How do you start a new life when your old one won’t let go?
Freed from a marriage he entered because he feared coming out to his judgmental family, Gabe Reynolds feels his life is just starting—at forty-three. But what was supposed to be exciting and wonderful has been nothing but disappointing. The man he’s loved since they were teens broke his heart—again. Gabe has no clue how to meet men who are looking for more than one night, much less date them. Add to that his job as a mental health counselor, helping to keep his mentally ill ex-wife stable, and caring for children that belong to another man, and he has little time to look for Mr. Right.
Just as Gabe is giving up, Brandt Sawyer, with his hard body and gorgeous eyes, crashes into Gabe’s life. Brandt pushes all Gabe’s buttons—though he could do without the younger man’s know-it-all attitude. Gabe never thought he could be so torn between wanting to punch a man and wanting to kiss him. Yet, as he gets to know Brandt, Gabe sees past the military-programmed ex-soldier and catches a glimpse of what could be his happily ever after.
Happily Ever After Isn’t Easy by Jake C. Wallace is a male/male contemporary romance. Gabe Reynolds is a gay man coming out of the closet for the first time in his forties, at the same time that he’s leaving a marriage to an unstable woman. Brandt Sawyer is a military man, who doesn’t understand the choices Gabe made. But these two opposite men are drawn together with a force too strong to deny.
I loved the concept of Happily Ever After Isn’t Easy the enemies to lovers angle intrigued me, and I wanted to know what kind of man continued kept such strong ties to his ex-wife and the children fathered by the man she cheated on him with. The answer, unfortunately, was a doormat. While Gabe was likely supposed to read as sensitive, he instead comes off as weak. So, I had a difficult time sympathizing with him. However, I really enjoyed the way Brandt brought out some of Gabe’s confidence. I must say, of all the characters Randy, the children’s biological father, was probably my favorite. He had the most nuisance of any supporting character I’ve read in a long time.
So while the story was interesting and well-written, being from Gabe’s point of view really dragged it down for me.