Ever After Always by Chloe Liese

Monday, January 11, 2021

 



EVER AFTER ALWAYS

by Chloe Liese
Series: Bergman Brothers #3
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 12th 2021
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷✷✷

Every year, I discover new-to-me authors that I can add to my favorite authors list. While I discovered plenty of wonderful storytellers in 2020, it's Chloe Liese who is the most memorable for me. With just two books, she's managed to turn me into a fan who will read anything and everything she pens. As a fan of the Bergman Brothers series, I was obviously anticipating Ever After Always as I do every installment of the series. However, the promise of a marriage-in-crisis love story meant that my expectations were sky-high. I had complete faith in the author and she delivered with an emotional and beautifully-written story that I will be recommending for the rest of eternity. 

I think the reason that I am so drawn to marriage-in-crisis as a trope is because it's an excellent way to get a good dose of realistic angst from a romance novel. Chloe Liese writes the trope with a lot of layers and nuance. She tugs at your heartstrings with her words but also manages to present the story without veering into manufactured drama. At the heart of Ever After Always are Freya, a Bergman sister, and her husband Aiden. These two loved each other deeply but issues had emerged in their relationship creating a mile-wide rift between them. In an attempt to protect each other, they've inadvertently hurt each other. Both Freya and Aiden are hurting and they know that they have to work on their marriage to save it. Most of their troubles were rooted in their inability to openly express themselves while trying to have a baby. Aiden's anxiety, aggravated by growing up in poverty, plays a significant role in Ever After Always. He has a stable job and as does Freya, but he knows that a new family member means another mouth to feed. Given his upbringing, his concerns made sense for the character. I thought the author wrote his anxiety truthfully and thoughtfully. You feel so much for Aiden and his sadness, but you also feel immense pride in him as he begins to take the first steps to work on his marriage. 

Enter marriage counseling. I think this is the first relationship-in-trouble book I have personally read that shows the potential importance that counseling can play. Aiden and Freya knew that communication was something they struggled with and their decision to seek professional help was refreshing. It doesn't magically solve all their problems, but it provides them with the necessary tools they need. I was glad that Freya too was open to Aiden's idea. I think it also gave her room to think about how she could have made things better in their relationship too. Neither of these two characters is perfect, but what they are is real and endearing. They just want to be better for each other and damn it if I wasn't all about that. It just makes their journey towards fixing their marriage one that is wholeheartedly satisfying.

As always, I also loved the role that the Bergman family plays. They've fully embraced Aiden as one of their own and don't hesitate to tease him, but also teach him how to grovel for Freya's affections. We see them a lot in this book because they are all on a vacation celebrating their parents' anniversary. I loved all their scenes (I mean I loved ALL the scenes in this book), and especially loved the insight into the next couple - I can't wait!

I aggressively loved Ever After Always and it's probably ruined me for relationship-in-trouble books. I'm not quite sure how Chloe Liese keeps doing it, but every book of hers I read seems to be better than the previous one. Now, can I just have the next book already???

Relationship disclosure: Chloe Liese and I are mutuals on social media. This does not affect my rating and review of the book.

ICYMI, I also reviewed the first two books of the series and shared an interview with Chloe. You can check it out here.

Let's chat!

Have you read books with the relationship-in-trouble trope?
Let me know in the comments below!




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