From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fool’s Gold romances Susan Mallery, comes the first standalone title in the Happily, Inc. Series—YOU SAY IT FIRST! You’re invited to visit Happily, Inc., a wedding destination founded on a fairy tale. Where people live… wait for it… happily ever after.
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Sculptor Nick Mitchell grew up in a family of artists and learned from his volatile father that passion only leads to pain. As he waits on a new commission, he takes a day job as a humble carpenter at a theme wedding venue. The job has its perks--mainly the venue's captivating owner, Pallas Saunders. Although he won't let love consume him, for ecstasy with an expiration date, he's all in.
Pallas adores Weddings in a Box. But if she can’t turn the floundering business around, she’ll have no choice but to cave to her domineering mother and trade taffeta for trust funds working at the family’s bank. Then when a desperate bride begs Pallas for something completely out of the box, her irresistible new hire inspires her. Nick knows she doesn't belong behind a desk, and she knows in her heart that he's right—where she really belongs is in his arms.
Bright and early Monday morning she made her way to Weddings in a Box and walked the property. The main building was three sided, in a U shape with a courtyard in the middle. At the west end was the small lobby with a fairly traditional facade done with a slight Italian villa flair. The north side was finished with stone and resembled a medieval castle. The south side was covered with wooden siding—giving it a ranch-like, Old West, rustic feel.
One building, three options that could easily be fluffed to fit nearly a dozen wedding themes. Quirky, yes, but she loved every fake brick and nonworking window.
She checked for damage to the building and fence—because there was that one time a groomsman had run his car into the gate—and lost or abandoned property. Celebrations went late, liquor ran freely and more than one shoe, bra or pair of panties had been found on the lawn.
What was it about weddings and irresponsible sex? Sure, the bride and groom were likely to get some but that was tradition. Everyone else should wait until they got home—only they rarely did. Fortunately today all she found was a streamer and a few flower petals. No need for protective gloves to pick up those.
She made her way inside and headed for the business office on the second floor. She’d only moved into what she still thought of as Gerald’s office a few weeks before. For the first month after his death—after learning that he’d left her his business—she’d been in shock. For the next two months, she’d been unwilling to make any changes. Last month she’d realized that running from her desk to his fifty times a day was just plain dumb. Gerald wouldn’t have given her Weddings in a Box if he didn’t want her to keep it going. So she’d moved into his office.
Instead of feeling sad, she’d realized that being where she always pictured him had made her feel closer to him. He’d been like a second father to her, and while she missed him every day, she knew he would be happy with what she was getting done.
Now she checked her calendar while carefully avoiding the pile of bills in her in-box. Weddings in a Box might be a happy, interesting place, but it was also hanging on by a financial thread. One that was constantly in danger of snapping. Theme weddings didn’t come cheap, but neither did the venue and the special touches.
Tomorrow, she promised herself. She would be brave tomorrow. She checked her email and saw that two more brides had sent back signed contracts. That was good news. She would review them before—
She looked up and saw a man in the doorway to her office. Not just any man—Nick Mitchell.
Just like her Fools Gold series, You Say It First sucked me right into Happily Inc world and its residents. I love the feel of small town romances, especially the way the supporting characters are such a big part of the story. As far as the love story, Nick and Pallas felt like they were meant for each other. I love the way they met and how he kept doing things for her wedding business. There were a couple of surprises I was not expecting, but it all worked together to give them a chance at happily every after. I liked that their is so much art involved in the series and I can't wait to see what happens between Mathias and Carol!
I voluntarily reviewed this book. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own.
About Susan Mallery: #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming and humorous novels about the relationships that define women's lives—family, friendship, romance. She's best known for putting nuanced characters into emotionally complex, real-life situations with twists that surprise readers to laughter. Because Susan is passionate about animal welfare, pets play a big role in her books. Beloved by millions of readers worldwide, her books have been translated into 28 languages. Susan lives in Washington state with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her online at SusanMallery.com.