Narrator: Abby Craden
Published by Audible Studios on June 13th 2017
Genres: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Length: 13 hours and 45 minutes
In Isabella Austin Evangelista’s life miracles never happen… she knows she’s destined to be the princess who’s stuck in the middle of a fairytale where there will be no happily ever after.
Once upon a time, Prentice Cameron loved Isabella Austin until he discovered she was a spoiled, rich girl who spent her summers toying with his heart.
Life led Prentice to his own fairytale, the love of the full-of-life Fiona Sawyer. That being so, that fairytale was torn away when Fiona died of a brain tumor leaving Prentice with a house to keep clean, piles of laundry to be done, a business to run and two children who were getting tired of takeaway.
But Isabella comes back to Prentice’s tiny fishing town and she sweeps into his children’s lives like a beautiful, well-dressed fairy godmother who bakes exquisite chocolate cakes and gives the perfect manicure to six year old girls. Then Prentice finds out Isabella’s soul destroying secrets, secrets that explain why she left him so many years ago.
Fiona, stuck in her village and forced to haunt her family and watch Prentice and Isabella’s crazy dance, finds the impossible happening. She’s cheering for Bella and Prentice to rekindle their love. Then she finds out why she’s caught in her heartbreaking haunting and discovers she must embrace her magic and keep Bella safe or Bella’s fairytale will never come true.
Fairytale Come Alive
(Ghosts and Reincarnation Series)
By Kristen Ashley
The changing faces of Stacey…
This review is going to be all kinds of spoilery and very long because I’m going to be talking about my feelings and what had me hesitating to start this story. Proceed with caution…
Bloody Hell!! I have not cried that much in AGES. Of course, most of those times were to and from work on the train. I swear half of the regulars are starting to watch me, to see what faces I’m going to pull next. I have found the best spot on the trip to work is beside the door, facing the door with my back to everyone. Luckily, this door doesn’t open much because the platform is on the other side. Most of the time I can shed my tears privately. With my headphones in I can’t hear my sniffles, and, in my mind, if I can’t hear my sniffles, no one else can either (DENIAL).
I have known about Fairytale Come Alive for years and discussed with fellow Kristen Ashley Addicts, the positive and negatives of stepping into this emotional read. I’m not going to put the blurb here but I will tell you the thing that had me shying away from starting…
THE BELOVED WIFE HAS TO WATCH HER HUSBAND FALL IN LOVE AGAIN!!
Geez…that’s asking a wee bit too much from me. How dare he move on AND fall in love? AND SHE (the deceased wife) HAS TO WATCH!! Who is this hussy coming into her husband’s world? SHE WAS HIS FIRST LOVE? SHE BROKE HIS HEART? SHE’S RICH…AND…BEAUTIFUL? Bloody hell!! You’re asking way too much, I tell you.
So, I bought this book determined that one day I would eventually work up the courage to start. Even my sister has read it and tried to convince me that it wasn’t as bad as I imagined. Stubborn as I am, I still told her I was waiting. Then, Kristen Ashley announced that she was bringing out the Ghost and Reincarnations series on audio. Well, I couldn’t put it off any longer. This was the little shove I needed. I loaded it up, took a deep breath…and saw a Fairytale Come Alive.
Here’s where I get REALLY spoilery, so read with one eye open if you need to.
I’m not a fan of Prentice.
Glad I got that off my chest. Oh yeah, I know he gets better and stops being a douchewaffle, but geez, he broke my heart. His aim was true with every hurtful word he spat at Bella. Look, I know he’s had a rough trot, but come on…he was nasty. It didn’t show him in a good light that he also allowed his little town to snub and be rude to Bella either. The bloody idiot didn’t even try to stop it until after the insults and been flung. DON’T GET ME STARTED…on how he acted 20 years ago either. Did he love her? Then why the bloody hell didn’t he attempt to GET HER BACK? Or at least attempt to talk to her again. NO. He writes her off and decides it’s all her fault. Stubborn, immature a$$.
Well, Prentice isn’t doing a great job as a single parent, unfortunately. They’re living on takeaway food, in a messy house and struggling to move on emotionally. Instead of accepting Bella’s help around the house and in the kitchen, he’d rather suffer and make his kids suffer with him. I just felt that Prentice needed to buck up a bit. It’s his job as the dad to see to his kids welfare. Don’t push away help from family and friends, or if worse came to worse, hire a house cleaner and cook.
Train face – At this stage of the story, I’m pulling my squinty-eyed *I’m very disappointed in you* face.
I’ll just take a little sec here to say…that I found it very hard to feel excessive amounts of sympathy for Prentice. Now, this may sound a bit harsh, but, I know he’s going to be in love again. There’s this little part of me that knows that with the death of Fiona, it wasn’t his last chance at a HEA. Deep down, I knew that his happiness was about to come back because his new HEA was just around the corner. Do you know what I mean?
Now, I have EXTREME sympathy for Isabella Austin Evangelista. Boy, this chick can not get a break. Too many times Isabella/Bella/Elle/Miss Evangelala has been hurt. She lost her mother at an early age, her father is abusive, forced to push away the love of her life, married a cheating bas+ard, and couldn’t have children. Why do good people have bad things happen to them?
Train face – Crying, crying and a wee bit more crying *If I blink 20 times a second the air will dry the tears before they run down my face* face.
If Prentice is a douchewaffle, then Isabella’s father is a DOUCHEKING! I’ve read a lot of really awful parents, but this guy takes the cake. The hell he put Isabella and her mother through were disgusting and made my stomach turn. He was abusive, both mentally and physically. Every mention of him devastated me. No child should have to live with a parent like that.
Train face – every time the doucheking is mentioned, I’m sure I’m wearing the *you just kicked a puppy dog* face.
Elle gives an outward appearance of an ice queen. She wears her clothes and makeup as a shield to her true feelings. With her movie star looks, it would be very easy to think she’s got the world at her feet. Money and beauty Do NOT buy you happiness.
Another step to the side to discuss something further…I actually stopped at one stage and thought – Hmmm…the heroine has a mental illness. I haven’t read too many books with a heroine dealing with mental issues –
It could be very easy to say that Elle was a weak woman but her strength is in her need to love and look after people. It was obvious that Isabella hasn’t had a lot of her people in her life that put her needs first. She has close friends she knows she can count on, but she doesn’t want to be a burden or looked on with pity. Elle stays aloof to hide her insecurities. It’s not until the truth comes out (about the abuse she’d suffered) that she finally has more than a few people at her back. With each smile and hello towards her she gets stronger.
Train face – I’m definitely pulling the *I’m so proud of you for stopping being an idiot* face.
Now Fiona…what was my biggest worry with Fairytale Come Alive ended up being…not that bad…easier than I thought…pretty good, actually. I think, in some ways, it’s made me change my attitude. For years I told my hubby that he wasn’t allowed to find love again if I died. I know, pretty selfish, but I kind of thought there is no way he could get lucky enough to find another love as good as ours. But, I loved that Fiona got a bit of a say on who he moved on with. I wouldn’t mind that. I could give a magical *nudge* of approval. Don’t get me wrong, it was still pretty hard to see Fiona having to watch him do things differently with Elle. She was obviously a good person though. She put her husband and children’s happiness first, and I would like to think, in the same situation, that I could do that too.
Train face – happy tears, sad tears, frustrated tears *I can’t decide…all the tears* face.
I ended up loving the audio of Fairytale Come Alive. The narrator does a fantastic job with the different accents and age of the characters. The emotions could be heard and felt and she made it easier to see it all play out.
There were some amazing characters in this story. I loved Prentice’s kids Jason and Sally. Elle’s best friends were lovable and most of Prentice’s town eventually came good in the end. I think my only negative was the added on suspense that happened towards the end. It seemed a little unnecessary.
If you’ve made it to the end of this rambling…CONGRATULATIONS!! I cried A LOT in this one but I definitely smiled, smirked and squirmed too, so it’s all good.