Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: ”But trust me when I tell you, living in the past will bring you nothing but misery. Now is all that matters.”
Gideon Montrose has spent centuries mourning the loss of his one true love. Bound indefinitely to the Seelie King, Gideon serves without question or mercy; using his fairy powers and skill as a merciless warrior to carry out the king’s commands. When his king charges him with finding the person behind a recent rash of fairy dust thefts, Gideon obeys without question. But when he catches the culprit red handed, he can’t believe his eyes.
Known as Robin Hood back in the day, Arabella Locksley spent her days thieving from the rich and her nights in the arms of Gideon Montrose aka Little John. Having supposedly fallen to her death 500 years ago, now she’s back and with a multitude of secrets clouding her eyes and no ready answers for Gideon.
Gideon is duty bound to turn her over to his king but his heart demands answers. How is she alive? Where has she been all this time? And why did she never try to find him? As Gideon works to discover what happened so long ago, he finds himself involved in a series of mysterious thefts and deaths that all seem to lead back to Arabella.
Ever After is the fourth installment of SeRine’s Transplanted series. A series based on the premise of what would life be like if some fairy tale, nursery rhyme, and literary characters suddenly found themselves transported from fantasy to reality. Well-plotted and cast with strong and dynamic characters, Ever After is a paranormal romance filled with suspense, betrayal, dangerous antagonists, and a heavy dollop of humor and romance.
Strongly character driven, SeRine expands her world using her characters lives; adding dimension, personality, and some tongue in cheek dialogue. SeRine takes a very liberal route in the retelling of certain fairytales; giving us a modern updated version of what we all read as children. She twists the stories, giving her characters a voice to offer readers a different version of how events really transpired…directly from the source(s).
Though multiple storylines intertwine and expand, giving us a juicy mystery that is rather convoluted in it’s make up, this is still primarily Gideon’s and Arabella’s story. Gideon has been briefly mentioned in previous stories; the king’s right hand man, trusted advisor, and eventually best friend. An Unseelie warrior who is the last of his people and became bound to the man who helped destroyed them all.. Portrayed as a hard somewhat merciless man, ReSine explores Gideon’s rich backstory and we learn the events surrounding how he became bound into service and the love he lost so long ago.
Arabella’s backstory is equally heart wrenching and compelling. Intelligent, loyal, and quite spirited, Arabella has used her wits to triumph over tragedy throughout her life. Both she and Gideon are self sacrificing; willing to do whatever they can in order to help someone. You never doubt her love for Gideon, especially when you learn she has been shadowing him for years, only staying away when she saw he was in what appeared to be a serious relationship.
Second chance romance is a favorite trope of mine and SeRine does a beautiful job of setting the stage of Gideon’s and Arabella’s reunion. Even with the sparks between Arabella and Gideon instantly burning hot and bright, regardless of all the lost time between them, Gideon moves slowly, wary of Arabella and everything that seems to be happening around her. I do admit it took me awhile to like Arabella. She comes off slightly selfish in the beginning. She refuses to tell Gideon exactly what’s going on and only comes clean when he grows tired of her omissions and threatens to leave her.
I enjoyed the liberties SeRine takes with the legends of Robin Hood and Arthur Pendragon. We see plenty old and new friends; ReSine uses them to expand and wrap up some ongoing storylines from the series. The conflict and subplots are action packed and a bit nerve racking as the SeRine plays her hand close to the vest. The ending resolves itself perfectly and leaves just enough open so we have no doubts we will be seeing more of this couple and world in the future. Readers who enjoy an action packed retelling of fairy tales and the show, Once Upon A Time, are sure to enjoy SeRine’s version of “Happily Ever After.”
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