I'm taking a break from all things Nora Roberts. I'm coming to realize that reading the Quartet books back-to-back was a big mistake and her writing style is just not working for me. After Mac's book this series took a nose-dive real fast. All the things I found tiring and dull were amplified in Emma and now Laurel's book and I have a very good feeling will happen in Parker's book as well. Using the same over-tired plot and same snappy dialogue with the exact same
outcome in every book isn't interesting or new. I can't even count the number of times my eyes were rolling and I was debating whether or not to even finish this. It's not a good sign when a book becomes a chore to finish. This book completely exhausted me.
Everything is just oh so perfect, easy, charming and witty at the Brown's compound mansion (are mansions really that huge in Greenwich, CT? This place sounds like a massive ritzy hotel than a house with room to spare). Stress & work are resolved and dealt with with excessive wine drinking at any time of the day, plenty of girly gab talk and hitting the gym at the butt crack of dawn for pilates and working out because *gasp* g-d forbid! they can't give into those carbs (seriously?? This was borderline pretentious rather than cute). And oh yes lets not forget Mama hen herself Miss Parker Brown. I swear I felt this was more of Parker's book than Laurel's which I found really depressing. Roberts works overtime to make Parker the shining star of everything, she excels at everything and then some. It's too damn much and excuse me but... fucking ANNOYING. She is literally the go-between Laurel and Del and Laurel spends more time with Parker than she does with Del. And I'm sorry but finding 2 of your best friends wedding dresses as a 'surprise' is not a coincidence but going overboard. It was excessive and irritating the first time around with Mac, but doing it for Emma as well made me want to hurl the book out the door. Seriously?! Can one of these ladies pick out their own damn dress?!! And of course Parker has zero problem talking about her brother Del's sex life, oh no, he's a wonderful decent man, there's nothing wrong with fishing for details from your best friend of how he is in the sack. Really? Just...ew.
Instead of focusing on the actual romance--you know since this is supposed to be a CR--Roberts seems much more devoted and adamant on wasting page time & words going over all the tedious meticulous ins and outs of the wedding business the 4 ladies run and also the endless after-work unwinding with the snarky conversations that go in circles. I really don't care or want to read 20 pages about beach themed, circus themed, Paris themed weddings and what kind of frosting Laurel obsesses over using for each cake. So painfully boring and tedious to read through.
And do I really need to know what everyone is doing after work or the pointless conversations of them fawning over each others perfect skills? I kid you not, Roberts loves to stop in the middle of the story and waste page after page of these 4 ladies fawning and cooing and giggling over how perfect and kickass they are. Give me a break. I seriously saw no relevance to this because it added nothing to the story just made it drag out painfully slow. I got sick of all 4 of them, even Mac who is the most normal out of the four and my favorite & most tolerable one. I barely got to know Laurel, the supposed heroine in this book all I really got from her is her irrational bitchy mood swings and stubborn pride over refusing hand outs (which were extremely overblown in some cases) and her amazing baking/culinary skills. She's either irritated or annoyed at someone or something, I kept wondering if there was anything that didn't irritate this girl. Oh yes and Laurel needs
to exercise, and it's a piece of cake to run 5 miles with Parker and doing 50 crunches without a sweat, they are just in perfect shape like that! Oh just stop it. *major eye roll*
Del just played third fiddle through pretty much 80% of the story. He came off very one dimensional in some areas. Besides his good looks, easy charm and his law career I didn't know much about him as a character. I found it very hard to believe Laurel being in love with him since childhood, it's reminded to us several times but not shown. She kept saying she loved him and how he will always be the one but I didn't feel it. At all. For the exception of one or two cute moments, the steam factor was dull as dishwater. The author kept telling me, rather than showing me these two were in love. Another issue I have with Roberts style of writing: much more telling than showing. The sex scenes were just fuzzy unclear watered-down cliched analogies of exploding stars, riding waves, seeing rainbows then ending in exhausted heaps for the afterglow 2 lines later. -__- *crickets*.... Yeah, not feeling it. Been there, done that. Please give me more than that. And trying to decipher if they even...finished just puts a damper in the steam department for me. I wanted to feel these two falling for each other, Del actually slowly coming to the realization that he does in fact love her, instead we are told 'oh yeah, of course! I love her!! Omg, now I need to propose to her even though the idea never crossed my mind a week ago.' How could he not realize it sooner?? RME. The progression and growth of this relationship was so stagnant & lackluster.
I'm still a semi-new reader to Nora Roberts but given her impressive list of books she's pulled out and her huge following & well known name in CR I'm really surprised with how tame her writing is. And I'm not saying this to be mean or callous in any way, it's just my opinion but so far nothing about her writing or storytelling has been exceptional or worth buying or re-reading for me. I don't get the hype. For the exception of the first book in this series which I found fun and endearing, nothing else has grabbed me.
I have Parker's book sitting by my bed but I honestly don't have the patience or interest to sit through it. I was intrigued by Mal but Parker irritated me one too many times in this and her reaction to bad-boy Mal was expected and typical.'He's soooo rude!' RME. She's a caricature to me, a perfect flawless character who thinks for everyone, solves everyone and their mothers problems, makes endless lists for everything
buys and furnishes a summer house over the phone perfectly and never loses her cool and is a complete busy body when it comes to her best friends personal lives. Nobody is that perfect or evolved for that matter. I need a character with flaws, a sense of humor, a personality, some freaking depth. This character is as deep as a puddle of water on a table.-__- But don't fret, Roberts crams this book with back and forth banter between the ladies with the 'bitch slut' zingers to make the ladies more 'fun' and relatable. It works the first go around but the 3rd time? Not so much.
I'd definitely advise against
reading these books back-to-back because it gets exhausting real fast and just hi-lights the redundancy of the entire series. There is nothing new or different between the 3 books.