“We lose ourselves in books, we find ourselves there too."

“All stories are made of both truths and lies, … What matters is the way that we believe in them.”

For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings… until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

“She wanted to be someone’s love, not their curse.”

Evangeline is a dreamy girl who believes in happily ever after and magic. She’s a great candidate for a fairy tale—she’s adopted, unusual, and her parents were happily married until her mother passed away years earlier, and her father remarried a woman with a daughter around her own age.

“For finding dreams that don’t exist yet.”

When her father died, he left her his shop of curiosities. She fell in love with boy, but then suddenly he dropped her like a hot potato and fell in love with her stepsister. Desperate to stop the engagement, she makes a deal with Jacks, the Prince of Hearts. This deal leads her down a dangerous path, but also one filled with wonders and opportunities, as she travels to the North for a magical ball called Nocte Neverending.

“‘Nocte Neverending isn’t just a ball, it’s a chance at stepping into a fairytale, at changing the course of your life and finding opportunities that some people search their whole lives for.’”

However, as Evangeline finds herself in the magical northern region, she quickly realizes that she has no allies. She doesn’t know who she can trust, but she does know that she can’t trust Jacks, since he isn’t on her side, and is only working for his own ends.

“Hope is a difficult thing to kill, just a spark of it can start a fire.”

She doesn’t go into making the deal with him thinking that it’s going to change her future exactly as she wants, since her father did explain how deals with Fates work, but she was a bit naïve at times, which is to be expected from a relatively sheltered seventeen year old girl.

“He looked like a bad decision some unfortunate person was about to make.”

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game—and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after or the most exquisite tragedy…

“The fates weren’t dangerous because they were evil; the fates were dangerous because they couldn’t tell the difference between evil and good.”

What I loved about this book was how quickly Evangeline was able to put the pieces together, and how she took responsibility for her own actions. She didn’t just pass off blame on Jacks for everything all the time, and she didn’t just say that it was fate or chance. I also liked that she grew throughout the story. This is a girl who has no safety net: she doesn’t have friends or family to rely on, she doesn’t have much of a home to return to, and she only has herself to fall back on. She’s smart and although she’s naïve, she does learn relatively quickly.

“She kept thinking it was fate of Jacks that was toying with her life. But it had been her own questionable choices that had started her on this path.”

This was a fast-paced story with a lot of twists and no lack of action. It kept me intrigued and I struggled to put it down. The book was a quick read, and while a lot of things get wrapped up by the end, it does leave off with a major cliffhanger that had me needing to start the next book immediately. There’s something addictive and alluring about Garber’s writing that has me hooked and coming back time after time. Her stories have this dreamy, fairy tale quality that transport me out of my mundane, everyday life into a fantasy world where magic exists and Fates walk among the people, making deals that never work out as expected. A place where dresses are gorgeous and there are fabulous parties full of all kinds of outrageous things. And that’s just part of what keeps me reading.

“Heroes don’t get happy endings. They give them to other people.”

There was also a prophecy subplot, because of course there was. The prophecy in this book centres around the Valory Arch, a mysterious archway in The North which contains either treasure and secrets or deadly monsters (no one is really sure which). Evangeline, having such Main Character Energy, is the key to unlocking this arch/doorway (I get she literally IS the main character, but just roll with the punches here). I say it’s a subplot, but I honestly couldn’t tell you what was the main plot and what were subplots in this book. Garber weaved a lot of threads throughout Once Upon a Broken Heart, and they got tangled up at times.

“I believe there are far more possibilities than happily ever after or tragedy. Every story has the potential for infinite endings.”

Keep an eye out on my blog for the next book in this series, The Ballad of Never After.

You can find this book on Amazon

Until next time,

Keep reading,

D x

“Always promise less than you can give, for Fates always take more.
Do not make bargains with more than one Fate.
And, above all, never fall in love with a Fate.”

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