Review of ‘After Happily Ever After’ by Astrid Ohletz & Alex K. Thorne (Eds.)
This is one of the best lesbian short story collections I have read in a long time. I mean the premise is great, getting to see some of our favorite characters after their original story ended. The quality of shorts here is really good with only one short that I was a little blah about. All the rest were enjoyable and I had a lot of fun visiting these favorite characters again.
There were a few shorts that have already been published before. ‘Dress-Tease’ by Jae which is book 2.5 in her Hollywood collection, ‘Love is Not Nothing‘ by Lee Winter -the short sequel to ‘Requiem for Immortals‘, ‘All Wrapped up’ by G Benson -the short sequel to ‘All the Little Moments’, and ‘Two Hearts-One Mind’ by R.J. Nolan which was ‘LA Metro’ book 1.5. I had read Lee Winters first short before and loved it so I had fun reading it again. While I already owned ‘All Wrapped up’, I had not read it yet so it was new for me. It put a big smile on my face and reminded me just how much I loved ‘All the Little Moments’. Lastly, I must admit I did not read the R.J. Nolan short. While I planned to, I have not read her series yet so I have to save that one for later.
There were two shorts that didn’t quite fit the theme of the book. Chris Zett’s ‘The Cat Emergency’ and ‘No Going Back’ by Cheyenne Blue. Zett’s book did briefly show mains from both ‘Irregular Heartbeat‘ and ‘Heart Failure‘ but the story was about a new main character. It made me wonder if she might be the star of Zett’s next book. I like quite a bit Blue’s short but again it starred a new main character, a character that had been a secondary character from ‘Code of Conduct‘. ‘Code…’ is one of my favorite if not my favorite Blue’s book so I was excited about this short. This short feels like it’s just really starting and I hope Blue will turn it into a full-length ‘Code of Conduct’ sequel.
‘Interlude’ by Lola Keeley was a lot of fun. I was so happy to see the mains from ‘The Music and the Mirror‘ once again. What was interesting about this short is Keeley wrote it still like a happy for now not happily ever after. What does that mean to me? Well to me it screams that we need a full-length sequel to finally see if they get a real HEA. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for that book.
Roslyn Sinclair’s short about ‘The Lily and the Crown‘, Alex K. Thrones short of ‘Chasing Stars‘ and Jae’s short for ‘Under a Falling Star‘ were all really good. I loved Lily and Chasing so I was very happy to be back with these characters. The ‘Lily and the Crown’ short was realistic to the characters and ‘Chasing Stars’ wrapped up a bit of an issue from the original story so I was really happy with both shorts. Jae’s short ‘Partners’ was really enjoyable too. I had not read ‘Under a Falling Star’ in years so I didn’t remember a lot at first, but it was so well written that everything clicked into place and was a good read.
Saving the best for last was Lee Winter’s second short ‘The Brutal Lie’ a short of ‘The Brutal Truth‘. This short story was an easy 5 stars and worth getting this collection just for this story alone. It was everything I was hoping for with two characters I love. Plus it was a real HEA for our characters. It tied up a few things from the book and it was the perfect ending you wanted to see. I loved it!
This is one of the better short collections I remember reading. It was a great idea for a collection and it really worked well. It was so much fun to see characters I loved again because there are a lot of great books these shorts are a part of. If you read a lot of YLVA books this short collection is a must! 4.25 Stars.
A copy was given to me for an honest review.