‘The Happy Ever After Playlist’ – Abby Jimenez

Thank you NetGalley for offering me something a little different. I got the love story I wanted, but so much more besides.

Our main character, Sloan, is the kind of woman you probably can’t help but find intimidating. A talented artist, successful blogger, physically attractive and clearly a good person who inspires love in those who meet her…but we don’t see this immediately.

When we first meet Sloan she’s still mourning the tragic death of her husband two years ago. Her life is on hold, and though her friends are looking out for her she’s not ready to move on. Then, unexpectedly, she ends up with a dog jumping in her car. Soft-hearted she refuses to let the dog be taken to a shelter, and decides to look after it. She gets a contact number for the dog owner and leaves messages, daily, but hears nothing.

That could have been it. But, no, where would the fun be in that? The dog’s owner is a musician who’s been abroad for a few weeks. When he picks up the messages he is immediately intrigued by this woman. And so starts a most unusual courtship.

What we learn pretty early on is that the dog’s owner, Jason, is a star in the making. Totally unlikely, but there’s an immediate bond and it seems pretty deep. Can these two ride out the somewhat inevitable pitfalls to this existence? I’d like to say it’s never in doubt, but the author sure makes her characters work for it. At times it’s ugly, but at times it’s beautiful.