Review | Happily Letter After
Authors: Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward.
Length: 299 pages.
From New York Times bestselling authors Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward comes a love story about taking chances, and the surprises that come with them.
My love story all started with a letter.
Only it wasn’t from the man I’d eventually fall in love with. It was from his daughter. A sweet little girl named Birdie Maxwell who’d written to the magazine that I worked for.
You see, once a year, my employer fulfilled a few wishes for readers. Only that column didn’t start up again for months.
So I fulfilled some of her wishes myself. It was harmless…so I thought. Until one day I took things too far.
While anonymously granting yet another of Birdie’s wishes, I got a look at her father. Her devastatingly handsome, single dad father.
I should have stopped playing fairy godmother then. I should have left well enough alone. But I just couldn’t help myself. I had a connection to this girl. One that had me acting irrationally.
Like showing up on their doorstep.
Things to watch out for:
- Questionable adult/child relationship. Nothing inappropriate or triggering, just a bit weird.
- Lots of mention of God and religion.
- Death of family members.
- Adoption is a big part of the story.
I did not expect to like this book so much. And I didn’t expect it to be so festive either.
I’ve read many books by Vi Keeland, and I have read some written by this particular duo. However, none of those made such an impression on me like this one did. My mind was blown away in the best way possible. Even though I am aware that this isn’t the most incredible book I have ever read, it was beautifully written, and the underlying message is so important.
My very first note when I started the book was this:
This is beautiful. I am literally crying. Unbelievable, first chapter and I’m already crying. I’m loving this.I wrote that about five pages into the story.
Towards the beginning of the book, there is a relationship between an adult and a child that starts off as a bit problematic. Without a doubt, this was intentional and it is definitely part of the story. At first, I was concerned about how everything would pan out. Since it is the main character who is in this predicament, I was leaning towards forgiving her behavior and just acknowledging it as part of the book, but that’s not right. What she did was wrong, and if it were someone else, we would definitely be creeped out. But, since it is her POV, we know how she feels and the reasons behind her actions, so it’s a little hard to be objective.
As I continued, I really thought that the authors would move forward and ignore how weird it all was. Thankfully, they didn’t. I am very glad that the situation was acknowledged and that the characters had to talk through it. Obviously, nothing bad actually happened and eventually everybody forgave each other because it was the convenient thing to do for the book. I also liked very much that this initial problem wasn’t used as the ultimate challenge in the book. In fact, it was faced very early on, which I loved.
This novel’s twist is definitely big. It took me a little by surprise, but the authors planted enough seeds of doubt that I already had an inkling. Though, they did a great job in distracting the reader about that. The best part about this was that they saved the truth for the very very end of the book. And I mean like the very last page. I bet most of the people that have read this (including me) knew what the truth was, cause it’s very obvious, especially because it has a HEA. However, the way that it was revealed just made my heart burst with joy and tenderness. It was absolutely beautiful.
When two people are meant to be together, God makes it happen.
Now, the characters.
Even though this is a dual POV romance novel, our main focus is always Sadie, so she is our main character, and I actually really liked her. I think she’s an amazing person. She has gone through so much, but she has learned from those experiences. She genuinely has a good heart. Sebastian, on the other hand, is our male lead and I’m not sure what I think about him. Obviously, he’s very protective of his family, and at times that means being firm with your decisions. Yet, at the beginning of the book, I wasn’t very thrilled about how he treated Sadie. Once again, it could be justified with what she was doing, but still, it irked me a little bit. Though he is absolutely hilarious. That earns him a couple of point in my department.
Disclaimer: I’m sorry I’m being so cryptic about what Sadie did, I just don’t want to spoil anything for anybody.
Anyways, Sadie and Sebastian’s relationship was wonderful. As of recent, authors are making a conscious efforts of displaying healthy relationships and behaviors in their books, but this one definitely deserves a shutout. This was so grown up and filled with communication. I loved the fact that there wasn’t any deceiving or lying. They always told each other the truth and talked about what worried them. It was so refreshing!
I don’t know if it’s fate or a series of crazy coincidences that brought us together. But whatever led me to you isn’t as important as what will keep you here.
All in all, this book was much more incredible than I imagined it would be. It is funny, cute, and charming. I cannot recommend it enough. Also, I think it is great for the holiday season. Even though it does start in the summer and it’s not about Christmas, this actually is a very important part of it. So I think it’s perfect if you’re looking for something to give you a little of the holiday spirit.