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Bed of Roses (The Bride Quartet, Book 2) Paperback – Deckle Edge, October 27, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
In her second bridal-themed romance about four friends who run Vows, a Greenwich, Conn., wedding planning business, Roberts focuses on Emma Grant while her partners, MacKensie, Parker and Laurel, play supporting roles. In the first installment of this planned quartet, Vows' bridal photographer got engaged, and now florist Emma wonders if she can find true love with old friend Jack Cooke, who is also very close to Emma's associates. When Emma kisses Jack, her spark-o-meter melts from the blazing heat, but their romance's setbacks are smoothed out with a little help from their friends. Though there are few surprises in this cute courtship, those with a TiVo full of Bridezillas should enjoy it, thanks largely to Roberts's effortless wit. (Oct.)
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“Ardent, sexy, and romantic, this satisfying story overflows with friendship and laughter…delightful."—Library Journal
“Writing with her usual subtle wit and flair for crafting realistically complex characters, Roberts delivers the second superbly entertaining installment in her Bride Quartet series.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Great characters, fabulous wedding-prep stories, hot sex, and lots of romance!”—Errant Dreams Reviews
"A contemporary fairy tale.”—The Romance Reader
From the Paperback edition.
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I enjoyed this book slightly more than I did "Vision in White". The story follows the romance of Emma and Jack, friends since young adulthood. This book is a little more formulaic than "Vision", following the traditional "boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-girl-back, everyone-lives-Happily-Ever-After", but that did not detract from the story at all. I did feel that this book moved along a bit quicker than the first, and the action/conflict in this book was a little more involved. The reader does get a better feel for the four main female characters in the series, and learns more about the background of their relationship as friends. There are also some continuations of larger story arcs either begun or hinted at in Book One, but before this book was over, I was able to figure out who the romantic leads of the remaining two books would be, even without looking at book descriptions. In that respect, Ms. Roberts could do a better job at avoiding predictability.
The main storyline of this book involves Emma, floral arranger at Vows, and Jack, consulting architect and close friend of the family. As the majority of these characters have all been friends since high school (or before), the friendships are intertwined to the point that they are more like brothers and sisters than just friends. This dynamic plays a larger role when it comes to the attraction felt between Emma and Jack. Additionally, there is the peril of each losing a valued friendship if the personal relationship between the two does not work out. Each of the characters has a vested interest on the success or failure of a relationship between Emma and Jack. Those interests add to and enhance the storyline conflict.
Overall, I am thoroughly enjoying this series. The storylines are easy to follow, the characters well-written and gathering depth with each book, and while "Bed of Roses" is traditional romance, it is also romance with gusto. As stated earlier, the larger story arcs begun in "Vision" are continued here, hopefully leading to a culmination in the fourth book. I look forward to completing this series.
* Storyline - Easy to follow, involving realistic conflict between characters
* Characters - Better development here than in first book, but still very well written
* Romance/Sex Scenes - Significantly increased number in this book, versus the first book, and of a more graphic nature. Still within the realm of traditional romances, but a lot more description of who is doing what to whom
* Audience - High school and up