Reality Ever After is a short story from Roane Publishing focused on a woman’s internal journey and her recognition of her romantic relationship for what it truly is.
Ronnie (Veronica) is a successful businesswoman, Marcus is a clumsy computer engineer. They meet by chance via a modern day dating tool and hit it off. Marcus falls hard for Ronnie, while she keeps him at arms length because of a dark secret which led to her chronic distrust of men. Marcus continues to support Ronnie despite her family drama (otherwise known as her mother and Ronnie’s arch nemesis). A rash decision by Ronnie spells problems for the couple. The path from beginning to end is filled with tension, distress, romance and the odd funny moment.
Ronnie is intelligent, loyal and stubborn, and these traits are regularly highlighted via her interactions with her family, and especially Marcus, who is a familiar character. His familiarity comes from those nerdy people often portrayed as sidekicks or as zeros-to-heroes. In this particular case, he is both and neither, depending on the perspective. He is not quite on the same level as far as the focus of the story is concerned, but he is no less real and complicated. Both characters develop naturally throughout the story, with storytelling mixed well with character exploration.
While there is appealing and significant romantic parts in this story, they do not fuel it. That role is instead taken on by Ronnie’s internal struggles. The way this is unfolded is well handled. You get only enough at first, and then, as you read on, you get dragged from one direction to another.
Along the way you also get to know some of the secondary characters quite well. In each scene you are painted an easily visualised picture, complete with a strong description of the emotional roller coaster Ronnie takes for much of the journey, a roller coaster on which you are riding shotgun.
The twists and turns are not the lightest or most sarcastic ones you will ever find, but it’s got what it takes to draw you in and keep you looking forward all the way to the ending that is most definitely worth the heartache and the why-can’t-she-just-get-out-of-her-own-way…ness.
Reality Ever After is another sharp release from Roane, with a cold, familiar world being offset by people you can’t help but root for. Romance and a strong cast of characters await, not to mention one of the most spoilt and ungrateful cats you might ever meet.