Perfection. There’s no sophomore slump here; this is delightful, distinct, and kinda delicious. I had literal happy tears spill from my eyes, and I was bawling like a baby by the end. It’s like sitting in your own personal happy place where everything is charming and romantic, full of tropey goodness, and more complex than it seems at first glance. The tone is so completely unique and swoony, with characters who are layered and a relationship that’s multi-faceted – I could not have anticipated how deep this would get, but it put me through every emotion. This slow burn is just the right kind of excruciating, going from less than nothing to simply EVERYTHING. And the dynamic? I’ve got to hand it to the author, she found yet another scenario that I have never read before – and that’s saying something. Go into this one blind; it’s much more complex than it seems on the surface, but just might be THE most romantic book I have ever read.
The story follows Maybell, a woman who is timid, insecure, and possibly forgettable. She prefers to live in her personal dreamland, thinking up different hopelessly romantic scenarios that are a million times better than real life. That all changes when Maybell inherits her great aunt’s estate, including a huge, neglected home in need of some TLC. The problem? Her co-inheritor. Wesley is the grouchy groundskeeper who cared for her aunt during her final years… and he’s also the man who is about to make Maybell’s life a whole lot more complicated.
As with You Deserve Each Other (another STELLAR read), it took me a few chapters to settle into the story and the writing, because this author has crafted a love story that feels completely unique. Our heroine isn’t always a reliable narrator and our hero is something of a mystery, so soaking in each word, analyzing each interaction is imperative. The story starts out tense, with an enemies to lovers feel that’s heightened by the forced proximity. These two have to work together to achieve their goals, and in the process, they slowly open up to each other in a way they haven’t with anyone else. This is honest, awkward, flawed, REAL love – and yet the author somehow also makes it feel like a warm hug. It’s downright SWOONY. And that ending? That’s when those happy tears kicked in. I loved this so very much. I was lucky enough to receive an early copy (then purchased it for my collection), and am voluntarily leaving a review of this heartwarming romance.
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 a 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.
Have you read You Deserve Each Other yet?
Hogle’s debut was EXCELLENT, and one of my favorite books of 2020, so I was eagerly anticipating Twice Shy. Both books are so good, and the vibes are different, even as Hogle’s distinct writing style shines through. I highly recommend either book!
About the Author:
Sarah Hogle is a mom of three who enjoys trashy TV and provoking her husband for attention. Her dream is to live in a falling-apart castle in a forest that is probably cursed. She is also the author of You Deserve Each Other.
Author Social Media: Twitter: @witchofthewords; Instagram: @sarah_hogle
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