Happily Ever After

by Susan May Warren

Paperback, 2007

Status

Available

Call number

813.6

Publication

Tyndale House Publishers (2007), Edition: Summer Reading Edition

Original publication date

2003-01

Description

God has answered Mona Reynolds's prayers and given her the opportunity of a lifetime: she is about to open her own bookstore-coffee shop, the Footstep of Heaven. Now Mona has no time for love and no hope that a man can ever be the hero of her dreams. But when she hires mysterious drifter Joe Michaels to be her handyman, she discovers that it isn't only in fairy tales that people live "happily ever after."

Awards

Christy Awards (Nominee — Romance — 2004)

Language

ISBN

1414316321 / 9781414316321

User reviews

LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
Opening oneself up - being vulnerable - is one of the most scary things, and Ms. Warren captures that fear in this novel. The plot is interesting, though at times it is somewhat simplistic and too familiar. For the Christian reader there are some thoughtful observations on trusting God and
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forgiveness.
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LibraryThing member halo776
Brief Synopsis: Mona's always dreamed of opening her own bookstore and coffee shop. When a Victorian in need of repairs is put on the market in the small tourist town of Deep Haven, she believes it's a sign from God. Mona and her best friend, who makes unique pieces of pottery, go into business
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together. After making a list of needed repairs, they decide to hire a handyman. Joe Nichols seems perfect for the job. He's a jack of all trades who will help them get the business started, then move on. Mona finds herself drawn to the handy drifter, but she thinks a more stable man might be better for her. When everything starts to go wrong, she finds herself falling in love with the one man who's helped her through flood and fire, but he has secrets of his own that threaten her heart.

The Good: The characters are easy to connect with, and are very realistic. Mona is independent, but she accepts help when needed. She guards her heart closely, but she also wants more out of life. She's not a flat, stereotypical character. Joe's an excellent hero. He's handy, handsome, and honorable. He has his own set of problems, but his faith is strong, and he comes across as an all-around good guy. Mona wants her business to work so badly that you find yourself rooting for her. It's a very enjoyable story, and you'll find yourself caught up in the action.

The Bad: Although Joe is every woman's dream, he sometimes seems too good to be true. At one point, Mona believes he's destroyed her home/business and tried to kill her, but he is still forgiving and kind. They never argue, even though they are both very independent and have strong personalities. Also, I did get a bit tired of the not-so-subtle contrast between Mona's delicate femininity (she smells like lilac...I get it...it does not have to be repeated over and over again) and Joe's masculinity (his rough hardness that is softened by her delicate gentleness). The "mystery" of who is sabotaging Mona's house is not a great mystery. You know who it is all along and are just waiting for the other characters to figure it out.

I read lots of Christian fiction, and while I usually enjoy inspirational romances, this book is way too preachy. Sometimes, entire sermons are inserted into dialogue, and it weighs down the story line. For what it's worth, I wish Christian authors would realize that their books attract a Christian audience. While we enjoy uplifting Scriptural references and characters whose faith we connect with, we do not need a book to convert us. Ultimately, this is a book of fiction. As such, the story should come first. Some of the more lengthy religious dialogue should be cut.

The Verdict: This is an enjoyable read. I particularly enjoyed the setting and thought it was a great premise. I'd love to read the rest of the series and see if some of the issues I had with the first book are improved.
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LibraryThing member butterflybaby
Sweet story. A perfect break from other reading. Some times an over simplified happy ending is just what we all need.
LibraryThing member PamelaBarrett
Happily, Mona is on the brink of seeing her dream fulfilled; opening a bookstore and coffeehouse inside an old Victorian, by a lake, in the tourist town of Deep Haven. She is facing an upcoming deadline to get ready for tourist season, so she hires a mysterious handyman to help her. Joe seems
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friendly, and his work ethic is good, but something seems off about him; and as she gets closer to finishing the repairs a series of suspicious accidents have her second guessing her initial opinion about him.

This is a wonderful mystery romance, a quick read for a long weekend, and it has interesting characters plus a dog. There is a second book so I’m looking forward to reading more by this Christian fiction writer. 5 stars for this Kindle read.
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LibraryThing member readingover50
This was a nice story. I would call it a Christian romance, with a touch of mystery in it. I loved the fact that Mona was opening up a bookstore, I like stories set in bookstores, where the characters have a love of reading. It was a little annoying that both Joe and Mona had a past that they were
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trying to keep hidden. They felt that they had secrets that couldn't come out, but when they finally did, it was no big deal. So there was frustration on my part with the main characters that they just couldn't open up to each other. But just like any other romance, they finally came together. You knew they would, it just took to long.
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