cover image Not That Kind of Ever After

Not That Kind of Ever After

Luci Adams. Griffin, $16.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-250-84220-6

Adams’s spirited contemporary debut follows hopeless romantic Bella Marble, 29, who dreams of being a successful writer and marrying Prince Charming. Unfortunately, she’s battling writer’s block while working as a receptionist and her efforts at “husband hunting” have only turned up frogs. When her parents, whose relationship Bella has always idolized, announce they’re divorcing, Bella has a crisis of faith. Her best friend’s attractive but insufferable twin brother, Marty, suggests that she stop focusing on forever and instead have fun dating around: “If you started trying to find someone you actually wanted to spend the night with you’d have much better luck.” Bella takes his advice and her renewed outlook on relationships inspires her to write. She posts fairy tale–ified versions of her dating misadventures online, gaining viral success that leads her to seek out more experiences she can turn into material. But when the steps she takes to get life to imitate art backfire, she learns that her real Prince Charming has been there all along—and, more importantly, that life is not a fairy tale. As much a story of self-discovery as a romance, there’s plenty of secondhand embarrassment here, but Bella remains a heroine to root for throughout. This is a charmer. (Mar.)