Rating: 4/5 stars
I think this was the last Penelope and Vi book I had to read to have all their books completed. I am very happy about this and this experience was fascinating, to say the least.
This duo is amazing and their stories are just amazing, something they go beyond what I imagine in my little world. There are moments when I take a break and think to myself how these ladies do it and how they could come up with such plot lines and twist.
So, Happily Letter After is the story of serendipity reincarnated into Sadie and Sebastian’s love story. I don’t think I remember a similar story with so many plots and so many coincidences as this one. All the pieces are so well put together that I was very sorry to not have picked the book up earlier.
The book actually starts with a letter written by a 10-year-old girl, Birdie Maxwell, to Santa Claus. Obviously, this letter did not go all the way to the North Pole but ended up in the newsroom of Sadie, a journalist who writes a dating column for a magazine. Sadie is a professional dater, meaning she meets with various people, and for “pure” business purposes, she reviews the dates with those men.
It’s clear that Sadie wants to meet her other half, but it seems like she’s clearly out of luck because she is not looking for a hookup but for a connection. Crossing over and back to Birdie, she writes to Saddie/Santa and asks her to bring her various things, some related to her, her father, or her mother who passed away a few years ago. Sadie remains very impressed with this little girl and starts to get involved in her life, sending various gifts or even following her around the park at one point. When she also sees the girl’s father, Sebastian Maxwell, things get complicated, because he is extremely handsome and practically any woman would want to be with him.
Sadie enters even more into the two’s lives and pretends to be a German dog trainer (funny, I know) just so she can be closer to them. Things begin to rush because the bond between the 3 becomes stronger and stronger and although Sadie keeps telling herself that she will stop, things are not as simple as they seem.
The book was impressive in the plot because when you emerge into the story, you don’t see everything coming your way. As you enter the story and understand what is happening, you will truly understand where Penelope and Vi want to go with the characters. The romance between Sadie and Sebastian is a slow burn, complicated because he is a widower, but very intense and steamy when consumed.
I liked the book a lot because it fits Penelope and Vi’s genre – it’s funny, with a delicate subject, not a lot of unnecessary drama, making you smile to yourself at every special paragraph. Sadie is an incurable romantic but also a girl who has suffered a lot from the loss of her mother and Sebastian is quite complicated as a male character. Remaining a single father with a very complicated business, he constantly divides himself between his job and Birdie and does not always manage to give him the time that the little one deserves.
Although he was very grumpy at first, Seb really is a cool guy who tries his best to give his little girl a good life. When he meets Sadie, as in most of the books, it’s that conflict that every hero has, that of being able to balance family life with his personal life, and he’s quite afraid to handle both. The scenes between them are very intense and although we start to get some action about halfway through the book, I can say that I was satisfied with the way the book was structured. There are many unexpected situations, and wow twists and besides that, the emotion of the story is very strong.