I love the Bergmans! This was the sweet treat that I’ve been waiting for, one of my most highly anticipated reads of the year. It didn’t turn out to be QUITE what I was hoping for, but I still enjoyed it immensely. This series of slow burn, neurodiverse romances is heartfelt and emotional without feeling overly heavy. The love stories feel real, authentic, and raw in a way that many others don’t, and Liese knows how to make inclusivity and acceptance so very romantic. I’ve been loving the series, and I definitely had my own thoughts about how this particular story would go before I even started reading. It missed the mark just a little bit, but Liese has set an incredibly high bar for herself with the other books in this series.
The story follows Axel, one of the brothers in the Bergman family. If you’ve read the previous books (helpful, but not required), then you’ve probably been intrigued by this quiet, reclusive artist. Axel is autistic and shows his love for his family in his own way, including taking care of them without asking for any credit. So when the beloved family getaway needs some very expensive repairs, Axel bears that burden by himself – at least until Roonie enters the picture. As an honorary Bergman, Roonie cares about the family too, so she is willing to enter into a marriage of convenience with Axel (it’s complicated) in order to gain the funds he needs. Roonie and Axel have crushed on each other from afar for a few years now, so living together – and marrying each other – bring those feelings rushing to the surface. But neither one feels worthy of the other, and that is sure to be a problem.
This is a slow burn romance with a focus on the emotional connection, quieter and definitely a lot softer than some of the other books in the series. I found the start to be a little TOO slow, personally. There’s a lack of communication throughout the book, and Axel is an extremely reserved guy. Once he started showing more of his personality in the back half (and got out of his own head), I liked the story a lot more. Roonie is certainly the more outgoing of the two, and the opposites attract dynamic worked here. This has the same depth of emotion as the other Bergman books, and I’d love to rate it as 5 stars based on that alone. But I’ll admit that there were a few things that didn’t work as well for me. That slower start, lack of communication, and unromantic sexy times had me feeling a little disconnected. Anytime the words “get it out of our systems” are uttered (repeatedly), I’m always disappointed. I also wanted more of the Bergmans and their reactions to the marriage – that’s a glaring omission. So, while none of those things on their own are major issues, they do leave me wanting just a little bit more. This is still head and shoulders above most of the books I’ve read this year – and I’m absolutely looking forward to the next installment. If you haven’t checked out this series yet, I don’t know what you’re waiting for! I was lucky enough to receive an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this slow burn romance.
Cozy up for a heartfelt, humorous, sizzling slow-burn in this marriage of convenience romance about finding love—and home—in the most unlikely of places.
Rooney Sullivan is sunshine incarnate. Warm, bright, always smiling, she’s everything I’m not and the last person I have any business desiring. Desperate to hide a hopeless attraction, I’ve done everything possible to keep my distance…until a charades game gone wrong brought that to a grinding halt.
Since then, steering clear of Rooney has been impossible. In a matter of months, she’s kissed me speechless, commandeered my art career, and infiltrated not only my dreams but my home. The woman who was once avoidable has become the last thing I needed: temptingly within reach.
Axel Bergman is a gorgeous grump who doesn’t have the time of day for me. Thankfully, I’ve kept my crush under wraps…well, until I kissed him. Charades got away from me, okay? It was an accident! I haven’t seen him since, which is for the best. My life is a mess, and the last thing I need is to embarrass myself further with the man who avoids me like that’s his job rather than painting modern masterpieces.
It seems the universe, however, has a different plan. When Axel and I unexpectedly find our paths—and problems—converging, a marriage of convenience proves the perfect solution. At least, until I’m facing my most serious problem yet: a once-loveless marriage of convenience that’s inconveniently become a love match, after all.
With You Forever is a sunshine and grump, marriage of convenience romance about a shy artist on the autism spectrum*, and a smiley smartypants who has a chronic IBD. Complete with combustible cooking lessons, interfering family and friends, and a steamy slow burn, this standalone is the fourth in a series of novels about a Swedish-American family of five brothers, two sisters, and their wild adventures as they each find happily ever after.
*This is an #OwnVoices story for its portrayal of autism by an autistic author.
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Though With You Forever will absolutely read as a standalone, there are some great family moments that’ll have more impact if you’ve read the series. And this author’s work is EXCELLENT, so they’re well worth your time. Always Only You was one of my Top 20 of 2020 picks (and would’ve easily made a Top 5 list), and I highly, highly recommend it. And I have little doubt that Ever After Always will be making my 2021 list!
About the Author:
Chloe writes romances reflecting her belief that everyone deserves a love story. Her stories bring humor, heart, and heat, and often feature neurodiverse characters. She’s an avid reader, lover of leggings, and can’t eat enough mint chocolate ice cream. Diagnosed as an adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder (formerly Asperger’s Syndrome), she supports #OwnVoices writing to represent neurodiversity and other marginalized voices.
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