Author: Kristin Billerbeck
Genre: Contemporary Romance
According to Dr. Maggie Maguire, happiness is serious--serious science, that is. But science can't always account for life's anomalies, like why her fiancé dumped her for a silk-scarf acrobat and how the breakup sent Maggie spiraling into an extended ice cream-fueled chick flick binge.
Concerned that she might never pull herself out of this nosedive, Maggie's friends book her as a speaker on a "New Year, New You" cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. Maggie wonders if she's qualified to teach others about happiness when she can't muster up any for herself. But when a handsome stranger on board insists that smart women can't ever be happy, Maggie sets out to prove him wrong. Along the way she may discover that happiness has far less to do with the head than with the heart.
Filled with unforgettable characters, snappy dialogue, and touching romance, The Theory of Happily Ever After shows that the search for happiness may be futile--because sometimes happiness is already out there searching for you.
Reviewer: Mindy Houng
"Forgetting the pain isn't the answer - feeling the love we had is."
Kristin Billerbeck spins a youthful, snarky, aching yet hopeful tale between a down-in-the dumps happiness scientist/researcher Maggie and a brooding contemplative Sam set during a singles cruise to Mexico. It is told in first person present tense from Maggie's perspective, which helps the reader really get into her brain but does lead the plot to slow down at times because Maggie is stubborn and somewhat clueless or sometimes simply doesn't get what is happening around her. Maggie and Sam both have tragic pasts and they're looking for and hoping for that "something" to help them get back to who they were before life's circumstances changed them. Maggie's life has imploded both personally and professionally and her best friends Kathleen and Haley drag her to this singles cruise to be a speaker and also to get back her groove.
At first, I had some trouble connecting with Maggie, Kathleen, and Haley. They are all in their early thirties and professionals but are quite selfish, whiny, and a bit mean. Maggie does mature through the book, though, and I did find myself empathizing with her. She's the nerdy girl who is socially awkward who just really wants to be loved for who she is, not what she can do. Her understanding of God's grace and love is a touching moment in the story.
The plot has plenty of comedy as well as sharply-edged dialogue.
If you enjoy contemporary rom-com, you will certainly enjoy this newest offering from Kristin Billerbeck.
Book provided courtesy of Baker Publishing.