Forever After is the first book in the Vampire Reality Show series by Ashley R. King.
Finished on: 12.12.2021
[I won this book in a LibraryThing Early Reviewer give-away.]
Autumn has spent her entire life in her hometown where she works as the librarian. She needs a change, so when the bachelor-style reality show Forever After, where the eligible bachelor happens to be a vampire, comes to her town, she applies as a contestant – and makes the cut. The show is about to start shooting when Autumn runs into the bachelor, Oliver. Sparks immediately fly – but they are sparks of dislike. Still, Autumn is determined to stick to her decision and have as much fun as she can. Meanwhile Oliver, who decided to do the show to save his family estate in England, tries his best to get into the spirit of the show at all. When the show starts spinning out of control and people turn up dead, Autumn and Oliver try to figure everything out together.
Forever After is a fun, quick read that didn’t quite blow me away but kept me entertained enough. I’m not sure if I will seek out the rest of the series once it comes out, but I definitely didn’t mind reading this one.
There are two main things that kept me from really loving Forever After. One was the fact that Autumn is caught a little too much in “not like other girls” territory. It does come with the set-up probably that is just built for competition between women, but it is emphasized a little too much for my taste how different and awesome Autumn is. King does try to soften the competitive angle by Autumn immediately finding a best friend on the show in Teagan, and in the end, after the mean girls are mostly dealt with, there is a lot of solidarity betweent he remaining women, but still, it bothered me a little.
The second thing was the entire murder angle that felt like a bit too much for me. I would have happily read just a novel about a reality show, I wouldn’t have needed more excitement and drama than that.
There were a couple of smaller issues I had as well (I was unclear about how much time had passed, for example – three days or three months? And I’m just not a fan of the entire “mate” concept), but for the most part those really were inconsequential. They are more than made up for by the sense of humor the novel has in spades as well as the fluid way it is written.
It’s an enjoyable romp, and I really appreciate that the book, despite being the first in a planned series, stands on its own pretty well and doesn’t necessarily need a sequel. Though it is nice to know that there is more where it came from if you’re so inclined.