‘End of Story’ by Kylie Scott: Susie and Lars give my favorite Stage Dive couple a run for their money

It’s always a pleasure to crack open a new Kylie Scott story. There’s never a shortage of fun and flirty banter, but it’s truly held together by poignant, soul-bearing honesty and unbelievable character development. I always seem to walk away from her books with a new appreciation for life, and a quality or two from her characters that I strive to emulate. If my End of Story book review is capable of capturing even a modicum of her brilliance, it will be my best work yet.

Susie is another in a long line of supremely relatable heroines from Kylie Scott, and I’m sure by the end of this End of Story book review, I’ll still not have done her complexity justice. I have fallen in love with her female characters book after book after book, and Susie is the next in a long line of them that I will channel in tumultuous times. While I may not be as loose-tongued as Susie, I often wish I was, so hearing her speak her mind over and over again throughout the length of End of Story was cathartic in all of the very best ways. There are so many times I felt my cheeks flush with embarrassment at something Susie had allowed to escape her mouth, and she never holds back her words. She may regret allowing them to spew forth sometimes, but she never stops herself the next time. But I also adore how Lars never tries to squelch her unique and wildfire-like mouth. He mostly encourages her, giving her the touches and support she doesn’t get elsewhere. He fuels her fire.

And she fuels his. She spurs him to make changes in his life. From cutting toxic friends who have overstayed their welcome, to making the leap into self-employment, Susie’s faith in Lars and her support of him allows him to make huge changes. There are so many things us humans are capable of if we just know that someone is cheering us on, that someone wants to see us succeed. Both of these characters have pretty substantial personalities, but it isn’t until they meet each other and truly give the other permission to live their best life that things change dramatically for both of them.

end of story book review

I would be remiss if I left out the supporting characters in this story, most particularly Tore and Cleo. Everyone else is wonderful (unless they are VERY MUCH not), but these two actually managed to steal the scene a time or two for me. Tore is such a great brother, but, even before Lars and Susie got their act together, he’s an incredible friend and ally to Susie. From the moment they met, you could feel how supportive they would be of each other, and that only grows as Tore involves himself with Susie’s bestie. Cleo is the kind of best friend I always hope I can be. She and Susie don’t pull punches with each other; they lay all their cards on the table. It may take a couple bottles of wine to dig deep enough to unearth the hardest bits of honesty sometimes (feelings are hard to come to terms with), but they always seem to get there. I sincerely hope that by the time I shuffle off this mortal coil, there is at least one person who thinks of me as warmly as Susie and Cleo think about each other.

And that’s just another reason Kylie Scott is a master romance author in my book. She knows how to not only craft beautiful and loving romantic relationships, but she fills their world with characters great and colorful from beginning to end. Even the worst of the worst have personalities and flaws bad enough to have you truly hating them. The emotional rollercoaster is worth every hill and valley, because the next promises another twist to keep the ride fresh and fun.

One of the things I love most ardently about a Kylie Scott story is the banter. It’s been my favorite part since I first cracked open my worn library copy of Lick and met a band whose friendships pounced off the page and into your heart. It’s why Lena Morrissey and Jimmy Ferris of Lead will remain one of my most favorite fictional couples in all of popular culture until the day I die, but I really have to tell you, Susie and Lars give them one hell of a run for their money. Susie and Lars have a totally different dynamic than my favorite Kylie Scott couple, but their story is no less wonderful and entertaining and absolutely addicting. They get it wrong and right and sideways and backwards so many times throughout this book, but watching them navigate all those twists and turns while snapping witticisms at a rapid-fire pace will keep this book on my repeat reads pile for a long time to come.

So, after that completely gushing End of Story book review, if you still need a reason to give End of Story a read, my reason is: It’s fun. This is a story you will have unending amounts of fun with. It’s the perfect story to pass off to a friend and recommend to the reading masses. There is so, so much to love, and everyone deserves to enjoy a book as much as I enjoyed this one.

‘End of Story’ hit bookstore shelves February 14, 2023

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