Review: Happily Ever After Isn't Easy by Jake C. Wallace

Note: This ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review.

Happily Ever After Isn't Easy is a standalone M/M contemporary romance and my first read from author Jake C. Wallace. At forty-three, Gabe Reynolds is simply trying to live his life the best way he knows how as a mental health counselor at a center--and this time, it's with him being out of the closet. He's divorced but he tries to be there as much as he can for his ex-wife and the twins she had after she had an affair. Unfortunately, being more open about his sexuality and finally being to pursue his own happily-ever-after has been anything but a fairy tale. The first guy he ever loved may have come back into his life, but Gabe ended up getting his heart broken all over again after being rejected. Maybe it's time to give up looking for Mr. Right, but then he meets the new phys ed substitute and while their first couple of meetings are far from cordial, there's something about the former Army man who was six years younger than him that Gabe can't resist. With everything going on in his life, Brandt Sawyer is proving to be a good thing, but will their relationship survive id their pasts still have a firm grip on both of them?

If you're looking for an angsty read, this book has it in spades, though I'm not complaining. Gabe's life isn't exactly the kind that looks like it'll ever be free of even the tiniest amount of angst, but then he's a mental health counselor, and that isn't the type of job that's angst-free. Gabe is a fixer, someone who gives advice but also jumps with both feet into a situation and does whatever he can in order to help another person out, whether it be a student, his ex-wife, the guy he's falling for, or heck, even the guy his ex had an affair with while they were married and ended up marrying! He's a good guy, but seriously, the man desperately needed to take a step back and allow other people to help themselves once in a while. When Brandt came along, however, things did change, and I liked how Gabe finally took the time to think about himself and what made him happy and more fulfilled. Brandt started off as this really aloof guy, but there was this shy side to him that caught me off-guard, so that when it did come out, I couldn't help but think there was some sort of disconnect, but hey, maybe his Army training made him aloof.

The angst that I was speaking of earlier came, in large part, in the form of Gabe's ex-wife and the twins who had an affinity for their Uncle Gabe. Hi ex is extremely dependent on Gabe, and after having been a couple for twenty-years, eighteen of which was spent married, it's easy to see why she was and why Gabe easily swept in whenever she called or asked for his help. The thing is, she's already married to someone else, so everything is even more complicated than you would think. There was also the side story about one of Gabe's clients, high school student Travis Parker, and it was equally as interesting as everything else happening to Gabe. The turn of events when it came to Travis had me smiling though a tad suspicious, but I think that turned out hopeful nonetheless. Then there's Lt. Col. Lucas Gage, Gabe's superior officer in the Army and his closest friend. He had me all curious as to what his story was, especially when it came to his reaction to one of Gabe's friends, Marty who drag alter ego was named Maybelline. Maybe a spin-off is in the offing? Overall, Happily Ever After Isn't Easy was a four-starred read. ♥

Release Date: 08 May 2017

Date Read: 06 May 2017

Learn more about Jake C. Wallace.

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