Cover Image: Happily Never After

Happily Never After

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Member Reviews

Max and Sophie meet after he objects to her wedding, which gets Sophie out of a disastrous relationship with Stuart. Sophie and Max become fast friends, going to weddings together and posting lots of photos together to appease Max's parents and Sophie's boss. This fiery friendship turns into fierce feelings that neither of them were looking for, but they have already fallen into the fire...of FUCKRAH 🔥

This was a cute book. I do feel like there are two distinct halves that could've flowed together a bit better. The first half is Sophie and Max objecting at weddings and putting on a fake almost relationship for everyone else. Some supporting characters, like Sophie's best friend and Max's parents get dropped from the story. This didn't bother me enough not to enjoy Max and Sophie's chemistry in the second half. I loved how they confessed their feelings for each other by the end. An enjoyable read ❤️

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This was cute and an easy fluffy read with a side of spice. The overall story was so fun. Two people who don’t believe in love objecting to wedding as a side gig. But obviously they had to fall for each other. I loved how Max was a golden retriever personality. The little miscommunication at the end could have been easily resolved but luckily the book ended cute! Lynn Painter knows how to write a fun romance!

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Sophie Steinbeck is sick to her stomach when she’s about to tie the knot. Thanks to Max Parks, hired to object to the wedding, she avoids a major mistake, and her focus then is her well-being and her career. Sophie and Max develop a friendship — a beautiful and heartwarming friendship. While they also become partners as “objectors”, they also confront their personal challenges, adding depth to their character. 

The delicious banter between Max and Sophie brings humor and charm to the narrative. I thoroughly enjoyed every page with them together. Lynn Painter’s talent for crafting romantic moments shines through; her description of just one kiss is explosive:

“I knew without a doubt that I could kiss him forever and never lose a single butterfly.”

It’s hard not to feel the chemistry between the Max and Sophie on every page.

“Happily Never After” not only delivers on romantic expectations but also skillfully combines elements of sweetness and steaminess. It’s a beautifully written story that captivates from beginning to end.

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Fairly light and fun, watching the reasons for the various objections was my favorite part. I am fairly put off by romance novel characters who are swearing off love or denying it. Because, sure it is just chemicals in your brain, but so are lots of things and those are all real too. So that bugged me a little, but not enough to not thoroughly enjoy myself. Is the premise a bit silly, sure. But you didn't pick this up looking for hard hitting realism.

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I think that Lynn Painter as an adult romance writer isn't it. I am not trying to be mean. It's just that her romance books doesn't hit the same as her young adult romance books. It's just my opinion. I just won't read her adult romance books. If you enjoy them, then go ahead read them. Personally, it's isn't for me.

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This is definitely going to end up being one of the best romcoms of 2024. It’s one of those books you don’t want to put down.

It was so easy to lose oneself in the whole story and plot. Friends to lovers told at its best.

If you’re like me and have been massively slumping, this book is like a gift. The characters and their relationship with each other keeps you so engaged that you kind of hope the book never ends.

I’m a big Lynn Painter fan and I’d say this is definitely going to be one of my top favourites from her. Truly spectacular.

Audiobook readers are going to love this one! A dual pov with female and male narrators are always the best way to enjoy the story and Helen Laser & Sean Patrick Hopkins do a fantastic job.

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The idea of this book was good in theory, I’m disappointed in the main character and plot progression being that Sophie isn’t like other girls, being a flannel-wearing-car-loving-hates-love type of girl, while there’s nothing wrong with this, in this book it was a bit much. The idea that she’s also an objector was refreshing and nice, but later on with Max, the faking-dating plot was lost in translation. Everything was rushed for tension and rarely developed which I didn’t love. I have previously read and enjoyed Lynn Painter’s novels, including her YA and New Adult selection and I am disappointed that I didn’t enjoy Happily Never After.

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3.5, rounded up. The premise made this start out incredibly strong, and I loved seeing Sophie and Max's relationship develop and reading their banter. I think they fizzle out after a while (kind of wish they'd kept up with the objector premise), but it's still a fun read.

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2 stars.
⤿ adult romance <3

literal tears are running down my face because what was this steaming mess of a book? it felt like a poor attempt to make characters that were "different" and "unique" when they were in fact, walmart knockoffs of actual fleshed-out characters. sophie with her monologues being just about HER CAR, and max talking about sex 90% of the time was enough for me to dnf this (let's be honest, i think i did because i cannot remember a single thing about it) but the thing that irked me the most was how slow it was. 300 pages for what? for sophie to realize "love was in front of her the whole time" and for max to realize "that sex in the shower, on the kitchen counter, and in the bed" is only acceptable when it's with little old soph. trust me when i say that i don't loathe lynn painter. ok, maybe just a teeny bit. however, better than the movies and the do-over were actually nice romcoms, and do you know why that is? it's because they were *emphasis on* YOUNG ADULT. i don't mind adult romances although i do tend to stay away from them, and smut is just not my cup of tea. i certainly won't judge someone if they enjoyed the spice in happily never after, but it didn't do anything for the story. in my opinion, smut's purpose is to build a stronger connection between the characters, or perhaps add to the plot, but the only thing it did for this romcom is make ever single reader contemplate on buying a shiny jug of bleach.

put simply, sophie and her flannel shirts that tie at the waist + max, who described himself as henry cavill, won't last a single day after the book ended. honestly, i would be surprised if they lasted an hour.

thank you to the publisher and the author for the arc!

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Thank you to the publisher for the gifted e=copy.

Lynn Painter has quickly become an auto buy author for me, and Happily Never After might be a new favorite! It's hilarious, friends to lovers, and steamy, and I didn't want it to end!

Sophie finds out right before her wedding that her fiancé has been cheating, so her maid of honor hires a professional Objector to help call the wedding off. Sophie and Max hit it off (as friends) and a few months later, he calls her to help him with his little profession. Sophie helps him out with that wedding and a few more, all while becoming closer and closer to Max. But Sophie has decided that true love isn't a real thing, so she explains their chemistry and just that - chemistry. Until Sophie is asked to object to the wedding of Max's ex and Max tells her not to do it - and Sophie is super jealous. Clearly her feelings have grown beyond friends (with benefits) and she has a hard time dealing with that!

Max and Sophie are hilarious together. Their banter is fantastic (this author is one of my favorite banter-writers EVER) and the steamy bits are well done. I would love for this to become a movie; it would be perfect to see on the big screen!

4.5 stars

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"Happily Never After" by Lynn Painter is an electrifying rollercoaster ride through the tangled web of love, heartbreak, and redemption. With each page turn, Painter weaves a captivating tale of romance, humour, and self-discovery that will leave you breathless and craving more.

At the heart of the story is Sophie Steinbeck, a woman on the brink of matrimony, who has her world turned upside down by the revelation of her fiancé's infidelity. Enter Max the Objector, a charming cynic whose job is to crash weddings and speak the words no one wants to hear: "I object!" A whirlwind adventure ensues as Sophie and Max team up to save others from the same fate that nearly befell Sophie.

Painter masterfully crafts a narrative filled with witty banter, steamy encounters, and unexpected twists that keep readers on the edge of their seats. As Sophie and Max navigate the treacherous waters of love and attraction, they must confront their demons and insecurities, leading to moments of raw vulnerability and heartrending honesty.

What sets "Happily Never After" apart is its refreshingly authentic portrayal of modern romance. Painter doesn't shy away from the complexities of relationships, instead opting to explore love's messy, imperfect nature in all its forms. Every emotion is laid bare, from the exhilarating highs to the crushing lows, leaving a lasting impact on the reader.

But perhaps the greatest triumph of "Happily Never After" lies in its message of hope and resilience. Through Sophie and Max's journey, Painter reminds us that even in the darkest times, there is always the possibility of finding light and redemption. It's a testament to the power of love and the strength of the human spirit, leaving readers with a sense of warmth and optimism long after turning the final page.

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Happily Never After one took me a little while to read for being fairly short, it started off so exciting and then I was bored for a little bit but definitely not bored enough to stop reading, I just wasn't dying to pick it up. Once I hit the 50% mark though I finished the rest in 24 hours because I was so invested and needed to know what happens!! I can be super picky with writing style, especially for romances/romcoms but this one was very minimally cringey for me which is a win.

There are a couple spicy scenes and it's nothing crazy if you're only looking for that, I personally don't NEED spice in my romances but it's a nice little plus! I did love the spice it did have, I think Sophie and Max had great chemistry. ❤️‍🔥

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Painter's newest rom-com compiles quite a few of our favorite tropes.
He falls first- Check
Friends to Lovers - Check Check
Fake Relationship- Check Check Check

This was book was light and and easy. There wasn't a whole lotta depth in the mains, but the roomies Rosie & Larry stole the show every time they were on page. Honestly, I wish I had them as roommates. Unfortunately I found Sophie exasperating and purposely obtuse. Max "Cavill" was the perfect fictional lead with absolutely no flaws. I prefer my mains to be relatable and not perfect. THAT is me though! If you are into a fluffy, light reads, this is for you. This just was not for me. Thank you for the ARC NetGalley.

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I don’t have much to say about this book. The concept was ok, but I didn’t love either character very much and I would not be surprised if they were divorced within 5 years.

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The premise of this is intriguing and unique, but after the initial hook it really just peters out. Sophie and Max both felt a little flat, and despite some decent banter I never really bought into their feelings for each other. I found Sophie’s whole “sex for me” thing kinda bizarre and unmotivated. My biggest complaint is that this book was almost entirely devoid of tension — even the third act conflict felt rushed and underdeveloped. Perfectly inoffensive, a quick read, some fun side characters! I imagine I would like Lynn Painter’s writing with a different story.

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Thank you, Netgalley, the author, and Berkley Publishing for the gifted e-book! ❤️ #gifted. My review is comprised of my honest thoughts.

Read this book if you like: Dual POV, grumpy grumpy, light reads

This was very unique and cute. I love the concept. Some of the scenes were a bit drawn out for no real reason. Max was great. Sophie was a bit more difficult to like. She was a bit much. Sophie's roommates were one of my favorite parts. I recommend it!

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this had such an interesting plot that it hooked me from the start. the banter between these two was so top tier. the whole time reading i was just kicking my feet. a very fun read!

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Happily Never After ~ Lynn Painter
Pages: 304
Genre: Romance

Gist: When Sophie Steinbeck’s wedding ends with the help of a professional objector, she is relieved - but then as she learns more about Max’s job, she’s intrigued. She starts to join Max, going to different weddings to object and sharing in their belief that love isn’t real.

However, their chemistry is off the charts and with several hookups it’s starts to get tricky differentiating between lust and love. Then a wedding comes along that just might change everything for Max and Sophie.

Thoughts: These kind of light, swoony reads are my wheel house right now so I really enjoyed this one. Having never read anything by Painter before, I really took to her witty writing style and attention to character voice. Max and Sophie jumped off the page and I agree - they had insane chemistry! It’s a little steamy and made me giggle too. Perfect combo!

This will appeal to all the romance fans out there - the hopeless romantics and cynics alike. Available on BOTM but I was lucky enough to get an eARC thanks to @berkley - I recommend wholeheartedly. Just a lot of fun!

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There’s just something about a Lynn Painter book. Never fails, her characters and stories make me laugh out loud every single time.

I absolutely adored Happily Never After. Couldn’t put it down, couldn’t listen fast enough. I normally hate friends to lovers, but this one hit just right and made me question my stance on the trope. Only @lynnpainterbooks could make me do that.

The premise of the book is genius. Two people work as objectors at weddings to stop the marriage before it starts. It leads to hilarious escapades and yummy forced proximity.

Sophie and Max’s love story was absolutely delicious. The sexual tension was great and I was so invested in their journey together. I was not so quietly cheering them on the entire book.

I was also completely obsessed with Sophie’s two geriatric roommates that stole the show in every scene they appear in. And Sophie’s cats also hold a piece of my heart too.

The audiobook of this one is excellent. I listened to it in one sitting. It runs just under 8 hours and the narrators were absolutely perfect for these two characters.

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This book is truly a cover to cover nonstop read full of lighthearted humor, swoon-worthy romance, and spicy hot love. Sophie and her distaste in love is so relatable, the grumpy sunshine dynamic is wildly entertaining. The chemistry between Sophie and Max was palpable and their adventures in stopping weddings made for story that felt less cheesy than other romcoms. I truly enjoyed this read and look forward to reading other Lynn Painter books!

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