Author: Saranna DeWylde
CAN YOU SKIP THE STORYBOOK BEGINNING…
Novelist Juniper Blossom has romance down to a science in her bestselling books. But she’s not about to settle for just any man—a happy ending looks different for everyone, and she needs to find the guy whose idea of forever matches her own. Try telling that to her adorable, meddling grandmothers, though. If she doesn’t find a man soon, they’re going to find one for her. Which is why Juniper has prepared for a trip home to Ever After by fibbing that her sexy, smart, sweet best friend Tomas is her fiancé! He doesn’t believe in love at all, but that doesn’t matter if they’re just pretending…
ON THE WAY TO THE HAPPY ENDING?
Divorce attorney Tomas Rivera is as proud of Juniper’s authorial success as she is, but that doesn’t mean he buys into her books’ premise. His career is proof enough that true love is the real fairy tale—and everyone knows fairy tales aren’t real. But he can never say no to gorgeous Juniper, and an “engagement” might move him one legal brief closer to partner at his old-fashioned firm. Yet playing the part suddenly starts to mean feeling it, especially when a kiss just for show turns up the heat between them. Is happily ever after possible for two people who aren’t on the same page when it comes to love?
It Happened One Midnight returns readers to magical Ever After, Missouri where fairy tales come to life. While each novel in the series could be read as a standalone, it is best to read them all in order as the previous novels are referenced in this one. This story surrounds Juniper Blossom, a romance novelist, who connects via family to the three fairy godmothers are Petunia (“Petty”), Jonquil, and Bluebonnet. Her love interest is Tomas Rivera, a divorce attorney, and Juniper’s best friend. While the two have secret feelings for each other, Tomas does not believe in true lasting love due to constantly seeing couples fall apart in his line of work.
This installment contains a similar style to the previous novels where there is a fun over-the-top style with lots of meddling to ensure that there are happily ever afters mixed in with some steamy moments. Tomas and Juniper made a pact previously where they agreed to marry each other if they are both single at 34-years-old. Since that age is approaching and they are going to Ever After for a wedding, the two of them agree to pretend to be involved with each other to get everyone else off their backs. As the two characters have been friends since they were six, there was a sweet connection between them and I enjoyed the flashbacks. As Juniper believes in love and soul mates while Tomas is not sold on the concept, there is a lot of tension between them. Both are also fearful of messing up their existing friendship despite them having secret feelings for each other.
As the two are involved in a fake dating scenario with some forced proximity when they are in Ever After, there is some predictability to their story; however, the two characters are cute and it was interesting reading about them reaching a possible HEA. As Juniper is familiar with the magic of Ever After, it was enjoyable to read about Tomas learning its secrets. Tomas and Juniper were each enjoyable and I liked their relationship growing. Each of them has their own obstacles that they are working through, but I would have loved their individual development explored a little more. Overall, this was a fun and quirky take on fairy tales that was a great addition to the series!
**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Kensington Books, for the opportunity to read this enjoyable novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**