***Picture and book description courtesy of NetGalley and Harlequin.***
***I requested an ARC of this book and voluntarily reviewed it below. All opinions expressed are honestly my own.***
A touching modern fairy tale that won't let go of your heart, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fool's Gold romances!
Mathias Mitchell's easy smile hides a world of hurt. After the worst kind of family betrayal, he moves to Happily Inc., California—the wedding destination town supplies a steady stream of bridesmaids, perfect for his "no promises, no pain" lifestyle. Yet he can't stop watching for his beautiful, elusive neighbor on the animal preserve behind their homes.
Gamekeeper Carol Lund knows she's not special enough to attract an alpha male like Mathias, so his offer to help her adopt a herd for her lonely giraffe is surprising—and his determined seduction, even more so. But just as she finally welcomes him into her bed, his careless actions crush her heart. Will she give him a second chance to prove she'll always come first in his heart?
This is book 2 in the Happily, Inc series by Susan Mallery. I read book 1 a couple weeks back and immediately fell in love with the town and the people. We met quite a few characters in book 1 and I am super excited for their stories to unfold. I will start by saying that this book was a little different than what I had imagined. I knew it would be Carol and Mathias' story simply because there was an excerpt at the end of the 1st book. I was completely surprised with the fact that this book actually has 2 happy endings. I enjoyed this book but it did fall just a little flat for me. The unfolding relationship between Carol and Mathias was well done but they spent a lot of time internalizing their issues and it was distracting. Carol has self esteem issues with her looks and while I certainly get it...there was a scene where I kind of just wanted to shake some sense into her like she did to Mathias. I liked the way these two opposites really do complete each other. The other main story was Violet and Ulrich's. Violet is Carol's younger sister that we met in book 1 and Ulrich is the Duke of Somberbrook. I loved everything about their story. The chemistry is amazing and I love the traditional romance of it all while taking place in a town geared toward the non-traditional.
We meet some more members of the Mitchell family. Their dad should be dropped off a very high cliff for his behavior. Del and his wife-to-be Maya ( I really love her personality) show up to get married and with the pending nuptials comes all kinds of family drama. Elaine, the boys mother, is a tough character to like because I mostly just feel sorry for her but you have to read the books to figure out why. Sophie is the family beagle who is simply hysterical. She gets into everything and is just full of energy. She not only makes friends with Millie the Giraffe but she even shows her how to escape her pen. We meet Carol and Violet's dad and uncle and learn about their contribution to Happily, Inc. There are also some cross over characters visiting from Fool's Gold for the wedding.
Overall I give this a 3 star rating. I did enjoy the book but felt a little let down by the constant insecurities of the main characters and I really missed having more interaction with the main girl squad like in the 1st book. I am hooked on this series though so I am super excited for the next story to unfold.