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One True Loves: 03/22/22
One True Loves by Elise Bryant is the second YA/NA romance in the Happily Ever Afters series. Lenore has graduated from Chrysalis and will be off to study Art History at NYU after a family cruise along the Mediterranean. She's hurting though, after she learns she was the other woman and she's not sure she actually likes her college plans.
Lenore though doesn't have the freedom to second guess herself. She's grown up with the lesson that Black people only get one chance. They have to be better, more driven, more organized to get anywhere. Black students don't take gap years. They don't go to college undeclared. They can't show weakness.
Her bestie, Tessa, convinces Lenore to toss two coins in the Trevi fountain to find her true love. And the meets Alex. He's gorgeous but he seems like Jay 2.0. Yet they're stuck together at the same table every night for dinner. Their families go on tours together at different ports of call.
Lenore and Alex's romance is sweet and it's predictable. It has it's ups and downs and the HEA. It's why you're reading the book.
But there's a B plot — a heart wrenching side plot about her brother Wally. Wally is presented as the dramatic foil to Lenore's romance but he's also her future. He's the fallout from all the stress that their parents have put on him and are now putting on her.
Wally's story and his relationship with Lenore struck home. I recognized similar struggles my own adult and high school children are having.
I don't know if any more romances set around Chrysalis School are planned but I would definitely read a third.