I can’t begin to describe how happy I am writing this post right now… but I will try very hard.
I devoured this book in one sitting. Immediately after finishing work, I perched myself in bed, and didn’t leave until I closed the book and realized I had been reading in the dark. It was so beautifully written, I had to recommend it right away to friends and family just so I have someone else to gush about this book with.
I have so much I want to say about this book, but because this is non-spoilery, I am going to try my best to get to the point!
Quick reminder of the summary:
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.
Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic but wicked Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.
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….
To start, the world-building… WOW.
It had a fairy-tale vibe that I loved so much as you know since most of the books I seem to be enthralled by are fairy-tale retellings. This was not a retelling, but the elements of folklore, myth, and legend were woven into the plot and characters so effortlessly, it made the world vibrant. It’s not always that I read a book that transports me completely into a world so divine and vivid that I cannot comprehend coming back to my own world every time I lift my gaze up and remember I am still in my bedroom and not a magical far off kingdom where handsome devil-princes exist and badass women with shit to prove.
This book is set in the same world as the author, Stephanie’s, other book series Caraval… but to be honest, you don’t need to read that series to understand this one. I actually haven’t read the entire series of Caraval yet, and was still taken and intrigued by everything in Once Upon a Broken Heart. Not to mention, I was able to follow the story without having read Caraval.
Jacks. Jacks. Jacks…. Prince of Hearts.
I’m sorry but I just love him sooo much! He is so problematic, and evil, and just a horrible person. He broods far too much and keeps himself hidden in a way that is not only intriguing but so infuriating…. I absolutely love him!
Yes, he was beautifully described as being HOT. But for me, it was his actions, his demeanor, his entire vibe. He’s quiet and seems to say only what he thinks is enough. He has a past that even if you read Caraval, you don’t fully know to be able to figure him out.
His dynamic with Evangeline, their differences and bickering is just… everything. Amazing chemistry!
Evangeline was a girl of my own heart. Her love of adventure, folklore, and falling in love reminded me of me. I felt for her throughout the entire series and kept rooting for her to find some semblance of happiness, but it wouldn’t be a good book without her having her trials. Jacks does not make it easy for her at all, but this girl never gives up. She is actually such an inspiration… but so human. Her desire to be loved led her to making some questionable choices that we can all relate to at some point in our lives. But her determination was strong and when men tried to take it from her, she didn’t let them. Her vulnerability actually was a big strength of hers, in my eyes anyway.
The plot was also incredible. At times I felt like I knew what would happen next and others I did not know at all or was completely taken by surprise. It kept you on your toes, trying to figure out what Jacks was actually after and if Evangeline would reach that conclusion herself.
Stephanie has such an incredible way of telling a story… I wanted book 2 in my hands so badly!
I am now counting down the days until I can get the next one!
I would highly recommend to anyone who loves that fairy-tale atmosphere, epic world-building, anti-heros, prophecies, and magic.
Have you read this book? If you have, tell me your thoughts!