Hello lovelies! 🥰
I have to thank the ARC gods (erm – Netgalley and the publishers) for this because The Bergman Brothers is one of my favourite romance series ever and I screamed when I saw I had been approved on Netgalley. I cannot tell you how much it means to me to have people on the autism spectrum represented in such a beautiful way and by an autistic author! MY HEART. The Bergman Brothers series is so inclusive and doesn’t shy away from hard or complicated topics but the author constantly tries to give the most respectful and accurate representation With You Forever ties with Always Only You for my favourite book in the series. Hope you enjoy this review and that you will give this book a chance!
Title: With You Forever (Bergman Brothers #4)
Author: Chloe Liese
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.
Publication Date: September 14th 2021 by Chloe Liese
5 stars: Persephone – Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring. Persephone is my favourite goddess because she is full of contradictions – she represents both strength as queen of the underworld and a softness as a floral maiden. She teaches me how it’s okay to be both. If Persephone appears, that means that the book was one of the best books I’ve ever read, that it holds a particular place in my heart and that it is now part of my favourite books ever.
- Marriage of convenience and domesticity
- Incredible chemistry
- Slow burn and vulnerability
- Autism and chronic illness rep
You know that feeling, when it’s cold outside and you’re wrapped under a blanket, with a cup of your favourite hot beverage steaming in your hands and you gently blow on it to cool it off? That feeling of peace, quiet and contentment? This is exactly how this book makes you feel.
I would just like to say that Chloe Liese is a menace to society. She should not be able to write romances that are so perfect. It feels as though she made a list of every single one of my favourite tropes and then proceeded to execute them brilliantly. This is one of the best marriage of convenience romances I have ever read. The pining, the angst and longing were carried out perfectly.
Of course every story is unique and my favorite bookish couples have amazing chemistry but Axel and Rooney are *soulmates*. They’re the real deal. Every part of Axel’s personality completes Rooney’s.
They have a lot of things they deal with personally: Axel is autistic and struggles with expressing his emotions in a way other people understand. He is the typical grump, believes he is going to be an eternal bachelor and thinks he is not trustworthy. As the story evolves we understand why he thinks those things about himself . We have a beautiful and insightful way into his beautiful brain and we finally see and process all the things he isn’t able to convey. I think the autism representation (as a girl on the spectrum myself) is perfect. Seriously. Axel cares so much and I loved all the gestures and little things that showed how thoughtful he is.
Rooney is the typical sunshine…. until she isn’t. She suffers from IBD which is a chronic illness that she hides from the people she loves. She’s social, inviting and bubbly and it’s nice to see how vulnerable she allows herself to be with Axel. I just admired how resilient and patient she was. It was nice to crack her bubbly exterior and see the woman beneath who also had her demons to fight.
I really enjoyed how Axel and Rooney learned to fall in love together, how it wasn’t a “turning point” but rather a series of events and situations where they let themselves be loved for who they are. They were partners and supported each other when the other needed it. I just loved their dynamic. I honestly felt like I was intruding on their intimate and private moments. I also like the attention to Art and how that was something they bonded over and a way they expressed themselves with.
What made this story my favorite from the “Bergman Brothers” series though, was of all the little things. I fell in love with al of the details which made this story as perfect and as fleshed out as it could be; from Axel’s friends and their daughter, to the sunset and sunrise hikes, the way they cared for the pets, the cinnamon rolls , Uncle Jakob’s letter which drew a parallel with Axel’s current life. My kryptonite is the trope when characters read a letter that mirrors perfectly the situation they are in and makes them take risks. Consider me dead because in this book it was heartbreakingly beautiful.
Despite some angst and hard moments for the characters, this story was incredibly light and funny. I was cackling at some moments and giggling at others. There is a Twilight reference which made me laugh so much as well as a Harry Styles reference. This book has “Chloe Liese” written all over it and her signature way of telling heartwarming, emotional stories that pull at your heartstrings but make you cry with laughter.
This was an easy and instant favorite!