Book two in the "Bridal Quartet" series is possibly my favorite in the series. This time Nora Roberts tells the story of Vows' florist Emmaline Gant or Emma, in "Bed of Roses".
Emma is the romantic in the group; hopelessly optimistic and out to help the world to fall in love. She has exotic looks and I sort of picture her as a more innocent looking Eva Langoria, if you can picture that.
Emma's story tackles the age-old dilemma of when friends become lovers. Jack Cooke is an architect as well as best friends with Parker's (the resident wedding planner) brother. Being best friends with the family and witness to the bond within 'the Quartet', Jack is taken by surprise by his attraction to Emma and by her response to him!
Torn between loyalty to their friends and wanting to explore their attraction to one another, "Bed of Roses" is full of lots of sexual tension, teasing and playing as well as how the bonds of friendship can be both fragile and strong.
Parker's brother becomes a strong part of this story because of his lifelong friendship with Emma as well as being college buddies and best friends with Jack. Delaney has been like a big brother to Emma and considers her family so the thought of his best friend not only hitting on but sleeping with his little sister does not sit well with him but also helps to establish his relationship with the quartet. Del's story will be told in this series but particularly in this story, we learn the most about him.
As Jack and Emma's relationship progresses, we see how someone as beautiful and confident as Emma can still be insecure and afraid to open her heart - even when it's to someone who was a friend first. In Jack we see a man who is still dealing with the aftereffects of his own parents divorce and that keeps him from ever getting too involved. The problem is, he has chosen to get involved with the one woman whose whole life is about love and being involved and finding happily ever after.
The great part about this book, well, one of the great parts about this book, that differs from the first in the series, is that the male lead is so different. In "Vision in White" Carter is a very soft and cuddly and shy man who really seems to have no flaws other than the fact that he is clumsy. But Jack, well, we get to see Jack behave at his worst - something that most women will admit to having seen in the men in their lives - and that makes him (and the situation) very relatable.
"Bed of Roses" is a Great book!! I read through it in two days and have since re-read it several times.
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