Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Also by this author: The Friend Zone,
Source: My shelves
From the USA Today bestselling author of The Friend Zone comes an adorable and fresh romantic comedy about one trouble-making dog who brings together two perfect strangers.
Two years after losing her fiancé, Sloan Monroe still can't seem to get her life back on track. But one trouble-making pup with a "take me home" look in his eyes is about to change everything. With her new pet by her side, Sloan finally starts to feel more like herself. Then, after weeks of unanswered texts, Tucker's owner reaches out. He's a musician on tour in Australia. And bottom line: He wants Tucker back.
Well, Sloan's not about to give up her dog without a fight. But what if this Jason guy really loves Tucker? As their flirty texts turn into long calls, Sloan can't deny a connection. Jason is hot and nice and funny. There's no telling what could happen when they meet in person. The question is: With his music career on the rise, how long will Jason really stick around? And is it possible for Sloan to survive another heartbreak?
The Happy Ever After Playlist is a book that I’ve been looking forward to for WEEKS! I read Abby Jimenez’s debut The Friend Zone this past spring and it was incredible! It was hands down one of my favorite books of the year!!
Sloan, the main character of The Happy Ever After Playlist, is the best friend to the main heroine in The Friend Zone, and I was nervous about this one because of it. Not just because this book was hyped up so much (and rightfully so honestly), but because we saw Sloan’s world completely fall apart in the debut novel, and I was terrified for her now.
This one follows Sloan, a shell of her former self, grieving for her ex-fiancée two years after his horrible accident when a dog jumps through her sunroof and into her life. She desperately tries to find his owner, while fighting to not fall in love with the dog, but after two weeks of unreturned voicemails, she decides to keep the lovely Tucker. Except for his owner, Jason, was on tour in Australia and had no idea his dog was missing! He wants him back. Thus starts the flirty texts and calls ?
Reasons I loved it…
1. Grief representation
First of all, I freaking LOVED Sloan. Her grief felt very authentic, likely because it was based on a friend of Abby’s, which has been a theme with the author so far. The infertility struggle in The Friend Zone was based on her friend’s real experience with severe uterine fibroids, and the grief in The Happy Ever After Playlist is based on a friend’s experience with complicated grief, and how she was trapped in an inescapable cycle of sadness.
2. This not a standalone
Sloan’s journey was very well written, and it’s imperative that you read The Friend Zone before you read this one, because so much of Sloan’s journey is experienced first in the debut book. This book will not have the same impact if you read it as a standalone.
3. Layered Romance with all the tropes
First of all, this book had so many great tropes! Texting-epistolary romance is a sub-trope that I am always SO down for, and it made this one so much fun! The flirtatious phone calls and texts… I’m so there for it. Plus it was a rockstar romance, which is another serious fave of mine!
<< “Oh my god, I’m freaking out. How do I act normal now? I have seven of his songs in my playlist, right now. I’m a fan! I’m like a groupie! I cannot be cool, Kristen!” >>
But my favorite part of this romance was the wide scope. We got the courtship (and it was awesome), but we also saw their struggles to make their romance work despite their two very different lifestyles! Jason is a famous musician, embarking on a 14-plus month tour, and Sloan is an artist whose work requires months of diligent painting, which doesn’t travel well. Even though we did follow these characters through their courtship and from the beginning, it almost felt like an established relationship romance as we watched them navigate the pitfalls of actually being together in the second portion of the book.
4. Puppy Love
I love when characters’ pets basically become their own character! This was one of my favorite parts of Jimenez’s debut novel, The Friend Zone, with Kristen’s dog Stuntmen Mike having such a large characterization, and I loved it in this one, too! Tucker was so adorable <3
I was so very pleased with Jimenez’s follow-up novel! Although according to this author, this was actually the book she wrote first that won her an agent, and to be honest, I can see it. The Friend Zone was such an incredible read because it was such a slow burn, and The Happy Ever After Playlist was different from that, so I’m not sure I can fully compare them. But this one was so sweet, flirty, entertaining and even took us past the stereotypical HEA, which I appreciated!
I loved Sloan’s strength as she found to find herself even amidst becoming involved in a new relationship, and similarly adored Jason and Sloan’s devotion to making their situation work. Jason was an outrageous flirt and Sloan was the perfect match! I loved this sweet, sexy romance <3
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Have you read this book? Do you enjoy rockstar romances? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!