A heartwarming romance with no angst and lovable characters
I read this book when it was released a few months ago and liked it very much. As I also like the narrator, Melissa Sternenberg, I decided to give it a try.
Kris Bryant is an incredibly versatile author, she can write angsty romances like Listen, lighthearted ones like Breakthrough, or even super hot erotica like Shameless (under the Brit Ryder pseudonym). No wonder she is a multi-award winner and a very popular author. Her books go to my to-read list automatically and with Forever, once again she shows all her talent.
Ten years ago, Savanah Edwards participated in a lesbian dating reality show and got dumped on live TV. Now the producers of the show asked her to make a comeback as part of the ten-year anniversary celebrations. As Savannah negotiates to date ten different contestants on national tv, she realizes she only cares for Lauren Lucas, the extremely hot and attentive show presenter. As their mutual attraction grows, so does Savanah’s conundrum between sticking to the show rules or following her heart.
In the acknowledgments, the author says that she’s always been curious about how people fall in love, even in some unconventional ways, and wanted to make fun of reality tv. To be honest, reality tv is not something that interests me and the few Sapphic books that touch on the subject didn’t catch my interest. However, I have to admit that Ms. Bryant managed to write an absorbing critique of these shows. How real is reality tv? What happens when true feelings are involved? How can a person cope with the complete media intrusion in their intimate lives? Even if you already have an opinion on these issues, this book is a good way to revisit those questions and also to see the backstage production work behind “creating” reality.
As I said at the beginning, Ms. Bryant can write all the spectrum of romances from angsty to heartwarming, and do them all really well. Even though I loved Listen, a very angsty romance, my favourites are the lighthearted ones. Forever falls into the latter category, the type of romance that doesn’t break your heart and makes you smile. Despite that, there are some emotional, heart-wrenching moments that keep the reader invested in the story even though the overall message is positive and hopeful.
Both main characters are adorable and it’s very easy to root for them. Ms. Bryant knows how to write chemistry and makes the most of the stolen moments when the cameras are off and both women can be truly themselves. It’s a very good tease and also a big hurdle that the characters need to overcome.
As it’s common with this author’s writing style, the book is written in first person from one character’s point of view, in this case, Savanah who is not only trying to find true love but also closure from what happened ten years ago. Her candor and fairness in treating the different contestants were a pleasure to read about and a good counterpoint to the ubiquitous falseness of reality tv.
Melissa Sternenberg did an amazing job in narrating the audiobook. There are several female characters in this book and she managed to make them all different. I absolutely loved the voice she chose for Lauren and her performance did justice to the character. If you are looking for a heartwarming romance with no angst and lovable characters, this one is for you. Great cover and yet another fantastic one-word title. 4.5 stars.