Twice Shy

Twice Shy


Sarah Hogle


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.


First-person is not my favorite POV writing-wise. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It comes down to tense a lot of the time, though, sometimes a good writer can make me not care. Sadly, for me, Twice Shy never pulled me in enough to do that. It wasn’t a bad book by any means. It just wasn’t for me.

Maybell is very meek and a doormat. Often, this is paired with an alpha male, and she’s either completely taken care of or learns to stand up for herself. Maybell’s only character growth is that she finally tells an old coworker that what she did to Maybell was wrong. It was underwhelming, especially after what that coworker did to her.

Wesley has extreme social anxiety paired with being shy. He comes off as rude and gruff and grumpy, but he’s none of that. He just can’t get his words to work when he’s in a new social setting. It’s the worst social anxiety in a character I’ve read, and, especially at the end, it was painful to read. He could speak to people outside, but being inside was too much, and he’d feel trapped.

I liked that the hero had mental health issues because inclusivity is one of my favorite parts of newer books. However, the pairing of Wesley and Maybell didn’t work for me. They were both too passive. Maybell was the more forceful one, and she let everyone in her life walk all over her. Their character growth was too realistic in that there was next to none. I wanted something more dramatic.

Twice Shy wasn’t for me, and that’s okay.



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