Audiobook Review: Twice Shy

Published April 6th 2021

Author: Sarah Hogle

Narrator: Dorothy Dillingham Blue

Audiobook Length: 8 hours 58 minutes

Maybell Parrish has always been a dreamer and hopeless romantic. But living with her head in the clouds has long been preferable to dealing with reality, whether it’s navigating the wild world of dating apps or getting her coworkers to show her a little respect. So when Maybell inherits a stately old Tennessee manor from her Great Aunt Violet, she seizes the opportunity to make a fresh start.

But when she arrives at her new home, it seems her troubles have only just begun. Not only is the manor practically falling apart around her, but she isn’t the only inheritor: she has to share everything with Wesley Koehler, the groundskeeper who’s just as grouchy as he is gorgeous–and it turns out he has a very different vision for the property’s future.

Convincing the taciturn Wesley to stop avoiding her and compromise is a task more formidable than any of the many other dying wishes Great Aunt Violet left behind. But when Maybell uncovers something unexpectedly sweet beneath Wesley’s scowls and silences, she realizes they might have more in common than she ever dreamed. And as the two slowly begin to let their guards down, they just might learn that sometimes the smallest steps outside one’s comfort zone can lead to the greatest rewards.

When I first read the synopsis for You Deserve Each Other, I thought it was the perfect novel for me. Unfortunately, the novel’s execution and I were not compatible, but I was willing to give this author another try. Twice Shy’s concept seemed even better and I had high hopes that I would love this one. The two characters sounded amazing and I love the idea of two opposites coming together in a forced proximity situation. Unfortunately, this story just was not for me and I am skeptical to try any future novels as maybe this author just is not for me. On paper everything seems like it would work, but the execution and I just are not compatible.

Maybell is an events coordinator at a hotel in Tennessee where she does not like what she does as she is not respected by her boss. She also has a frenemy coworker, Gemma that thinks the two of them are friends. Maybell finds out that the long distance romance she’s had for the past few months was actually a creation by Gemma, who has been posing as the boyfriend, Jack. Maybell has trouble standing up for herself and does not fully confront Gemma, but wants nothing more than to get away. One day she is told that her beloved Great-Aunt Violet has left her mansion, Falling Star, in Top of the World, Tennessee in a rural Blount County. Unfortunately, the mansion was also left to the groundskeeper, Wesley. The two of them must find a way to work together to keep the mansion that has brought them each happiness over the years.

The novel to me seemed like two sets of characters in one as the personality traits in the first three-quarters were suddenly changed in the last quarter. The characters seemed to grow overnight. Although there was some build up, there was not enough to make it seem natural. There is also less tension between the two characters than I was expected. Although Maybell and Wesley have two different ideas for what to do with the mansion, they move into working to clean it out as a team more quickly than I expected. I did still enjoy their other moments of tension as Wesley was more reserved (his reasoning were well done as I loved how it was slowly revealed) and Maybell was more outgoing. To me, all the pieces were there and I loved them, but the full picture just felt incomplete.

Maybell has an alternate universe called Maybell’s café where she can escape in moments of need.  For the writing of these moments, the audiobook would not be recommended as the moments in reality and the moments in her mind run together and create a very muddled picture. I do not know if the audiobook and novel differ in structure, but there were many moments that were difficult to distinguish. It was, therefore, difficult to review this part of the writing.

Overall, the characters were interesting and I loved the beginning when the reader is getting to know everything. I wished there was more build-up as the ending was very sweet, but felt extremely rushed. The anxiety aspect of the story also felt lacking as there were moments where it felt like there were instant fixes and just did not make sense. While I did not mind it in the story, again, there was not build up to make me connect to any growth. For this novel, I would definitely recommend others to read it for themselves as I am very much in the minority with my critiques compared to the average rating.

5 thoughts on “Audiobook Review: Twice Shy

  1. Too bad this author does not seem to be for you. It is a good thing there are so many authors and books out there, so you will be able to move on to one you love.


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