Published by Self-Published on 1st February 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy on Amazon US • Buy on Amazon UK
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.
*I received an ecopy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
“The things you write, and the things you do…they give people courage to believe in themselves. They give people strength to leave a shitty situation and hope there’s something better.”
“No.” Rapunzel shook her head emphatically. “They just tell people what they already know.”
“Knowing something and believing it are two very different things, Pun.”
Desperately Ever After follows four princesses, Belle, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Penelopea, after their so called Happily Ever Afters. But life as we know it is not so magical for these four. Belle finds out her husband, Donner aka Beast, is a cheater. Rapunzel is a wild child with her only attachments being her friends. Cinderella is having a mid-life crisis at 30 and Penelopea is constantly under pressure from her mother-in-law.
For me, the story was all about Belle and Rapunzel. Cinderella and Penelopea were somewhat interesting but I could have done without their stories. It was more like bonus side stories in my opinion. With that said though, the story flowed nicely and it never felt rushed or slow. I just preferred to read about Belle and Rapunzel. The newspaper columns every few chapters were fun little inserts. It was a cute method of giving the audience information but doing it in a way that fit with the story and the fact that the princesses are celebrities and are constantly watched.
Belle has always been my favorite Disney princess and that continued on in this book. I mean…hello…she loves to read! Her story was my favorite in the book and I enjoyed watching her happy ever after unfold or lack of one as was the case. Her closeness with Rapunzel was nice to watch and it was interesting seeing the princesses interact since their tales don’t connect in the stories we all tend to know. Plus I did love all the girl power. It wasn’t ever too much that I got tired of it. It just reminded me more of girlfriends helping each other so they can have that fairy tale life they were promised.
Rapunzel was the one lone single woman and I loved her somewhat care free spirit. I definitely would be interested in reading more of what happened when she was locked in the tower. The only reference I have about that time was from the movie Tangled J so I’m curious how it was during this version. I really wish I could say more about her story since hers seemed the most like the beginning of a story instead of a story we joined already in progress like the rest, but that would be giving away too much.
Cinderella was actually a little annoying to me haha. There were times I just wanted to slap her…in a loving way of course. Penelopea was okay. I don’t really have super negative or positive feelings about her. I did feel bad that she was under so much pressure, especially since her husband didn’t really help to alleviate it, but her story didn’t really interest me as much as Belle and Rapunzel’s.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. I am a big fan of reimagined fairy tales so I jumped on the chance to review this book. I loved the different take and how all the characters interacted with each other. Plus I thought it was interesting having them in modern times with magic and fairy godmothers. And the ending, OH MY GOD…I was on the edge of my seat looking at how much I had left and panicking that there wasn’t enough pages left for everything to be resolved. Sadly, yes, it does end in a cliffhanger which made me groan, and anyone who has read my reviews in the past knows I hate cliffhangers. Luckily there was a sneak peak for the next book in the series, Damsels in Distress, and that got me super excited and frustrated at the same time…excited because the little preview hints at interesting developments…frustrated because I have to wait…sigh…the anticipation kills me. Maybe Ruby, the fairy godmother, can grant me a wish and give me the next book ASAP. One can dream 🙂