This marks the second book I’ve read by Chauncey Rogers. Feel free to stop by and check out my review of Home to Roost if you’re interested.
Happily tells the story of Laure, a scrappy self-reliant lower class citizen who makes her living stealing where possible to find food, clothing, and shelter as she makes a new acquaintance in Luc, a “look on the bright side” silver lining finder who’s new to the area as they team up to see if they can catch the glass slipper that’s roaming the kingdom in an effort to find the Prince’s new bride. Will their differing reasons for the same goal affect their success? Will they find that winning wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be? Will they even achieve what they’re hoping to accomplish? It’s all up in the air with this absolutely too cute fairy tale adjacent story.
Some things I didn’t love…
- The ending was maybe a little too happy? Ok, one aspect of the ending. I won’t give details because I don’t do spoilers and I feel like it might make me seem like a huge meany if I did! But I feel like once you’ve read it, you may know what I mean. Sometimes a little tragedy in the backstory is ok to keep.
- The other is the same issue I have with Cinderella, and since this is a new take on that story, I guess it’s not fair to make it Chauncey’s fault. The glass slipper should 100% disappear and/or revert back to whatever it was. The pumpkin goes back to a pumpkin. The mice turn back into mice. How does this random shoe escape magic?!? I feel like I should just go with it because fairy tale (duh), but I clearly have dug my heels in and am doubling down.
On to some things I did love…
- It’s no secret if you read my review of Home to Roost that I really enjoy Chauncey’s writing style. While this is a totally different genre and has a totally different feel, I still find myself drawn to the way he uses language. I read a lot of happily ever after stories and they start to blur after awhile because they frequently rely on the same type of language. I didn’t feel that way at all about Happily. Even something as subtle as the way Luc’s birthmark is described as the book unfolds shows the carefully shifting feelings of those around him. I could go on, but it’s getting embarrassing for me to continue harping on this.
- The character development. Even though fairy tales aren’t known for the deep personal changes characters face, I feel like we did see growth in our main characters and that was pretty cool. It was woven into the story so well that it’s subtle but present. The best parts of a Hallmark movie while actually having some realism thrown in.
- It’s so different from his other books. This by itself isn’t a reason to read a book, but I think it points to an author’s commitment to writing in general. It also is listed to highlight to anyone that may have read one of his other books and feel like they weren’t their cup of tea. Totally different story, friends.
So, what’s the verdict? I laughed out loud at some of the shenanigans that occur. I thoroughly enjoyed Laure’s grumpy disposition juxtaposed with Luc’s never-failing pep. I was surprised by some of the turns the book took, despite anticipating a formulaic plot based on the genre. I’d say that you should 100% pick up this new release. It’s a super fun one.