Series Name: Once Upon a Broken Heart, # 1

Review By Veronica

Once Upon a Broken Heart is a breathtaking fantasy that I could not put down.

Favourite Quote:

“Personally, I think I’m far more handsome.” Suddenly the young man stood right beside her.

Butterflies fluttered to life inside Evangeline’s stomach. Sacred ones. All frantic wings and too-fast beats, warning her to get out of there, to run, to flee. But she couldn’t look away.

This close, he was undeniably attractive, and taller than she’d realized. He gave her a real smile revealing a pair of dimples that briefly made him look more angel than devil. But she imagined even angels would need to beware of him. She could picture him flashing those deceptive dimples as he tricked an angel into losing its wings just so he could play with the feathers.

“It’s you,” she whispered. “You’re the Prince of Hearts.”

Goodreads Synopsis: 

How far would you go for happily ever after?

For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings… until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic but wicked Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game—and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after or the most exquisite tragedy…

I fell in love with Stephanie’s Caravel series, so I was excited to hear that she had written a spin-off series that takes place in the Caravel world. I’ve debated whether it’s beneficial for you to read the Caravel series before diving into this book, and even though it’s unnecessary, I would recommend it. The events of the previous series set the stage for what happens in this book (and the following books in this series). Stephanie’s world is also complex and, at times, a bit topsy-turvy (in the best way), and I believe that your reading experience will be enhanced if you read the Caravel series first. In the previous series, you will get the back story of Jacks, aka the Prince of Hearts, and get a feel for the world in which this book takes place. 

There is something magical about Stephanie’s stories and writing. She knows how to create a complex world that is bursting with life. There is also this uniqueness to her stories that just draws you in. This book takes place during and after the events of the Caravel series. Stephanie has done a fantastic job breathing new life into the world she created. In this book, we explore the Northern Kingdom, where things are different. There is a wildness to the magic and tales that didn’t exist in the South. There is also this Alice in Wonderland feel to the book. The world is just so rich and lush. It can sometimes feel overwhelming, but I like being overwhelmed, if that makes sense. Things and people are not as they seem. You don’t know who to trust, and the story has so many unpredictable twists and turns. You don’t know what direction Stephanie is going to take you in. The history and fables that are woven into this book are fabulous. They enhance the story and slowly give us a glimpse into this mysterious world that we have entered. There is romance in this book. It’s woven beautifully throughout the story. There is this real theme of first and true love. It is because of love that Evangeline makes this fateful bargain with Jacks that sends her on a journey that will forever change her life and those who come close to her. 

The characters are perfect. If you were a fan of Jacks character from the previous series, you will love spending more time with him in this book. He is a morally gray hero/villain, and you don’t know what his end game is in this series. I loved watching him interact with Evangeline. We don’t get to see what is going on in his head, but there are moments when you can see that Evangeline befuddles him and knocks him off his feet. Evangeline is the heroine of the story, and she is a delightful mix of the two heroines of the previous series, Scarlett and Tella. She is brave and, at times, brash, but also kind-hearted and thoughtful. I liked her character. She isn’t perfect; she makes mistakes that have consequences and doesn’t know who to trust.  

Once Upon a Broken Heart is an enchanting story that will capture your attention right from the first chapter.