Hello bookworms!! Today’s Monday Mini’s are mini book reviews for Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle and Well Matched by Jen DeLuca.
Please let me know if you enjoy this type of review better than the more structured, longer ones, because I’m having a much better time keeping up with books I’ve read in this format!! But if the older format is better for you then I can certainly make adjustments!!
Mini book review: Twice Shy
Title: Twice Shy
Author: Sarah Hogle
Release date: 6 August 2021
Twice Shy blurb:
Maybell Parrish lives with her head in the clouds, which is the sensible choice because her fantasy life is wonderful. She runs a cosy coffee shop, surrounded by friendly colleagues and delicious baked goods, and is together with the man of her dreams ― the one she’s now certain doesn’t exist. In real life, she works in a thankless job surrounded by screaming children, blocked toilets and work frenemies who pity her, whilst trying not to think too hard about her absent mother and doing her best to deal with debilitating panic attacks. So, when Maybell inherits a stately old manor from her eccentric Great Aunt Violet, it’s as though a piece of her dreams has finally come true…
But when she arrives at her new home, nothing is as she’d hoped. Not only is the magical manor she remembers falling apart, but Great Aunt Violet had plans. Enter Wesley Koehler, the handsome-yet-surly groundskeeper. Wesley turns out to be the co-inheritor of the property ― and seems determined to avoid speaking to Maybell completely, which is just fine with Maybell. Yet, as the pair begin to tackle Violet’s long list of demands, it becomes clear that Wesley’s brooding exterior hides a shy, kind nature that has also found the real world a difficult place to be ― in fact, could it be that Wesley and Maybell are better matched than even Maybell could ever have dreamed?
Twice Shy was the book about panic-attacks, delirious embarrassment, head in the clouds style escapism daydreaming, and painfully shy introverts, that I didn’t even know I needed in my life.
I was, admittedly, a little scared to read this. Sarah Hogle’s debut, You Deserve Each Other, was my favourite book of 2021. And, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I wonder if the most perfect book is a fluke. I can guarantee with Hogle, that it is not.
You Deserve Each Other had the witty banter and playful pranks of fun and sassy enemies to lovers romances. Twice Shy had regretful stares, freezing in place levels of mortification, and shades of crying in frustration. It’s a story about being bewildered and soft, and accidentally falling in love anyway. It’s got HOPE as its theme. It is a story for those of us who put everyone else first, but are always pushed off the footpath by others who want the limelight with none of the work. It’s a story about quiet sacrifices and selflessly doing something to see the other person smile. It is beautiful in its quiet, tender moments. Pencil sketches on napkins, stargazing when camping, following a treasure hunt. It’s all of this and more.
Twice Shy has firmly stamped Sarah Hogle in my autobuy author list, and I honestly cannot wait to read Just Like Magic as soon as it comes out in October.
Mini book review: Well Matched
Title: Well Matched
Author: Jen DeLuca
Series: Well Met #3
Release date: 19 October 2021
Well Matched (Well Met #3) blurb:
Single mother April Parker has lived in Willow Creek for twelve years with a wall around her heart. On the verge of being an empty nester, she’s decided to move on from her quaint little town, and asks her friend Mitch for his help with some home improvement projects to get her house ready to sell.
Mitch Malone is known for being the life of every party, but mostly for the attire he wears to the local Renaissance Faire ― a kilt (and not much else) that shows off his muscled form to perfection. While he agrees to help April, he needs a favor too: she’ll pretend to be his girlfriend at an upcoming family dinner, so that he can avoid the lectures about settling down and having a more “serious” career than high school coach and gym teacher. April reluctantly agrees, but when dinner turns into a weekend trip, it becomes hard to tell what’s real and what’s been just for show. But when the weekend ends, so must their fake relationship.
As summer begins, Faire returns to Willow Creek, and April volunteers for the first time. When Mitch’s family shows up unexpectedly, April pretends to be Mitch’s girlfriend again… something that doesn’t feel so fake anymore. Despite their obvious connection, April insists they’ve just been putting on an act. But when there’s the chance for something real, she has to decide whether to change her plans ― and open her heart ― for the kilt-wearing hunk who might just be the love of her life.
I have been looking forward to April and Mitch’s story for SO LONG. Anti-joiner April is my personality, and super-involved Mitch is my hero. Well Matched is the third book in the Well Met series by Jen DeLuca and it might have just pipped Wet Met at the post for my favourite of the series.
I’m not sure what it was about Well Matched, but I think the thing I loved most about this story in particular was the way that April slowly, but surely, came out of her self-imposed shell. The realisation that this community had her back gave my shriveled little heart some life.
I also loved the introduction of some new characters. Lulu was by far my favourite, so I’m ecstatically pleased that this series is extending beyond a trilogy. And more so that Lulu is our next MC. I can’t wait for her to join the gang and see who she ends up with.
** potential spoiler ― read the below paragraph (by highlighting text) at your peril **
One last thing I wanted to mention was how much it means to me to see characters who fall in love and live happily, and who don’t want children. None of the couples in this series are having kids, in fact they’re actively saying they don’t want them. And it’s so nice to characters that don’t follow that traditional arc of living “happily ever after, with 2.5 kids, a SUV, a dog and a cat”.
Have you read Twice Shy, or Well Matched?