“Like it or not, Brian, the moment you gave that Cinderella interview on The Kenneth Long Show, you changed her life. There’s no going back for her, so help her move forward. Help her make the best of a hard situation.” The end of one story is often the beginning of another. Hollywood heartthrob Brian Oliver and his Cinderella princess Ellamara Rodriguez have finally found love outside the digital world. But leaving their anonymity behind creates a whole new set of obstacles for the nation’s new favorite sweethearts. With the stress of Brian’s fame, Ella's disapproving family, and the pressures of a new relationship weighing down on them, the It Couple quickly begins to wonder if they can hold on to their newfound joy, or if maybe happily ever after is only a fairy tale.
Happily Ever After (Cinder & Ella #2)FeaturedHot
Happily Ever after takes us through the events directly resulting from the events of Cinder and Ella. It starts only a week or so later when Ellamara and Brian are still very much in the spotlight as they begin to navigate their very new and very intense relationship. We see Ella and her family as they deal with the newly acquired fame. Some deal with it better than others. Some relationships are strengthened and some are almost destroyed. In the middle of all of this, Ella is still coming to terms with her accident and resulting disability.
What I loved:
This is a powerful story about learning to love yourself. Ella is one of the strongest characters I have ever read. It's easy to root for a character in a larger story whose bravery stems from fighting something greater than herself. It's quite different when the foe that character is battling is themselves, their own body. This is woven together so perfectly that before you even realize it, tears are rolling down your face. Whether you have experience with disability or not - Ella's struggles are written in a way that most people can relate to her.
Then there's Brian. I don't think a man as perfect as him exists. His love for Ella is so pure that he puts everything he was before aside to be the man she needs him to be. He's strong when she can't be. He's understanding when he couldn't possibly understand.
Even Ella's family - oh, I hated her father - had an important role to play.
What was just okay for me:
Nothing. Everything was better than okay. I was not expecting much from a sequel to a romance. Cinderella gets her prince and we are expected just to believe it's all happily ever after. This story reminds us that even Cinderella would still face her struggles. If love were easy, if life were simple, there wouldn't be nearly as much joy.
The word 'perfect' was made for books and series like this. Even those who don't believe in perfection would find themselves wowed by the depth of emotion, hidden meanings, and overall brilliance in depicting real life amid the fantasy of the Hollywood lights.