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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You Say It First
Happily Inc series
by Susan Mallery
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fool’s Gold romances invites you to visit Happily Inc, a wedding destination founded on a fairy tale…
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.
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The afternoon passed quickly. Alan stayed with Catherine, the beauty team arrived and did their thing. At five, the ushers were seating the guests, and at five forty-five, the beautiful bride walked down the aisle. Pallas stood in the back next to Alan as they watched the ceremony move smoothly forward.
“See,” he whispered. “It’s fine.”
“You were right.”
“Three of my favorite words. I’m going to make you repeat them again and again.”
Pallas left to check on the catering. Silver had her trailer set up and was mixing the signature drinks; the bride’s specially hired DJ had already started setting up his equipment. Nick, who only needed to be a courtier for the procession, had already changed back into street clothes.
“Feeling better?” he asked.
“Much. I still think the server costumes are a little slutty, but that wasn’t my call. We have food, we have drinks, we have music.” She glanced over to where the DJ had set up his equipment. “I’m going to start breathing more deeply now.”
“Good.” Nick put his arm around her. “Want me to take your picture with the zebras?”
“Maybe later. Do they seem calm? They were tense when they arrived.”
“I gave them valium. They’re fine.”
She spun toward him and grabbed his arm. “Don’t joke about that. I mean it. I’m one crisis away from snapping.”
“Sorry. No drugging zebra jokes, although that really kills my best material.”
Pallas returned to the main building and waited for the service to end. She made sure everyone made their way to the reception area and was grateful when Catherine gave her a thumb’s-up.
While the wedding party took postceremony pictures, Pallas made sure the guests had plenty to drink and that the appetizers were circulating briskly. She was so focused on that she almost didn’t hear the loud shrieks from the far side of the open area. Almost.
“Oh no! They’re loose.”
Pallas hurried to the gates just in time to see three zebras running down the road.
“Should have let me drug them,” Nick murmured as Carol and Cade got in his truck and hurried after them. Pallas spotted four teenage boys laughing by the temporary fencing. She narrowed her gaze and started toward them.
With her Fool’s Gold series, Mallery is known for bringing readers quirky, humorous stories that somehow manage to be lighthearted with depth. And with Happily Inc she does it again! SQUEEEE! As we’ve come to expect, her characters are great with the zingers but can bring you to tears … and not just with laughter. They have issues – real ones that you can totally get behind – and they have to deal with them before they can find their happy.
Pallas’s has to do with her mother. For some reason her mom is really hard on her and nothing Pallas does is good enough, although she’s spent her whole life trying. She’s at a crossroads in her life, though, having just inherited a wedding planning business while her mom wants her to work for the family bank. Pallas has to decide what is right for her.
Nick’s issues have to do with his father and returning readers from Fool’s Gold will be familiar with the backstory (but new readers should have no trouble catching up – Mallery’s a pro at giving you the info you need). His stay in Happily Inc is just a stop on his way to whatever he’s doing next, giving him a chance to connect with his brothers. He definitely didn’t plan on Pallas and the kinds of feelings he’s developing for her. He’s seen what that does to a person and he has no intention of getting that involved. If you are familiar with Mallery’s work you know how that turns out … when does anything go as you expect it to? 🙂
For me the fluidity of Mallery’s stories really keeps me coming back for more. I mean, the snappy dialogue and fun people are definitely at the top of that list, but she knows how to wrap everything together so that it works seamless towards that HEA. Both Nick and Pallas work on their family issues (although Nick’s can’t be 100% resolved because he has brothers who need their own stories) and their concerns over the future, including whatever hangups are involved with committing to their relationship. It’s pretty common in Mallery’s stories but she makes it seem fresh when she does it. Every. Single. Time. I don’t know how but she’s gotta have some kinda of magic going on. And I am so ready to see what she has in store for us next!
#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.
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Susan Mallery’s YOU SAY IT FIRST – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:
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