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.
Twice Shy is one of the sweetest stories, and after reading this book and Hogle’s debut You Deserve Each Other, I am definitely adding Hogle to my auto-buy list.
A lot of people have mentioned that they struggled to get into this, and to be honest, I definitely found the start to be a little on the slower side before picking up around the 25% point. While it may not be to everyone’s tastes, I think having that slower start really allowed me to understand how Maybell’s brain worked.
The main character, Maybell, is more on the demure and reserved side preferring her dream escape and daydreaming over reality. And with the vivid, creative imagination she has (and her lack of real living), it’s easy to understand why. As someone who is more on the reserved and introverted side myself, I felt I could relate to Maybell somewhat and really enjoyed seeing her development in creating a better life for herself — one with more confidence, genuine enjoyment in her real life surroundings, and social opportunities (aka ditching that toxic ‘friend’).
As for the hero, Wesley… oh man, he is the ultimate cinnamon roll book boyfriend. His gruff, silent exterior is hiding the severe social anxiety and shyness he feels on the inside, and I just wanted to give him the biggest hug. He was one of the most caring and kind-hearted heroes I’ve read in a while and I really liked getting little glimpses here and there from Maybell’s POV as she discovers who Wesley really is as a person, and not the fictitious idea she had of him.
Overall, I really loved this book – slow start or not. I think Sarah Hogle writes beautifully and crafts relatable and whimsical stories; stories that left me as a reader feeling like I’ve just been given a hug from a friend. A huge thank you to the author for writing this amazing story and giving us a glimpse into Maybell and Wesley’s world. As mentioned above, Hogle is definitely going to be on my auto-buy list and I cannot wait to see what else she writes in the future.
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