I picked up The Secret of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon while browsing, expecting it to be a light summer read about a bookstore and its workers. The story begins with Michelle, meeting and befriending Anna after a mishap in a local café. Anna is a new stepmom, overwhelmed with the life change, who is eager to play matchmaker. Michelle is a new to town businesswoman who is reinventing herself, but there is more to her then she is willing to share.

The initial impression I got was the story would be of the Hallmark meets Lifetime Channel variety. The formula being: girl meets boy, there is a misunderstanding, girl and boy do not get along, they eventually fall in love, then add in a stalker husband. Sure there are all these elements but so much more. This book is really about the friendship between Michelle and Anna. It examines friend and family dynamics, particularly how supportive and understanding can friends really be when they are in different life stages.

If you are looking for an easy read with a bit of heart (without the sap) then The Secret of Happy Ever After might be for you! Find it in the Popular section of the HS/Adult fiction.