Happily Ever Before is what would happen if the hit comedies Bridesmaids and Baby Mama had a love child. It tells the story of two sisters and the biggest, most important question anyone has ever been asked: would you, if I for some reason couldn’t, loan me your womb and have my baby?Review:
Years ago, Grace and Clair Higgins made a drunken pact while watching a Lifetime Movie Marathon (is there a better time for drunken pact-making between sisters?). In a nutshell, the free spirit older sister, Grace, promised her control freak younger sister, Clair, that she’d have her baby, should the need arise. But she certainly never thought she’d have to deliver on it. Now everyone is dealing with situations they never dreamed of. Will Clair’s WASP-y in-laws accept that Grace, the black sheep of the family, is carrying their grandchild? Will Diane, Grace and Clair’s mom, be able to stay out of it and focus on moving forward with her own life, which has been on hold for so long? Will Clair’s husband Henry stop giving Grace bizarre and overly personal pregnancy gifts? Will Grace be able to navigate true love while being “scientifically knocked up” by her sister’s husband? Will Grace’s best friend George find someone else to drink with if Grace is busy with gestation? And the more importantly will the sisters be able to navigate the slippery slope of sibling surrogacy with their relationship intact?
So a little back story first: I'm a huge fan of Melissa Peterman, co-author of Happily Ever Before. She played a role on one of my favorite TV shows, Reba, and she's also on the new and just as hilarious Baby Daddy. She's does a fantastic job acting wise, so when I found out she was one of the people behind this book, I jumped at the chance to read it. I was curious to see how her switch as an actress to writer would go as well as how the story would turn out. The plot seemed potentially disastrous or amazingly original, but luckily enough, it was the later of the two!
Happily Ever Before tells the story of Grace and Clair, two completely different sisters. Grace has always been the wild child of the family, marching to her own drum, and doing whatever she makes her happy, because after witnessing her dad's death all those years ago, she knows life is short. Clair, on the other hand, is the major planner of the family. Over the years, she managed to accomplish most of the things on her life plan: landing a great job, meeting an amazing guy, and starting the life she dreamed off when she was little. There's only one tiny problem, Clair can't seal the perfect picture with a baby or two, because as it turns out, she's unable to have them. Not sure what to do, Clair turns to Grace, and asks her an unimaginable question: "Will you carry my baby?" This question sets them off a journey they could have never possibly imagine, but they know one thing for sure: nothing will ever be the same.
I have to admit something: I was a worried when I first began this. The writing style was a little different to what I was used to, and the plot just seemed crazy. However, as I continued reading, and found out more about the characters and plot, the more I began to enjoy it, and eventually adore it. One of the big reasons for this was the characters. I loved the two personalities Aimee and Melissa presented with the characters of Clair and Grace. They played off each other perfectly, which caused for lots of laughs as well as "Awww" moments. Better yet, I found both to be 100% likable. Grace was hilarious and witty, and I admired her greatly for risking everything to help her sister. Clair, on the other hand, was serious and a little anal with things, but that made her actions come out as sweet and funny more times then one. I also really enjoyed the variety of side characters. My favorite would have had to be George! She was a riot, and I'm really hoping Aimee and Melissa will decide to do a book about her exclusively in the future. I feel like there's a lot of potential there. Grace's love interest was also great, and I loved Clair and Grace's family as well as Clair's in laws.
The plot in this was also another high point. Once I got past the craziness of the plot, I began to really enjoy it. It was interesting to see everything that goes into surrogacy, and I especially enjoyed how Aimee and Melissa didn't make the situation picture perfect. There was problems and tension, and it made for a very good book to tell the truth. Some of the details about the graphic details about the pregnancy complications, though, I could have lived without.
The writing was overall good. There were some rough patches here and there, but besides that I thought the authors did a great job with presenting the book. I enjoyed the switch up off POVs as well as the "narrator" featured.
Heartwarming and hilarious, Happily Ever Before is a fantastic addition to the chick lit genre, and I can't wait to see what Melissa and Aimee have planned for book #2!
Happily Ever Before (Amazon/ BN/ Goodreads) is now out!
Source: Authors- thanks Aimee and Melissa!
Thanks to Aimee and Melissa, I also have one eBook addition of Happily Ever Before to giveaway. To spice the giveaway up and to add a little about Melissa's career as an actress, I've included some bonus entry scavenger hunt questions! :)
Official Giveaway Rules:
~ Must be 13 years or older to enter (be aware, though, that this book is aimed for older readers!)
~ Internationally open