And They Lived Happily Ever After by Therese Beharrie
November 30, 2021, by Zebra Books
Review by Melinda
I love Therese Beharrie’s voice and the plot here is imaginative and creative, but I’m not sure if the execution of everything worked.
The concept of this book is that a romance author dreams the plots of her books…relatively simple, right? Well, these dreams are magically written into her books. I thought that the setup and idea of going back and forth between Gaia’s dreams and reality to be appealing but it was more confusing than anything as it was jarring each time that we move from dream to reality because while Gaia sometimes can, and sometimes cannot, distinguish between reality – it left me *always* confused. It may be an issue with ARC formatting and I am curious to know how it plays out in the final copy. I hope that it is easier to follow! I found the dreams to be such a fun part of the storyline and they moved the relationship forward each time.
But there was just so much going on in this book. A list of the highlights:
- Early on, in the first couple of chapters, Gaia is caught with her best friend’s brother, Jacob, in an extremely heated embrace.
- This leads to an (over the top) fight between both Gaia and her best friend, and Jacob and his brother.
- Shortly afterwards her dream writing brings Jacob into those dreams…as in he is IN the dreams – and this brings about the main plot of the book of trying to unravel all of this
- Jacob questions his career path
- Gaia is questioning her writing
- Gaia has – surprise – a stalker/long-lost sister
- Her long-lost sister has a very very odd hanger-on with her
- Gaia and her best friend attempt to work out their differences
I thought Gaia and Jacob as a couple worked well together, and the chemistry between the two was excellent. But with so much else going on in the book it was difficult to see that chemistry at times. Things would heat up between the two of them in the dream world but then in the real world they would be trying to figure out how the dreams actually worked so I wasn’t quite buying into their relationship development.
Then, there is a subplot with Gaia’s fan coming to see her at a signing, and we get a few POV’s from her here and there. This threw me off completely because we’d see brief hints of what was to come from that POV and it was also jarring. We come to find out this is her long lost sister and truly, did we need another plot point? I felt like I was in a soap opera…which isn’t always a bad thing, but I just wasn’t expecting it with this book.
The writing is really good, and Gaia’s anxiety was represented very well. She has panic attacks, as well as periods of depression, and this all felt incredibly realistic to me. I just wish a few plot points were scaled back here and there.
Grade: B –