Not That Kind of Ever After is a romance about the world of online dating. The protagonist, Bella Marbie, dreams of being a writer and finding a husband. A self-described hopeless romantic, she wants “what all those Disney princesses had before the producers and writers got better…a good old-fashioned man to sweep [her] off her feet and make [her] feel like royalty.” While Bella’s parents were high school sweethearts and her best friend Ellie is engaged to be married, Bella struggles to find her prince charming. She finally resorts to using a “Mirror Mirror” dating app that features the tag line “because the fairest of them all should be the right one too.”
The novel opens with a steamy scene between Bella and one of her dating app matches, a man named Charles Wolf. Bella begins to document her lackluster dating experiences online, using chapter titles that correspond to the fairy tales she feels caught in. For example, her experience with Charles is titled My Night with The Big Bad Wolf). Her posts grab the attention of many readers which leads to some success in her writing career. The book is riddled with overt fairy tale references as Bella navigates a world that seems anything but romantic.
Although I enjoyed the way Luci Adams wraps her narrative in fairy tale references, this book seems intended for a new adult audience who has some experience with the world of contemporary online dating. There are a few fun plot-based surprises and a happily-ever-after arc which provides closure to Bella’s adventures, but the book is not designed to offer any complex commentary on fairy tale messages. Not That Kind of Ever After might be a fun late summer read for those interested in the world of online dating.
You can find the book here.
Thank you to NetGalley for a free copy of the book in exchange for a fair review.
Kelly Jarvis is the Special Projects Writer and Contributing Editor for The Fairy Tale Magazine. Her work has appeared in Eternal Haunted Summer, Blue Heron Review, Forget-Me-Not Press, Mermaids Monthly, The Chamber Magazine, and Mothers of Enchantment: New Tales of Fairy Godmothers. She teaches at Central Connecticut State University.