Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber

The basics

Title: Once Upon a Broken Heart


Series: Once Upon a Broken Heart #1

- Once Upon a Broken Heart (2021)
- The Ballad of Never After (2022)
- A Curse for True Love (2023)

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Goodreads Summary:

When Evangeline Fox learns that the love of her life is about to marry another, she feels her heart begin to break in two. Desperate and distraught, she offers the charismatic but wicked Prince of Hearts whatever he wishes in exchange for his help to stop the wedding. His request: three kisses. At first, it seems simple enough, but Evangeline quickly learns that bargaining with a Fate is a dangerous game, and it could cost her far more than she intended. For the prince has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or in the most exquisite tragedy...

Here is a spoiler summary of what happened in Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber to help refresh your memory before you read the sequel. If you need help remembering what happened in Once Upon a Broken Heart, then you’re in the right place.

What happened in Once Upon a Broken Heart?

  • Evangeline and Luc are secretly seeing each other, and Evangeline is heartbroken when Luc is told he must marry Evangeline’s stepsister, Marisol.
  • Evangeline goes to the church of the Prince of Hearts, as this Prince can apparently fix people’s broken hearts.
  • Evangeline meets Jack, the Prince of Hearts himself, who offers to stop the wedding in exchange for three kisses. Not necessarily for himself though, he asks that he is able to tell her when to kiss someone and who the subject of the kiss should be. Evangeline agrees to this, and Jack bites her wrist to give her a scar in the shape of a broken heart. It’s all very dramatic.
  • Jack stops the wedding by turning everyone into stone like some sort of weird kiss genie.
  • Jack says he can change them back, but someone will have to take their place by drinking a potion. Evangeline drinks the potion herself and turns into stone.
  • Six weeks later, Evangeline wakes up. She finds herself in the fate poisoner’s room, and realises she has been restored.  The poisoner says Jack will have forgotten about Evangeline so she should avoid him if she wants to avoid being turned to stone again.
  • Evangeline reunites with her step-parents and learns that she’s super famous and lots of men want to marry her. Evangeline doesn’t want to get married and is quite turned off by the entire thing. She starts a rumour about her kiss being cursed to turn people to stone.
  • Evangeline looks for Luc, but learns he has left town with his family after trying to marry Marisol and being attacked by wolves.
  • Evangeline dines with Empress Scarlett and Donatella at the palace. She learns that the Northern prince is hosting a ball to find a wife. The sisters want Evangeline to attend, and Evangeline agrees as long as she can take Marisol.
  • Evangeline is super excited because her parents met at the northern palace. 
  • People bet that Evangeline will be Prince Apollo’s chosen bride.
  • Evangeline bumps into Jacks at the party. He tells her she must deliver her first kiss as part of the bargain. Jacks puts his own blood on her lips and tells her to kiss Prince Apollo by the end of the night. If she doesn’t, Apollo will die.
  • Evangeline pulls off the kiss, but it has consequences. Apollo falls in love with her there and then.
  • The papers post gossip about Marisol being the cursed bride.
  • There’s another party the following evening. Marisol pulls a flower off Evangeline’s dress for some reason. Evangeline thinks this is sus and searches Marisol’s room. She doesn’t find anything, but Marisol catches her snooping.
  • Jacks flirts with Marisol at the party.
  • Apollo proposes to Evangeline and she accepts, but she thinks this is all very weird.
  • Apollo has his soldiers raid Marisol and Evangeline’s rooms because they think Marisol is trying to kill Evangeline. 
  • Evangeline asks her fiancé to prevent the papers from posting any more gossip about Marisol. Apollo agrees to do this if Evangeline goes to live with him. She agrees.
  • Apollo tattoos Evangeline’s name on his chest because he’s obsessed.
  • Evangeline asks Jacks what is going on and he tells her Apollo is cursed. Obviously.
  • Jacks agrees to lift the curse as long as Evangeline marries Apollo. He will remove the curse once they’re married.
  • Jacks warns Evangeline against Marisol but Evangeline doesn’t want to hear it. Tbf he hasn’t been very trustworthy so far.
  • Jacks tells Evangeline that she must kiss the matriarch of House Fortuna. The woman falls in love with Evangeline too and lets her look around the vaults, where they find a secret arch.
  • Evangeline learns that the Valor family built arches that act as portals to other worlds. The Valors were killed for messing with magic.
  • When the matriarch uses her blood to allow Evangeline and Jacks to pass through, Evangeline hears the arch talk to her.
  • Jacks is clearly looking for something but won’t tell Evangeline what it is.
  • The kiss wears off, and Jacks is forced to tell Evangeline that he’s looking for some stones. The matriarch denies their existence.
  • The spell wears off completely and the matriarch issues a prophecy that says Evangleine will open the Valore arch and something about her being “peasant and princess”. She attacks Evangeline. Jacks knocks her out.
  • Evangeline asks Jacks about the arch but he keeps his mouth shut.
  • Evangeline heads to the library to do some research. There’s nothing there about the Valor family, which is sus. The librarian says all the books about the Valors are locked away and no one can open the door.
  • Evangeline asks Apollo about the arch. Apollo says the stories claim that the arch was created by the Valors and it was engraved with a prophecy to hide it. Apparently it either hides a monster of treasure.
  • The wedding takes place and it seems Apollo still loves Evangeline after the curse breaks. Tiberius, Apollo’s brother, arrives and argues with Apollo but they make up.
  • Evangeline dances with Tiberius.
  • Evangeline goes to find Jacks, and realises the spell on Apollo hasn’t been broken. Jacks paints Evangeline’s lips with his blood again.
  • Apollo strips and covers himself in oil lmao
  • Evangeline kisses Apollo and then he dies.
  • Evangeline is accused of murdering her husband. She tries to blame Jacks but no one listens. Jacks arrives and makes the guards leave.
  • Jacks reveals that he had previously been controlling Apollo’s emotions regarding Evangeline, and he actually died from poisoning. Evangeline is poisoned too, so Jacks takes her to get an antidote.
  • Evangeline’s friend LaLa reveals that she’s a fate. LaLa tells Evangeline the poison was from her tears.
  • Tiberius thinks Evangeline is innocent and has been kidnapped by Jacks. Tiberius sends people out to look for her. Jacks thinks Tiberius is tricking everyone and actually wants to find out where Evangeline is and then try her for murdering Apollo.
  • Jacks tells Evangeline they must visit the fate Chaos, who is a vampire.
  • Jacks sees the cookbook that Evangeline took from Marisol’s room, which turns out to be a spell book.
  • Jacks and Evangeline pretend to be a couple when they visit Chaos. Chaos reveals that a woman bought some poisoned oil from him.
  • Evangeline spots Luc in one of Chaos’s cages. Luc says Marisol bewitched him and abandoned him after he was attacked by the wolf. 
  • Luc asks Evangeline to free him, so she does and then he tries to bite her. Luc bites Jacks instead. Jacks breaks Luc’s neck which puts him in a weird undead state, but Luc should be fine eventually.
  • Jacks starts to turn into a vampire. Evangeline takes him to a church in order to keep him and other people safe. 
  • Evangeline wonders if she is the key to the arch.
  • Jacks breaks free during the night and licks Evangeline’s neck. Gross. He’s put off by the sunlight though and Jacks doesn’t fully turn into a vampire.
  • Jacks collapses as they’re leaving the church.
  • Evangeline tries to get them both back to LaLa’s place but she doesn’t know where she’s going. She breaks in somewhere else and finds a newspaper announcing Marisol and Tiberius’ wedding.
  • Evangeline looks around and finds out the place she brought them to belongs to Jacks. She finds a spell book that contains details of a love potion that Marisol must be using on Tiberius. Evangeline is able to make an antidote.
  • Jacks is still unconscious at this point so Evangeline leaves him a note explaining she’s going to the palace. She heads to Tiberius’ room and puts the antidote in a drink.
  • Evangeline runs into Marisol as she’s leaving. Evangeline accuses Marisol of using magic and poisoning people. Marisol admits that she put a love spell on Luc but says she feels guilty about it.
  • Marisol denies poisoning anyone and she says Tiberius loves her without a spell. Hmm. 
  • Evangeline believes Marisol and tells her about Jacks and the wedding party that turned to stone. Marisol doesn’t like this news and calls for guards to arrest Evangeline.
  • Tiberius arrives and is clearly under some sort of spell. Evangeline feels silly and angry for believing Marisol, but tbf they are step-sisters.
  • Tiberius takes Evangeline away. He accidentally drinks the antidote that Evangeline left him. Tiberius tells Evangeline that he’s in charge of making sure the Valore arch is never opened.
  • Tiberius tells Evangeline that he needs to kill Marisol because she is the key to opening the arch. He tells Evangeline the that the rest of the prophecy says she must give her blood willingly for the arch to open.
  • The antidote has some truth-telling side effects and Evangeline tricks Tiberius into confessing to his own brother’s murder in front of his guards. Tiberius and Marisol are arrested.
  • Jacks awakens to find Evangeline has now been accepted as a royal. 
  • Evangeline goes to meet Jacks, but a woman called Phaedra abducts her with the help of Apollo’s chief guard. Phaedra tells Evangeline that Apollo is alive but in a suspended state.
  • They take Evangeline to an underground room to prove it. Apollo needs to be freed or he could be there for centuries.
  • Evangeline realises that Jacks has been tricking her. Hopefully she’s normally more on the ball than this. She realises that Jacks likely manipulated Tiberius’ emotions to make him love Marisol, and that he likely made Marisol the scapegoat.
  • Evangeline realises that Jacks poisoned Apollo in order to use him to bargain with Evangeline so she will open the arch.
  • Evangeline decides she should open the door in the library with her blood so she can read about the Valors and the arch. She hopes to find something to help her wake Apollo up.

That’s what happened in Once Upon a Broken Heart! Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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