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ARC Review:  Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber


For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in happily ever after. Until she learns that the love of her life is about to marry another, and her dreams are shattered.

Desperate to stop the wedding, and 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 pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy . . .


Once upon a Broken Heart is a gripping and magical read set in a new version of the Caraval world. This is a dark and atmospheric fairytale with some wonderful world building.  The world is vividly described from the sumptuous dresses to the complex and intriguing characters.  The pacing is good, it’s easy to follow and has just the right amount of plot twists and turns to keep the reader completely engrossed.

There are brief mentions of some of the main characters from the Caraval series, although it’s not essential to have read it.  Evangeline is a new character, with her distinctive rose gold hair and bold personality, she is a strong protagonist and one whom I instantly liked.  Jacks, also known as the Prince of Hearts, is an immortal Fate and it is said that one day he will find his one true love, a girl who is immune to his deadly kiss.  He is a cold-hearted and cunning villain, a truly wicked character and I adored him.  I fell for his sarcastic and mocking comments and those cold, calculating and goosebump inducing stares.  Although he is intense I get the feeling that perhaps there is a soft side lurking in there somewhere.  The other immortal Fates we encounter are brilliantly portrayed, each with their own intriguing characterisations.  We have Chaos, the Lord of Spies and Assassins, a dangerous character who is also happens to be a vampire, I definitely want to see more of him in future books.  Lala, the Unwed Bride, every time she finds someone she loves she ends up alone at the alter, crying tears of poison.  There is such a vast cast of characters, but each one, wether it is main character or side character, are really well portrayed and equally intriguing.  The romance is slow burn and simmering and Evangeline’s and Jacks’ interactions are fiery and absolutely spot on.  

This book is a wonderful mix of adventure, magic and romance with some spectacular world building and I am really looking forward to seeing where the next book takes us.  

Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date (UK):  30 September 2021
Series: #1 Once Upon a Broken Heart
Format:  eARC/eBook 
Page Count:  280
Genre:  YA Fantasy 
Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 

Thank you to the publisher for the eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I hope you enjoyed this review.  For my current reads, recommendations and anything else book related, please follow me on Instagram , Goodreads or Twitter

Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊 

Happy reading!


Twisted in Pages Blog


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