You Say It First Review, Excerpt, and Book Tour!

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 Synopsis:

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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SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW

There is much to like about Susan Mallery’s first book, You Say It First, from her new series, Happily Inc. How can you not like an initial scene with the woman, Pallas, telling the man, a very confused man, Nick, to take his shirt off when he thought he was interviewing for a regular old carpenter job? And then he’s dressed as a Roman and expected to carry the bride in on her throne (or whatever the Romans called it).

Like this opening scene, many amusing scenes play out as Pallas and Nick come together in this well written romance. And near the ending, there is a beautiful scene, which I can’t go into in detail because I won’t spoil the story for you, that emphasizes that love is not conditional, that you should say it when you feel it, and be glad for and apppreciate all of the time you have together.

Unfortunately You Say It First is not without its problems. First, Mallery decided to introduce perhaps all the rest of the characters from the series in the first book, or so it seemed. I found it too much and far too much to try to keep up with, especially when there was a scene with a character called “Natalie” and I was trying to figure out which one she was. Less is more is a great motto to adhere to–pretty much always.

And then there was repetition. I noted three instances and then stopped counting of Pallas reiterating the difficulties with her mother, almost verbatim. Likewise, the same types of discussions arise with Nick and his brothers regarding their own father and the bombshell he’d dropped. I’m afraid that when I noticed myself putting the book aside more and more frequently that the repetition was affecting my reading.

However, and this may be a big however, I really enjoyed the story. As wedding planners seem to have popped up a lot in fiction lately, a wedding planner who does theme weddings was a nice change. And, Mallery did provide a great deal of interesting detail about the weddings as well as Nick’s artistry, which certainly raises the You Say It First above the norm. So when you consider the quality of the writing (minus repetitions), the sense of humor, and freshness of the read, I think that this is a novel to add to your tbr pile and definitely a good start to a new series. I do hope that the repetitions and number of characters are minimized in future installments though.

I was provided with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


rating: 3-and-half

3 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies


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-EXCERPT-

Bright and early Monday morning she made her way to Weddings in a Box and walked the property. The main building was three sided, in a U shape with a courtyard in the middle. At the west end was the small lobby with a fairly traditional facade done with a slight Italian villa flair. The north side was finished with stone and resembled a medieval castle. The south side was covered with wooden siding—giving it a ranch-like, Old West, rustic feel.

One building, three options that could easily be fluffed to fit nearly a dozen wedding themes. Quirky, yes, but she loved every fake brick and nonworking window.

She checked for damage to the building and fence—because there was that one time a groomsman had run his car into the gate—and lost or abandoned property. Celebrations went late, liquor ran freely and more than one shoe, bra or pair of panties had been found on the lawn.

What was it about weddings and irresponsible sex? Sure, the bride and groom were likely to get some but that was tradition. Everyone else should wait until they got home—only they rarely did. Fortunately today all she found was a streamer and a few flower petals. No need for protective gloves to pick up those.

She made her way inside and headed for the business office on the second floor. She’d only moved into what she still thought of as Gerald’s office a few weeks before. For the first month after his death—after learning that he’d left her his business—she’d been in shock. For the next two months, she’d been unwilling to make any changes. Last month she’d realized that running from her desk to his fifty times a day was just plain dumb. Gerald wouldn’t have given her Weddings in a Box if he didn’t want her to keep it going. So she’d moved into his office.

Instead of feeling sad, she’d realized that being where she always pictured him had made her feel closer to him. He’d been like a second father to her, and while she missed him every day, she knew he would be happy with what she was getting done.

Now she checked her calendar while carefully avoiding the pile of bills in her in-box. Weddings in a Box might be a happy, interesting place, but it was also hanging on by a financial thread. One that was constantly in danger of snapping. Theme weddings didn’t come cheap, but neither did the venue and the special touches.

Tomorrow, she promised herself. She would be brave tomorrow. She checked her email and saw that two more brides had sent back signed contracts. That was good news. She would review them before—

“Good morning.”

She looked up and saw a man in the doorway to her office. Not just any man—Nick Mitchell.

Write your own Wedding story!

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Susan Mallery’s YOU SAY IT FIRST – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

August 21st

Booked All Night – Review & Excerpt

I Love Romance – Review & Excerpt

Katy and Zetti’s Book Ramblings – Excerpt

August 22nd

A Southern Girls Bookshelf – Excerpt

Booknerd1107 – Review & Excerpt

Ficwishes – Excerpt

Readaholic – Excerpt

August 23rd

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

It’s all About the Romance – Excerpt

Rachel Loren’s Love of Reading – Review & Excerpt

Stephanie’s Book Reports – Review

August 24th

Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt

Books and Things Blog – Review & Excerpt

K.T. Castle – Excerpt

Reading Reality – Review

Romantic Reads and Such – Excerpt

August 25th

Living In Our Own Story – Review & Excerpt

Lover of Big Books Cannot Lie – Review & Excerpt

Nose Stuck in a Book – Excerpt

Thoughts of a Blonde – Excerpt

August 26th

Mean Girls Luv Books – Review & Excerpt

Melena’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

August 27th

Adventures in Writing – Excerpt

Forget the Housework, I’m Reading… – Review

Nicole’s Book Musings – Review & Excerpt

August 28th

Mama She’s Crazy About Books – Review

The Butterfly Reads – Review & Excerpt

Two Book Pushers – Review

August 29th

Little Bookworm Reviews – Review

Romancing Rakes for the Love of Romance – Excerpt

Shannon’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Tales From A Bookworm – Review & Excerpt

August 30th

Collector of book boyfriends – Excerpt

Inside The Mind of an Avid Reader – Review & Excerpt

Jen’s Reading Obsession – Review & Excerpt

August 31st

Miss Riki – Review & Excerpt

Remarkablylisa – Review & Excerpt

Sofia Loves Books – Review & Excerpt

September 1st

Bookishly Yours – Review & Excerpt

Fire and Ice Book Reviews – Review

Romancing the Readers – Review

TBR Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

September 2nd

Cesya MaRae Cuono, Author – Excerpt

Dog-Eared Daydreams – Review

Moonlight Rendezvous – Review & Excerpt

September 3rd

E-Romance News – Excerpt

Francoise’s Reading Corner – Review

Ramblings From This Chick – Excerpt

Sweet Red Reads – Review & Excerpt

September 4th

Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

I’m A Book Shark – Review & Excerpt

Pervy Ladies Books – Excerpt

Shannon’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

September 5th

From the TBR Pile – Review & Excerpt

My Nook, Books & More – Review

Renee Entress’s Blog – Review & Excerpt

The bookworm chronicles – Excerpt

September 6th

A geordielass honest blog on reviews – Review

Book Reviews By Lexi – Review

Lattes & Paperbacks – Review & Excerpt

KDRBCK – Review & Excerpt

September 7th

Brittany’s Book Blog – Excerpt

JOJO THE BOOKAHOLIC – Review & Excerpt

OMGReads – Review & Excerpt

Romance as a first language – Review & Excerpt

Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored – Review & Excerpt

September 8th

Book Lovers Hangout – Review & Excerpt

G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt

Smokin Hot Reads Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

The Book Maven – Review

The Lovely Books – Review & Excerpt

About Susan Mallery:

#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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2 thoughts on “You Say It First Review, Excerpt, and Book Tour!

  1. Pingback: Second Chance Girl Review and Book Tour! | Sascha Darlington's Microcosm Explored

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