Out Now from Flatiron Books; 381 pages
Content Warning: Mental manipulation and abuse, violence, death
About the Author: “Stephanie Garber is the #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author of Once Upon a Broken Heart, The Ballad of Never After, and the Caraval trilogy. Her books have been translated into thirty languages” (Bio from publisher’s website).
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After the events of The Ballad of Never After, Evangeline has the happy ending she’s been waiting her whole life for. Or at least, she thinks she does. She came to the Magnificent North for a fresh start, and now she’s married to a prince and living a real-life fairytale. But, something feels wrong. She doesn’t know everything she is missing, everything that was once hers, and her husband Apollo intends to keep it that way. Meanwhile, Jacks is doing everything he can to ensure that Evangeline is safe and happy, even if that means staying away from her. In this final installment of the Once Upon A Broken Heart series, Evangeline and Jacks fight against all odds for true love and the ending they deserve.
The Once Upon A Broken Heart series is, at its core, a story about love. It begins with two broken-hearted people, desperate to get back what they’ve lost, and it ends with them finding love within each other. It was a long road, full of betrayals and surprises and those who tried to keep them apart, and Evangeline Fox has become one of my favorite characters over the course of it. What is so compelling about her is that she’s not a warrior. She’s not an assassin or a soldier; she’s not ruthless. She’s just a girl who loves love and who hopes. While I love reading about powerful women who turn the tides of wars and build entire kingdoms, I could see myself in Evangeline. She’s proof that you don’t have to be a fighter to nonetheless fight for those you love. Jacks is the Prince of Hearts, whose kiss is deadly to every girl except his one true love, and that girl isn’t Evangeline. Because of this curse, he tries to stay away from Evangeline for fear of hurting her, like he has countless others. I loved this dynamic, and it provided so many emotional moments between them. This book, this series, is a testament to the lengths people will go to to protect those they love, whether it’s the right decision or not. While nothing could surpass the masterpiece that was the previous book, The Ballad of Never After, I felt every emotion and was so overwhelmingly invested in the story that nothing could have torn me away. I thought this was a beautiful conclusion to what is one of my favorite series.
Sam Yanis, Pine Reads Review Writer