Review: And They Lived Happily Ever After by Therese Beharrie


Title: And They Lived Happily Ever After
Author: Therese Beharrie
Genre/Themes: Contemporary romance, Magic
Release Date: 30 Nov 2021

Author's links: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

My rating: 3 Stars


One unexpected kiss . . .
Successful romance author Gaia Anders has a secret: anything she dreams at night is magically written into her bestselling novels. After a lonely childhood in foster care, her dream life is the only one she trusts. Gaia’s waking life just can’t compare—until she gets caught in one utterly surprising, crazy-passionate, real-life kiss . . .

One near-perfect guy . . .
Workaholic businessman Jacob Scott has had a crush on his brother’s best friend, Gaia, since forever—but he never expected to literally share her dreams. Living out their magical nighttime fantasies is explosive, but it’s their waking desire turning his single-minded ways upside down. It’s making him want a future he didn’t think was possible . . .

One dream that could come true . . .
But Gaia has secrets from her past she won't reveal. And Jacob's attempts to keep the peace in his own fractured family puts him up against her deepest fears. Soon, they’re facing hard truths about who they are and what they’re running from. And the only way to break this curse is realizing true love's real-life power . .


This is a paranormal contemporary romance and that's a thing I didn't expect going in and sadly, did not work that well for me.

I loved the story as a contemporary romance - a writer heroine is a difficult past and undiagnosed and untreated anxiety, a kind and caring hero who is her best friend's brother. He has his hands full with keeping the family business going and his family together and no intention or time for falling in love. They seem like an unlikely couple of the surface over the story we see how they actually make a perfect fit. There is a lot of internal conflict to their relationship which is my catnip in romance and I enjoyed reading about it. 

At the same time the story has a strong paranormal element that didn't work for me at all. Gaia has magical dreams related to her writing which I admit I didn't fully understand  how they worked. And thny because of her romantic connection she has with Jacob, he gets to share and participate in her dreams. It was all very weird for me and felt it didn't add anything to the story for me, only made me confused and annoyed. I think this would have been a great contemporary romance with out the paranormal aspect. I definitely would have enjoyed it more. 

I really liked how Gaia's anxiety, mental health struggles were presented, we get to follow her on her journey of realising she has issues, through defining them and seek the proper way to deal with them. At the same time Jacob's support and care for her was phenomenal while coming face to face with  some hard truths about his own life. It was the happiness they felt when they were together that helped them realise how unhappy and unfulfilled they have been up to that point and it acted a catalyst for them to be more daring and to reach out for the things they wanted.

Some plot points seemed too much and overall they served just as a distraction from the main story. I was not happy with the resolution of her magic in the end. There is also a spoiler for the next book right on the final pages and it left me baffled and once again asking my self "Why, Why go there at all?"

The writing is great, as I have come to expect from Therese Beharrie, the sense of place is tangible (Cape Town), the slow burn romance and the complex family relations round it are awesome. I would have absolutely loved it if it wasn't for the magic bits, as it is it I have mixed feelings about it and would only recommend with the caveats mentioned in my review. 

CW: undiagnosed anxiety, panic attacks, mental health issues, death of parents (in the past), foster care and adoption (in the past)

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