Reviewed by Louisa
ITLE: Happily Ever After Isn’t Easy
AUTHOR: Jake C. Wallace
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 200 Pages
RELEASE DATE: May 8,2017
How do you start a new life when your old one won’t let go?
Freed from a marriage he entered because he feared coming out to his judgmental family, Gabe Reynolds feels his life is just starting—at forty-three. But what was supposed to be exciting and wonderful has been nothing but disappointing. The man he’s loved since they were teens broke his heart—again. Gabe has no clue how to meet men who are looking for more than one night, much less date them. Add to that his job as a mental health counselor, helping to keep his mentally ill ex-wife stable, and caring for children that belong to another man, and he has little time to look for Mr. Right.
Just as Gabe is giving up, Brandt Sawyer, with his hard body and gorgeous eyes, crashes into Gabe’s life. Brandt pushes all Gabe’s buttons—though he could do without the younger man’s know-it-all attitude. Gabe never thought he could be so torn between wanting to punch a man and wanting to kiss him. Yet, as he gets to know Brandt, Gabe sees past the military-programmed ex-soldier and catches a glimpse of what could be his happily ever after.
But with a troubled ex and young children involved, Gabe can’t just walk away from his past. Guilt is tearing him in every direction—maybe even away from the man he’s falling in love with.
For me Happily Every After Isn’t Easy by Jake C. Wallace was a book that had a great plot idea that didn’t work out. And maybe it was my expectations that were let down because I thought this would be more romance than it was.
No relationship exists in a bubble. But for me, in a book, there needs to be a balance of romance and secondary plot lines. This story felt like 75% other plot lines and 25% romance between Gabe and Brandt. And it was the romance between these two men that was so good. The other plot lines do revolve around Gabe and Brandt, but it was too much.
Gabe has an ex-wife, who has a mental health condition, she cheated on him and has two kids with that guy. The new husband doesn’t like him because he still cares for the ex-wife and the kids adore him. Gabe also has an ex-boyfriend how has broken his heart twice, so some serious trust issues here. He is also heavily involved with the school his best friend is the head teacher of. Brandt has the whole strong, sure military vibe and a hero complex which of course leads to a drama. For me, it was just so much for 200 pages especially when I feel like for most of the book the ex-wife is the second MC.
Brandt is the character I like. He is a fairly standard military issue man. But he grows and learns and adapts. His demeaner when meeting Gabe is gruff, but once you move past that you can see he has the kids he teaches best interests at heart. He is also great with Gabe’s ex-wife’s kids and they are fun interactions. I also enjoyed the head teacher/ best friend. She was a good solid influence in the book. The interactions between Brandt and Gabe were good too.