Thank you to Chauncey Rogers for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: April 3rd, 2018
If the shoe fits, wear it.
If it doesn’t, make it.
Laure is a street urchin just trying to get away. Where the rest of the world sees an enchanting love story, Laure sees royal incompetence and an opportunity to exploit it. She’ll have wealth and a way out of a life she detests., if she can only manage to hoodwink the royal family and live to tell the tale.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, you know you’re reading something special when you’re doing everything you can to put off getting to the end of a book. Happily is one of these treasures.
Back in January, I read Chauncey’s thriller/horror novel, Cleaving Souls, which kept me up reading until the wee hours of the morning. Happily did the same thing only for entirely different reasons. This isn’t quite a fairytale retelling, as Cinderella doesn’t even make an appearance until the end of the story. To give you an idea of how different this book is, here’s how it opens:
Before I start, however, we need to get a few things straight. First, I don’t like questions. They get people off track, they almost always would have been answered if the person had just kept listening, and they’re usually stupid. Yes, stupid. Whoever says otherwise is an idiot. Second, I’ve been told to tell you my story. Not my life story, so forget about learning about my childhood. Just the story of the glass slipper and my engagement to the prince—-the whole story. I don’t want to do this twice; let’s get it right the first time, shall we? There are only a few hours until the wedding ceremony, so sit down, get comfortable, and let’s get this over with—-that way you can leave, which will be great for both of us. Because the third, final, and perhaps most important thing for you to understand is this: I don’t like you.Try not to take it too personally—-I don’t like most people. Really, you’re probably in good company. You’re probably in pretty bad company, too, since there are a lot of idiots, creeps, and perverts who I don’t like either. There’s a group of people that I particularly dislike, however, and my story starts with them.
And that sassy, sarcastic voice belongs to Laure, the snarky, stubborn, cranky heroine of this book. As the story begins, she’s a street urchin who thinks of no one except for herself. But as the story develops it’s obvious that behind her self-absorbed exterior lies so much more. When she meets up with the adorably sweet Luc, he brings out the best in her and before you reach the halfway point, it’s obvious these two are soulmates.
As always, I’m not going to give away any spoilers, but let’s just say the story has a lovely romance, rollicking adventure, plenty of humor, fantastic world-building, and one of the most imaginative plots I’ve come across in a very long time. The only reason why I’m giving this less than a perfect 5 stars is because I thought everything came together a little too quickly at the end. But this is a very minor complaint.
In the end, I cannot recommend Happily highly enough for children and adults. Chauncey has taken an often retold story, and given it a unique and refreshing spin, filled with teachable moments. If you’re a fan of fairytales like: Ella Enchanted, Ever After (with Drew Barrymore), The Princess Bride, and Aladdin, you need to read this ASAP! It’s a beautiful escape from real world woes, and I guarantee you’ll be utterly captivated. And if you read this review Chauncey, I’m putting in my request for a sequel now. PLEASE! Oh, and I’d like to thank Chauncey’s young daughter for requesting that her dad write a story for her. Because of her wish, we are all beneficiaries of this fanciful tale.