So let me just start by saying: absolutely do NOT read this for the romance. It’s wholly unsatisfying and all kinds of cringey. However, I do like the concepts at play and women’s fiction lovers might find it more palatable. I don’t know, I definitely didn’t, lol. The writing itself is technically decent and the plot is original, I’ll give it that. It’s the execution that bogs this one down, with a focus on lust vs. love, love triangles, and a side of cheating. I had issues with all three of the main characters, so that always hints towards trouble with the book as a whole. I can’t give a fair critique of this without at least a few spoilers, so stop now if you don’t want more details.
The story follows Phronsie, a woman in her mid-thirties who is tired of dating. She’s put herself out there time and again, but things always seem to fall apart. So when her equally unlucky in love bestie, Judd, suggests that they get married, it doesn’t sound like a terrible idea – once she mulls it over long enough. They’ve been best friends since childhood and know each other inside and out, so who better to build a life and family with? Unfortunately, there’s one pesky little issue – they aren’t in love with each other. They aren’t even particularly attracted. As the two take their relationship to a new level and plan a future, Phronsie realizes that there might be another lust-filled love right in front of her.
Again, this is technically well written and definitely feels like serious, slightly forlorn women’s fiction. That’s not really my favorite kind of “romance,” but I can deal with it if the story is good. And this storyline IS pretty unique – I think I would’ve liked it quite a bit, if executed differently. But the love triangle is where this started to fall apart for me. Yes, Phronsie sleeps with the “wrong” guy after meeting the “right” one. And, yes, she continues to do so until the book is almost over (I wouldn’t call this closed door romance, but the steamy scenes are mild). The “right” romance is also in the background for a long, long time. The relationship development is almost non-existent. I liked her guy, but I don’t know why he stuck around so long. I don’t even want to get into my issues with the friendship. So, there wasn’t a lot that was going right for me with this. I’m sure there’s an audience for it, but it definitely won’t be for most romance readers.
Read The Magic of Found Objects one month early – and for FREE!
Obviously, I didn’t love the book, but this author is well known for her bestseller, Matching for Beginners, so I’m betting many readers are looking forward to this. It releases on August 1st, HOWEVER, it was selected as one of Amazon’s First Reads this month, so it’s available RIGHT NOW! If you’re unfamiliar with the program, it allows Prime readers to get specific books one month early – for FREE! The program is free too, so it’s a no-brainer.
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From the bestselling author of Matchmaking for Beginners comes a feel-good story about becoming who you were meant to be all along.
Phronsie Linnelle was conceived at Woodstock in a serendipitous liaison between a free-spirited hippie and a farmer’s son and was born with magical wonder flickering in her DNA and rationality knit into her bones. All her life she’s been torn between the two. But now that she’s been betrayed by both love and the mother she once idolized, her rational side is winning.
So when her best friend from childhood proposes that they give up on romance and marry each other, Phronsie agrees. Who better to spend your life with than your best friend? Maybe the connection they already have is love. Maybe there’s no falling to be done. But immediately after they announce their engagement, she encounters someone who makes a very charming and compelling argument for revisiting romance.
While her even-keeled stepmother argues for the safety that comes with her new engagement and her mother relays messages from the universe to hold out for true love, Phronsie must look to her own heart to find the answers that have been there all along.
About the Author:
Maddie Dawson grew up in the South, born into a family of outrageous storytellers. Her various careers as a substitute English teacher, department-store clerk, medical-records typist, waitress, cat sitter, wedding-invitation-company receptionist, nanny, day care worker, electrocardiogram technician, and Taco Bell taco maker were made bearable by thinking up stories as she worked. Today Maddie lives in Guilford, Connecticut, with her husband. She’s the bestselling author of seven previous novels: A Happy Catastrophe, Matchmaking for Beginners, The Survivor’s Guide to Family Happiness, The Opposite of Maybe, The Stuff That Never Happened, Kissing Games of the World, and A Piece of Normal. For more information visit www.maddiedawson.com.
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