DAUGHTERS OF THE BRIDE – Susan Mallery
HQN (Hardcover)
ISBN: 978-0-373-78971-9
July 2016
Contemporary Romance

Los Lobos, California – Present Day

Raised by their mother, Maggie Watson, after their father died suddenly, the three sisters, Courtney, Sienna, and Rachel are glad to help plan Maggie's wedding to Neil. But what they didn't expect is how the weeks leading up to the wedding starts a change for each of them.

Rachel is the oldest and just recently divorced from Greg. She's bitter that he cheated on her but now he's hanging around, ready to help her out more with the raising of their son. Rachel has always resisted help from others, but will she accept it now from Greg…and realize he's the only man for her?

Sienna, the middle child, is the beautiful one and has a hard time with male relationships. At Maggie and Neil's engagement party, her current boyfriend, David, surprises her by proposing to her. How could she tell him the truth, in front of a group of people, that she doesn't feel the same for him? What about the way David is forcing her to start making wedding plans that she doesn't agree with?

The youngest, Courtney, works at the Los Lobos hotel and discovered when she was a child that she had a learning disability. She has felt neglected by Maggie, who spent long hours working to support the family after they lost their home, and she doesn't share with her mother and sisters the news that she is about to earn her college degree in hotel management. How will the entrance of the hotel's owner's grandson, Quinn Yates, into Courtney's life change her?

The planning of the wedding is the central theme of DAUGHTERS OF THE BRIDE by Susan Mallery, with the Watson family at the core. Also, part of their lives is the hotel owner, Joyce Yates, who is keeping Courtney's secret from her family, despite her urging Courtney to tell them the truth. Courtney has overcome her earlier learning disability and is doing well in college, but her family thinks she is just wasting her life working as a maid at the hotel. But once the wedding planning starts and they see Courtney in action as a wedding planner, their eyes are opened. Will she reveal the truth? Quinn is a hotshot music producer looking to settle down in Los Lobos. Courtney intrigues him, but she is convinced no one would want to be in a relationship with her because she's tall and awkward. Quinn wants to be her Henry Higgins and transform her into a self-assured and beautiful woman. Will sparks shoot off between them?

Rachel is one of those people who takes on too much and then complains when no one will help her. She spent so much time ignoring her marriage that Greg drifted off to have a fling. Rachel felt betrayed and is angry at Greg, but things are beginning to thaw. After a few comments are made by a couple of women about her “letting her looks go” she decides to lose weight and make herself over. Wherever she turns, there's Greg. Can she forgive him and see if they can make a go of things again?

Sienna is beginning to feel suffocated by David. First he forces her to accept his marriage proposal, and then he's planning her life, one she doesn't want, like moving to St. Louis and wearing his grandmother's old, ugly wedding gown. He is persuasive enough that she doesn't have the backbone to tell him the truth. As it begins to drag on, she feels trapped. She's already broken off engagements in the past to two different men. Is she not the marrying kind?

In the background of DAUGHTERS OF THE BRIDE is the bride herself, Maggie. She wants the wedding she never had before when she married the girls' father. Some of her requests are a little off the wall, but Courtney, Rachel, and Sienna will do anything to please their mother. It is well planned (with Courtney's assistance) and promises to be the wedding of the summer in Los Lobos. Will something happen to spoil it?

There are a lot of intertwined plots running throughout DAUGHTERS OF THE BRIDE but readers won't feel lost as each of the sisters has a distinct personality and story. Despite their differences, they share a common goal in wanting to see their mother happy. They don't know a lot about Neil, and in this tale it slowly reveals more of his past, one which ends up surprising and delighting them. Also in the background is Joyce (and her two furry canine friends); much like Maggie, she had to rebuild her life after the sudden death of a husband. Quinn is her only relative and she wants to see him married. Is she doing a bit of matchmaking between him and Courtney?

A fun and entertaining tale, DAUGHTERS OF THE BRIDE is that summer beach read to take with you as the story pulls you in and you will want to find out if everyone gets their happily-ever-after.

Patti Fischer