When Tristan Calliwell meets a pair of precocious twins while visiting the kingdom of Gefrington, he can’t imagine how his life will change. The twins are the royal children of Crown Prince Leonardo Winthrope, who offers the stunned Tristan a job as caregiver on the spot. For an orphan who dreams of owning his own eatery, Tristan’s sudden elevation into the royal household offers a miraculous change in circumstance. Tristan just has to remember the Crown Prince is out of reach, no matter how much Tristan may be attracted to him.
Leo married and produced royal heirs as was expected. But his wife was caught cheating on him and while the royal scandal has passed, Leo remains protective of his children. He doesn’t want them exposed to the realities of the wider world just yet. Their new caretaker seems a perfect fit, no matter his humble beginnings. And Leo finds himself increasingly more attracted to Tristan. Duty comes before love though and Tristan and Leo must find a way to satisfy the crown before they can find a happily ever after.
His Fairy Tale Ending could have been a light-hearted romantic romp. Instead, it gets bogged in worn themes and a tired plot that never manages to invigorate itself. The book is written well enough from a technical view, but it tends to lack emotion or much of a soul. It feels stiff and formal rather than warm or romantic. All of the fairy tale themes feel a bit weak. The book takes place in a fictional realm, which seems to exist in the modern day world. There isn’t much world building, but there is enough to give readers enough distance from “real life.”
We are constantly reminded of Leo’s position and title, to the point of redundancy, yet the royal family never acts particularly royal. Which is fine, but I was left wondering why the author even chose this particular genre, given there isn’t much done with it. Neither Leo nor Tristan feel particularly well defined. They aren’t bad characters, but they just don’t have much depth to them. They never grow or evolve beyond the base caricatures we’re introduced to. Their relationship borders on insta-love and it isn’t developed in any way that gives readers much to connect with. There are so many tropes used in His Fairy Tale Ending, but none of them are particularly original. Which is a shame, because there is nothing better than a unique happily ever after. Everything here plays out as predictable and rote but without engaging characters or a stellar plot, the tired old tropes are just that. Even the surprise twist at the end could be seen coming a mile away.
I like a good fairy tale and love a romantic one. Unfortunately, His Fairy Tale Ending is neither of those. If falls into a trap of tired, played out tropes and lacks the character development or plot strength to rescue it. I’d recommend giving this one a pass.