Review By Veronica

Happily Never After is another perfectly written rom-com by Lynn Painter.

Favourite Quote:

In an instant, everything in my brain went silent as I became aware of the fact that I was trapped between the freezing cold of the frozen foods case and the warmth of Max’s big, hard body behind me. I watched as his hand grabbed the box I’d been reaching for, and for some reason I couldn’t explain, I turned around. 

My body was mere inches away from his as he looked down at me with dark, questioning eyes. Butterflies went wild in my stomach as the moment lingered.

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Their name? The objectors.

Their job? To break off weddings as hired.

Their dilemma? They might just be in love with each other.

When Sophie Steinbeck finds out just before her nuptials that her fiancé has cheated yet again, she desperately wants to call it off. But because her future father-in-law is her dad’s cutthroat boss, she doesn’t want to be the one to do it. Her savior comes in the form of a professional objector, whose purpose is to show up at weddings and proclaim the words no couple (usually) wants to hear at their ceremony: “I object!”

During anti-wedding festivities that night, Sophie learns more about Max the Objector’s job. It makes perfect sense to her: he saves people from wasting their lives, from hurting each other. He’s a modern-day hero. And Sophie wants in.

The two love cynics start working together, going from wedding to wedding, and Sophie’s having more fun than she’s had in ages. She looks forward to every nerve-racking ceremony saving the lovesick souls of the betrothed masses. As Sophie and Max spend more time together, however, they realize that their physical chemistry is off the charts, leading them to dabble in a little hookup session or two—but it’s totally fine, because they definitely do not have feelings for each other. Love doesn’t exist, after all.

And then everything changes. A groom-to-be hires Sophie to object, but his fiancée is the woman who broke Max’s heart. As Max wrestles with whether he can be a party to his ex’s getting hurt, Sophie grapples with the sudden realization that she may have fallen hard for her partner in crime.

Well, Lynn Painter did not disappoint me with this book! It was everything I hoped it would be and so much more. If you are new to Lynn’s writing and storytelling, get ready to fall in love with her stories and characters. 

Happily Never After is pure Lynn Painter charm and humour, and I loved every moment of this book. Lynn’s books always bring me so much joy and happiness. I always say that if you are looking for a feel-good rom-com with some spice, you should pick up one of her books. Happily Never After is one of those books you can just sink into, and the world around you disappears. It’s a nice, easy, quick read. 

Let’s talk about the plot first. There is a slight Wedding Crashers vibe to this story. However, instead of the MCs crashing weddings to hook up with people, Max and Sophie are crashing weddings to stop them from happening. They are hired by either the groom or bride to object to the wedding. I love this plot; it’s fun and unique, and it creates lots of opportunities for crazy shenanigans to occur. It was great getting to crash all these different weddings and watch the drama unfold on the pages. The story has a slightly faster pace, and I loved how everything unfolded. Outside of Max and Sophie crashing weddings, we get to watch this unconventional partnership become a fun friendship, and then finally become something much more. This story is jam packed with fun and romantic moments. There really isn’t a dull moment in this story. 

Sophie and Max are interesting characters. Neither is looking for a relationship, but it’s definitely hard for them to ignore the explosive chemistry between them. Sophie doesn’t believe in true love and spends the majority of the book denying that she has any feelings for Max. Max, on the other hand, doesn’t want to be in a relationship. He realizes pretty quickly that he could easily fall in love with Sophie, but doesn’t want to pursue anything with her if she isn’t willing to admit that she has feelings for him. Both characters are great together and on their own. I loved Sophie’s character; she is a fun spitfire and really keeps Max on his toes. Her growth in this book is around matters of the heart. It’s a big challenge for her to believe that romantic love exists in the world. She battles to the bitter end when it comes to accepting that she loves Max. Max’s character was everything I wanted him to be. He is dashing, charming, and funny. I just loved watching him interact with everyone around him. He just has one of those personalities that just draws you in. Both characters felt real and relatable and so easy to connect with. You can’t help but want good things for them. 

The romance was oh-so-nice and full of spice. Lynn really knows how to build up that delicious tension between characters. The banter between Max and Sophie is sharp, witty, and very spicy. It was just so good. The chemistry between these two was off the charts. Everything just clicks. It didn’t matter if they were interacting with each other as friends, lovers, or something more you couldn’t help but get sucked into what was going on between them. If you are a fan of friends to lovers, fake relationships, and insta lust, then you will devour the romance in this book. It was wonderful watching these two broken-hearted characters fall in love. 

Happily Never After is another unputdownable rom-com by Lynn Painter. 

Thank you, Berkley Publishing Group, for the ARC in exchange for a honest review.