A heart-pounding, curvy romance about an indie bookstore owner who finds herself in a love triangle when she meets the author she’s had a crush on for years…and his best friend.
Zora has committed every inch of her life to establishing her thriving DC bookstore, making it into a pillar of the community, and she just hasn’t had time for romance. But when a mystery author she’s been crushing on for years agrees to have an event at her store, she starts to rethink her priorities. Lawrence is every bit as charming as she imagined, even if his understanding of his own books seems just a bit shallow. When he asks her out after his reading, she’s almost elated enough to forget about the grumpy guy who sat next to her making snide comments all evening. Apparently the grouch is Lawrence’s best friend, Reid, but she can’t imagine what kind of friendship that must be. They couldn’t be more different.
But as she starts seeing Lawrence, and spending more and more time with Reid, Zora finds first impressions can be deceiving. Reid is smart and thoughtful—he’s also interested. After years of avoiding dating, she suddenly has two handsome men competing for her affection. But even as she struggles to choose between them, she can’t shake the feeling that they’re both hiding something—a mystery she’s determined to solve before she can find her HEA.
What’s it about (in a nutshell):
Zora Books Her Happy Ever After by Taj McCoy is a fun and steamy romantic comedy. Zora runs a successful bookstore – she does what she wants and is good at it. But her grandmother keeps reminding her that what’s missing is the love of a good man and a family of her own. When Lawrence and Reid enter her life for an author event, now she doesn’t just have one potential love but two. However, nothing is perfect, and Zora can tell they are hiding something. When she discovers the truth, will that be a deal breaker for one or both men?
My Reading Experience:
This story is a lot of fun to read and is in one of my favorite settings. It is a love triangle trope, and I know many of you dislike that particular trope. Even I get very frustrated with it often. Love triangles toy with the reader’s emotions, and who wants that? But I must say, even though technically Zora – Lawrence – Reid is a love triangle, the story doesn’t read like one. For one thing, all parties knew about all relationships, and they were handled with a great deal of maturity. Also, really there is no contest about who is coming out on top of this triangle, so it didn’t have that emotional toying that is not so fun.
Zora wants to write mysteries, so the fact that there is a mystery and a twist in this rom-com is totally in keeping with that. And I do love good mysteries and surprising twists. Only I knew what was up when I met both men at the author’s event. That was a little disappointing only because the subterfuge had given me hope for a little plotline of something not so predictable, and yet even the twist was predictable.
All the characters were delightfully well-developed, and all, but one, is totally likable and relatable. Zora is this story’s star, though, and I couldn’t help but admire her and even envy her a little. She is strong and independent – a woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go get it. She’s living a book lover’s dream, and personally, I’m in awe.
Narration & Pacing:
The narration is in the third person, focused solely on Zora. I can’t help but wonder if first-person narration would have been more personal and inviting for me. Still, the fact that it focused on Zora kept the story focused.
The pace tends to get mired down in the details, creating slowness in the reading pace. That was my one minor niggle. It really bordered on overwritten at times, which is a definite issue for me regarding my reading enjoyment.
The story is set in Washington, DC. In some ways, the setting is inconsequential, but in other ways, it is the perfect setting for this story. I loved the bookstore with the coffee bar right there. Other than a beach somewhere, it’s my second favorite setting. I also loved how the bookstore is utilized in the plot – between meeting the author and his friend and the contest that the children enter – it truly could not have been set anywhere else and still be the same story.
Read if you like:
- Love triangle trope
- Steamy and witty romcoms
- A bookish setting
|‘Couldn’t Put It Down’-ness||10|
|Use of Setting||10|
9 Replies to “Zora Books Her Happy Ever After by Taj McCoy #BookReview #RomCom”
Doesn’t sound like something new but sounds fun. I don’t like love triangle but like knowing her love prospects and their secret must be interesting here. Great review, Tessa!
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The love triangle was so mature and the one who would come out on top so obvious that it wasn’t bad as far as the trope goes. And yes it was fun especially with that bit of mystery.
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Sounds good with the love with slight mystery, great review 😊
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Throw a bit of mystery in and I’m hooked 😊
I’m glad you enjoyed this even with knowing the outcome. This setting sounds perfect. Great review!
Thank you so much, Tessa, for addressing the love triangle trope as I was seriously reconsidering💜 I’ll stay in my short library queue for the audiobook.
I’m with you on the beach and bookstore settings. I don’t drink coffee, but a Diet Coke machine nearby will suffice. Glad you enjoyed it, Tessa!
I also love bookstore settings, Tessa. I was worried about this one when I saw it was a love triangle, but I’m glad that it was a well done, mature situation. Great review.