- Abby Jimenez
- 370 pages
- Dual POV
It’s been two years since Sloan Monroe lost her fiancé, but she knows grief doesn’t have a time limit. Struggling with her emotions, Sloan seems to have given up all things important in her life, including her painting. But, on her way to visit her fiancé’s grave, something strange happens. A dog runs out in front of her car, barks at her, and then jumps straight through her sunroof. Unsure what to do, Sloan takes him home to find his owner. After weeks of unanswered calls to the number on his tag, Sloan decides the dog is now hers. With Tucker by her side, she starts feeling more like herself than she has in years—until Tucker’s owner actually calls back. He’s on tour in Australia and he wants Tucker back.
Connected by their shared love of Tucker, Sloan and Jason talk on the phone regularly until he gets back. Neither can deny that there’s a connection beyond the way they met. But, what will they think of each other when they finally meet in person? And can Sloan survive another relationship (or heartbreak) after losing her fiancé?
Abby Jimenez has to be one of my favorite romance authors. When I discovered there was a book of hers that I had not yet read, I rushed to Amazon for two-day delivery, and I wasn’t disappointed. The Happy Ever After Playlist expands upon Sloan’s character written in The Friend Zone. While both books could be read independently, The Friend Zone is meant to be the prequel to The Happily Ever Playlist.
One of the things I loved most about this book was the focus on how Sloan’s character has changed since The Friend Zone. Interestingly enough, Jimenez actually wrote The Happy Ever After Playlist first, and I do think it shows that this is her first book. I don’t think that Sloan’s storyline is as developed and well-written as Kristen and Josh’s story is. Kristen’s character development is certainly stronger than Sloan’s, even though Sloan has undeniably been through some serious heartbreak.
While I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t feel as connected to Sloan in this book as I did to Kristen in The Friend Zone, Sloan and Jason’s romance is certainly spicy. While entirely unrealistic, their relationship is exactly what readers love to devour. Jason’s character is too idealistic—he basically has no flaws, other than the fact that his job gets in the way of his relationship. Though, I’m not sure why he punishes himself for this, as he had no way of knowing Sloan would walk into his life as his career starts taking off. Jason is a gentleman. He is thoughtful, altruistic, and he would do anything for those he loves. He is exactly the kind of character that every woman wishes she has, but rarely exists.
I think my biggest problem with this book is how unrealistic it is. I feel the characters are naïve and fall for basic character traps that every romance book has. I didn’t love the surface-level aspects of the love story in The Happily Ever After Playlist, though I thoroughly enjoyed Jimenez’s take on Sloan’s grief. While I do think that The Friend Zone and Life’s Too Short are much more developed plotlines, The Happy Ever After Playlist is a light, easy read that focuses on how to make the best out of every situation.
Overall, I admired Sloan and Jason’s motivation and their undying effort to make their relationship work. I adored the work Jimenez puts into the playlist songs at the beginning of each chapter (definitely go ahead and download those to listen while you read!). Best of all, I loved the ending of this book—though, I won’t spoil it for those of you who’d like to read this one.
If you haven’t already, check out Abby Jimenez’s other books, The Friend Zone and Life’s Too Short or pre-order her upcoming new novel, releasing April 19th, on Amazon now: Part of Your World.
Liked this review? Check out our last review, People We Meet On Vacation.