Goodreads blurb: 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.
Release Date: April 6th, 2021; G.P. Putnam’s Sons
The Sunshine x Grumpy Book of Your Dreams
I need you all to, come April, pick up this book because it was just so precious it makes me nauseuos (that does not make sense, but we’re going with it). This did all of the things I look for in romance right – first of all, I really enjoyed the characters. Romance tends to follow certain beats, which is why it’s so comforting for me, but I really enjoyed both Maybell and Wes so much and I really thought they felt like real individuals. Maybell is a person who is unassertive, a people pleaser and tends to live more in her head than out of it, and Wesley is the opposite. He is taciturn, reclusive and grumpy. Or at least we think so at the beginning. The dynamic between the two is amazing, and similarly to Hogle’s previous book, the interactions between them are so well-written and their back and forth is so compelling. I think that Hogle nails the pacing of their relationship development and I love that there was not a lot of drama here. Instead, Maybell and Wesley face obstacles in their relationship calmly and the conflicts they have make sense. I also love how slow-burn their relationship development was. This will be the consesus among everyone who reads this book but I have to say that I LOVE Wesley. He is one of my favorite romance heroes I ever read about. WE SHOULD PROTECT HIM AT ALL COSTS, OKAY.
The book also explores larger themes of anxiety, and I really appreciated how that was handled. I also really enjoyed how Wesley uses his art to communicate, while Maybell opens up about her rich inner life, and how these become their tools for finding common ground and opening up. It was really sweet. They have great communication and it is nice to see it happen on the page.
The general backdrop of the story of renovating this old house and discovering its secrets, while also exploring Maybell’s aunt’s past was really charming in my opinion and added this fanciful but delightful charm to the story.
My one grievance with this is that I found the ending to be a bit too sickly sweet for me, a bit of cliche and cringey at times which is something I usually struggle with and I am sure people will find it sweet, but it was just a bit too much for me. This did not take away from my enjoyment of the novel, and I found this to be so wonderful and comforting and a book I will definitely go back to in the future.
This was a really wonderful novel, and if you are a fan of romance, I think you are bound to love it. A great relationship, with characters that feel very real, and just overall a book that feels like a hug. Highly recommend you pick it up come April!
I would love to hear from you! Tell me if you are excited for this one or if you enjoyed Hogle’s previous novel, I would love to know!
In the meantime, happy reading
* I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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