This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Read the Disclosure here.
A heart-pounding, curvy romance about an indie bookstore owner who finds herself in a love triangle when she meets the author she’s had a crush on for years…and his best friend.
Zora has committed every inch of her life to establishing her thriving DC bookstore, making it into a pillar of the community, and she just hasn’t had time for romance. But when a mystery author she’s been crushing on for years agrees to have an event at her store, she starts to rethink her priorities. Lawrence is every bit as charming as she imagined, even if his understanding of his own books seems just a bit shallow. When he asks her out after his reading, she’s almost elated enough to forget about the grumpy guy who sat next to her making snide comments all evening. Apparently the grouch is Lawrence’s best friend, Reid, but she can’t imagine what kind of friendship that must be. They couldn’t be more different.
But as she starts seeing Lawrence, and spending more and more time with Reid, Zora finds first impressions can be deceiving. Reid is smart and thoughtful—he’s also interested. After years of avoiding dating, she suddenly has two handsome men competing for her affection. But even as she struggles to choose between them, she can’t shake the feeling that they’re both hiding something—a mystery she’s determined to solve before she can find her HEA.
There were no sensitive content warnings for the ARC I received. Here is some of the potentially sensitive content I observed while reading:
- Sexually Explicit Scenes
Add me as a friend on Goodreads! Click here.
There are possible **SPOILERS** beyond this point!
Zora Books Her Happy Ever After stole my heart! This book was so funny and spicy! I was really cackling out loud to Zora and her best friends’ conversations! There was a great cast with all different colorful characters! I enjoyed Zora’s logical approach to life but also her practical approach to love.
In this love triangle romance, Zora must choose between her favorite author she has admired for years or his grumpy best friend. This story is told from a third person POV solely from Zora’s perspective. She meets both at a book signing she’s holding for Lawrence, her favorite mystery author, at Opus Northeast, her bookstore. Her work life holds new challenges and opportunities that she has to balance with her love life. After a couple dates Zora still doesn’t know if Lawrence or Reid, the cranky high school teacher, deserves her heart. It’s only the truth between the two men that will show her the right answer.
I loved the fun dates that Lawrence and Zora go on! My inner foodies did a happy dance with her every time they are somewhere new. I had the warm fuzzies with the thoughtful dates Reid takes Zora on. I couldn’t help but imagine myself in her place. I was favoring Reid but it was still a hard decision between the two until everything goes awry! Phew! Things take a turn for the left and they keep turning! I was just waiting for Zora make the decision I wanted her to and she got there in the end!
I’m so happy with the HEA in this book and that my pick was her man at the end! Her and I have great taste! This was my first book by Taj McCoy but it will not be my last! Loved this one and highly recommend!
A huge thank you to Harper Trade Publishing and Hear Our Voices Tours for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
There are several open door scenes in this book with both MMCs. It’s pretty spicy with most of the action happening I’m the second half of the book.
Before we meet our MMCs. Zora is adamant that she doesn’t have time for relationships. Through conversations with her best friend and grandmother, we learn that Zora has used her inquisitive nature and superior sense of logic to rationalize her way out of committing to someone for several years. Her relationship with dating in her beloved DC has made her jaded and resistant to falling for anyone. It’s only when Lawrence and Reid both present themselves as admirable candidates, that Zora’s logical approach to dating both of them to make a better decision for what she wants proves useful.
With Reid, she connects to him about their love for empowering young writers and their love for supporting their city. With Lawrence, their love for delicious food and luxury win her over. During dates with them, we see Zora keep her logical approach even when it doesn’t work. She tries to treat love like her job and it backfires. It is only when Zora learns to follow her heart that we see her find what love means to her.
The relationship between Zora and Emma is what reeled me in to this story at the beginning! I loved Emma’s big personality and how unafraid she was to call her friend out when she was overthinking. Zora and Emma had each other’s back and no one knew them better than they did! I liked how honest they were with each other. Emma always offered Zora her unfiltered opinion, especially when she didn’t want it. They were hilarious together but the love between them was so obvious. Their back and forth had me in stitches more times than not.
Zora has a different friendship between her and her grand mother. Her grandma is both a maternal figure and a friend. Zora often relies on her grandmas advice when she has no idea where to start. Her grand mother’s unabashed experience often give Zora the information she needs to move forward with deciding things in her own life. They joke around but there is so much love and respect for each other.
In this book, Zora spends a lot of her working hours and even her personal time participating and organizing event in the DC area. With all her heart, she gives back to her community. Zora wastes no time singing the praises of her community to others she meets! She marvels and shares at the amazing amount of black history and culture that is deeply woven into her city! Zora supports as many local businesses as she can while also sharing about her bookstore and making connections.
Her greatest endeavor is the DC Speakeasy competition which she works through the whole book trying to make it the best event possible because she holds her community such a high esteem. The standards she set for herself shows just how much the respects the culture that this event highlights. She loves to involve young people and uplift young writers she is energized after every time she gets involved. He demeanor is so generally positive around the students in Reid’s class but also the young people she employs in her store.
Genre & Tropes
- Love Triangle
- Slow burn romance
“So we just jumped past all the dating and went straight to babies.“
“My mother used to say, after all of the sexy stuff falls away, who is the person you want to talk to? Who do you communicate best with? When you’re fighting, when you’re hurt, when you’re grieving, who’s going to talk you through it? Who do you want there to hold your hand?”
Check out Zora Books Her Happy Ever After on Amazon here.