Harlequin is holding a winter blog tour for several of their new releases in Romance and Women’s Fiction. I eagerly jumped on board for Meant to be Yours by Susan Mallery. This is the fifth book in the Happily Inc series, but I had no problem following and enjoying this story, not having read the ones that came before it. I will definitely check them out now. Scroll down for my review.
Published October 22,2019 by HQN Books
Synopsis: In Happily Inc, love means never having to say “I do”…
Wedding coordinator Renee Grothen isn’t meant for marriage. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, plan. But she never could have planned on gorgeous, talented thriller writer Jasper Dembenski proposing—a fling, that is. Fun without a future. And the attraction between them is too strong for Renee to resist. Now she can have her no-wedding cake…and eat it, too.
After years in the military, Jasper is convinced he’s too damaged for relationships. So a flirtation—and more—with fiery, determined Renee is way too good to pass up…until his flame becomes his muse.
Renee is an expert at averting every crisis. But is she finally ready to leap into the one thing that can never be controlled: love?
MEANT TO BE YOURS (Happily Inc Book 5) by Susan Mallery is a contemporary romance set in the wedding destination town of Happily Inc. Renee Grothen is a wedding planner at “Weddings Out of the Box”. She loves her job and does her best to make sure that every couple has a perfect wedding, or at least as perfect as she can make it. Even though she spends her life creating memorable days for happy couples, she has sworn off marriage and serious relationships. Enter Jasper Dembenski, a novelist who began writing as a way to combat PTSD. After five years, he is comfortable in his life on the mountain just outside Happily Inc. He has recently acquired an older dog, Koda, and is relatively happy. With all his scars, he feels he is too broken for a serious or permanent relationship. It seems that Renee and Jasper are perfect for each other. They embark on a friends with benefits type of relationship to suit them both. As they get to know each other better, their feelings grow stronger. Will they be able to share their secrets and hurts from their past? Will they get over the fear of commitment?
I really enjoyed this book, and read it in one day while the rain poured down outside. I knew there would be a HEA, but I had to idea how they would get there. I enjoyed the whole story. There was a lot happening with Jasper writing his book and needing help, all the goings on at Weddings Out of the Box, Renee’s mom and her special gift, and all the wonderful characters that form the friendships in Happily Inc. I loved the character of Jasper. From the moment he decided to take Koda home after finding him abandoned and starving to learning about his past, I wanted him to have a happy relationship beyond just a few months. Renee could be annoying at times. I understood her feelings about her mother’s gift, but her fear seemed a bit irrational to me and I am glad she got over it. The dialogue was very realistic and well-written. It seemed, right from the start, that these two needed each other and were fated to get together. Their “disagreements” were always entertaining and it never took them long to realize they were wrong and make up. There was some intimacy in the story, but it was brief and not graphically described which I liked. Overall, this was a wonderful story of second chances, romance, acceptance, friendship and taking chances. I also loved that the novella written between books 2 & 3 was included in the back, which is the story of one of the friends in town. I definitely recommend this one to lovers of romance. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.
About the Author: SUSAN MALLERY is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of novels about the relationships that define women’s lives—family, friendship, romance. Library Journal says, “Mallery is the master of blending emotionally believable characters in realistic situations,” and readers seem to agree—40 million copies of her books have sold worldwide. Her warm, humorous stories make the world a happier place to live.
Susan grew up in California and now lives in Seattle with her husband. She’s passionate about animal welfare, especially that of the two ragdoll cats and adorable poodle who think of her as mom.