Title: Merrily Ever After
Series: Bridesmaids Behaving Badly Series
By: Jenny Holiday
Author’s Website: http://jennyholiday.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
Elise Maxwell is loving her first Christmas with her husband, Jay Smith. So far, newlywed life has been filled with laughter and lots of steamy marital “bliss.” But when Elise discovers she’s accidentally, against-all-odds pregnant, happily-ever-after screeches to a halt. Although she sees it as a Christmas miracle, Elise knows her new husband might not agree…
Jay never wanted to be a father. In fact, he’s avoided it his entire life, worried he’d repeat the patterns of his own messed-up childhood. He’s madly in love with Elise and, until now, he thought they were on the same page about not having children. But her surprise pregnancy changes everything. Elise is suddenly committed to parenthood, and Jay knows he can’t lose her. Facing his deepest fears will be difficult, but with a little holiday magic, Jay might be able to prove to Elise that – as a family – they’re destined to live merrily ever after. (Goodreads)
My first foray into the writings of Jenny Holiday exceeded my expectations. I was expecting a feel good, enjoyable afternoon read with this novella, Merrily Ever After. What I got was a great, thoroughly. enjoyable afternoon with a read that kept me engaged…and reading! I found the writing engaging. The characters felt like friends (very relatable) and the location(s) caught me off guard – referring to towns that I know and have visited (Toronto) or national holidays:
“…when they’d gotten tired of waiting for her, had somehow morphed into said friends crashing Cohen & Smith’s Canada Day party wearing the world’s most ridiculous glittery red maple-leaf glasses.”
Married couple Elise and Jay are a match made in heaven. Perfectly in sync with the same life goals, including being okay with the fact that Elise cannot have children. They are the “cute” couple… with everyone striving to have a relationship such as theirs – committed, loving, playful and they are each others best friend as well. Well except that Elise does have her gal pals. All appears perfect in Jay’s and Elise’s life until Elise discovers against all odds that she is with child. Jay never signed up to have children and now Elise is distraught over the fact that if she tells him, she may lose him.
This discovery comes as Elise and Jay are taking a romantic jaunt outside of the city for the weekend. They are a quirky couple with some interesting proclivities. They enjoy board games (usually involving taking clothes off for the loser… first person naked loses…or do they?). Elise tries valiantly to hide her secret but as the weekend goes on Jay knows something is off, but waits patiently for Elise to come clean. As one suspects, Jay does not handle either the deception nor the “being with child” news well.
Now I am not going to go into more of the story so that you may enjoy discovering all this gem of a novella has to offer, however, I can make some rather vague comments to whet your appetite.
The “not ever wanting children” on Jay’s part is actually due to many things that have happened in his life. Luckily for Jay, he has his brother around to help him discover, confront and (if all goes well) resolve past issues so that his marriage can continue with the love of his life.
The “not ever wanting children” on Elise’s part was founded on the assumption that she could not have children as a result of a severe case of endometriosis. So what is a gal to do when all her adult life she has pushed down the desire to have children when she believed she couldn’t and as such, married a man whom she adores but does not want children. When this changes…will her true desires win out and destroy her marriage? It definitely took Elise’s best gal pals to help her realize her true desires and then come up with a game plan for her life.
I found the hot and sexy parts were just enough steam for my liking. I also found the characters and storytelling so engaging that I could not put the book down. And that is a true testament in my mind as to how good a book is! Even the title is significant to Elise and Jay… made my heart flutter. My only criticism is that the story ended WAY too soon.
This thoroughly delightful story, Merrily Ever After, has me putting on my TBR (to be read) pile the other titles in the Bridesmaids Behaving Badly Series. If you like a bit of spice with your romance as well as humour, then you should put Merrily Ever After on your TBR pile!