Star Rating: 3
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin
Date of publication: March 14th, 2023
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Adult, British Literature, New Adult
Fairytale meets feminism in Luci Adams’s Not That Kind of Ever After, a frothy adventure of one woman’s journey to claim happily ever after in times of serial dating, swiping right, and the quest to find your soulmate…
Bella Marble’s life isn’t what she imagined. Instead of an author, she’s receptionist at a small press. Instead of happily married, she’s single, and her lovey-dovey parents are divorcing. And to top it off, her best friend of twenty-nine years, Ellie Mathews, is moving out and marrying the heinously boring Mark. (He’s not worthy of her. No one could be). Bella feels rudderless, only slightly soothed by time spent with Ellie’s (not hot) brother, (he’s not hot) Marty (okay, he’s hot. But he’s also the aggravating brother she never had—right)?
When Marty recommends Bella stop looking for “the one” and just have fun, Bella finds a new, empowered side of herself. But when she posts a fairy-tale retelling of a disastrous one night stand on a storytelling app, all of a sudden, Bella has become B.Enchanted. And she’s gone viral.
Now, Bella’s in a fight with Ellie, her new roommates are so, deeply, weird, and the pressure is mounting to find new fairy tales to write about—but she’s got to live them first.
It came, unlike me, while I was riding backward cowgirl on what must have been the hairiest man in London.Not That Kind of Ever After by Luci Adams
Not That Kind of Ever After is the story of Bella and how her life fell apart, got put back together, fell apart again, and got together again. Bella’s life isn’t what she thought it was going to be. She would be an author, live an extraordinary life, and be married. Instead, she’s a receptionist at a publishing house, isn’t living her dream life, and is single. In a matter of days, her life gets turned upside down when her best friend moves out and gets engaged to a man Bella can’t stand. Then she finds out her parents are getting divorced. But there is an upside to everything. She is rewriting her bad dates as fairytale retellings on a storytelling app, and she has gone viral. But as soon as she thinks she has everything, things come crashing down. A fight with her best friend, being rejected for dates (which means no stories), and weird roommates litter her life now. Can Bella get out of her way and get back on track? Or will she be stuck in the same rut forever?
I was not a fan of Bella. Oh, at first, I liked her. She was funny and seemed like a great friend. But she began to wear on me after a chapter (yes, a chapter). She was high maintenance and not in a good way. She always had to be the center of attention and literally pouted when it wasn’t on her (Ellie’s moving out/engagement party). And lastly, she was highly immature. I could have dealt with the other faults and liked her. But it was her immatureness that ruined her character for me. Put it this way, I felt for Ellie’s fiancee and her roommates.
I did like that the author took Bella’s romantic hijinks and had Bella turn them into romance fairytales. It gave me a fresh way of looking at the fairytales and a giggle.
The side characters were well-written in Not That Kind of Ever After. I sympathized with them because I didn’t know how they tolerated the drunken, immature mess that Bella had evolved into.
Bella did experience character growth during this book. There was a point in the book where Bella realized that maybe she was doing everything to herself, and she tried to fix everything. It was nice to read that, but the damage was done in my eyes with her. Like a real-life person, I didn’t want a character to be a constant drama llama, and Bella was.
The romance angle of the book was interesting to read. While I think I figured out who Bella ended up with, I needed clarification. So, I wouldn’t label this a HEA with her on the romance front.
There is a lot of sex in Not That Kind of Ever After. What I liked is that the sex experiences ran the gauntlet. They went from bad to good to out-of-this-world fantastic. The author even threw in a menage for Bella to experience.
The end of Not That Kind of Ever After was interesting. I liked that the author wrapped everything up. I am not going to get into anything other than that, other than the ending was very fitting for the book.
I would recommend Not That Kind of Ever After to anyone over 21. There is language, mild violence, and sexual situations.
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin, NetGalley, and Luci Adams for allowing me to read and review Not That Kind of Ever After. All opinions stated in this review are mine.
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