First Down (Sharks Football #1) by Leslie North
Reviewed by Laura Fliegel
Goodness, if you are looking for a warm, swoony read, Twice Shy will definitely fulfill that need! Maybell is used to being a dreamer and kind of taking things from people that she doesn’t deserve because while she can come up with elaborate fantasies of being bold and confident, the reality is she’s more apt to take the slights heaped on her. Part of this comes from growing up with a mom who couldn’t be there for her, and so she’s gotten used to just accepting scraps of affection. When her Aunt Violet suddenly (to her) passes away and leaves her the old house she remembers so fondly from one summer, Maybell is full of dreams of what it’s going to be like living in her dream house. What she isn’t prepared for is having to share the inheritance with Wesley, a shy, socially anxious landscaper who communicates with stony silence and notes down the dumb waiter. I came into Twice Shy expecting the same kind of humor and feel as You Deserve Each Other, Hogle’s debut novel, but I’m amazed at just how vastly different they are —but how wonderful Hogle’s books are as well! This book did start a little slow and took a little while for me to get into, but it was absolutely worth the wait. Wesley comes across very gruff and grumpy, but he’s actually a gooey marshmallow and he says the sweetest things. But really one of my absolute favorite things in this book was the emphasis on who they are being enough for both Maybell and Wesley, showing how loving someone is loving them as they are, good and bad and put-together and messy, and not trying to make them someone different or “better.” There were so many little lines that made me legitimately clutch my chest and swoon because it was so wonderfully sweet and caring. And there’s no love fixing or curing Wesley’s anxiety, but we do see how love makes him feel able to do things that scare him because he knows Maybell loves him. I just adored this book so much and even though it has a very different vibe from You Deserve Each Other, it still has some of the same humor that made Hogle’s debut so wonderful. I’ll definitely be reading more from her, and I hope so many others fall in love with Maybell and Wesley and Falling Stars too!
Published by GP Putnam's Sons, April 6, 2021