Rest with Romance: “Once Upon a Broken Heart” sets the fantasy romance genre to a higher standard


Rahma Shaikh

“Rest with Romance” is dedicated to reviewing my top romance suggestions that will have you captivated and flipping each page quicker than the one before. Each post will include a brief summary of the book and comments on what I liked and disliked.

In the past, fantasy was not a genre that appealed to me as a reader. I was much more drawn to horror, but the moment I picked up a fantasy book in middle school, my perception changed and I fell in love with the genre. Stephanie Garber’s “Once Upon a Broken Heart” series is an excellent mix of fantasy and romance. 

The series begins with Evangeline Fox, who is led to believe her lover is enchanted because he’s now to marry her stepsister, Marisol. She strikes a deal with the Prince of Hearts, Jacks, to ensure the wedding will be stopped, but all goes awry. Evangeline then owes Jacks three kisses, and they find the more time they spend together, the more the tension rises between them.

After seeing the popularity and positive reviews around this series, I was eager to pick up the first two books and begin reading; once I started, my expectations were exceeded. The characters have endless amounts of layers, and the dynamic between Evangeline and Jacks is an interesting read; the undeniable pull between them is obvious to readers, adding to the already captivating experience.

Before I read the series, I was expecting more of the fantasy plot, but as someone who mainly reads romance, I was pleasantly surprised to see that even as a subplot, the romance is still a large aspect of the story. It’s executed in a way which makes it hard for the reader to become bored, and there were almost no moments where I wanted to skip Eva and Jacks’ scenes; I was on the edge of my seat for all of their scenes.

As for the fantasy aspect, the plot was enthralling. I noticed more and more references to other fairy tales such as “Snow White” and “Alice in Wonderland,” and it made it all the more enjoyable to pick each one apart. The world that Stephanie Garber created in “Once Upon a Broken Heart” is unique in its own way.

The “Once Upon a Broken Heart” series exceeded my expectations in ways I didn’t expect. It’s perfect for all lovers of either the fantasy or romance genre. I’m now patiently awaiting the arrival of the third and final book.