Vision in White, by Nora Roberts

>> Wednesday, May 13, 2009

TITLE: Vision in White
AUTHOR: Nora Roberts

PAGES: 352

SETTING: Contemporary US
TYPE: Contemporary romance
SERIES: First in the Bride quartet.

REASON FOR READING: Autobuy author.

Meet childhood friends Parker, Emma, Laurel, and Mac--founders of Vows, one of Connecticut's premier wedding planning companies.

Wedding photographer Mackensie "Mac" Elliot is most at home behind the camera, but her focus is shattered moments before an important wedding rehearsal when she bumps into the bride-to-be's brother . . . an encounter that has them both seeing stars.

A stable, safe English teacher, Carter Maguire is definitely not Mac's type. But a casual fling might be just what she needs to take her mind off bridezillas. Of course, casual flings can turn into something more when you least expect it. And Mac will have to turn to her three best friends--and business partners--to see her way to her own happy ending.
Oh, I've missed this! As much as I've enjoyed the fantasy/horror in NR's latest trilogies, I've missed her straight contemps. This is just vintage Nora. I sank into the story immediately, and didn't want to come up for air.

Photographer Mackensie Elliot and her three best friends own Vows, a wedding planning business. The brother of one of their latest brides turns out to be an old acquaintance of them all, and way back when, he used to have a crush on Mackensie. Mac never paid any attention to him back then, but now Carter Maguire has grown up to be a deliciously sexy nerdy professor, and she's interested, all right!

If you really think about it, nothing terribly exciting happens during this book. That's the beauty of a good NR contemp. Even when nothing much is happening, it's fun to read and interesting and I keep turning the pages.

For instance, we see a lot of Mackensie and her friends running their business. They experience a couple of very minor mishaps and bid for a big project. That's it, but how I enjoyed reading it! I had a blast with the drama of a groom's asshole brother, who was determined to bring his new lover to the wedding, even though his extremely recent ex was the bride's maid of honour (or MOH... the accronyms really made clear the military precision of Vows' operation. That Parker should have been a general).

And it was quite the same with the romance. The only rock in their path there was the lightish one of Mac being very reluctant to commit, influenced by the fact that her parents were complete asshats and horrible at relationships and parenting. That did create some conflict, but no high drama, or anything like that. Apart from this, Mac and Carter's romance was all about two people getting to know each other and realising they fit well and falling in love. Just lovely. I enjoyed seeing Mac realise she couldn't live without Carter, and I adored Carter's constancy and the way his quiet insistence just completely wore Mac down.

Another strength of the book was the strong depiction of female friendship. I just loved the relationship between Mac and her friends. It was so very satisfying. They clearly loved each other and knew one another to the core. It was great that their friendship wasn't all sweetness and light. They behaved like a family, i.e there was teasing, fighting and annoyances, with it still being clear that they loved each other to bits.

I even liked the bits about Mac's relationship with her mother, who was an incredibly annoying, inconsiderate user. I got frustrated with Mac's difficulties standing up to the woman, but at the same time, I did buy her behaviour and understood it. I suppose I got just as frustrated with her as she did with herself, which helped not make this a problem with the book. Of course, she does end up standing up to her mother, and that was very satisfying, but I appreciated that it wasn't an over-the-top moment and that Mac knew that there would still be problems and scenes in the future.

I should note that unlike previous NR trilogies, there is no overarching storyline here. I do really like these in the author's series, so I missed having one here a bit, but at the same time, it does mean that I don't need to beat myself up for being weak and not being able to wait until all the quartet is out before I read the books.

MY GRADE: I'm tempted to give it an A-. Objectively it's probably more like a B+, but what the hell, I enjoyed reading it so much that I'll be generous.


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