Book Review

Book Review: Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Sarah Hogle
Publisher: G.P Putnam
Release Date: April 6th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Can you find real love when you’ve always got your head in the clouds?

Maybell Parish has always been a dreamer and a hopeless romantic. But living in her own world has long been preferable to dealing with the disappointments of real life. So when Maybell inherits a charming house in the Smokies from her Great-Aunt Violet, she seizes the opportunity to make a fresh start.

Yet when she arrives, it seems her troubles have only just begun. Not only is the house falling apart around her, but she isn’t the only inheritor: she has to share everything with Wesley Koehler, the groundskeeper who’s as grouchy as he is gorgeous—and it turns out he has very different vision for the property’s future.

Convincing the taciturn Wesley to stop avoiding her and compromise is a task more formidable than the other dying wishes Great-Aunt Violet left behind. But when Maybell uncovers something unexpectedly sweet beneath Wesley’s scowls, and as the two slowly begin to let their guard down, they might learn that sometimes the smallest steps outside one’s comfort zone can lead to the greatest rewards.

SECOND HALF SAVE.

I went in really wanting to love this book after having mixed feelings over You Deserve Each Other. Fortunately, this was leaps and bounds better for me personally and I look forward to seeing what Hogle writes next.

Now to this book specfically, the first half was ehhhh. It was slow and the one thing I didn’t love over the entire book was Maybell’s alternate universe? I thought it was odd, took me out of the book every time it happened and didn’t fit well.

Besides that, when the second half hit things picked up beautifully. Wesley IS SUCH A CINNAMON ROLL. My poor heart swooned at each confession and realization of how much he was doing without Maybell knowing. It was incredibly tender and kind. It was a dash of enemies to lovers with forced proximity that hit, and hit well. It was flippin’ adorable. Just all of it. He’s honestly the real gem here.

I like the anxiety representation here too (often specifically, social anxiety). It’s been awhile since I have truly felt seen by an author’s words and that was the case here. Feeling and knowing those exact emotions made this story even deeper for me. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE how the communication aspects (for both Wesley and Maybell) played into this. I thought it was heading for a crash and burn, but NO. It was perfect. It was everything I would want to hear in that situation and I couldn’t believe the pure love and kindness shown to both characters. Gahhh, the sweetest.

It was all so wholesome and full of heart. I’m so glad the second half opened up. I about teared up many times and WOW I JUST LOVE THEM OKAY.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses to mostly closed door scene
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a loved one, catfishing

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Book Review

Book Review: You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 368 pages
Author: Sarah Hogle
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: April 7th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Naomi Westfield has the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family any bride would love to be a part of. They never fight. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And she is miserably and utterly sick of him.

Naomi wants out, but there’s a catch: whoever ends the engagement will have to foot the nonrefundable wedding bill. When Naomi discovers that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.

But with the countdown looming to the wedding that may or may not come to pass, Naomi finds her resolve slipping. Because now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves–and having fun with the last person they expect: each other.

When your nemesis also happens to be your fiancé, happily ever after becomes a lot more complicated in this wickedly funny, lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy debut.

HAD POTENTIAL.

I loved the concept of a lovers to enemies TO LOVERS again. Thought if it was written out well, we could have a smash-hit. Lots of good reviews convinced me to pick it up and I have been let down by my own interpretation.

One of my main issues is that 60% of the book is spent in the enemies stage. And not the joke-y, cute, steam-building enemies I’ve read, but actual enemies. I couldn’t believe they ever actually liked one another. Nicholas and Naomi were so mean to each other. It really rubbed me the wrong way and I had a hard time swinging back around to them working things out. Naomi was so adamant about leaving Nicholas that frankly, I was agreeing with her. I hit the point multiple times where I was like, sure dump him. Not a good sign.

I saw Nicholas trying so much more, and since we never got his POV that’s all i got from him. I did like his character and his efforts. I felt bad that he had to deal with the saltiness from Naomi. Most of these issues could have been easily solved with some honest conversations, not petty pranks.

There were definitely some sweet moments towards the end and I did like those. It ended on a good note and how I felt things should have wrapped up.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; love scenes are little detailed

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