Member Reviews

This was such a sweet story! I fell in love with all of the characters so easily.

One of my favorite parts about this book was the way the author set up each chapter with a quick social media thread. I thought this was very clever, and authentic to the modern-day neighborhood experience. These posts were written so well, with language I’ve only seen used on posts like this that I felt like I was scrolling my local NextDoor app. They each tied into Noelle’s life, and served as an interesting plot device.

Noelle’s background was complicated, and I think the author portrayed Noelle’s family through different lenses well. We first understood Noelle’s relationship to them (her mother specifically) through her own thoughts and phone calls, but we received a much clearer picture of her family through the comments of others. This was done subtly at first, and made it easy to empathize with Noelle. I felt for her when she said, “Her upbringing had clawed deep roots in her soul. Jeff had chopped down the weeds but had been unable to rip them out completely.”

Peter seemed a bit underdeveloped to me, but he treated Noelle so sweetly and did so much for Daniel and his nephews that I couldn’t help but love him. I felt like we didn’t get to really understand his emotions and personality like we did with Noelle. I also felt like there were some plot holes with his character development that simply didn’t add up (you’re telling me Vanessa never plopped a furniture catalogue down on his kitchen counter with furniture circled?). I also didn’t buy the reconciliation with his mother at the end, because we only knew the barest details of their relationship.

I also enjoyed the character of Vanessa (hot take, I know). She added dimension to Peter’s character and was willing to admit her reasons for not initially liking Noelle. I respect that.

Overall, this was a hilarious read while also being super sweet and uplifting!

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An entertaining read! This was my first Jennifer Bardsley book and I’m glad I gave it a go. The characters were easy to connect to and the Skaginton Mom’s group posts and comments added a bit of context before each chapter, making it more fun for me.

Noelle and Peter were great, it was a cute small town read, which I find myself reading more of these days.

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Spicy and a great time! Great book to spend your time with and interesting plot. The cover is also stunning!

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Bardsley does it again! Talk of the Town is a wonderful small town romance that validates women, and sheds light on the complexity of single parenthood. Workplace romance is a tricky subject but the story navigates this well. The characters in talk of the town are well developed and have depth and complexity that draw the reader in. The Skagiton Mom's group absolutely nails the best and the worst of online communities. It provides wonderful humor and relatability to the story.

One of the things I enjoy the most about a Jennifer Bardsley book is education interwoven with romance. This story is no exception. From human rights issues, to insights on the farming industry, Talk of the Town takes readers on the journey deep into the experience of other walks of life. Her characters paint a picture of a diverse community in an organic way. Views are presented respectfully and the pacing is excellent. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a fast, enjoyable read.

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Talk of the Town is the first book that I've ever read by Jennifer Bardsley. The book is told through the point of view of Noelle, Peter and the local Mom's Facebook group.

Peter is a very successful realtor but his sister Vanessa feels like he could be more successful on the dating front. Vanessa decides to make Facebook posts in the local mom's group advertising Peter's schedule. Peter starts getting bombarded with all the single ladies in town but he only has eyes for his fellow realtor, Noelle. Noelle is trying to get her life back on track after dealing with the tragic unexpected death of her husband. She grew up in an ultra conservative household that values the patriarchy and continues to be gaslighted by her family at every turn. Peter and Noelle take the steps to move from friends to something more.

This book was a sooooooooo burn. I felt like they spent more time apart than together. Peter has so many questions about Noelle and her past but would rather ask strangers around town than go to the source itself. His sister was insufferable. She maligns Noelle as soon as she gets to town because she accidently brought cookies with nuts to the school bake sale. She makes fun of her at every turn. She's a bully and didn't ever really apologize. The women in the Facebook group were rabid for the Henry Cavil lookalike, Peter. They were pushy, mean spirited, judgmental and stalker like. Basically, a bunch of Karen's. Noelle's family dynamics aren't something I want to read in a romance. I understand it was used as a device to show Noelle's growth but the gaslighting made me very uncomfortable.

The were some aspects that I enjoyed. The format of having the Facebook posts was an interesting one. Some of the posts were fun and set up what was happening around town. I absolutely love the "nosy neighbor" aspect in a small town romance. I was partial to the author's writing style. It was easy to read and flowed really nicely. Noelle gaining her confidence gradually since the death of her husband and in spite of her difficult upbringing seemed realistic. I think this was just a case of wrong book for this reader.

Thank you to NetGalley, Jennifer Bardsley, and Montlake for this eARC. All opinions expressed are my own.
#netgalley #montlake #talkofthetown

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~ARC Review~

Admittedly, I have a huge place in my heart for small town romances which was one of the stronger aspects of this book. In a small town, everyone knows everyone's business... I can definitely vouch for that being from a small town myself.

The Facebook group infuriated me most of the times because those women were on a whole other level of crazy (but their unwarranted opinions were quite comical sometimes). The actual aspect of including the Facebook posts from that group was a nice touch.

I also really enjoyed reading about Noelle and Peter grow as individuals and together, but especially Noelle. They had come from difficult family upbringings that was then mixed in with this wild Facebook group (which I would have left immediately, but also see why she couldn't). Family doesn't always genuinely "mean well" and I think this book portrayed that clearly.

Now onto the aspects I did not enjoy so much. For one, this was a slooooooowwwwwww burn which is just not for me, I know some people love that but this was by far the absolute epitome of SLOW burn 🐌🐌🐌
Also, I wanted to see even more of Noelle and Peter though, like I said I loved reading about them but I think it lacked some of their relationship development. Finally, usually when there is lots of dialogue (especially with as much as this book had), the book moves faster for me but it definitely dragged despite being an easy, lighter read.

Thank you NetGalley for the ARC :)

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This book had an interesting plot but it was challenging to get into. This was not really mu cup of tea but I am sure others will love it.

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This is a sweet and cute five-star read. There were parts that made me smile, and parts that were a teeny bit long, but overall, it was just so sweet. Peter was just perfect; he would wait as long as it took and that was what was so important. Noelle was great, she had such quiet strength that surprised me, she really was a great character, but it was Vanessa who surprised me, I think that once she got to know Noelle’s past, and how it shaped her, she realised there was more under the surface, just like this story.

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Nice tale of love in a small little town, must admit did struggle to get into the plot, but persevered and ended up quite enjoying it

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Talk of the Town by J. Bardsley, published by Montlake is a beautiful slow burn, a small town romance that gives all the feels.
Peter and Noelle are a couple made for each other. But it takes Peter some time convincing the heroine of this truth. I enjoyed reading the book,4 beautiful stars.

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When the book opens a woman named Vanessa Collins has just posted an ad on a dating website called Skagiton Moms Facebook Group about her thirty-three-year-old brother Peter Marshal, a real estate who’s single and ready to mingle. Or is he? The ad also includes the name of a diner where Peter goes to have breakfast.

But Peter has his sights on a woman named Noelle who lost her husband and is finding it hard to move on. Can Noelle Walters give Peter a chance to show her how much he cares?

A delightful read with lovable characters. Would recommend.

Thank you to Jennifer Bardsley, NetGalley, and Montlake for the arc of this book

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Talk of the Town by Jennifer Bardsley

Easy to enjoy and easy to read. A lighthearted story of finding love in a small town.

Single & a successful realtor, Peter Marshall, has a thing for his co-worker, Noelle, a widow & mother, but she thinks of him as a friend. Unbeknownst to Peter, his sister starts hyping his success and availability on the town mom’s Facebook page. Peter’s newfound popularity ignites Noelle’s realization that Peter is more to her than a co-worker.

My first time reading a book by Jennifer Bardsley. Thanks for the arc, @NetGalley!
#TalkoftheTown #NetGalley #montlakepublishing #MontlakeBooks #montlakeromance

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An ok friends to more romance. Nothing special but an ok way to while away a couple hours and a nice clean read. Just seemed uninspiring

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very sweet story, this was my first book by this author, will definitely look for more by her. I enjoyed the story and the setting very much.

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Easy and slow burn story that I was interested in reading and finding where they landed. I would read more of her books. Nice read.

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This story had it all. Mean girls, gorgeous guy, sympathetic but strong female lead and obstacles to overcome. It seems everyone in town got something out of this book. There were multiple storylines that kept me engaged because it made the supporting characters seem more substantial.

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Enjoyable and quite fun. I did enjoy the social media post interspersed between chapters and felt in the second half of the novel the characters were a bit more rounded.

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This was a very sweet, easy simple and comforting slow burn romance. And I really loved almost everything about it, from characters to plot to ending.. I couldn’t seem to get enough of it

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This was a great book of how people come together online. I love the characters and the storyline it was fun to read. Thus book was approved by netgalley and the publisher.

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This was a cute story, a slow burn, and for me an easy read.

I think if you had a very strict upbringing like Noelle then you may find this slightly triggering, but it’s a testament to how well the author ties it together. I do think it was realistic too in terms of it taking her a lifetime to rebuild herself after growing up in such control.

I think the Facebook posts were original and a great way to tie in a large character cast.

I think the message of remaining objective regardless of political or religious affiliation was well placed.

My biggest negative would be Peters lack of character development. It didn’t match Noelles, he’s walking around making all this money looking like Henry Cavill….women would likely be interested without a Facebook post. Additionally his climax of the story just kinda falls flat, why is there no furniture in his home? Is he having a hard time committing because of his past trauma with his mom or what? I would have liked a little more from his perspective, but overall very much enjoyed their sweet story.

Thank you NetGalley for the ARC, I will read more Jennifer Bardsley in the future.

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