Susan Mallery’s books just make me so damned happy. Not only does Mallery have such a way with creating unique, loveable characters with believable demons and realistic barriers to romance (until said barriers can be demolished with equal realism), but her dialogue just sings, and her sense of family, small-town decency and enthusiasm is utterly infectious.
In this, the latest instalment in her latest wonderful series, tortured artist Ronan gets his turn at the wheel, while at his side – and, actually, driving most of the time – is the delightful, irrepressible Natalie. Natalie is an artist herself, but her naturally sunny demeanor and artless, ever-amusing, pronouncements make it clear that she is as different from the dour Ronan as it is possible to be. Optimistic, helpful, sweet as hell, Natalie also has a core of steel, and she doesn’t let Ronan rule her, or their relationship.
A relationship begun by chance – a storm, a landslide, and a cell phone left behind start it all – but the best thing that ever happened to the successful but shut down Ronan, who is still smarting from the lie his life had become before he and his two artist brothers (who got their own stories in previous entries) moved to the destination wedding town of Happily Inc.
Side note: are there really places where the “Inc.” is enunciated in the town name? That is so weird, America!
If you have yet to start in on Mallery’s utterly addictive books, allow me to suggest you begin with the Fool’s Gold series, from which Happily Inc. is derived. On the other hand, there are twenty of those, along with a couple of novellas, so if that is too daunting, you could also begin with You Say it First, Happily Inc. #1. But really, you could just start here, with Ronan and Natalie and work your way backwards. While absolutely part of a series – Ronan is the last of his five brothers to find his HEA, and two of those happened in Fool’s Gold – Why Not Tonight can definitely stand on its own merits as a thoroughly enchanting introduction to Mallery’s impish but pleasantly angsty charms, and is guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face. And there’ll most likely be one there throughout, as well. – Rachel Hyland
Why Not Tonight by Susan Mallery
Happily Inc. #3
HQN | Contemporary | September 18, 2018
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