Thursday, October 24, 2019

Blog Tour: Meant to Be Yours

I'm a big romance fan. I haven't read many traditional romances these days (I've been doing more rom coms and historical fiction) so I was really pleased to have the chance to read Susan Mallery's new book, Meant to Be Yours. Plus, a heroine who's a wedding planner and a hero who's a novelist? I'm totally in.

Here's the 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?
I admit I don't think I realized this was part of a series. Or, if I did know that, I didn't think you really needed to read them in order and could just hop into town whenever you showed up. For the most part, you could. But Renee has so many friends that clearly have had their own stories that a new reader, like myself, was bombarded with characters and no backstory - but the expectation that I should know them and their history. I found myself wondering, was I already supposed to know that Renee knew who Jasper was? It sure felt like it. It was a bit frustrating and unfortunately set the tone for me early on.

I did quite like Jasper and Renee. Their relationship made all sorts of sense, even though they were determined to not actually have a relationship. Everyone in town could see it worked too. I loved reading as they got to know each other and fell for each other. It was hard to read as they went through issues, as they always do in romance novels, but that meant the HEA was an absolute delight.

That being said...Renee's motivations kind of left me baffled. The secret she was keeping from her friends was...odd. It came out of left field and I really found myself laughing and saying, "Seriously? That is her problem?" Maybe I'm inconsiderate or not so open-minded but it really was so out there. I can't say anything because, even though I didn't like it, I don't want to spoil it for anyone else.

One of my favourite things about the main characters was actually their jobs. Books and movies featuring wedding planners and authors are just so much fun for me. I'm not married - nor do we ever plan on getting married - but there's something about experiencing these high stress but romantic events in fiction I just love. I like the drama weddings bring and, as someone who has worked in the event industry, I also like the stress that comes from executing a perfect event. (Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect event. Something, somehow will go wrong.) And obviously I love to read so to see an author write an author is pretty interesting.

As part of the blog tour, I had access to a Q&A the publisher did with Mallery and I wanted to share a couple of the questions I found really interesting. I hope you do, too!

Who is an author you draw inspiration from?
Years ago, the fabulous Debbie Macomber suggested to me that I stop writing series about families, and start writing series about people who live in the same town. That advice was the inspiration for my Fool’s Gold series, which led to my Happily Inc series, as well. I’ll always be grateful to Debbie for that.

What do you hope readers will experience or gain when reading Meant to Be Yours?
I hope Meant to Be Yours will be a happy escape for them, an entertaining break from the stresses of their daily lives. This is a book for readers who like to feel the sharp pings of emotion—and the release of laughter with a guaranteed happy ending.

What drew you into writing romance?
I’ve been a romance reader since I was in middle school, and they’re still the books I enjoy the most. I love everything about them. I still get that intake-of-breath feeling when the characters first kiss. And when they finally overcome their obstacles and admit that they’re meant to be together—there’s just nothing happier or more life-affirming.

Meant to Be Yours wasn't a total winner for me but Susan Mallery's latest novel is still a pretty delightful one. It's perfect if you're looking for a sweet and fun romance where you know you're guaranteed a Happily Ever After. And who knows? Maybe you'll find yourself falling in love with Happily Inc. too.

Buy Links: 
Harlequin Indiebound * Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Books-A-Million 
Target * Walmart * Google * iBooks * Kobo

Social Links:
Twitter: @susanmallery
Facebook: @SusanMallery
Instagram: @susanmallery

Author Bio
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.

*An egalley of this novel was provided by the publisher, HarperCollins, in exchange for a review for a blog tour. All opinions are honest and my own.*