Blogiversary Review: Desperately Ever After by Laura Kenyon (Desperately Ever After series, #1)


Blurb: Imagine what might happen if our most beloved fairy tale princesses were the best of friends and had the dreams, dilemmas, and libidos of the modern woman. How would their stories unfold after the wedding bells stopped ringing? Set in a fictional realm based on New York City, DESPERATELY EVER AFTER sprinkles women’s fiction with elements of fantasy, and encourages readers to rethink everything they know about happy endings.

Years after turning her husband from beast back to man and becoming his queen, Belle finds out she’s finally going to have a child. But before she can announce the wondrous news, she catches him cheating and watches her “happily ever after” go up in flames. Turning to her friends for the strength to land with grace, she realizes she’s not the only one at a crossroads:

Cinderella, a mother of four drowning in royal duties, is facing her 30th birthday and questioning everything she’s done (or hasn’t) with her life.

Rapunzel, a sex-crazed socialite and one-woman powerhouse, is on a self-destructive quest to make up for 20 years locked away in a tower.

Penelopea, an outsider with a mother-in-law from hell, is harboring a secret that could ruin everything at any moment.

One part Sex and the City, two parts Desperate Housewives, and three parts Brothers Grimm, DESPERATELY EVER AFTER picks up where the original tales left off—and reimagines them a la Gregory Maguire’s Wicked. With the wit of authors like Jennifer Weiner and the vision of ABC’s Once Upon a Time, the women of DESPERATELY EVER AFTER rescue each other from life’s trials with laughter, wine, and a scandalous new take on happily ever after.

An anachronistic delight. I liked this book.

Story-line, amazing! Really, what if happily ever after was never the big, bang end, and there was a more realistic end made in place for all these princesses? Cinderella ageing, worried about wrinkles, baby fat and fitting into her first magical gown? (marvelous!) Rampunzel a sassy, Samantha-Jones look alike who treats men like they were cows, lassoed, played with and dumped into whatever pen they came from? (spectacular!) Belle, dealing with more than a Son of a Beast, but a cheating, lying, monster of a husband on her hand? (pentastic!) Who wouldn’t want to read something new, refreshing and fan-freaking-tastic? Praise to Laura Kenyon.

As I’ve spoken about some of the characters above, you know I liked them much. But there were others too that held my attention. Like Julianne, the bitchy sister who wants Belle’s happiness. Perry Hilderbrand, the connoisseur of gossip; think of this guy as a Perez Hilton with a tongue as sharp as the bluntest knife so battering a celebrated figure into pieces is painful, awful, slow poison. Oh, you would love Ruby, the fairy godmother who is out to protect our favourite princesses and stern about the happily-ever-after theory. Ethan, the charming guy who won one of our favourite princesses’ heart (in and out of bed!).

What would also do it for you in the humour section is the whole setting. Laura’s transformation of New York into a sensational setting fit for real queens (and not the ones from gossip girl!) is just so going down in the history books. With references to all clichés in fairy tales, Laura whips up an amazing setting perfect for fans who want to relive their amazing fairy tale days.

The suspense in this book also earns a star from me. The plot is downright, um, unguessable (if you get what I mean). Really, it all boils down to the fact that Laura changes the whole shebang presenting life after the happily-ever-after. The mystery with who’s cheating and which princess is cheating with whose husband got me totally engaged.
I like the element of fantasy this book had. But was it fantastic? Hmm… as much as I liked it. I wished I loved, loved it. The humour thing is what every author hates about me, I guess. With a subject matter like this, I expected the humour to be top-notch. There was humour though, don’t get me wrong, but I just wished I didn’t have to wait long intervals before I burst into, um, a chuckle.

So my rating, Four stars.

Laura’s amazing debut can be bought at amazon.

I recommend this book to anyone who’s a big fan of fairy-tale-revamped titles. Anyone who thinks the notion of happily-ever-after is all a fake, and that in real marriages there are bound to be rough-patches. Anyone who wants a debut author to watch before they sky-rocket into huge recognition should get this title. And anyone who really wants to find a way to ditch reading the monotonous fairy tales to their kids once in a while, and pick up something more realistic should grab this.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.

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