Cover Image: Twice Shy

Twice Shy

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Suppose you were making a romance novel smoothie. You would need some sort of liquid base, right? Something solid? Well, grumpy one and sunshine one is a fairly reliable trope.

Then you need the main flavor, the fruit. Forced proximity due to a meddling older woman/mentor figure? Sign me up!

Now, sometimes you need to add some spinach or an avocado - something healthy to make you feel better about indulging. In this case, the absolutely lovely portrayal of social anxiety in both Wesley and Maybell was absolutely heart wrenching and beautiful.

But! At the end of the day, this is TREAT. We want something SWEET. So throw in those chocolate chips, that extra scoop of ice cream, whatever - because at the end of the day, Twice Shy is unapologetically romantic. It's soft and sweet and calls out the fact that it IS a romance novel. It is self-aware in the best ways. It includes slang and pop culture references and it's as natural as agave nectar.

And then - because this is a smoothie - you gotta blend it. So throw in some chaotic energy (something Sarah Hogle seems to love in her writing) and you get... this book. This lovely, chaotic, romantic book that made me SO HAPPY.

Please read this book. It'll make you happy. And that's all I can ask of a book.
Was this review helpful?
It took me a few chapters to get into this book, but once I was in I was SO in. I loved how the relationship developed and there were so many amazing romcom moments (the camping trip, the cafe, Scotland etc) that made this one of those books I find myself thinking about even a week after I finished.
Was this review helpful?
***Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***
Twice Shy starts out as an enemies-to-lovers kind of book, but soon you realize there is much more going on. I like how the author reversed the typical roles for the male and female. The man showing weakness was very refreshing and also empowering for the main character.
Was this review helpful?
I had very high expectations for TWICE SHY, since YOU DESERVE EACH OTHER was one of my favorite reads of 2020, so let me say this: Sarah Hogle did not disappoint. In fact, TWICE SHY surpassed my expectations so much that I am trying my hardest to not immediately reread.

TWICE SHY is funny, sweet, and absolutely delightful. Maybell and Wesley’s romance is a *slow* slowburn, full of yearning, a bit of pining, and plenty of banter. Also, the book treats mental health issues with care and realism, without minimizing them nor letting them drag down the comedic tone of the book.

Maybell deals with social anxiety and panic attacks, which are described in such realistic detail that it made my cry—not from being triggered, but rather from being seen. I have dealt with social anxiety for my entire life, and I’ve read very few books that perfectly encapsulates what it feels. However, her social anxiety doesn’t define her: she’s caring, imaginative, and ambitious.

I cannot wait for this book to come out so everyone can delight in this wonderful rom-com!
Was this review helpful?
A fun, fast-paced romance of the enemies to lovers variety. I'm hooked on all the HGTV fixer upper type shows, so I really enjoyed that aspect of it too.
Was this review helpful?
The follow-up to YOU DESERVE EACH OTHER does not disappoint! Hogle’s charming characters and fix-it-up mansion plot are a winning combination.
Was this review helpful?
A sweet enemies-to-lovers romance. I appreciated the emphasis on a relationship not being able to cure anxiety, as well as the emphasis on self-acceptance. I wish more of Wesley's backstory was fleshed out, but otherwise it was enjoyable!
Was this review helpful?
I almost put this book down, truthfully. The first fifth of it was so cringeworthy - the secondhand embarrassment was almost too much. I'm glad I stuck it out though, because it was GOOD. I would've missed out on the Wesley goodness that takes place.
Was this review helpful?
Twice Shy is the story of doormat Maybell and chronically shy Wesley, brought together to rehab Maybell's deceased great-aunt's home. It's a really cute, incredibly saccharine romance that I wouldn't normally pick up. However, I think it is the perfect antidote for the lock down blues that so many are suffering from. My favourite part of the story was Maybell's imagination land, as I'm prone to letting my mind wander into my own varied imagination lands while doing rote tasks, and I'd never read the mental exercise captured so well..
I look forward to recommending the book upon release.
Thank you to the publisher, via NetGalley, for providing me with an arc for review.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book so much. Sarah Hogle has a gift for telling a unique story. Her first novel, You Deserve Each Other was cute, funny and truly original. I was excited to get my hands on an ARC of her second novel, Twice Shy. Again I was blown away by the originality of the story, and the writing (which kept me up until 2:30 in the morning because I was enjoying it so much I could not put it down). Maybell and Wesley are such well developed characters you can’t help but be drawn to them. Highly recommend, particularly to fans of Sally Thorne and Mhairi McFarlane.
Was this review helpful?
This is Sarah Hogle's second book, and every bit as good as her debut!  I loved everything about this book.  It's another refreshing twist on the enemies to lovers trope. I loved the hero and heroine, because they are so flawed and real.  The premises are pure fantasy, but the character are so real.  The first half might be hard for some, but if you keep going, there are moments in this book that completely melt your heart.  I will read anything Sarah Hogle writes from now on!
Was this review helpful?
After I devoured Sarah Hogle's first book, the five-star 'You Deserve Each Other,' I was instantly excited about picking up her second novel. Here, Maybell is a big-time dreamer and a hopeless romantic, who often thinks of a romanticized AU to cope with her disappointing and struggling reality. After she learns she has inherited an estate and surrounding land in the Smokies from her late great-aunt, Maybell sets out to make a new start in this house aka the only happy memory from her childhood. However, when she arrives, she learns the house and grounds are falling apart and that she's actually the co-inheritor alongside the grouchy yet gorgeous groundskeeper Wesley. It's hard for her to get Wesley to stop avoiding her and compromise on how to fix up the house, all while trying to attend to Great-Aunt Violet's dying wishes. These two slowly let their guards down, open up to each other and out of their comfort zones to find something totally new together. It sounds very cute, and now that I finished it, that holds up. This cute, precious novel is full of very descriptive language and details that pull me in. Also, Hogle portrays a very real, vulnerable portrayal of anxiety which is so authentic and real, yet still so rare in many books out there, and this level of care added such a depth and a raw, authentic layer to Wesley, However, it's quite a really, really slow slow-burn story that at times, I wished the pacing was accelerated a tad. Then, there's a couple of sudden jumps between reality and Maybell's AU scenes, which can be confusing at times. That being said, this one-sitting read is very romantic, indulging, and sweet. It kept me alert and intrigued to just find out what happens next immediately after I started. While in my eyes this can't top my love of Hogle's first book, I still very much enjoyed this cute romance.
Was this review helpful?
This was a magical read and a great second novel from Sarah Hogle. More to come in this review, closer to the release date.
Was this review helpful?
Sarah Hogle once again creates realistic characters who find 'their person' despite their personal challenges (aka: flaws/shortcomings).  Hogle crafts two people who feel like they are better off alone due to anxiety and abandonment, but discover, in such a sweet, heartfelt way, that they are better off together.  Maybell and Wesley are both the underdogs that you want to root for and Hogle gives them a sweeping romance worthy of any southern girl and gentleman.
Loved this book!
Was this review helpful?
I’m gonna have to reread this. I just flew through it so fast because I was having so much fun. Sarah Hogle writes brilliant characters. She brings so much life to a story. Something about her main characters and the little details and neuroticisms feel so incredibly lifelike and relatable. 

This story has a somewhat different tone from her first novel. Maybell had a kind of rough childhood with a flighty mom and has grown into an adult who is sort of a doormat. She wants to quit her job so badly but it’s the only job she’s really ever had and feels stuck. Her “best friend,” a coworker who actually sucks a lot but is the only person Maybell has, did something really shitty to her a few months prior. She catfished Maybell as Jack, pretending to date her as him for like two months. Somehow it all blew over, and Maybell still thinks about Jack even though he’s not real, because who else is there to think about? 

Well, she finds out her elderly aunt died. Her elderly aunt who owned a huge mansion on acres and acres of land. You know. The true American dream. So she leaves her job and goes to inherit the property. 

Two things - 1. The property is in shambles. The beautiful house she’d last visited when she was 10 (family issues) has turned into a busted up hoarder’s house complete with all the wildlife that’d moved in. & 2. Her aunt didn’t just leave the property to her after all. She left it dually to Maybell and Wesley, the super grumpy groundskeeper. They have to not only share the house but get along while they try to fix it up and prepare it to fit both their visions.
And oh yeah, did I mention Wesley is the guy whose pictures were used to catfish Maybell with???? (There is a logical explanation for it and isn’t THAT big of a coincidence after all, don’t worry)

So yeah. There’s a lot for Maybell to tackle, and to be assertive with, after a life of being pretty meek and agreeable. 

Maybell is a fiercely funny character. She has a whole other world that she daydreams herself into when she’s feeling under pressure. She calls herself “a Maybell Parrish” like she’s one of a special species when she’s hyping herself up. She has huge ideas that no one has ever let her implement before, even at her job as an event coordinator (long story). She’s so real and honest and being inside her head is so fun. 

Wesley is also extremely complex and a great love interest. He’s really cold and standoffish at the beginning of the novel, but you grow to learn that he has an awful, near-crippling anxiety disorder that keeps him from being around people effectively. He really struggles a lot with it. It’s always nice to see a male character who isn’t always sure of himself and needs emotional support; we don’t get a lot of that in stories. Once Maybell finds her way under his skin, he is the dreamiest man ever. He is so sweet and communicative, and he shows love with acts of service which is like.... swoons. The way he and Maybell grow together and round each others’ edges out is just really sweet to experience. 

I can see myself rereading both this and You Deserve Each Other many times over. After just her debut, Sarah Hogle cemented herself as an auto-buy author for me, and I am desperate for more stories from her. I can see where her characters and voice wouldn’t be for everybody, because you may have to be a certain level of weird to relate to her main characters lmaooo but her writing is perfect for me and I’m so thrilled to have found her work.
Was this review helpful?