Ever wonder what happens next? Well, here’s your chance to find out. This is a collection of 10 short stories that give us a peek into the lives of some of our favourite Characters.
These stories take you to universes that you already know and bring the joy of getting to see a much-loved character after their happy ending. Equally, if you haven’t yet visited that universe then this collection of shorts can give you a taste of what they’re like.
So, whether you are visiting old friends or meeting new ones, there is something for everyone.
There are ten different authors in this book- so ten different writing styles.
What I did notice though is that each author (of the books I have already read) has stayed true to the style they wrote in while writing the original novel. The dialogue and interactions between the characters were very familiar and it was easy to get lost in that universe again.
Pros And My Favourite Parts
What I liked about this anthology was that all the stories can be read as standalone. I haven’t read a few of the novels that the characters originated from, but it didn’t matter, I still really enjoyed the story and meeting new characters and have since added the novels I haven’t read to my ever-growing ‘to be read’ list.
Each story gives just enough information for you to get to know the characters and immerse yourself in their world. Because they are short stories, you don’t have to read them in order and they are easy to read in one sitting or on your dinner break, I enjoyed leisurely making my way through this collection.
But what I absolutely, truly, and deeply love about this book is that it gave me a chance to reconnect with characters I adore.
I’m one of those readers that loves the connection I get with the characters I am reading about. They become friends, I feel as though I know them, and I’m invested in their future. I feel their joy and pain and I want them to succeed. There are many moments after I’ve read a book that I think “What are they up to now?” I wonder if they are happy and wish I could get a glimpse of their lives. Well, now I can! And I’m all the more happier for having done so.
A few highlights for me are: – getting to return to the Carlisle universe (Roslyn Sinclair’s Carlisle series) and see how Vivian, Jules, and Felicity are getting along and adjusting to family life. Reconnecting with Agnes and Lola from Fiona Zedde’s House of Agnes was a real treat. Catching up with Lena and Megan from Up On The Roof by A.L Brooks as they took a romantic break in Edinburgh was beautiful. Spending more time with Margaret and Bess (Jess Lea’s Murder Under the Gum Trees series) as they get caught up in more trouble is always a pleasure. Visiting Joy and Alice (Haper Bliss’ Seasons of Love) as they embark on a new chapter of their lives was so heartwarming. And finally seeing Diana and Emily from Chris Zett’s Irregular Heartbeat so happy made my romantic cup of joy overflow.
I thoroughly enjoyed every story in this book and they are so easy to reread again and again.
None from me.
This book is a perfect buy because firstly it gave me the chance to visit characters that I’ve missed and adore, secondly, it introduced me to new characters that I can’t wait to get to know more about and see how their stories originated.
I sincerely adored getting to reconnect with characters that feel like friends to me. I loved finding out about the lives they are now living, how they are doing, and how happy they are. This book gave me so much joy because not only did I get to revisit universes I cherish, but I got introduced to places and people I’m not yet acquainted with and will definitely be visiting in the future. This book both satisfied my curiosity for wanting to know more about characters I’m fond of and stoked the fire of my love of discovering new books.
Each story is short enough to read in one sitting and I’ve already re-read a few of them.
So go buy it and bask in the knowledge that it doesn’t matter if you’ve already read the books these short stories originate from because they are written as standalones and can be enjoyed by all.
Excerpt from After Happily Ever After Once Again edited by Astrid Ohletz
“So, Jenny, how much does it cost to dress a baby in Chanel?”
Don’t grind your teeth, Vivian Carlisle told herself. You’ve spent too much money on them. Julia says you have a million-dollar smile.
“Felicity doesn’t wear Chanel, Mom,” she said instead. “And my name is Vivian. It has been for over twenty years.”
“What, the first eighteen years didn’t mean anything?” Mary Fluharty arched her eyebrows in a gesture Vivian knew she’d inherited. “How about the first eighteen months? Come to Grandma, princess.”
She reached out for Felicity, who was currently clinging to Julia’s neck. Julia was clinging right back, standing at the door of Vivian’s childhood home with a diaper bag at her feet.
Julia looked a little stunned by her surroundings. Sort of like a bird who’d smacked into a windowpane. Perhaps it was one of the dirty windowpanes behind the twenty-year-old sofa that faced the fifteen-year-old TV. Nobody would associate this environment with a fashion publication executive—at least Vivian hoped not. She’d worked hard to make it so.
When Mary tried to take Felicity from her, however, Julia seemed to snap out of it. For her part, Felicity only clung tighter to her second mother.
“Oh, come on. Don’t be stubborn like your mommy,” Mary urged, as if Julia wasn’t even there.
“Which one?” Julia asked.
Good girl, Vivian managed not to say. Stand up to her.
Finally, Mary deigned to look at Julia, who looked steadily back. Vivian watched her mother decide between two options: insulting her daughter’s girlfriend or holding her grandchild.
“Stubborn comes from all sorts of places,” Mary said. “Could be either of you.”
“Agreed.” Julia placed a kiss to Felicity’s forehead, her full lips brushing the downy brown hair. “It’s okay, bug-a-boo. This is your grandma. Can she give you a hug?”
Felicity hid her face in Julia’s neck and shook her head.
“Not yet,” Julia said to Mary. “She’s shy around strangers. She’ll warm up soon, though, she always does.”
Mary seemed flabbergasted. “Not even a kiss for Grandma?”
“We’re teaching her body boundaries,” Vivian said. “If she doesn’t want someone to hug or kiss her, she can say no. It’s important for her to learn that right away.”
Mary gave Vivian a look of disbelief.
Vivian fought not to squirm. Back in New York, hundreds of people quaked before her glare. In Toledo, Ohio, her own mother could still make her feel like a disobedient child. She said, “Once Felicity knows she can trust you, she’ll be all over you, believe me.”
“Body boundaries,” Mary muttered. “Well, I guess being a parent’s not like it used to be.”
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Series: Happily Ever After
After Happily Ever After
After Happily Ever After Once Again
Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 978-3963247439
Publisher: Ylva Publishing
Note: I received a free review copy of After Happily Ever After Once Again edited by Astrid Ohletz. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site