Hogle recently released her third novel (her third 5-star read for me!), and it’s got me thinking about the book that started my love for her work – You Deserve Each Other. It has such a unique concept, and the execution is so, so good. Sort of like enemies to lovers dialed up a notch, but the semi-playful nemesis is the heroine’s fiancé. The book is light and fun most of the time, with depth that sneaks up on you. It easily made my Top 20 of 2020 list, and my very enthusiastic 5-star review from back in the day has me wanting to dive in for a re-read.
Read on for my original review!
Check out my Top 20 of 2020 list here
Words cannot express how FANTASTIC this book is. I read a lot – and I mean a LOT – of romance novels, and I’m having difficulty thinking of a book I enjoyed more than this one. If this is the author’s debut novel, I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. The writing style is absolutely unique and dynamic, flowing easily and drawing you into the story. It took me a little bit to get in the right headspace for it, but once I got deeper into Nicholas and Naomi’s story, I could not put it down. This is like The Hating Game on steroids, with a couple who have lost sight of what they once loved about each other, with so much humor that I found myself bursting out in shocked laughter more than once.
The story follows Naomi, a woman whose engagement marked the beginning of the end for her relationship. Nicholas and Naomi both shared the best sides of themselves while they were dating, and it wasn’t until they moved in together immediately following their engagement that things started to shift. You can’t be your best self 24/7, and when you add in the stress of planning a wedding and a completely overbearing future mother-in-law, things can spiral out of control quickly. Now Naomi has to force her smiles and go over the list of why she should love her fiancé just to get through the day. When Nicholas shows signs of being unhappy too, Naomi realizes they might just be playing chicken to see who will get the other to break first and call the whole thing off.
Told completely from Naomi’s perspective, this definitely takes the reader through a rollercoaster of emotions. When you see a relationship through one person’s eyes – and that person hasn’t been happy in a long time – you can’t be 100% sure that you’re getting the whole picture. It certainly made things interesting, and made me wonder more than once if I was getting things right. Both Naomi and Nicholas have some unflattering moments, but underneath it all is undeniable love. While the first half leans into the comedy, with some truly hilarious moments, the second half is all about the love. Things get deep and so profound that it had me thinking about my own relationship. It’s not until later in the book that we see how perfect these two really are for each other, and it is quite a ride getting there.
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.
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.
Another 5-star read from Sarah Hogle!
Twice Shy is one of the only books that has made me cry happy tears, and that is quite the accomplishment. It’s such a unique story, with an intricately developed romance and a narrator who learns as she goes. I love the journey this couple takes together, and this hero has got to have one of the best transformations. It’s rare that enemies to lovers romances feel so utterly romantic by the end, but this certainly accomplishes that. I absolutely loved it!
Fun fact: When I finished reading this the first time, I was crying happy tears, feeling the swoons in a big way, and planning out a glowing review in my head… and then I turned to the acknowledgements and saw my name! So freaking cool. I’ve loved Hogle’s work since her debut novel, You Deserve Each Other, and it was immensely flattering to have her publicly thank me for my support. But really? I’m thanking her for writing these memorable, original romances!
Read the review here
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 and Twice Shy.
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