Merrily Ever After by Jenny Holiday

Posted December 4, 2018 by Marsha in Christmas Romance, Contemporary Romance, Series / 0 Comments

Elise Maxwell is loving her first Christmas with her husband, Jay Smith. So far, newlywed life has been filled with laughter and lots of steamy marital “bliss.” But when Elise discovers she’s accidentally, against-all-odds pregnant, happily-ever-after screeches to a halt. Although she sees it as a Christmas miracle, Elise knows her new husband might not agree…
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Jay never wanted to be a father. In fact, he’s avoided it his entire life, worried he’d repeat the patterns of his own messed-up childhood. He’s madly in love with Elise and, until now, he thought they were on the same page about not having children. But her surprise pregnancy changes everything. Elise is suddenly committed to parenthood, and Jay knows he can’t lose her. Facing his deepest fears will be difficult, but with a little holiday magic, Jay might be able to prove to Elise that – as a family – they’re destined to live merrily ever after.
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Titles in the Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series include:  Once Upon A Bride (#0.5) – One and Only – It Takes Two – Merrily Ever After (#2.5) – Three Little Words

Title:  Merrily Ever After
Series:  Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #2.5
Author:  Jenny Holiday
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  December 4, 2018
Publisher:  Forever Yours (Grand Central Publishing)
My Rating:  4.5 stars

It’s not often that we get the chance to dive back into a couple’s life once the happily ever after comes along.  So when we do get the chance, I personally cherish it to bits.  In Merrily Ever After we get a chance to see a truly wonderful event happen in Jay and Elsie’s lives… unexpected, most certainly but not without its complications to their relationship either.

It was well established, in some ways heartbreakingly, in Once Upon A Bride that it would be practically impossible for Elsie to find herself ever giving birth to a child.  Yet, miracles do happen, doctors are wrong.  Knowing how Jay has always made it clear how he feels about having children has definitely taken some of the thrill off of announcing that they are about to be parents to a very reluctant father in waiting.

I found Merrily Ever After to be so very realistic.  Elsie knew how Jay would react, and her fears certainly came true.  Jay said some things that should never have crossed his lips – yet we often hurt the ones we love the most, especially when the unexpected happens.  While it’s true that many times I just wanted to shake Jay, it’s also true that I “got” where he was coming from.  Watching a truly realistic event like this happen in a loving couple’s lives was a rare privilege for a reader.  It was heartbreaking, and heart mending as well.  Jay had to face his past, his fears because there was no way he would risk losing Elsie, even as surprised as he was.  His is a journey that we get to travel along on, a healing of Jay and of their relationship as well.  This novella packs such a powerful story into a small space – and I loved being able to experience it.

I would recommend Merrily Ever After to any Romance reader – but I think if you can at least if possible, read Once Upon A Bride beforehand then you’ll understand this story so much more.  This felt like a special gift from Jenny Holiday to her readers, and I definitely appreciated going through this part of Elsie and Jay’s happy ever after.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available for the Kindle

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