Title: Happily Ever After by Elizabeth Maxwell
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Women’s Fiction
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: A
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
In this witty, sexy tale, an erotic novelist meets the fictional hero of her most recent book in real life, and must decide whether she wants to get him back between the pages—or between her sheets.
At forty-six, Sadie Fuller’s life isn’t exactly romantic. A divorced, overweight, somewhat sexually frustrated mother of an eleven-year-old, she lives in the suburbs, shops the big box stores, makes small talk with her small-minded neighbors, and generally leads a quiet life. But while her daughter is at school, or when Sadie is up late at night, she writes erotic fiction under the name KT Briggs.
Then, during a routine shopping trip, Sadie runs into someone familiar…too familiar, in fact. She encounters an incredibly handsome man exactly like the one in her imagination—and her latest novel. Is Aidan Hathaway really one of her characters? And if so, what is he doing in Target? As Sadie tries to negotiate this strange new world, her eyes begin to open to romantic possibilities in places she never dreamed of looking… places where Happily Ever After might not be so far-fetched after all.
Elizabeth Maxwell’s debut novel, Happily Ever After is a charmingly offbeat read that is outrageously funny and refreshingly unique. Fast paced and riveting, the story is an interesting mix of genres but that is what makes it such a truly outstanding reading experience.
Erotic novelist and single mother Sadie Fuller wakes up to find an unexpected 2000 words in her latest work in progress (WIP). She knows she didn’t write this part of the story, but trying to get to the bottom of the mystery of who did takes a backseat to her daily chauffeuring and shopping duties. During a shopping expedition, her life takes a very unexpected turn when she meets a stranger who is vaguely familiar. When Sadie brings the man with the movie star looks home, his identity leads to a rather bizarre and mystifying conclusion: the characters from her current WIP have magically stepped off the pages and into her life. The zany, rather madcap adventure that follows leads Sadie in a very unanticipated direction and forever changes her life.
Sadie has had her heart broken a few times and following her divorce, she has concentrated mainly on raising her daughter and her writing career. She gets along great with her ex and while he flits from romance to romance, Sadie has been content to avoid the dating scene. She has a no strings casual relationship with a great guy but her longest lasting and most successful relationship is with her German housekeeper Greta. After a chance meeting with her no strings guy, Sadie begins to rethink her feelings for him but she has her hands full trying to reunite the hero and heroine from her current WIP.
Written in first person from Sadie’s perspective, readers gain fascinating insight into the writing process-most especially character and plot development. This interesting look into how an author creates characters and devises a storyline is seamlessly woven into the unfolding story and is in fact, quite crucial to the dilemma that Sadie and her characters are facing.
Happily Ever After is an eclectic blend of several genres but it is primarily a romantic comedy. It begins with a few very steamy sex scenes but it quickly turns to women’s fiction once Sadie takes over as the novel’s narrator. There is also just the tiniest hint of a paranormal aspect as well but this adds a delightful touch of whimsy to the story.
An impressive first novel by Elizabeth Maxwell, Happily Ever After is a very entertaining romance that is wickedly funny with smart dialogue and an extremely original storyline. An enchanting and magical story that I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend.