*Ever After is the third book in the Dirtshine series, but can be read as a standalone.*
After getting kicked out of his band, drug-addicted and suicidal Liam drunkenly stands on a bridge with the intention of jumping in front of a train. A year later, a familiar face walks into the bar he now works at. He immediately recognizes the woman from that night, the pretty one with the American accent that begged him not to jump. The woman that saved his life.
Frankie’s stuck staying with her stuffy, insulting, aristocratic, soon-to-be in-laws for two weeks. They find everything Frankie is and does to be beneath them, and they don’t try to hide it. So some nights, Frankie escapes to the only pub in town where she can clear her head, feel human again, and find some comfort in the barkeeper, Liam.
Liam and Frankie start out platonically despite their mutual attraction. Neither is willing to disrespect the fact that Frankie’s engaged *Small Spoiler* (too bad I can’t say the same for her fiancé). When things finally, sort of, fall into place, their chemistry is electric and never dwindles.
It’s hard to describe when a writing style catches my eye, so the best I can say is that Noir’s is clever. The banter is funny and comfortable, especially between the band members. It’s impressive how well she writes both Americans and Britons, highlighting their differences without being stereotypical.
Ever After gives a believable portrayal of the daily struggles of addiction and recovery. Liam still has his a-hole ways, but sober Liam is finally aware of how his behavior was destructive to so many. And with Frankie in his life, he has all the more reason to become a better man/friend/person, and it’s both sad and inspiring to watch him evolve.
Everything about this book just felt right and I’m actually sad it’s over.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.