What went wrong with your happily-ever-after?
I’ve always said the Hub and I have a relationship based on the two purest human feelings: pity and hunger. Back in our college days, I was cooking a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at our apartment when my roommate Max took pity on a pair of grad students she knew would be alone on the holiday, and dragged them to our flat for turkey dinner. One was a tall thin guy who didn’t say two words to me but ate everything that came within reach. We were married two years later. You could say we lived happily-ever-after and you’d be right (as I explained here).
But actually, I’ve always felt a bit sorry for those fairy-tale endings. What really happened after Prince Charming slid on that slipper? Did their kids run naked through the throne room? Did the dog throw up the first time they had the King and Queen over for dinner? Did Cinderella blow her first big powerpoint presentation, or did Prince Charming actually give her a new microwave for their first anniversary present? I really hope so, because it’s the things that go wrong we remember the most.
In the lead up to our own wedding, for example, my husband’s deadline for submitting his PhD thesis loomed. My mother was typing it—yes, on a manual typewriter because we’re that old—and everyone was proofreading. My uncle, an airforce chaplain who was going to perform the ceremony, arrived expecting to discuss the sanctity of marriage. Instead, he was handed two chapters on monetary theory and told to mark any typos.
My soon-to-be Hub would look up occasionally to mutter that if he didn’t get the thesis submitted, he couldn’t get married. Each time, my father would go out to the garage and start working on one of the cars. My mother took a break from typing to look at the wedding dress I’d found in a charity shop, a retro cocktail-length sheath in pink lace. She cried, gave the dress to the sister who was going to be my maid of honor, grabbed another sister, and they went out to buy a (white) wedding dress.
The thesis was typed and posted by courier to barely meet both academic and wedding deadlines. The cars had never been in better shape. My uncle paused in the wedding ceremony for a little speech about how marriage is like a thesis, which made my father cry and my mother laugh. And every time I looked up during the wedding, my sister would point to the beautiful pink lace dress she was wearing, and mouth, “Mine.” She kept the dress, I kept the Hub, and we all kept the memories.
So how about you? What went wrong with your HEA?
Please let me know your own love story, or one of your favorite happily-ever-after glitches.
Of course, if you’re a sucker for a good HEA (like me!), you can’t do better than the happily-ever-after roadblocks in the latest releases by three of my favorite writers, Melinda Huber, Kassandra Lamb, and Patricia Sands. See below and my next two blog posts for another lightning round of reviews!
Wedding Bells in Switzerland: A Fabrian Books Feel-Good Novella (Lakeside series Book 5) by Melinda Huber
- Genre: Romance Novella
- Author: Melinda Huber
- Publisher: Fabrian Books 2019
A wedding… that’s a happy time with love and laughter and catching up with old friends – isn’t it? But Stacy has problems she didn’t anticipate when it comes to organising this one.
The mother of the bride has been watching too many old films, something is troubling the bridesmaid, and above all, a mysterious guest called MJ is about to descend on the hotel – but Stacy and Rico have no idea who it is. And that’s before the emergency services of two countries start getting involved…
And even when the honeymoon starts in the lovely Bernese Oberland, it isn’t long before blue lights and sirens have Stacy’s pulse racing again. Surely wedding bells have never been this complicated?
If you’ve been following the lovely series of feel-good novellas written by Melinda Huber (psychological thriller writer Linda Huber’s alter-ego), you know about Stacy and Rico’s occasionally rocky but always sweet love story, from their meeting when young (and engaged, and English) nurse Stacy vacations at his family’s struggling hotel in Switzerland. Over the next novellas in the series, they work together to rescue the hotel, deal with eccentric guests, and above all, build on the fragile beginnings of their personal relationship.
It’s a story of the things that go wrong as both Stacy and Rico adapt to changes to the careers they’d imagined, adjust to challenges as Rico deals with the death of the beloved mother whose vision had guided their family-owned hotel, Stacy faces the end of her engagement and life in England, and above all, the couple accepts the challenges to building a life that unites two very different backgrounds.
As their wedding date approaches, they face financial worries, family pressures, personal doubts, and a series of cryptic messages from the mysterious “MJ”. But—as with every good wedding—it’s the very things that go wrong which will make the memories for the future.
I’ve never been to Switzerland, but the gorgeous and beautifully described setting is almost a character in itself, infusing and lending its romance to Stacy and Rico’s story. And best of all, we see both Rico and Stacy’s personal growth and character development as they move toward their vows.
If you like a sweet romance with growing, imperfect, and well-developed characters, I’d recommend this lovely, breezy series of feel-good, quick-read novellas. But do yourself a favor, and read Stacy and Rico’s whole story in the Lakeside Series.