Desert Isle Keeper
Merrily Ever After
In this absolutely charming holiday novella from Jenny Holiday, Jay and Elise are looking forward to their first Christmas together as a married couple. The joy is paused, however, when Elise finds out she’s pregnant – against all of their plans and previously stated desires – and the turmoil is no small thing.
I was delighted to see this plot in the hands of someone as sensitive and deft as Ms. Holiday. As someone who is childless by choice, I get frustrated with the frequent assumption that children are required for an HEA in our little genre and always like when authors tackle other pathways to happiness. While this book definitely does end in a parenthood narrative, the emotions experienced by Jay and Elise are wrenching and real. Parenthood is a calling, y’all, not an inevitability.
When Jay is confronted with the news of Elise’s pregnancy, he loses it a bit. He has never wanted children and has a lot of childhood baggage to sort before he can joyfully accept this new future. With the plus sign on the stick, Elise knows motherhood is what she wants in a clear way she’s never felt before. However, she knows this means she might lose Jay. This push-pull between the two of them is expertly executed and ensures the resolution is earned.
Full of the other characters we’ve come to know and love in the previous books in this series, Merrily Ever After is a must for Holiday and holiday fans alike.