Thursday, October 24, 2019

Review: Meant To Be Yours

Meant To Be Yours (Happily Inc. - Book 5) by Susan Mallery 

Publication: 10/22/2019
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
ISBN - 13:  978-1335146373

(Received for an honest review from Harlequin HQN)

Susan Mallery on the Web: website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads

Books in the series:

Happily Inc.

Cover Art:

Excerpt from Meant To Be Yours, courtesy of Amazon’s Look Inside feature


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?


Susan Mallery has always been one of my favorite authors. She has a real knack for writing small town stories will intriguing characters. Happily Inc. is certainly just such a town. Meant To Be Yours is the fifth book in the Happily Inc. series. Readers meet Renee a local wedding planner that has no plans for a happy ever after of her own and Jasper a best selling writer with a problem. This one has everything from steamy romance to pet rescue, along with great secondary characters and a town like no other... 

What I liked:

There were several things to like about this one. Mallery always does such a great job of creating the perfect atmosphere for each series she writes. Happily Inc. is no exception. It’s a quirky little wedding destination town with all the amenities. It’s also well known for animal rescue. I love that the author was able to incorporate her love for animals in the story and into the fabric of the town. It’s a great little place with some interesting characters with reoccurring roles throughout the series.

Jasper was a great leading character. He considers himself too damaged for true love. But readers quickly figure out that this is not the case. Jasper is a wonderful character with a love for animals and a very intelligent mind. He is former military with a case of ptsd but that doesn’t stop him from being a great writer. But he’s got a problem. He just can’t write women. Maybe that’s because he doesn’t exactly date. Friends with benefits is more his style until he meets Renee. I liked Jasper but he has a hard way to go with this chick. We’ll get to her later.

The pet angle in this book was perfect. Jasper takes in a stray dog and eventually Renee overcomes her aversion to animals and adopts a couple of her own. These animals all share a great supporting role in the story. And they introduce my favorite character, Verity.

Renee’s mother Verity brings a lot of comedic relief to the story as well as a very interesting and quirky gift that will likely have readers shaking their collective heads. I loved her so much even if she was a little out there, lol 😂 

What I didn’t:

I did have a couple problems with this one. Our main characters Jasper and Renee have seen each other around town but they don’t really know each other. They quickly form a new relationship within the first few chapters of the book and it’s anything but platonic. It was a little quick on the draw for me. I need a little more to go on before I can get behind a couple. It did grow on me because I liked Jasper but then toward the end we get the same lightening draw on the conclusion. All the sudden everything is right with the world and Jasper gets his HEA. And I’m left with my eyebrows raised and a stunned look on my face... How in the...?

Oh Renee! Where do I start. I loved the whole wedding planner profession and how the author did her homework to make it realistic and authentic. I liked how committed Renee was to her couples but I really didn't like Renee at all, lol. She was whiny, a bit of a tantrum thrower and just plain immature at times. Poor Jasper had his hands full with her. I just felt he deserved more. She came off as petulant and childish when she got angry and that was often. She was what I would call a piece of work. 

Bottom Line:

This is another good book in the Happily Inc series. You have great small town charm. You have the behind the scenes moments from the life of a writer and the life of a wedding planner. You also get the pet rescue angle which not only hands some comedy to the story, but also brings awareness to the needs of animals in our communities. What’s a little beef with timing and a questionable heroine when you got all that. 😉

Meant To Be Yours is available now from your favorite bookseller

I’m giving this book 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag

About the author:

#1 NYT bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming, humorous novels about the relationships that define our lives―family, friendship, romance. She's known for putting nuanced characters in emotional situations that surprise readers to laughter. Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages.Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her at