Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Review - Happily Never After

Title:   Happily Never After
Author:  Lynn Painter
Publisher:  Berkley 
Genre:   Romance
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   304
Date of Publication:   March 12, 2024
My Rating:   4 Stars


Their name? The objectors.

Their job? To break off weddings as hired.

Their dilemma? They might just be in love with each other.

When Sophie Steinbeck finds out just before her nuptials that her fiancé has cheated yet again, she desperately wants to call it off. But because her future father-in-law is her dad’s cutthroat boss, she doesn’t want to be the one to do it. Her savior comes in the form of a professional objector, whose purpose is to show up at weddings and proclaim the words no couple (usually) wants to hear at their ceremony: “I object!”

During anti-wedding festivities that night, Sophie learns more about Max the Objector’s job. It makes perfect sense to her: he saves people from wasting their lives, from hurting each other. He’s a modern-day hero. And Sophie wants in.

The two love cynics start working together, going from wedding to wedding, and Sophie’s having more fun than she’s had in ages. She looks forward to every nerve-racking ceremony saving the lovesick souls of the betrothed masses. As Sophie and Max spend more time together, however, they realize that their physical chemistry is off the charts, leading them to dabble in a little hookup session or two—but it’s totally fine, because they definitely do not have feelings for each other. Love doesn’t exist, after all.

And then everything changes. A groom-to-be hires Sophie to object, but his fiancée is the woman who broke Max’s heart. As Max wrestles with whether he can be a party to his ex’s getting hurt, Sophie grapples with the sudden realization that she may have fallen hard for her partner in crime.

The wedding that did not take place. The Objector. Who or what is The Objector? This is someone named Max who earns quite a pretty penny when the routine question is asked whether or not a wedding should take place. Max makes his objection at Sophie Steinbeck's wedding. As it stands, her fiancé had been cheating on her and she is more than relieved to be able to call off the wedding.

Three months pass and beyond drinks the night the wedding did not take place, Sophie and Max had not seen one another. However, Max has another job as an Objector coming up and needs Sophie to play his second. If she agrees, she can earn a lot of money.

As a friendship grows between Sophie and Max as they work together to stop a few weddings here and there, that friendship grows into more. However, as each of them is completely jaded about love, emotion definitely will not come into play even when the couple get closer and closer. Or will it? After all, sparks won't create real emotional feelings, or so it seems. Lynn Painter has written quite an enjoyable read, one that kept me entertained right from the start.

Many thanks to Berkley and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Lynn Painter lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband and pack of wild kids. She is a community columnist for the Omaha World-Herald, as well as a regular blogger for their parenting section. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can be found eating her feelings and shotgunning cans of Red Bull.

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