and lost all flavor for me as the reader. Having the poor guy crawl and beg because he made a careless mistake is ridiculous and extreme in this case. While his words were sweet and sincere during his ILY declaration it lost all poignancy for me considering the lengths he had to go through and how he was skinned alive for a 5 sec delayed reaction on a very bad day for him. Guys have their stupid moments, just like us ladies do too. No one was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and somewhere in all this juvenile overblown mess I was hoping one of the girls would point out to Emma 'don't you think you are overreacting? Cut the guy some slack' but no. Oh no, instead poor sainted perfect Emma had her heart ripped to shreds because she didn't hear what she wanted so Jack is the bad evil jackass. Shame on him!
Give me a fucking break.
I really hope Laurel's book isn't filled with silliness like this.