Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on 6th April 2021
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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.
This is probably going to be a review that stands out—like a sore thumb, sadly—for not being the effusively-glowing one that I wanted to write as I finished Sarah Hogle’s ‘Twice Shy’ but rather one that I had problems with from the very start.
The annoying deluge of Maybell Parish was what hit me like a sledgehammer to the face from page one (akin to sliding down some rabbit trails ), as we’re introduced to her rambly work issues and work colleagues then moved on to the sudden inheritance she receives after a relative dies. And it just goes on that way from here in that rollercoaster of a narrative: with Maybell’s head in the clouds, with her constant, overly-chatty and tendency-to-go-off-on-some-tangent monologue flowing off page after page, which became more than I could take early on.
The sheer weirdness and implausibility that Hogle also presents with the mixup between the hot groundskeeper and Maybell’s recent cat fishing experience—just play up too much of the idea of coincidence that my suspension of disbelief was shattered early on.
In short, I started with much enthusiasm, then moved on to reluctantly skimming, then ended up not finishing when I found myself re-reading the same few chapters and not having the storytelling get any better with repetition. I wished this style of whimsical, somewhat more self-indulgent take on romance could have worked for me better, but it’s pretty damn clear that ’Twice Shy’ just isn’t the book I needed right now.