Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle

Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Unfortunately, Hogle’s second novel did not live up to the first! I laughed out loud, cried real tears, and devoured You Deserve Each Other in a single night (see my review here – it was actually my first on this very blog!). I’m starting to suspect every romance author’s first book bleeds authentic feelings because it’s based somewhere in truth. That novel is probably one of the best I’ve read in the genre because it was hilarious, but also terribly real.

Maybell Parish hates her job, and daydreams her way out of it hour by hour. She dreams of a man that doesn’t exist, a cafe in the sky that plays Fleetwood Mac, and the perfect escape to a manor of her childhood. Then, she inherits that very manor.

Unfortunately, she’s not the only one. The groundskeeper, Wesley, has also inherited the manor, and has very different ideas about what the old run down home should become. It’s an endless battle for both as they make some Frankenstein version of bed and breakfast/farm, while the sparks are flying and the anger brews.

Twice Shy doesn’t hit home quite the same way Hogle’s first work did. I loved the premise: it’s one of my favorite tropes, and the little details were very well done. I still cried, don’t get me wrong. But I just don’t think the arc of this romance made for as good of storytelling as the traditional arc…let me explain.

One of my biggest issues with this book was the lack of the falling apart. Every romance reader knows, when the pages in the right hand start to dwindle, when your kindle says somewhere around 83%, when things start to feel too good…it’s going to hit the fan. It’s about to go down. Hogle…skipped this part? I got to my 83%, 87%, 93%… and I was still waiting. Not to be accused of dishing spoilers, but problems are minor, and the response even less underwhelming. The part of the book that usually brings me gut-wrenching anxiety was missing, and I was surprised to find myself craving it anyways. This story just didn’t sit as well with me without the challenge.

I will, of course, still pick up Hogle’s books in the future! I think she’s got a lot of wit and creativity, and I want to see more like You Deserve Each Other. This was still a cute, quick, light read full of dreamy scenes and imagination. It’s the perfect escape. It just didn’t live up to the full potential I hoped it would have.

A copy of Twice Shy was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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