Cover Image: Twice Shy

Twice Shy

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Member Reviews

Twice Shy is a sweet feel good story. Maybell has some people in her life who do not respect her or take her seriously. When she inherits her great estate and isn’t the only inheritor. So is Wesley is estate caretaker. Maybell can’t quite gage Wesley, but he’s avoidance, quietness and being grumpy give her all the cues she needs. Actually, his social anxiety and shyness is misrepresented. These two together overcome their own insecurities and fall in love. I wanted a storyline that made me want keep reading, but I found myself bored at times. Not enough conflict and humor for me!  It was a feel good light read though. Thank you Netgalley and G.P. Putnam Son’s for the Advanced Readers Copy.
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The Money Pit meets the War of Roses.  Yes, that puts me growing up in the 80’s, but that is the vibe I got right off the bat when Maybell and Wesley started rehabbing this old inherited mansion.  The overall story was sweet, and the troupe was a forced proximity - strangers to enemies to lovers plot. 
Maybell is in an underappreciated job and this inheritance drops in her lap.  Thinking this was going to be landing a fabulous fairy tale castle, turns out to be a rundown house with a “hoarder issue” to tackle.  Also attached to the dilapidation is the brooding Wesley, who is now her co-rehabber.  As they work around each other, they begin the courtship via some last wishes to complete from Maybell’s Aunt – lest they be haunted from her grave.

Wesley is super-shy with some severe social anxiety and is just content to work his landscaping business outside and alone.  While you get the sense that he is annoyed with Maybell and the fact that they have opposing ideas on what to do with the old home, he is enthralled with her from the beginning.  As the little things he does for her are revealed along the way, you cannot help but just fall in love with him!

Twice Shy is an adorable “get to know ya” story that is light-hearted, whimsical, and fun to read.  Perfect for an afternoon at the beach and will have you smiling as they reach their HEA.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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So incredibly sweet!

This book started off slow, but hit its stride about halfway in as Maybell and Wesley got to communicate and know each other more. I liked reading about Maybell’s daydreaming/fantasies as a way to escape from the real world. And I so rarely see such an honest, realistic portrayal of anxiety in what I read. This book does a great justice in developing these two characters and their interesting, funny, and relatable personalities.
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Thank you @prhinternational for the gifted digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This was a cute cosy romance that had me laughing my head off! The MCs were very anxious introverts and being an introvert myself, I was able to relate to so many of their feelings. I also loved all the references that took me back to my childhood and adolescence - it's such a treat for a 90s kid. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who's looking for a quick, fun read!
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I love the slow burn of this romcom. Maybell and Wesley have a great chemistry and how they help each other overcome their personal issues is just so heartwarming. The murals and alternate realities definitely melted my heart.
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"Twice Shy" is another great example of romance done right: the destination is just about guaranteed, but every step of the journey is a surprise. This one is also for the trope lovers! It has it all and is done so well.

Sarah Hogle does a wonderful job of writing real characters. Maybell and Wesley are written with so much heart. They live imperfect lives with struggling dreams and vulnerabilities that make their successes so much more of a joy to read.

I did find myself a little confused at the very beginning. It took me a little bit to catch on to scenes that were in Maybell's "AU," but after the first chapter, it quickly came together.

I will be looking forward to whatever Sarah Hogle creates next.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.
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This was a cute read. I've never read anything by this author and I was pleasantly surprised. Maybell and Wesley have good chemistry and I always love a good grumpy hero. I'll be interested to read more from this author in the future!
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I absolutely loved You Deserve Each Other so I was super excited to read this book. 

It’s an enemies to loves trope and who doesn’t love that?  It started off cute enough, down on her luck Maybell finds out that she’s inherited her aunt’s home. There’s a catch, she’s not the only inheritor. Enter hot and broody groundskeeper Wesley. They both want different things for the house. One wants to turn it into a B&B, the other a sanctuary for animals. They butt heads but then along the way, sparks begin to fly. 

Based on the trope, there’s obviously some banter and definitely some super cute moments but it just lacked something. It’s unfair to compare the two books but it just didn’t live up to my expectations.  I built this hype in my mind and it’s my fault.
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I’m officially broken. 

I love love loved You Deserve Each Other, so I had super high hopes for Sarah’s next book.

This one fell flat for me and I hate that it did.

I do not enjoy a book with too much negative self talk. I mean in the middle of a convo with a human the MC would stop then go into a tirade about God knows what … in the middle of a conversation…. It did not translate well to an audio book.

I full on had to stop multiple times and think to myself - what the heck is happening?! I pushed through and hated the ending too. What the heck?! The last 40 mins and that big of a swing. 

Also - I wasn’t loving either MC. 

Like I said - broken.
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*Thanks to @prhinternational for giving me this ARC in exchange of an honest review.*

I don't know how Sarah is capable of that, but she seems to create characters and stories that link immediately with me intimately and hit me hard for their concreteness. 
I've adored this story. 
It's completely different from “You deserve each other”, but it's still special in its unique way. 
It's less hilarious, but it’s absolutely an enjoyable, sweet and tender journey that leads the reader to the path that links Maybell and Wesley together, and it’s SO adorable. It’s a twist of destiny that helps both to face their doubts and fears about themselves and the way to relate with another person. 
It seems an easy thing to say, “I’m a shy person” or “I’m anxious”, but few people understand and really know what it really means. Sarah has been amazing to depict it in front of the reader without pity or faux stereotypes. 
She shows Maybell’s fears, daydreaming (I’m so happy not to be the only one doing it!) and the growth of her self-confidence to express what she wants to do and what she feels, stopping to be overwhelmed by others personality and toxic presences. And then there’s Wesley. As per “You deserved each other” I ached for his point of view, but Sarah has been perfect in making us understand him step by step as our main character does. And he’s so sweet, so caring, he listens (thing not so obvious) and remember us that the male figure hasn’t always to be expansive, self-confident, and invincible to be a good person even before someone to fall in love. For me it’s impossible not to love him, and feel the heart tighten itself seeing his personal struggles. 
The point is, you can empathize with them, you can see yourself in those two people, but even if you don’t because you have a different personality, this author has been amazing in making all of their feelings and worries tangibles through motions, words, actions. 
Maybe it's stupid to say, but I'm proud of them both. They're two amazing people that have a big heart and they just needed the right push and time to understand they are two loving people, that deserve attention and care. They deserve someone that really look and listen to them and it has been amazing to see how gradually they came nearer and fell in love. 
It's a slow story and someone could see there's not a climax. Well, maybe not in the usual way, but if I've learned something in the last years about books, you don't need an epic event to make a book work. Here there is a constant crescendo: even in moments you could see a potential fracture in their relationship, both choose the mature way to face the situation (and that is, in my opinion, something really peculiar because often drama is preferred) permitting their bond to grow stronger, so they can have the time and space (on the pages) to face other ghosts of theirs. 

And then, the final chapters, left me in tears. I won’t make any spoilers, but let me say just other few things: 
1.	the tension between those two has nearly killed me! 
2.	I’m a Violet and Victor fan. Their story is so romantic!
3.      I'm so curious about what will happen next!! The ending is so open-ended I'm biting my nails to know more! :'(  
Anyway, it's a price I'll pay forever if I can have and read another Sarah's book. 
Thank you Sarah, again, for another beautiful book. It will be another story that takes place in my heart, absolutely.
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A free digital galley was sent to me by the publisher for review. All opinions are my own.

This. This right here. These are the books that fill my heart with so much joy. I love a book that feels like a warm hug to read like this one was. It's so incredibly sugary sweet and I swear I was grinning with every single page. I laughed out loud so much and absolutely fell in love with these two. Between the daydreaming and anxiety I related to these characters so much. From beginning to end I never wanted to put this down and wished there was even more for these characters. Wesley is absolutely the most cinnamon roll of cinnamon rolls and I adored him! Every single thing he does in this book just made me love him more and more. How he handles her daydreaming was so sweet. Even small moments like with the painters. After loving You Deserve Each Other I knew I would enjoy anything this author writes but I never expected to this much. I could go on forever about this book but I'll leave it at GO PICK THIS UP!
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Oh forced proximity romance, how you've done it again! Maybell Parish  has a tendency to escape to her own imagination to deal with the conuitdd disappointment in her everyday life. Until she inherits her great-aunt's estate. There is only one problem, she is not the only inheritor. 🤯🤯

If you would love an anxiety fueled grumpy hero and a ray of sunshine dreamer heronine this book is for you! 

I loved watching how both characters grew and not only created a beautiful relationship but helped each character face their fears.
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This book was so addictive and sweet, I read it in one sitting. After Maybell’s great-aunt Violet passes away, she inherits her house. When she arrives, she learns that Violet’s groundskeeper, Wesley, has also inherited half of the house. There is a lot of work that needs to be done on the house, and Maybell has trouble communicating with Wesley, who is closed-off and has different ideas of what to do with the house. My favorite thing about this book was the main characters. In many other contemporary romance novels, the heroine is a virgin and/or struggles with anxiety, while the hero is more experienced and outgoing. I loved how the roles were reversed in this book, and I loved how both of the characters developed throughout the book. This was my first book by Sarah Hogle but I will definitely be reading more in the future!

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC!
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I was really looking forward to this book because 1/ The author's We Deserve Each Other came with very high praise and 2/ The people who loved that one (and whose opinions usually align with mine) were gushing about this one as well. So I was really excited to receive this ARC. Imagine my sore disappointment then when I read 30, 40, 50% of it and I couldn't get into it, in fact my dislike of it just kept on increasing.

What I disliked:

- The main character. Everything else would have been somewhat bearable if I actually liked her or at least could empathize with her to some capacity, but having a main character who keeps reminding the readers every other page how hard her life has without any of it being relevant or explored properly, and how Despite It All She Is Relentlessly and Forever The Idealist, kinda gets old at some point and it started getting on my nerves. I got it the first and second time that was mentioned, there was no need to bring it up over and over again.

- The first 70% of the book. Or 60%. I can't quite remember. But before that, the MC and love interest barely interacted, talked to each other or even were in each other's vicinity because the LI, Weasley avoided Maybel like the plague. And I do understand that that gets explained later on and is an important part of the story but it truly didn't all have to be on page, especially since the moments that they do have together and the pages in which we do see their relationship develop and grow and so far and few compared. I couldn't root for them or understand why there was supposed to be a romance between them when I didn't see them interact and couldn't witness the chemistry between them.

What I liked:

- The social anxiety representation. This was the best element in the book. I loved how Weasley explained it, how he put into words not only what it feels like but how it affects pretty much everything in his life. And it wasn't just words, it also shows in his behavior and the way he interacts with the world. I don't think I've seen it down quite this way before, and although I've read plenty books with generalized anxiety rep, I can't think of any I have read that tackle social anxiety specifically. I also liked seeing Maybel's support and acceptance on page.

- The last 30%. That's when the romance actually kicked off and it was actually really cute an sweet. I loved seeing their little dates and the gestures they did for each other and with each other. I only wish this had kicked in earlier on in the book, even if just 50% through because that would have given the romance space to actually develop and shine through. Instead the book ended right when it started getting good.

- No third act break up. I was really nervous for this, especially when the "conflict" event happened towards the end, but I LOVED how that was handled.

Overall, I genuinely think this book had a lot of potential and could have been a good book if the events were distributed more evenly throughout it.
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Heard great things about this one. It just didn’t work for me. The grumpy character didn’t appeal to me; he was really grumpy. I personally didn’t see the spark between the two. I know I’m in the minority on this one so I would recommend if you like a slow burn, small town romance.
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Sarah Hogle does it again! I cried, I laughed, I swooned and I awed. This was such an amazing read full of funny and cute moments.

Both Maybell and Wesley were super relatable and their arc was satisfying. Their dynamic was my favourite thing about the story. I loved that their personalities complement each other in such a subtle way. They were not exactly polar opposites but they encouraged one another to come out of their comfort zone by being extremely supportive of each other.

I was happy when Maybell stoop up for herself and was honest about how hurt she felt. I struggle to stand up for myself as well so that was really relatable and inspiring.

I honestly can’t wait for Hogle’s next book. She’s easily become my favourite romance author and I’ll buy anything she writes.
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This is an enemies to lovers romance! It really had me wondering how these two, Maybell and Wesley, will ever get along! Then, as the two start to get to know each other, and some real talk about social anxiety goes down, we went quickly from “How could they?” to gut-wrenching cuteness and anticipation for them to make things work. I liked the plot of the book and felt like both characters had grown significantly by the end.
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I really loved this book and all the sassy interactions that they have with each other. I especially love the adventure aspect and following their relationship as they work through a LOT of different emotions and obstacles together!
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Thank you to Penguin Group's Putnam Books for giving me access to this e-ARC!

This was my first read from Sarah Hogle and it was teeth-achingly sweet. I’ll say upfront this wasn’t my favorite story. I had a hard time getting through the first half of the book and if it hadn’t been a book club pick probably would have DNF’d it. But the second half was well worth the journey and I’m very glad I did get to the HEA. I loved seeing Maybell’s dream world become a reality thanks to Wesley’s dedication and care. 

Maybell had a rough, topsy-turvy childhood. The shiny light of her youth was living with her Great-Aunt Violet and Uncle Victor in a rambling, old house. Though Maybell eventually had to return to her mother, she never forgot Top of the World, Tennessee. When Violet dies she leaves the old house and the surrounding property to Maybell. The inheritance is an opportunity for Maybell to quit her thankless hotel job with cruel, unfeeling co-workers and create a new dream. 

Except Violet had a few eccentricities hidden in her will. The property was co-inherited by Wesley, a gifted landscaper and Violet’s friend during the last years of her life. Maybell and Wesley immediately have an oil-and-water relationship. Neither can understand the other’s point of view and have diametrically opposing visions for their property. Hogle gives real enemies to lovers with these two. 

Maybell and Wesley slowly reveal their mutual traumas. Through cleaning up and rehabbing the house they learn to work together. Eventually they actually talk to each other and flirting/mutual pining begins. I immensely enjoyed the second half of the book. Every other page is tabbed thanks for a cute gesture from Wesley or Maybell’s swooning. There were a handful of things I didn’t enjoy, but overall a solid sweet romance.  

Steam: 🔥🔥/5 (Cool on the Smut-O-Meter)
Series: None
Tropes: Enemies to Lovers, Inheritance as Matchmaking, Neurodiversity, #CinnamonRollHero, Forced Proximity
Content Warning: Death of great-aunt, Unstable Childhood, Neglect, Toxic mother, Past catfishing, Hoarding
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This was sweet and fun. I liked the brewing romance with two "enemies" being forced to work together.
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