Cover Image: Talk of the Town

Talk of the Town

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Member Reviews

I enjoyed This book. It was well written. I was able to engage with characters and plot. I would Read another book by this author and I recommend This book

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Peter and Noelle are so adorable and perfect together. Talk of the town follows the story of Peter and Noelle in a small town. You find yourself turning the pages and loving every second of the story.

I Really loved this wonderful story and Highly Recommend it to all readers.

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I didn’t find myself connecting with any of the many characters. I called it quits around 25%. I can see why others would like this but it’s not for me.

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Talk of the Town by Jennifer Bardsley is a sweet and uplifting story that captivated my heart from the very beginning. The author's clever use of social media threads at the start of each chapter added an authentic touch and reflected the modern-day neighborhood experience. These posts were so well-written that I felt like I was scrolling through my local NextDoor app, instantly immersing me in Noelle's world.

One of the highlights of this book was the portrayal of Noelle's complicated family dynamics. Through Noelle's own thoughts and phone calls, we initially understand her relationship with her family, particularly her mother. However, it is through the comments and observations of others that we gain a clearer picture of her family's influence on her. This subtle approach made it easy to empathize with Noelle, and I couldn't help but feel for her as she expressed, "Her upbringing had clawed deep roots in her soul. Jeff had chopped down the weeds but had been unable to rip them out completely."

While Noelle's character was well-developed and easy to connect with, I found the character of Peter slightly underdeveloped. However, his sweet treatment of Noelle and his devotion to Daniel and his nephews won me over. Despite feeling that we didn't fully explore his emotions and personality, I couldn't deny the love he exuded. On the other hand, there were some inconsistencies in his character development that left me with unanswered questions, such as the lack of a furniture catalogue with circled items on his kitchen counter, despite his relationship with Vanessa. Additionally, the reconciliation between Peter and his mother at the end felt rushed, as we only had a glimpse of their relationship without delving into its depth.

I must mention my enjoyment of the character Vanessa, who brought added dimension to Peter's character. I appreciated her willingness to be honest about her initial feelings toward Noelle and her growth throughout the story.

Overall, Talk of the Town offered a delightful blend of humor, sweetness, and inspiration. I found myself both laughing and feeling uplifted as I devoured each page. Jennifer Bardsley has created a heartwarming tale that reminds us of the power of community and the importance of finding love and happiness where we least expect it.

I would like to express my gratitude to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book.

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I'd give it 4/5 stars.

Talk of the Town by Jennifer Bardsley is an interesting book with a sweet couple at the heart of it and a fair amount of drama around their lives.

The book is filled with the realities of life. It's amazing to see Noelle bloom into herself cause she's a little too annoying and timid at the start of the book.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for the ARC.

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3.5 stars. This book was laugh out loud at times and also had some heavier moments. Peter’s sister, Vanessa, has offered him up as the town’s most eligible bachelor on her Facebook page for local moms. He has no idea and wonders why he’s getting so much attention. He is interested, though, only in Noelle, who is a fellow real estate agent and a widow with a young son. Both have difficult pasts. Peter and Vanessa’s mother left them with no warning when they were kids, and their dad was often absent because of his job as a commercial fisherman. They had to fend for themselves for a big part of their childhood. Noelle was raised by a paranoid conspiracy theorist father and a mother who was completely submissive to him. Because he distrusts the government, she never had a birth certificate or a social security number, and he kicked her out of the house when she began dating Jeff, who was a teacher and, therefore, government scum, according to her father. However, Jeff helped her see that she had a future and a voice, and they got married and built a wonderful life. Her father thought he should still control her life and wanted her to move home after Jeff died, but she stood firm. After Peter and Noelle’s romance blossoms, they find a way to hold fast to the love of the family that respects them while putting up boundaries to the family members that don’t. I have to say that the intensity of their atypical childhoods, especially Noelle’s, was an unexpected part of the story, but I enjoyed the character arc of both learning to overcome it. These more serious aspects were interspersed with funny Facebook posts/comments from the local mom group as well as the antics of quirky characters throughout. Thanks to NetGalley and Montlake Publishers for an advanced digital copy.

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Jennifer Bardsley is an author that’s going places. Her books are incredible and her style of writing leaves the books with you long after they’re closed and finished.

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Thank you to NetGalley and Montelake for the ARC! Another small town full of fun and hijinx (this readers spelling 😊) romance story. Enjoyed all the characters. The author pulls the reader into the story. Will recommend

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Another small town book that I really enjoyed! Poor Peter ! He is good friends with Noelle and wants more, but as a widow and a mom she doesn’t want to go there. His sister takes it upon herself to offer him up on the town’s local mom’s Facebook Group. I have seen a lot of crazy thing on our mom’s page but I have to say that’s one I haven’t seen! Peter is not happy but it might just be what finally pushes Noelle to push past the friend zone!
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Thank you @montlake @berittalksbooks @thephdivabooks and @netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you NetGalley, Publishers, and Jennifer Bradsley for gifting The Talk of the Town in return for my honest opinion.

3.5/5 stars
In this lighthearted romance filled with small-town humor and high jinks, an unsuspecting real estate agent becomes the wildest dream come true for all the single moms—except the one he wants.

They’re coworkers, friends, and confidants, but Peter Marshal has always pined for a little something more with Noelle Walters. As a widow and a single mom, Noelle prefers to play it safe, and falling for Peter was never part of the plan.

Then again, neither of their plans accounted for the well-meaning but meddling actions of Peter’s sister, who offers him up as their town’s most eligible bachelor in the local moms’ Facebook group. He’s none the wiser about the source of this sudden surge in attention, but he only has eyes for Noelle. And from where she’s standing on the sidelines of Peter’s popularity, it’s getting harder to pretend that she doesn’t see what everyone else sees in her best friend.

With all eyes on them, will Peter and Noelle finally see beyond the hurdles to the happily ever after that’s been there all along?

This was such a cute read. I love a slow-burn, small-town romance and this one did not disappoint. But one thing that confused me was how old these characters are. If you told me they were in high school I would have believed you. There were so many mean girl antics that I almost didn't finish. Noelle was such a sweet character that I wanted to reach into the book and give her a quick squeeze.

I would recommend this to fans of women's fiction who like romance sprinkled in.

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I enjoyed the sweet, small-town setting of this read. I found the interludes of the town mom's facebook page to be entertaining and a fun depiction of real life mom pages and the drama that can ensue from them. I also like the depiction of what it is like to be the newbie in a tight-knit small town. I love small towns with quirky characters that turn into a found family so that was the highlight of this one for me.

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I really enjoyed reading this book. It was lighthearted but also evokes emotion. It left me laughing a lot throughout this book. I really enjoyed getting to know the different characters and really enjoyed the varied storyline.
Brilliant book, definitely up my street.

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Peter, now the town's most eligible bachelor due to his sister's social media antics, is a realtor grappling with hidden feelings for his best friend and colleague. Unknown to him, she might not be ready for a relationship.

Noelle, a single mother since the loss of her husband, is immersed in her career and her son's life, aiming never to revert to her old life. While she treasures her bond with Peter, seeing him chased by other women leaves her pondering 'what if?'

This tale gently transitions from friendship to romance, showcasing a close-knit group of friends navigating life's challenges. It's interspersed with humorous moments that keep you eagerly flipping pages. I found it tough to set aside. The author masterfully intertwines complex narratives into a heartwarming romance. The camaraderie among the single mothers was a highlight, adding depth and charm to an already captivating tale.

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Peter is a realtor in his small town and his sister wants him to find love…..in his mind he has. Peter is head over heels for someone in his office. Noelle is a widow and a single mother doing the best she can to live her life. Ok first off this was a complicated situation Noelle didn’t have the best childhood and definitely had some emotional baggage from that to unpack. Peter was a great guy but definitely gave his sister way too much power in his life. Ok the sister..Vanessa is probably one of the most annoying characters I have ever read. She was married with children but was extremely immature, caddie and jealous of just about everyone around her. I seriously wanted to reach though the book and slap her! The idea of this book was cute and I really Wanted to love it or even like it, but Vanessa really ruined it for me. The book also really dragged for me. I would definitely give this author another chance and try again.

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I’m always up for a small town romance and there were parts of this one I enjoyed, overall I had issues with it. I don’t know why this trend of epistolary novels has begun but I’m really not a fan and in this book that came from posts in a mom’s Facebook group which honestly did not further the story just showed how b*tchy women can be towards each other. This slow burn romance between a widowed mother and a man she works with took some interesting twists and turns but it was cute and sweet.

I liked that both the main characters had unusual childhoods yet were both successful in spite of the way they grew up. Both characters were developed well and I appreciated that, but what I loved most was seeing Noelle really blossom during this book. Peter showed some growth as well in that he finally stood up to his sister who was overbearing (and yes there were reasons, but he was also a grown man). I loved the special bond he had with Noelle’s son Daniel and how he didn’t try to take over parenting but was there to be his friend and guide him with Noelle’s help.

I felt this book lacked relationship development and honestly Noelle really never sat Peter down and told her everything about her childhood nor did she really share her feelings towards her family with him which might have been helpful when he was confronted with them. Honestly I felt both Noelle and Peter needed some professional counseling because they both still seemed to be shackled by their respective childhood traumas.

Talk of the Town was interesting enough to keep my attention, but it wasn’t a book I’ll read again.

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Bardsley's creates a world and characters that are nothing short of charming. Talk of the Town is equal parts funny and heartbreakingly honest about loss, family and finding community. Noelle and Peter will pull you in and wrap their arms around your heart. (Also, if you've ever had to buy a specialty bra, this book is for you. Ha!)

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This was the first book I've read from this author and I really enjoyed it. The story was different from anything I've read recently and really captured my attention.

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A humorous look at the good and bad of social media on relationships in the real world compounded by the scars of growing up in less-than-ideal circumstances leads this friends-to-lovers, office romance in a small town to be both funny and poignant. Noelle is a resilient person overcoming much hardship including the death of her husband, but she has powered through to be a successful single mom and real estate agent. Peter also is overcoming the scars of a rough youth to become a successful real estate agent who tries to overcompensate by giving back. They are the perfect couple and this story is a fun look at how they discover that very fact! A sweet story that is a nice entertaining read to get away from the real world for a while. The perfect book for those who don't like steam, but rather a sweet romance of finding your way to one another.

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Friends to lovers trope anyone?
Yes please!

For those that don't do slow burn 🔥 ... well you might just have to if you want to experience this one, but trust me, there's enough sibling meddling, school mom hijinks, childhood rivalries, and lumberjanes with their wannabe pimp boss to keep you entertained (seriously, watch for the little league field scene and an Alaskan hello!)! 😂

I, for one, liked getting to know both our lead characters in their own environments, their own lives, before seeing their potential as a couple. Sometimes their personalities can merge so much once they hit RELATIONSHIP status that you never quite know where one ends and the other begins. Noelle is a widow with a great kid, a good career, and love to spare. She could use some friends, but doesn't mourn the lack thereof, especially with how petty some of those in town can be, however she is still mourning her lost husband. There's been time since, but her heart hasn't quite healed on its own...but there is someone that just might be a great help. Enter Peter, our leading man... had a rough-ish start in life, grew beyond that in means, if not emotions, a great career, a family unit he loves, and uncommitted... though he certainly only has eyes for one person in particular. No, not Lexie, or Corine, or anyone else his meddling sister places in his path...no it's the one she doesn't want him interested in. Go figure. The antics that ensue are priceless, and seeing their relationship transform from coworkers to friends to perhaps something more was SO worth the wait!

A great summer read to wile away a weekend, and a perfect fit for Contemporary Romance fans that love memorable characters.

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The story of Peter and Noelle. They have been colleagues for years, as Peter gives her space when she loses her husband. Will his sisters interfering be the push they need to be together? A great read, I liked how it was told from both points of view, and the interludes from the social media group!

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